For years there were rumblings that Chevrolet would shake up its most iconic sports car, the Corvette, by offering a mid-engined version. The masses rejoiced when spy shots of prototypes testing around Detroit first emerged, and when the latest Corvette appeared in camouflaged guise earlier this summer, speculations ran rampant about powertrain specifications, whether or not it would offer a manual transmission, how the C8 Corvette would look, and how much the all-new Corvette would cost. Now, the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray has been officially revealed, and we’ve got some quick facts you need to know.
It’s got a V-8 that makes 495 horsepower
Nestled behind the driver’s head, mounted under glass, is Chevrolet’s LT2 6.2-liter V-8. That’s packing 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque (provided you’ve ticked the optional performance exhaust system box). That naturally-aspirated mill boasts 35 more horsepower and an additional 5 lb-ft of torque over the LT1 that drives the C7 Corvette Stingray. Chevy claims this is the most powerful non-forced induction engine of all mid-engined cars. It’s crafted from an aluminum block, and positioned in such a manner to help lower the Stingray’s center of gravity, and has a dry-sump oil system, unprecedented in a base model ‘Vette, which helps keep everything flowing through high-speed turns.
It’s the first Corvette since 1953 that won’t offer a manual transmission
The Save The Manuals club will shed a tear and pour a little out for the C8. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to row your own gears here. An eight-speed dual-clutch Tremec automatic transmission will handle getting the power down, pushed to the rear by a transaxle-mounted electronic limited-slip differential, and it’s been optimized for speed and performance. First gear is low, affording zippy launches, and second through sixth gears are close-ratio, optimal for track work. (The final two exist only to make highway miles more comfortable.)
The engine was moved to help the new Corvette compete with exotic supercars
From a marketing standpoint, it’s helpful to offer a car with a mid-engine to your consumers. From the driver’s seat, there’s a lot of practical enhancement that placement allows. You’re getting better weight distribution, which translates to better handling, especially with a rear weight bias as the C8 has. The driver’s seating position is now closer to the front axle, nearly atop the front wheels, meaning improved feedback and sense of control. And with a redesigned hood that slopes down deeply, and a lowered instrument panel and flat-topped steering wheel, the incredible sightlines will give the cockpit a race-car feel.
The 2020 C8 Corvette has the fastest 0-60 time of any entry Corvette
We’re talking a sub-three second tear to 60, though official numbers have yet to be discussed, if equipped with the Z51 Performance Package. That includes a performance suspension that you can manually adjust, larger brake rotors, enhanced engine cooling, front brake cooling inlets, and a performance exhaust. Compare that to the C7 Corvette’s 3.7 seconds required for a 0-60 run and that’s downright impressive.
The exterior design is polarizing
While much of the exterior design is functional, each intake and strake placed purposefully to aid in performance, the overall look of the C8 Stingray is getting mixed reviews. Some enthusiasts and journalists claim it hews too close in appearance to Acura’s NSX; others see too much Ferrari influence in the overall body lines. Opposing camps disagree, saying that aesthetic change helps move the iconic line forward into the future.
The 2020 C8 Stingray’s pricing starts under $60,000
It’ll begin at $56,995, to be exact. That’s a helluva bargain for a car with that much power, especially when stacked up against its competitors. A Porsche 718 Cayman is about $58,000, but only has 300 horsepower and a 4.9-second 0-60 shuffle. The Ford Mustang GT350 comes in around the same price, at $60,000, and has 526-hp derived from a naturally-aspirated V-8 (and features a manual transmission option), but it’s not mid-engined. The mid-engined Audi R8 crams 562 ponies behind the driver’s head and does the 0-60 deed in 3.4 seconds, but at a starting price of $171,000, you’d be able to pick up two C8 Stingrays instead. Granted, the Z51 Performance Package and options will see that $56,995 price rocket north, and buyers can expect to get out the door somewhere around $80,000, but that’s still going to be a deal.
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