The Corvette C8 Stingray, even in its entry-level trim, is a beast!

The wait is finally over. After teasing us for almost six decades, Chevrolet has finally launched the mid-engine 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray. There were a lot of leaks prior to the launch, but that did not deter the aura of the whole event. The C8 Stingray debuted in California at a standalone event, and it was mighty successful. Details about the car were finally revealed and a lot of things made us go ’wow’. The main talking point, however, was surrounding the mid-engine layout. Chevy has offered a stonker of an engine even on the base trim, and has also offered performance packages right from the beginning. So, does this mean Chevy has it all covered, or did it miss any trick?

Extra Horses Are Always Welcome

A lot of was expected from the Corvette C8 Stingray in terms of drivability and performance. It will be offered with a starting price under $60,000. This is marginally higher than the C7, but being a mid-engined layout, it seems quite a bargain. The base trim will be offered with a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine that was seen under the hood of the C7 Stingray as well.

The engine in the Corvette C8 Stingray comes with a few design changes and better specs, hence it is dubbed as the LT2, unlike LT1 from the C7.

In the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray, this engine churns out 495 horses and 470 pound-feet of torque. This is up by 40 horsepower and 10 pound-feet of torque over the LT1 mill.

Chevrolet Corvette C8 engine specs
Engine LT2 6.2L V8 VVT with direct injection and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
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)

No Matter What, Manual Transmission Will Be Missed

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Comes With a Powerful Engine and Performance Package Out of the Gate - Has Chevy Covered All Bases, Though?
- image 850668

This engine is mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. If you hold both the paddle shifters simultaneously, it disconnects the clutch, thus giving you more control over the car, like in the case of a manual transmission. This will not fill the void of a manual gearbox, but it reduces it to an extent. Power is sent to the rear wheels; so, expect the car to twerk a little before it goes berserk on the tarmac.

To further connect you with your C8 Stingray, Chevy has added two more drive modes apart from the standard four – Weather, Tour, Sport, and Track.

The two new modes are MyMode, wherein a configurable setting for a preferred driving style that can remain between key cycles, and Z Mode, that allows drivers to adjust the engine, as well as the transmission. It can be activated using a ‘Z’ key on the steering wheel. If you pit this against its predecessors, the C8 Stingray is the longest, widest, and the heaviest Corvette of the lot. But despite that, it is as fast as its predecessor.

Chevy Has Taken Care Of Every Little Thing

Although it seems like a marginal improvement on paper over its predecessor, the difference in the ride and handling with show a stark difference. The engine layout optimizes a lower center of gravity that itself will make a mighty difference. Apart from that, the Corvette C8 Stingray comes with a lot of other changes, such as minimizing the number of joints within the vehicle so that the structure remains less volatile when its thrown around the track at high speeds, eBoost brakes that bite better and more precisely, etc, which I’ll be talking about in a bit.

The C8 Stingray feels a little too low, but the front suspension can be lifted approximately 40mm off the ground in 2.8 seconds.

On a completely different note, even the C7 ZR1 used to take the same time to hit the 60 mph mark from a standstill. The most interesting part about it is that it can be operated at speeds up to 24 mph, and can also be programmed to work automatically through GPS to remember up to 1,000 locations! This is absolutely fantastic if you tend to drive in different conditions.

This Package Blows The Competition Out Of The Water

In theory, these are more than enough to make a world of a difference to the car. But Chevrolet realized that people have been waiting for this mid-engined layout car for a very long time. So, it decided to throw in the Z51 Performance package as optional. The best part about this package is that it can be had on the base trim itself! So, even if you don’t want to spend six digit-figures to own a powerful, fast Corvette, you have yourself a package that can make your base trim 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray a true performer. The package adds a Performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats, larger brake rotors with Z51 logo on calipers, enhanced cooling to the engine, a specific axle ratio to bring out the maximum in terms of driving dynamics, and a performance exhaust. The front brakes get inlets that help in keeping them cool.

When you equip your C8 Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package, you can take this car from a standstill to 60 mph in under three seconds!

This is enough to justify the title of this article because this car’s sprinting capabilities are as good as the most-powerful factory Corvette - the C7 ZR1. The ZR1 had 755 horses working to reach this mark, whereas the C8 Stingray uses around 260 horses less to reach the same mark.

The Corvette Is A Rare Example Where Everything Chevy Touched Became Gold

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Comes With a Powerful Engine and Performance Package Out of the Gate - Has Chevy Covered All Bases, Though?
- image 850596

Now, let’s come back to the other prominent changes made to the drivetrain. Like I have mentioned earlier, this is the engine layout that people have been expecting for over 60 years. Since the whole engine has been moved from its conventional position, it is imperative that the driving dynamics have changed to a great extent. You will feel you have better control over the car and it feels a lot more responsive as the driving position is closer to the front axle. There is a better weight distribution as the rear weight bias enhances performance in a straight line and on the track. The car sits very close to the ground, but the front suspension can be raised if you want to fly a little higher.

Chevy has also installed an electronic limited-slip differential into the transaxle that modulates torque between the rear tires and increases the stability significantly.

If we were to talk about the aerodynamics, a front splitter and an open two-piece rear spoiler on the latest ‘Vette add up to a combined 400 pounds of downforce. This helps you stay grounded when you take the corners hard.

Strong Cars That Are Not Direct Rivals, But Share The Same Layout

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Comes With a Powerful Engine and Performance Package Out of the Gate - Has Chevy Covered All Bases, Though?
- image 850647

Let’s pit the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray against two of the most formidable mid-engined cars in the market – the Ford GT and the Porsche 911 Carrera S. The Ford GT comes with a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine that makes 647 horses and 550 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche 911 Carrera S, on the other hand, produces 443 horses and 390 pound-feet of torque. For folks who prefer V-8 over the six-cylinder engine counterparts will find this to be a deal-breaker. Even in a 0-60 mph dash, the Corvette C8 beats both of them hands down.

There is no word on the C8 Stingray’s figure, but the automaker claims it to be under three seconds.

As for the GT and the 911S, they take three and 3.3 seconds respectively. Pricing, you ask? The Porsche 911 Carrera S starts around $113,000, whereas the GT costs half-a-million. The GT was never in contention, but I put it here just to give you a perspective. I’ll not be diving deep into the comparisons here, but the C8 Stingray offers the most bang for the buck.

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Comes With a Powerful Engine and Performance Package Out of the Gate - Has Chevy Covered All Bases, Though?
- image 850608

All said and done, the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray looks to be a sure winner. The car in itself is brilliant, and the pricing is the icing on the cake. We are hoping these speculations based on theories don’t change much when the car is tested in real-world conditions. To think of it, the company increased the manpower and added 400 more hourly jobs at its Bowling Green factory in Kentucky, bringing the total workforce strength to over 1300. This is the only factory in the world where the ‘Vettes are built. The 1.7 million square-feet facility is built on 212-acre land. As of now, the facility has just one production shift in a day, two paint shifts, and three maintenance shifts. However, with the added workforce, GM will have two production shifts in a day.

But, does this mean the extra workforce will work solely on the C8 Corvette? I’d initially thought that the CT5-V would be built here, but given how the C8 Stingray turned out, Corvette might need to whole space for itself. It is no secret that the Corvette’s sales are dropping every year. In fact, the car has seen a consistent drop in sales figures since 2014. Chevrolet was able to move merely 18,791 examples compared to the 34,839 examples it moved in 2014 in the U.S. But this year, it could change. In my opinion, Corvette has a winner in its hands right now. The 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray is a powerful car and the automaker couldn’t have done things any better, especially given the focus of the car has been on the drivetrain in one way or the other. What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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)

Further reading

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Comes With a Powerful Engine and Performance Package Out of the Gate - Has Chevy Covered All Bases, Though?
- image 850629

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
- image 806310

Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 572747

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
- image 526653

Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette

1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2 High Resolution Exterior
- image 526712

Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 Exterior
- image 639507

Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3

2001 - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
- image 50996

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

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
- image 806311

The 9 concepts that led to the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: