General Motors in January introduced the seventh generation of its iconic Chevrolet Corvette Coupe to rave reviews in Detroit. This past week, in Geneva, the new model's top came off.The 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible made its world debut at the big Swiss auto show, featuring a new electric top that will be standard, and can be lowered by pressing a button on the car's remote control.It's also able to open or close with the car moving up to 30 mph, which is a bit tricky for an automaker to achieve because a convertible top essentially becomes a sail when it's in a vertical position and the wind is blowing directly into it.No prices have been announced yet, but the 2013 Corvette Convertible begins at $54,600 (plus $995 freight), while the Coupe starts at $49,600."The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953," GM's global design chief Ed Welburn said during the Geneva unveiling."With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design."Both vehicles go on sale later this year, with the coupe to arrive first, in late summer, followed a few weeks later by the convertible. The Corvette, long considered the crown jewel of American automotive prowess, has a large following abroad, which is why GM chose Switzerland for its ragtop debut."It's fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva, because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over," said Susan Docherty, president of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe. "It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it's never officially been offered."GM says there is little difference in the structure, performance and technology of the convertible and the coupe, other than the accommodations to the unibody design to accommodate the folding top and repositioning of the safety belts. No structural reinforcement was required for the drop-top version, the company said.Under the hood is the same new LT1 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which produces 450 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque. Both models weigh almost the same.The Stingray Convertible comes with a three-layer fabric top that includes sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window. It's designed to make the cabin almost as quiet as that of the coupe at highway speeds. With the top down, you just have to live with the noise.Outside, the coupe and convertible have a new chiseled design, featuring high-intensity-discharge and LED lights and improved aerodynamics.Inside, there is both carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather seat and trim, dual eight-inch driver/infotainment screens, and a choice of two new seat designs.A Z51 Performance Package brings an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; and an aero package designed to enhance high-speed stability.The aluminum frame is 99 pounds lighter than that of the steel frame on the current Corvette, and 57 percent stiffer, said Corvette product spokesman Monte Doran.GM is bringing back the Stingray name on the newest Corvette. "Sting Ray" was used on Corvette models from 1963-67; then "Stingray" appeared on 1969-76 models, but has not been used since.All models will continue to be assembled at the dedicated Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., about an hour north of Nashville, Tenn. The facility has been making the vehicles exclusively since 1981.The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com.