The New Corvette C8 Rewrites Unwritten Rules of Sports Cars In A Spectacular Fashion

With a recent official reveal of the new mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8, a famous American car brand gained worldwide acclaim. Following a completely novel interpretation of the production Corvette ethos, GM moved from the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout to the rear-mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Not because it is refreshing to do so, but because the latest Corvette ZR1 – the most powerful one to ever appear – "reached the limit" of what is possible to do with the FR layout. Unveiled at the dedicated event in California, the new Corvette rewrote the rules for all mid-engine sports cars, and supercars, entering the market with quite an incredible sub $60k base price. No other production car in the world offers such a powerful performance for the money. To put this price into perspective, let me tell you that the Mercedes-AMG sells its hot-hatch A45 S in the U.K. for something like $60k. I don’t know about you, but I’d take mid-engine Corvette over that small thing in any universe. In fact, I will have a complete article that will paint you a picture of incredible affordability of the mid-engine Corvette C8. Before that, however, I share with you all the important facts and features you simply have to know about to properly appreciate this creation of our genius.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Fast Quirks and Facts

  •  GM engineers lowered the crankshaft by an inch to help lower the center of gravity and improve handling
  •  Tremec transmission learns your pattern of behavior and, when it senses it should, it will hold the gear for longer to enable better throttle response
  •  Automatic front end lift lifts the car by 1.5 inches. You can program it to raise the car automatically when you reach the pothole or a speed bump thanks to its GPS integration
  •  Engineers minimized the number of joints in the structure by creating six large aluminum components that make part of the Corvette C8 architecture
  •  Interior inspired by fighter jets and Formula 1 cars
  •   Cockpit moved forward by 16.5 inches compared to outgoing Corvette
  •   You can carry two golf bags in its luggage compartments
  •  The closest car that can compare with the Corvette C8 is the Porsche 911, and it costs $31,000 more
  •  It is the first Corvette available with right-hand drive control
  •   Completely removable Targa roof with a dedicate place in the trunk

 

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 LT2 Engine

 
Under the 3.2 mm-thick glass panel on the rear hatch sits the next-generation of the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter GM engine. Called the LT2, the new engine shares only a handfull of parts with its predecessors from the Corvette C7, and it completely overshadows it with the fantastic track-ready features. Equipped with a dry sump system that can lubricate all the engine internals even at the highest possible latteral acceleration (Corvette C8 can do a lot of that), the engine sits lower than ever.

LT2 develops 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque (when equipped with the performance exhaust – 490 horsepower without), and thanks to smart engineering, it is the fastest revving V-8 in the GM lineup.

Despite all the numbers, the V-8 should offer fantastic fuel efficiency. Chevrolet crafted a cylinder deactivation system that can stop combustion in four of the cylinders, thus saving a bit of fuel when you do not need all that power.

Thanks to some documents that leaked earlier, I even know the firing order for the engine:

  • 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3 (combustion in all cylinders)
  • 1-7-6-4 (with activated cylinder deactivation system)
2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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Make no mistake dough. This is a proper race-bred engine. With a cast aluminum block and iron cylinder liners, Chevrolet prepared the LT2 for continuous dry-sump lubrication. With oil-spray piston cooling setup, and a system that can swallow 7.5 quarts of Dexos 2 0W40 Synthetic oil, the 6.2-liter V-8 develops 495 horsepower at 6,450 rpm and 470-pound-feet of torque at 5,150 rpm. You will be able to reach a lot of the torque early on tough. This Small Block V-8 engine is the latest development of the fifth-generation GM V-8 monsters.

In this application, with a healthy compression ratio of 11.5:1, it will show once again that „there's no replacement for displacement“.

I am not writing this only to jack up my word count. The mid-engine Corvette C8 is the only car of this sporty magnitude that features a naturally aspirated V-8. Way to go ’Murica. I like you a lot!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray drivetrain specifications
Type: LT2 6.2L V8 VVT with direct injection and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block Material: A319-T7 cast aluminum with cast-in iron cylinder liners and nodular main bearing caps
Oiling System: Dry sump-type (7.5-qt. capacity); includes oil-spray piston cooling
Oil Type: Dexos 2 0W40 synthetic
Cylinder Head Material: 319-T7 cast aluminum
Combustion Chamber volume: 59cc
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder; dual-equal variable valve timing.
Valve Size (in / mm): 2.13 / 54 hollow (intake) & 1.59 / 40.4 sodium filled (exhaust)
Fuel Delivery: Direct injection with Active Fuel Management: Max pressure: 2,175 psi (15 Mpa / 150 bar)
Firing Order: 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3 (all cylinders); 1-7-6-4 (with deactivation)
Throttle body: 87mm single bore (electronic)
ECU: GM E99 (32-bit processing)
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): SAE-certified to 495 / 369 @ 6450 rpm (with performance exhaust)
Torque (lb.-ft./ Nm @ rpm): SAE-certified to 470 / 637 @ 5150 rpm (with performance exhaust)

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 8-Speed Dual-clutch Transmission

 
Developed for the mid-engine Corvette C8 application, the 8-speed Dual-clutch transmission by Tremec finally threw the Corvette C8 into the future. The transmission itself may share some of the components found previously on the 7-speed unit developed for the Porsche 918 hypercar, but in actuality, it is made for the new Corvette.

Apart from being incredibly quick (shift takes less than 100 milliseconds), the 8-speed transmission checks all the boxes for the efficiency.

GM figured that it needs somewhat long first gear, really short second, third, fourth and fifth gear, and a long sixth and seventh gear. The idea is that you can accelerate ferociously in the first gear without spinning the wheels in vain. Then, race on the track with the short second to fifth gear, and cruise using four cylinders with long ratio sixth and seventh on the highway. Everybody wins!

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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It is a neat little arrangement that you can change by buying optional Z51 package. If you pick up a Corvette C8 Z51 you will get slightly changed gear ratios compared to what you get in a „normal“ Corvette C8!

All in all, the Tremec launched the Corvette in a world of lightning-fast gear changes. It also made the inclusion of the manual transmission completely pointless.

Considering the ferociousness of the engine, and the required performance, I, as a guy who loves a good manual, think that such a transmission would make Corvette less good. I don’t have any problems with the DCT. After all, it is like two manual transmissions linked together, so don’t hate!
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Architecture

 
With the bulk of the mass transferred from the front to the rear, the Chevrolet Corvette C8 is an entirely different car. It may have the same name, share a similar engine, and similarly styled exterior, but the C8 architecture reveals its true nature. Aluminum formed much of the car’s architecture. Everything is differently arranged compared to before with the suspension and the wheels actually sitting outside of the subframe. It is better this way as the bulk of the mass is kept between the wheels. With a wholly closed central tunnel (another virtue made possible thanks to the DCT transmission), the torsional rigidity increased by 19 percent. Plus, GM positioned all the heavy parts to the absolute lowest location directly affecting the center of gravity. While at that, I can tell you that the center of gravity is directly next to the drivers right hip.

The Corvette C8 will offer unprecedented driving enjoyment matched only by, other mid-engine supercars.

The C8 is not exactly a supercar, however. It is a wonderfully executed sports car whose packaging enables it to have cool targa –styled roof as standard and a lot of luggage space – in the frunk and in the trunk.

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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The structure itself is different compared to the Corvette C7 in basically any way imaginable, but it is not as exotic, as, say on a McLaren 570S. That car has a carbon monocoque tub that has some advantages, but also some serious disadvantages. That is why you cannot exactly call the new Corvette a supercar. See, the aluminum backbone structure offers far more room for Ingres and egress. Unlike the McLaren 570S, 720S, or any car with a carbon tub chassis, the rocker panels are positioned really low, the doors are big, and the cabin as a whole seems far roomier. This is what makes the Corvette C8 a perfect daily driver supercar. In fact, while researching about the new Vette, I was thinking about the latest McLaren GT grand tourer.

I feel that well equipped Corvette C8, thanks to the new structure, and a roomie cabin can do grand touring as well as $150,000 more expensive McLaren. That seems to be a point. The Corvette C8 is a mid-engine 495-horsepower daily driver.
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Weight

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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Base 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 tips the scales at 3,366 pounds.

Dry, of course. It is more weight compared to the previous generation car, but I am actually amazed that GM achieved this for the price it asks for the new ’Vette. Aluminum structure and aluminum body play a significant role in keeping the weight down without sacrificing the torsional rigidity. The aluminum structure case that covers the transmission and stretches from the front of the cabin to the separation wall between the cabin and the engine compartment gave the Corvette the needed stiffness. This solution, however, is why I think that the new C8 can never have a manual transmission. GM should make far too many compromises to integrate manual transmission into this structure. It would include a redesign of this structurally significant panel.

You maybe already note that I did not mention carbon fiber up to this point. Well, the truth is that apart from the supporting beam for the rear bumper, and one small underbody panel, the Corvette C8 does not have it. If it did have it more, I am sure that the price would go up accordingly. Carbon is expensive stuff! Considering that the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray tips the scale at 3,366 pounds dry, the actual, „drivable“ weight of the new car is more than 3,600 pounds.
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Tires

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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Unveiled 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray had a 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires measuring 245/35 at the front and 305/30 at the back.

These tires come with the optional Z51 Performance Package which means that you don’t actually get them on the sub $60k car. Nevertheless, these tires proved to be far more capable around the track compared with slightly cheaper Michelin Pilot Sport 4. Considering that the mid-engine Corvette C8 is a daily driver, I can only imagine that you don’t need anything better.

I know that you are already thinking something in the lines of the hardcore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s’. Well, unless you plan to do a lot of track driving, they aren’t the best daily driving option. Of course, I don’t have any doubt that Chevrolet will integrate the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on some future versions of the Corvette C8. After all, these bad boys come as standard on the Ferrari 488 Pista, and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Just kind of cars Chevrolet wants to overshadow with some future iteration of the bargain daily-drivable supercar!

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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The Pilot Sport 4Ss are perfectly apt to provide continious performance for numerous sub 3 second acceleration runs, and to keep more than 1 G in the corners whenever you feel like doing it. Even if you buy the least expensive 2020 Corvette C8 and manage to get it for less than 60 grand, buy these tires too!
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Performance

 

The only official performance number we have is the acceleration to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.

Considering that the latest flagship Corvette ZR1 needs 2.8 seconds for the same job, I can only imagine that the entry-level Corvette C8 has to be slower compared to it.

I would also imagine it will do a quarter of a mile in low 11s and top 190 mph. I don’t even care to guess the Nurburgring lap time!
 

2020 Chevrolet Crovette C8 Z51 Performance Package

 
The entry-level Corvette C8 may get all the publicity thanks to its incredibly affordable price (probably $59,995 plus destination charges), but the Corvette C8 you really want is the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z51 Performance Package. Luckily, that is the one you are drolling over on these pictures.

The Z51 Performance Package will probably add at least 10 grand (probably a bit more, but let's wait for official announcement) to the entry level Corvette C8 price, but it does add a lot of gear.

The Corvette C8 Z51 Performance Package includes:

  •  Michelin PS4 Performance tires
  • Performance Suspension
  • Adjustable Threaded Spring Seats
  • Larger Brake Rotors With Z51 Logo on Calipers
  • Enhanced Cooling
  • ELSD With Specific Axle Ratio
  • Rear Spoiler and Front Splitter
  •  Front Brake Cooling Inlets
  • Performance Exhausts (the one that adds 5 horsepower more)
  • Magnetic Ride Control With PTM (optionally)

Such a generous offer will transform the 2020 Corvette Stingray into a track-shredding Corvette Z51. It is the one to have!
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Interior

 
Apart from completely changing the nature of the Corvette, Chevrolet also reimagined the cabin. Moved 16.5 inches toward the front end, the cabin in the Corvette C8 is the roomiest, and possibly, best executed than in any other Corvette. However, apart from some rather cool features such as massive screens, fighter-jet-like cockpit for the driver, and three different seat options (GT1, GT2, and the Competition), I don’t believe everyone will like the look of the Corvette C8 interior. Note that steering wheel, and the row of HVAC buttons near the armrest. For some, it is "only-a-mother-could-like" moment.

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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Well, Corvette ergonomists did explain. They decided to install a two spoke (almost hexagonal) steering wheel for maximum "openness". They also removed buttons and set them in a row on a stalk next to the handrest. This way, the driver will have a far better, unobstructed view to the road. And, when bored with the V-8 whisper, the driver could listen to Chopin, Mozart or Drake on a 14-speaker Bose audio system.
Personalization is a big deal too. You can choose among many different interior decoration options, including blue and red leather.
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Luggage Space

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 offers 12.6 cubic feet of luggage space in its frunk and its trunk.

Corvette C7 provides 2.5 cubic feet more, but I would not be so much concerned about it. Chevrolet, of course, designed a custom luggage set that can maximize the useful space. If you plan on doing some country crossing with the mid-engine Corvette C8, buy it.
 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Price

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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I honestly thought that Chevrolet would price the new Corvette C8 at $80,000. After all, it is a mid-engine sports car. They did not!

With an entry-level price of less than $60,000, the Chevrolet Corvette C8 is the best sports car bargain you can currently get. I firmly believe that Corvette will dramatically affect Porsche plans with the 911 in the U.S. Ford may struggle a bit more to sell the remaining GTs as well. Heck, with the mid-engine Corvette, the slow-selling Acura NSX may even disappear altogether.

While the sub $60k base price of the Corvette Stingray sounds amazing, Chevrolet is yet to introduce several new models. I expect to see Corvette Z51 (already available to order), Corvette C8 Z06, Corvette Grand Sport (maybe), Corvette ZR1, Corvette Zora. Sure, Chevy may decide to drop some of these names.

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Right Hand Drive

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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For the first time, Bowling Green Corvette plant will produce right-hand versions of the C8.

A smart move considering that Great Britain, and Australia may develop a particular fascination about the new Corvette C8. G.B. readers, I know I compared the price of the new Corvette with the cost of the AMG A 45 S, but don’t hold any hopes that the Corvette C8 will be that cheap for you. Introducing right-hand drive versions of the Mustang did well for Ford. GM learned the lesson.

Further reading

2020 Chevy C8 Corvette - Quirks and Facts
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Wait, the All-New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is Priced How Much?!

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior
- image 764185

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

1953 - 1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1 High Resolution Exterior
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Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette

1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2 High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 Exterior
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Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3

2001 - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
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Read up on our review of the 1997-2004 Chevy C5 Corvette

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport High Resolution Exterior
- image 344380

Read up on the 2005-2013 Chevy C6 Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 489001

Check out our full review of the 2014-2019 Chevy C7 Corvette

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