The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Has Specific Roof Mounts in the Trunk for Safe Storage
The smallest details are usually the ones that play important roles in a carby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 06:39
It’s been a week since the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 made its debut and I can’t think of any other car in recent history that’s been prodded over more times than this one. The all-out dissection of the Corvette C8 is real, folks, and in this particular space, our attention turns to the Vette’s removable roof panel, the rear cargo area, and, specifically, the two mounts inside the storage space that help keep the roof comfortably in place when it’s stowed in the compartment. The removable roof panel is one of the Corvette C8’s most talked-about features, in part because it can turn the sports car into a full-fledged convertible with a simple twist of three latches in the interior. But since the Corvette C8 is not the actual Corvette C8 Convertible — that model will arrive in a few months, if scheduling holds form — it needs a safe place to stay out of sight if you want to roll around town without it. The rear cargo trunk is that space haven, and those mounts help keep the roof in place for the duration of its stay there.
One of the many — and I can’t emphasize that word enough — features of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 is its body-type versatility, specifically as it relates to the coupe’s roof panel. See, the Corvette C8 is unique in this regard because the roof panel can be removed and stored into the rear cargo storage area located right beside the new 6.2-liter V-8 LT2 engine. It’s a useful feature, particularly for those who can’t wait for the real Corvette C8 Convertible to arrive, which, presumably will debut before the year ends.
The setup of the Corvette C8’s roof panel is relatively simple. It’s held in place by three latches in the interior: two in front and another one behind your head.
Should you feel the need to go roofless in your weekend joyrides, you can unfasten the latches and remove the roof panel. What you do with the roof panel from there is your choice. You can either leave it at home or you can stow it in the rear cargo storage where you can set it on a pair of mounts located on opposite ends of the cargo area and push down so they lock into place. Once you’ve done that, you can simply close the fiberglass trunk lid and the roof panel will sit comfortably inside the rear cargo area.
There is a downside to this, especially if you’re going to stop by the grocery once you’re done with your joyride. With the roof panel stored in the trunk space, there’s precious little space for anything else to be stored there. Maybe you can store a grocery bag or two if you’re creative with your placements, but, definitely, you cannot store a pair of golf bags there with the roof occupying so much space. You’ll have to make use of the frunk for those grocery bags or you can put the roof back in place, fasten the latches, and go about your business.
The removable roof panel is an interesting addition to the Corvette C8, but it’s not an entirely new one as it relates to earlier Corvette models.
The previous-generation Corvette C7 had a similar feature, a similar way to remove the roof panel, and a similar storage area in the rear section of the car. The only noticeable difference is that in the Corvette C7, you slide the roof panel into the back cargo area in a special recess where it can lock into place by pushing the roof down gently. There’s still space for a few items, but just like in the C8, the overall cargo volume is severely comprised once the roof takes up most of the space. Still, the flat nature of the previous-generation Corvette’s rear cargo makes it possible to slide in some extra cargo underneath the roof panel. It doesn’t look like that’s possible in the rear storage area of the Corvette C8, in part because the rear cargo area isn’t as wide as it is in the C7-generation ‘Vette.
Either way, the ability to remove the roof panel in the Corvette C8 is a very useful feature, particularly for those who’d prefer to kill two birds with one stone. You can buy the base Corvette C8 and you can turn it into a Targa-style convertible quickly. Of course, the latter setup is going to be different, in part because some parts of the roof will still be in place in the coupe, even if you remove the carbon-fiber roof panel. It’s a different look altogether and you don’t get the complete open-air experience that only the Corvette C8 Convertible can provide. Visibility in the back is not as good as it is in the real Corvette C8 Convertible and the exhaust notes coming from that monstrous V-8 engine don’t reach your ears as crisply as it would in a real Corvette C8 Convertible. So if those are requirements in your checklist, you’ll still need to buy the Corvette C8 Convertible.
The base Corvette C8 does address desires for an open-top Corvette experience, however, compromised that experience may be.
It’s certainly not the only model that has adopted this kind of approach in the past. Jeep, in particular, is known for using removable roofs on the Wrangler. Jeep uses a similar setup, too, with several latches in the interior holding the Wrangler’s roof in place. Once you’ve unfastened the latches, there’s another twister that you need to unscrew. This process takes longer because the screw is freakin’ long, but once you’ve done it, you can store the twister in the center console, push up the roof from the inside so it detaches and find a place to store it. The Wrangler doesn’t come with a single detachable roof panel — there’s four in total for each side of the interior — so there’s a lot more work to do in the SUV compared to the Corvette C8.
Meanwhile, the Porsche 911 Targa, arguably the model that brought the targa-style roof en vogue, comes with a more mechanical setup. The roof on the 911 Targa can be opened with the push of a button as long as the car itself is at a standstill. The roof panel then slides back and stows itself behind the rear seats. This setup is what most automakers use when it comes to their hardtop and soft-top vehicles. The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF — the “RF” stands for “retractable fastback” — is available in either a hardtop or soft top and, just like the 911 Targa, the roof can be stowed by a simple press of a button. The Mercedes SLC is another example of a coupé/roadster that uses a mechanical setup to store its panoramic glass roof.
You would think that Chevrolet would use something similar on the base Corvette C8, but in the end, it’s not that big of a deal considering how easy it is to remove the roof panel and store it in the rear cargo area. Besides, the Corvette C8 Convertible will have something far more advanced in this regard. Whatever the case is, the fact that you can remove the roof panel on the base Corvette C8 speaks to the car’s versatility. It’s a coupé and a roadster rolled into one.
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