Leno and Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter dig into the details about the droptop C8.
Jay Leno lives the good life. In addition to having a collection of vehicles that would make even the most jaded auto enthusiast jealous, he's now the first person to drive the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible other than General Motors personnel. Leno and Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter dig into the details about the C8 in a nearly hour-long video.
Gallery: Jay Leno Drives Chevy Corvette Convertible C8
According to Juechter, physics forced the decision to move the engine behind the driver. The development team wanted to increase the C8's performance, and relocating the powerplant was simply the best way to make that happen.
When it comes to the convertible, the original plan was to fit a fabric roof. However, the team reversed course after looking at competitors and noting how many of them use hardtops. The layout comes with lots of advantages like improvements to the noise, harshness, and vibration in the cabin.
The folding hardtop requires six electric motors and various linkages to operate. There's no need to add any extra reinforcements to the chassis. However, the rear deck requires extra heat insulation to keep the engine's heat from harming the roof. Lowering the roof has no impact on rear storage space. In all, the droptop weighs about 80 pounds more than the coupe.
One of the convertible's cool, little features is the clear panel between the seats. It's power-operated from the door and even works when the roof is up, which allows for a little more engine sound in the cabin.
When it's time to get behind the wheel, Leno seems to have lots of fun. The convertible allows for a great chance to hear the V8 engine. It makes a wonderful mix of raspy and muscular sounds.