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The Chevrolet Corvette, since its debut in 1953, has been an icon in the American sports car industry. Even the first generation C1, Corvettes were a force to be reckoned with. As we welcome the new C8 Corvette into Chevrolet’s ever-expanding family, it seems that attitude is not lost even after several decades.
With every succeeding generation, Chevrolet adds something unique to the Corvette. The biggest change for the latest generation C8 is that the engine sits in the middle of the car, whereas all the previous generations were front-engine. Chevrolet came to the decision with more than 6 decades of experience to draw from. The new C8 Corvette was unveiled on 18th July 2019. Naturally, it stole the spotlight without much effort.
Now that all the experimentation and trials have paid off, this much-awaited epitome of an American sports car makes its entry in the market and stands as the torchbearer of its rich legacy. All the speculations and rumors can be laid to rest as we get a detailed analysis of the newest supercar killer on this side of the Atlantic.
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C8 Corvette Trim Levels and Price
The base Corvette C8, known as the Stingray, is available in three trim levels. The distribution is quite similar to Chevy’s Camaro lineup. The base trim is the 1LT, having a 9-speaker Bose Audio system, 3 seat color options, two 8-inch HD color displays, and a drive mode selector. It is priced at about $59,900. The next level is the 2LT. It comes with heated and vented seats, Heads-up display, a 10-speaker Bose Audio system. Moreover, the door panels, console, and the instrument panel are available in a wide range of color palettes.
Priced at around $60,355, the 2LT can be the right choice for the buyers. Even so, the top-level trim of the Stingray is the 3LT is the best value. It comes with the customized leather-wrapped interior package, Nappa leather seats, and headliner of suede microfiber. There is also a Performance Data Recorder and navigation system, both included right from the factory. All the trims come with an option for a coupe or convertible.
And if you desire your new C8 Corvette to reach its peak performance and maneuverability, the Z51 package is what you should go with. With the Z51 performance package, buyers get Brembo antilock brakes, Michelin Cup performance tires, and a sports-tuned suspension with magnetic ride control 4.0. All this just for an additional $5,000.
C8 Corvette Performance
The new C8 Corvette is built on a brand new platform that places the motor in the middle of its chassis. The C8 runs with a Rear Wheel Drive, similar to the previous generation Vettes. A 6.2L V8 LT2 motor comes as standard, churning out 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. An optional sports exhaust provides 5 more horses to play around with. The power is instantaneous and the V8 growl is ecstatic to listen, both on the track and in the streets.
The new 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette underwent a few dyno tests to determine just how much power can it produce at peak. Corvette Blogger reported that such a test determined a power output of 558 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque. Essentially, it is an increase of 20% on the numbers listed by Chevrolet. Therefore, it may very well be that the C8 is much more powerful than initially assumed.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a 7-speed manual dual-clutch transmission with active rev-matching, courtesy of TREMEC. An eight-speed automatic with paddle shifts is available as part of the options list. The automatic clicks off shifts in less than 100 milliseconds and provides continuous torque output. The Stingray can do 0-60 in about 2.8 seconds and has an estimated top speed of around 200 mph. This grants the Stingray the same ballpark as the C7 Z06 and the 755-hp ZR1.
C8 Corvette Driving experience
In terms of handling, the new C8 Corvette is an engineering marvel. It marks a whole new era for the Corvette as it shifts to an entirely new platform. Being a mid-engine sports car, not only the car has seen a change in its character and design, but it also enjoys handling improvements. Sixty percent of the weight rests on the rear wheels, providing a much more exciting cornering experience at the track. The magnetic suspension system works in a way to give the driver total control of the car as well as keeps the vehicle planted when pushing it to its limits.
The new C8 Corvette has an aluminum framework to make the car feel light and agile and at the same time. Chevrolet offers this car with aluminum-stainless steel exhaust tips with 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS. A dry-sump oil system circulates oil throughout the engine, providing a smooth throttle response no matter the weather conditions.
The benefits of being a mid-engine sports car stretch far and wide. This also shortens the length of the driveshaft to the rear wheels, giving the C8 a more refined power delivery. The steering response is fabulous, just like any good sports car. The Z51 package adds in Michelin Cup sports tires that keep the car from losing grip but if you turn the traction control off and you can send the tail out in the turns, leaving a cloud of smoke in the Corvette’s wake.
C8 Corvette Exterior
The stunning look that the new Corvette C8 bears is enough to make any car enthusiast crave it. The sleek design is recognizable from a distance and is an archetype of how gorgeous a sports car can look. Being an all-time favorite of every American since its inception, the new C8 maintains the trend religiously. If you thought the C7 Corvette Stingray was a looker, wait till you get a close inspection of the C8.
Its design is a work of art. Not just good for looks, but also gives it an aerodynamic silhouette with a bit of aggressiveness on the surface. The mid-engine architecture further provides several benefits like heat exchangers placed in a way to keep the engine cool at all times. The body structure of the Stingray is more rigid yet refined than it’s predecessors. Therefore, it improves upon the handling drastically.
The body-color roof panel of carbon fiber is standard with the coupes. The door handles, and the hood releases in the new C8 Corvette are concealed to give the car a smooth appearance whilst improving on aerodynamics. The Engine Appearance package equips the car with LED lights and carbon fiber components added to the engine bay. It is a feature few other performance manufacturers bother with.
The Stingray is equipped with Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge Headlamps, which are superbly crafted to add to the aggressive look of the car. Heated and body-colored outside mirrors are powered and standard in the C8. The high-set taillights and the low black trim are all a natural evolution of the previous designs of the series. The C8 Corvette still boasts a teardrop rear windshield, which now offers a glorious look of the LT2 V8 engine.
The Stingray offers a couple of choices for the wheels, both of which come standard in all-season tires. 19-inch front wheel and 20-inch rear wheels enable the C8 Corvette to possess a race-spec side profile. The wheels come in two available designs inside of two different spoke styles.
C8 Corvette Interior
Interior Design and Comfort
Complementing its exterior, the interior of the new C8 Corvette is entirely modern and upscale, both in looks and feel. The interior is exceptionally driver-focused and has a three-dimensional and layered look. The designers do away with all the cheap plastics and make sure that everything inside the C8 feels premium. You can opt for either leather or faux-suede upholstery. Complete with carbon fiber and aluminum interior highlights, it feels more like a fighter jet cockpit than a sports car.
It looks sensational with all the upmarket materials in use. Chevrolet steps up its game in this segment and makes sure that this new offering feels premium yet is quite affordable. The 3LT package gives you access to custom Nappa leather wrappings for the seats and the steering wheel. You can also throw in microfiber suede for the sake of diversity. The seats are 8-way power adjustable and easy to get in and out of. The side bolsters ensure you are not being thrown around in the car as you experience high-Gs on the next hairpin.
In terms of the design, the C8 Corvette interior has been separated into three areas. In the cockpit area, you will find all the driver controls and the infotainment screen. This part is created such that the driver has convenient access to all the required controls. Another significant feature of the C8 is its considerably low dashboard and positioning of the steering wheel. This is innovative as the low height of the dashboard maintains a supple look of the front panels and the bigger windshield provides superb visibility.
What is entirely new and attractive is the vertical climate control cluster or the Climate Control Strip. It’s like a partition separating the driver and the passenger. In most other cars you have to go through tons of menus and screens just to change the AC temperature, or fiddle around with knobs that make you take your eyes off the road. Not so in the C8 Corvette, which provides all the controls, including heating of seats, on this unique console.
C8 Corvette Infotainment
Like most other sports cars in its segment, the C8 Corvette comes with an 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen. It comes with all the basics such as smartphone compatibility and multimedia support. But what really stands out is the Performance Data Recorder or PDR. It makes the C8 wholly track ready by offering a better insight into the performance of the car. It records your lap time, breaking points, acceleration speed, gear choice, and several other parameters to create a comprehensive report at the end of your track day.
Off the track, the PDR can act as a dashcam with its auto-record feature. The PDR also equips the C8 Corvette with a ‘valet mode,’ which can be used to monitor the use of your car when someone else is driving it. So, you don’t have to worry about lending your new C8 Corvette to a friend who just wants to feel how the car feels like around a few turns.
Speaking of features, you get everything that you can think of in a car with the C8 Corvette. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot and SiriusXM satellite radio can be opted for. Both have a generous duration for a free trial. A 14-speaker Bose Premium surround sound system is also a part of the options list. True audiophiles would love the AudioPilot technology which is faster than ever before. It now adjusts the sound of the media according to the engine and road noise. The subwoofers are built into the doors themselves, providing a good quality bass by utilizing the structure of the car itself. By any means, the audio system provides the best music you have ever heard in a Vette.
It is tough to figure out how General Motors can make a car so advanced, so fast and gorgeous. Yet, the C8 Corvette starts with a price tag just under $60,000. Considering just how easy it is to become a daily driver, the C8 Corvette is essentially two cars for the price of one. Factor in the ability to take on supercars cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more and the C8 Corvette is the best budget sports car Chevrolet has to offer.
Now that the Stingray is finally here, we eagerly await what’s there in store for the Z06 and ZR1 variants. It is inevitable that the power increase will reflect in the higher trims, it is only a question of how much. The C8 is also the first to feature a 1000-horsepower hybrid Corvette, which is still in the works. Although, we doubt it will be anything like the Volt. Nevertheless, you can never go amiss going for the entry-level Stingray as well.
Karan Harit has been writing quality content for a variety of online sources over a span of more than 3 years. His background in Mechanical Engineering makes him a specialist in many fields of science, but automobiles are his primary preference. Karan has an excellent knowledge base of tuners and exotics alike. He has also worked on various projects that involve modifying and designing cars, from Honda Civics to VW Golfs.