What it is:

The soft-top convertible version of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, a.k.a. the Stingray, is a scene-stealer. It officially debuted earlier this month in Geneva, but it's back for an American encore at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Boasting an electric three-layer soft-top that can be operated at up to 30 miles per hour, as well as an estimated 450 horsepower under the hood, the new convertible is already one of the best things America's ever built -- and we haven't even had a chance to drive one yet.

How much:

Pricing for the new 2014 Corvette lineup is still under wraps, but we project a starting price in the $50,000 to $55,000 range for the Stingray coupe -- so figure a few grand more for the convertible.

When you can get it:

Summer/Fall 2013.

Add it to your shopping list because:

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible promises an unprecedented combination of speed and refinement on the road, and its head-turning styling has been readily apparent from day one. All Chevrolet had to do was drop the top, and presto -- the perfect all-American convertible.

Actually, that's not fair to the new Corvette's engineers, because they've done more than just build a great American car here. The 2014 Stingray Convertible should have legitimately global appeal, thanks especially to its overhauled interior with vastly improved seats and higher-quality materials and displays. Of course, the Stingray's 6.2-liter, 450-hp V8 will certainly help its cause, but let's face it: the Corvette has never been deficient in the engine bay. What Chevy's iconic sports car needed more than anything was a trip to finishing school, and as far as we can tell, that's exactly what it got for 2014.

We can't wait to get behind the wheel and give you our real-world impressions. Stay tuned for video and text coverage as soon as Chevy tosses us the keys.

Other cars to consider:

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible: Bursting with an insane 662 hp and 631 pound-feet of torque, this pony will definitely get you where you need to go, although it's less civilized than the Stingray.

Porsche Boxster: The recently redesigned Boxster has become a real jewel of a sports car, notable as much for its exquisitely crafted interior as its sublime mid-engine handling. The yowl of its flat-six engines is a nice perk, too, even though the Stingray is undoubtedly the faster car.

Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG: The SLK55 may be pint-sized, but it's got a honking 415-hp` V8 and a slick retractable hardtop to its name. You can get one for the price of a well-equipped Corvette Convertible.

Used Jaguar XK Convertible: England's answer to the Corvette, the luxurious XK features robust V8 power, and depreciation brings low-mileage specimens into Stingray territory.

Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: The "German Corvette" lacks the Stingray's sporting edge, but it's arguably the world's best for luxurious top-down touring, and certified pre-owned examples are readily available for Corvette money.

See all New York Auto Show news

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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