A Mid-Engine Monster for the Masses…
2020 C8 Corvette Stingray
I can’t believe it’s finally here!!! Since I was a kid I have been fantasizing about a mid-engine Vet. Honestly, I thought it was never going to happen. At least not in my lifetime anyway. But, the wait is over! Not only is the C8 here but it’s an attainable dream car for the masses at a starting price of around $60,000. Introducing the completely re-imagined 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray.
A Long Time Coming
Since the beginning, the “Father of Corvette” Zora Arkus Duntov envisioned the future of Corvette to be a mid-engine sports car. Speed and performance was Zora’s main focus when it came to the Corvette. He knew that in order to achieve the pinnacle of performance, the engine had to be behind the driver. Which he wasn’t far, off seeing how the track cars of the time were already making the shift. Unfortunately, Zora’s vision never came to fruition in his lifetime. If only he was here to see this.
From Concept to Reality
The renders and concepts of a mid-engine Corvette have been circulating the internet for over a decade now. When spy shots started popping up, it was only a matter of time before the Chevy fans would finally get what they had been asking for. It’s amazing to me that it took as long as it did. The demand has been there since the Corvette was created.
A Whole New Design
Once the spy shots started leaking, artists set out to piece the photos together in order to bring the C8 to life. The designs they came up with were underwhelming to say the least. I, along with many others, thought for sure we would end up with a Vet fit for generations past. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ll say now that I am thoroughly impressed. The 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray maintains the aggressive lines of the previous generation C7. However, this time around we are presented with almost Ferrari-esque proportions. There also appears to be a little bit of Camaro sprinkled in throughout the rear of the car.
The V8 Lives On
Inches behind the driver, sits the new 6.2L LT2 V8, with an output of 495 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque and a predicted 0-60 time of approximately 3 seconds. This is where I breath a sigh of relief. The V8 is a staple of the Corvette line and it would be a shame if Chevy decided to go with the smaller displacement, forced induction route most manufactures have gravitated towards. Just imagine seeing this thing on the road expecting to hear the scream of a V12 and instead your ears are graced with the low growl of an American V8. What a proud moment for the US to have this car in its lineup. Overall, a wise choice by Chevy. Well done.
RIP Manual Transmission
You can’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. This has been the trend for as long as I can remember. Manual transmissions are only going to get harder and harder to find and from what I gathered, Chevy doesn’t plan on making a manual option. Instead the 6.2L V8 is mated to an 8 speed, dual-clutch, automatic transmission. The future of the ultimate sports car has always been with the automatic trans. There is no way a human could ever shift faster than a computer. This is just the reality we’ll have to live with.
The bones of the new Corvette are made of high strength aluminium. A much needed weight loss in order to compete in the mid-engine sports car segment. The funny thing is that the total weight curb weight is actually 150lbs heavier than the C7. This is thanks to the new dimentions of the C8. This is also due to the price. Since engineers didn’t have much room in the budget they couldn’t use as many lightweight materials as they wanted. Perhaps a lighter more expensive option will pop up in the future.
Magnetic Ride and More
For 2020 the C8 Corvette is fitted with Brembo brakes on all fours along with a magnetic ride suspension system. There has also been talk of an adaptive lift system in the works. This isn’t necessarily a new concept but Chevy takes a different approach here. The idea is that the car will save lift presets based on the vehicle’s location. This way if you come across speed bump in your commute or have curb in your driveway, the C8 will memorize the location in order to automatically lift the front end to prevent scraping.
Wheels and Tires
The exotic-inspired design is accompanied by a fairly muscular wheel and tire setup with 19-inch x 8.5-inch in front and 20-inch x 11-inch in the rear. Wrapped around these wheels are a set of Michelin Pilot Sport ALS, some of the best tires in the bizz.
Corvettes are meant to be a driver focused car and the same can be said for the C8. Chevy seems to have gone a bit overboard on the interior in my opinion. I’m going to continue to keep on open mind though. Some elements don’t really flow as well as others in this implementation. The infotainment is a bit out of place and the climate controls follow a line down the center console. The steering wheel is flattened on both the top and bottom. This is to increase visibility over the wheel and ease of access bellow. An odd design but I can appreciate the concept behind it.
Mid-Engine GT Car
Though the engine is in the rear, Chevy managed to incorporate more usable storage room than the C7. There is space for luggage in the front and enough room in the back to hold two golf bags. Chevy knows exactly who’s buying these cars. You can even pick up a set of Corvette branded luggage to go with your new C8. They have done an excellent job creating a car that not only performs exceptionally at the track but as a daily driver as well. Additionally, the rear cargo area functions as spot for the removable target top, Not bad.
Spot the Difference
As I stated before, to me it appears as though Corvette was inspired by Ferrari a fair amount. This isn’t a negative thing but its obvious who they are gunning for in this segment. The proportions seem to be identical. Some are even going as far to say the C8 is an American knock off of the 458. I wouldn’t go that far but I do see the similarities. Either way its a fine look for Corvette and it suites them well. Congratulations to those who are in the market for an American sports car, you now have a fairly budget friendly option.
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