The new-generation Corvette Stingray has finally been unveiled. Meet the C8 – a mid-engined American sposrtcar. The first one ever from Chevrolet and it’s the best performing ‘Vette till date.
Its proportions may seem a bit off considering its a deviation from the typical Corvette styling with a long bonnet and short rear end. With the new one, the cabin has been moved forward considerably while the rear end seems a bit extended. Make no mistake, Chevrolet has worked hard to make sure it is quite aerodynamic and this canopy-forward stance mimics the likes of fighter jets and F1 cars.
The engine bay, now behind the two cabin occupants, is home to the heart of the 2020 Corvette Stingray – a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated V8 that churns out 490bhp and 631Nm and upto 495bhp in the top-spec with the performance exhaust. More specifically, it’s the next-gen Small Block V8 LT2 engine, reworked for improved low-end torque and high-end power delivery while being able to sustain its high performance for longer periods and also in the corners. The power unit is paired to a new 8-speed dual-clutch shifter with paddle-shifters for manual control. Chevy also made sure that it’s new engine looked pretty for those looking through the glass cover, something its Italian rivals are also known for.
How does this translate into performance? If you spec your 2020 Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package that includes the performance suspension, bigger brakes, better cooling, performance exhaust and a more responsive drive ratio, it can do 0-100kph in just under 3 seconds. It’s a clever supercar too. The C8 gets an electronic slip-diff, a large front splitter and a two-piece rear spoiler that Chevrolet claims to generate up to 180kg of downforce and improves cornering stability as well. It also gets coil-over dampers for improved handling while still being a daily-driven supercar and even gets the option of Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 which uses suspension-mounted accelerometers to ‘read the roads better’. Basically, the new electronic bits respond faster to driver inputs which improves the ride quality.
Onto the cabin of the new Stingray. It is driver-centric and for once looks like it belongs in the current era of supercars. It has a squared-off steering wheel in front of the 12-inch customizable instrument cluster, a touchscreen infotainment system with a new vertical layout for the climate controls on the right of the transmission lever. The driver’s side is cocooned by the console tunnel. The new Stingray also has driving modes, like any other modern supercar. Four of the usual modes are Weather, Tour, Sport and Track but the two new modes are MyMode and Z mode. MyMode is a configurable driving setting for a preferred driving style. Meanwhile, the Z mode is named after the famous Corvette performance package and is activated by a dedicated “Z” button on the steering wheel. It allows drivers to adjust the engine and transmission settings as well.
In terms of comfort, the 2020 Corvette Stingray offers plenty. It may not be as luxurious as some of the German or Italian supercars but it’s still well equipped. Plenty of personalisation options and choice of real metal and carbon fibre trims. Chevrolet offers three pre-determined seating options – GT1, GT2 and Competition Sport. The first gets sporty styling while emphasizing on good support for driving excitedly. The Competition Sport spec gets track-focussed seats, Napa seating surfaces and carbon fibre trims. The GT2 seat package is a first for the Corvette series which features a racing-inspired look while focussing on long-distance comfort. It also gets carbon fibre trim, Napa leather insert, Mulan leather bolsters, jet-black seatbacks, two-way lumbar support plus heating and ventilation.
As standard, the new Corvette also features a Targa roof that can be removed and stowed in the rear storage space. Since the C8’s debut, Chevrolet has also unveiled the convertible hard-top version that can retract in as few as 16 seconds. The new Stingray Convertible suffers no loss of performance as compared to the coupe version.
The final remarkable aspect of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is its expected starting price in the USA – $60,000. While its performance is not on par with the Maranello stallions or the Italian bulls, the Corvette still has plenty to rival with. But nothing comes close to offering that kind of performance at that kind of price point. Here are some of the many rivals it contends with — Honda NSX, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Mercedes AMG GT R, Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type R and the Lexus LC500.
What do you think of the new Corvette Stingray C8? Do you like that the bearer of American performance is now a mid-engined offering? Share your thoughts on the new Corvette in the comments below the gallery.