Supercar performance and looks with a sports car price tag.
It’s often been said that a mid-engined Corvette is either just around the corner, or will only happen when pigs fly. For decades now, GM has been teasing us with experimental development cars while simultaneously pushing the perceived limits of a front-engine platform. Well, it seems like they finally found those aforementioned limits with the current Corvette because for 2020, the Corvette finally goes mid-engined.
With chiseled lines reminiscent of the C7 Corvette, the new C8 Corvette seeks to meld evolution with revolution. The entire shape is new, with large, aggressive intakes up front, a cab-forward stance, large side intakes with integrated hidden door handles, a glass engine bay cover and quad exhaust tips that sit right on the lower corners of the rear bumper. Keeping the design evolutionary, the signature targa roof returns, as do familiar headlamps, four-element tail lights, and double-bubble roof styling. Even though it’s mid-engined, the C8 is still very thoroughly a Corvette.
Inside, the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette builds on the premium feel of the outgoing model. Emphasis on high-end materials is increased, with such available touches as metal speaker grilles for the available 14-speaker Bose audio system, metal buttons and switches, more leather, suede and other stitched materials, and three available seats including aggressive “competition” buckets. Six leather colours are available, with the black seats being further customizable with two optional stitching colours and three other colours being available in multiple configurations of tone-on-tone and/or contrast. The seat belts are also available in six different colours. When it comes to practicality, the new Corvette features a small front trunk as well as a rear trunk that can stow either the targa roof or up to two sets of golf clubs. In terms of tech, a new generation of GM’s Performance Data Recorder is available and it features a track database, point-to-point timing and dashcam functionality. The new Corvette will also come with a twelve-inch reconfigurable digital cluster, NFC functionality, wireless charging and over-the-air updates.
When it comes to powering the new Corvette, GM’s engineers developed a new version of the 6.2-litre V8. Dubbed LT2, it pushes out a naturally-aspirated 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the performance exhaust system and comes with a standard dry-sump oiling system. In a move that’s sure to upset purists, this new engine is mated exclusively to a Tremec 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Driving enthusiasts are best to spring for the optional Z51 package which includes performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats, larger brake rotors, enhanced powertrain cooling, a shorter axle ratio, front brake cooling ducts, the aforementioned performance exhaust system, an electronic limited-slip differential and a front splitter and larger rear spoiler that make 400 pounds of functional downforce. To further enhance performance, magnetorheological dampers and GM’s Performance Traction Management system are also available. When properly optioned out, the new Corvette can generate some serious numbers including 0-60 miles per hour in under 3 seconds. Additional upgrades under the skin include a quicker steering ratio than the old car, an aluminum structure consisting of just six main parts, trunk tubs made of a proprietary ultra-lightweight fibreglass material that floats on water, coil springs as opposed to leaf springs and an industry-first curved carbon fibre rear bumper beam, while customers worried about scraping the low nose need not to fear as a front lift system that’s GPS enabled and will remember up to 1,000 locations is available.
While Chevrolet has not yet announced pricing specifics, they have stated that the base MSRP of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will be under $70,000 here in Canada. That’s an astonishing amount of performance for the money especially considering the next-cheapest mid-engined sports car retails in the six-figure arena. Expect detailed pricing to be announced closer to early 2020, when the all-new Corvette is expected to roll into showrooms across Canada.