Spoiler alert: Not much.
Removable hardtops have been a Corvette staple for decades. The 2020 C8 is certainly no exception, and in addition, it's also available in a dedicated convertible that utilizes a power-folding hardtop. On standard versions, the roof panel lifts out manually and fits neatly into the Corvette’s rear storage area behind the engine. The only problem is, storage space on small two-seat sports cars is already at a premium, and that’s especially true for mid-engine machines. How much space does that top actually take up when it's stored?
A new video from Cars and Crosbie on YouTube attempts to answer that question. Using his own C8 as a guinea pig, the video opens with an overview of the rear storage compartment before the roof comes off. Chevrolet told us long ago that the 2020 Corvette has approximately 13 cubic feet of storage split between the front and rear areas, and we know a set of golf clubs will fit in the back as long as the roof is still affixed to the car.
With it removed, rear space is obviously zapped but not as much as one might think. The top fits securely in the storage area at an angle, meaning there’s space underneath for some smaller items. In this case, a couple of small backpacks are tucked safely under the top, and there’s still room for smaller miscellaneous items. The frunk is obviously unaffected, but it's not terribly useful for larger bags. In other words, it appears weekend trips in the C8 will require the roof to stay on unless you pack really light.
Gallery: 2020 Corvette Roof Removal Storage
The video also highlights some interesting open-air differences between the C8 and previous-generation C7. The overall takeaway is that the C8 is quieter inside, which the video attributes to a combination of factors. The C8’s removable roof is smaller, allowing less air inside. The windshield rake is also different, and whereas the C7’s cockpit was merged with its rear storage area, the C8 obviously stops short right behind the driver. That means less interior space for wind and sound to reverberate, and while it’s not necessarily a scientific observation, it does make sense.
Will the C8 convertible offer a different experience? We’ll have to be patient for seat time in the official drop-top, as Corvette manufacturing and first-drive events are still delayed by Coronavirus.