It’s the first Corvette with factory right-hand-drive

The brand-new, 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette will be built in both right- and left-hand-drive versions at GM’s plant in Kentucky. This is big news, as it means that the Corvette will be sold in Australia and New Zealand. But will it have a Holden badge?

The Chevrolet C8 Corvette is the first Vette coming to Australia

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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The American sports car has to step on Australian soil until now

The Corvette legacy may go back to 1953, but the American sports car has to step on Australian soil until now. That’s because GM didn’t offer right-hand-drive versions for the first seven generations. Sure, aftermarket conversions are possible, albeit expensive, but the Corvette was never exported officially to Australia or New Zealand. This will end by 2021 when GM subsidiary Holden will start importing the mid-engined sports car in these countries.

“The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high-performance cars," said Dave Buttner, Holden chairman, and managing director.

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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Chevy is basically doing what Ford did with a Mustang in 2013

Unlike the Chevrolet Camaro, which is being converted from left- to right-hand-drive in Melbourne by HSV, Holden’s high-performance division, the Corvette will cross the ocean with a right-hand-drive layout. Chevy is basically doing what Ford did with a Mustang in 2013 when it decided to build the muscle car with right-hand-drive for the very first time.

“With our long history in motor-racing, performance vehicles are an indelible part of the Holden brand. Our team is totally revved up to build on Holden’s performance legacy with the most technologically advanced Corvette ever built," Buttner added."

The Chevy C8 Corvette will be sold at Holden dealerships

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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Sales of the C8 Corvette could be handled by HSV, Holden's high-performance division

The latest Chevy Corvette will become available to Australian buyers through Holden, General Motors’ long-time partner Down Under. Purchased by GM in 1931, Holden is no longer a manufacturer after Australian production of vehicles was halted in 2017. However, Holden lives on as a brand and currently sells rebadged GM models. HSV, Holden’s high-performance division, continues to offer modified versions of GM cars.

Holden’s current offering is based on Chevrolet and Opel models. The current Commodore is a rebadged Opel Insignia, but Holden also offers rebadged versions of the Astra hatchback, sedan, and wagon. The Holden lineup also includes four Chevys, including the Equinox, Trailblazer, Trax, and Colorado truck, but also a rebadged version of the GMC Acadia.

HSV, on the other hand, handles sales of the Sportscat, a higher-performance version of the Chevy Colorado, but also imports the Silverado full-size truck and the Chevy Camaro. Given that HSV handles distribution of high-performance vehicles, the C8 Corvette should join the Camaro at HSV dealerships.

The Chevy C8 Corvette won’t have a Holden badge

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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GM will never accept another name but Chevrolet next to the iconic Corvette badge

While most of Holden’s offerings come with Holden badges instead of Chevy’s bowtie emblems, the Corvette will keep its unique double-flag badge. For plenty of reasons. For starters, high-performance Chevys were always sold with their original badges in Australia and New Zealand. The Camaro is a good example. Although HSV slapped a Holden badge on the Colorado-based Sportscat truck, the Camaro keeps the bowtie. As a flagship model, the Corvette will keep its emblem.

Another reason is brand awareness. The Corvette was never sold under a different badge. With the C8 so different from its predecessors due to its midship layout, it would be a really bad time to start selling it under a different brand. The Corvette is already a separate brand with a different badge, so GM will never accept another name but Chevrolet next to the iconic badge. What’s more, Holden Corvette would sound weird and Australian fans wouldn’t agree with it anyway.

When’s it coming to Australia and how much will it cost?

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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General Motors has yet to announce when the C8 Corvette will cross the pond to Australia and New Zealand, but word has it that it should happen in either late 2020 or early 2021. Pricing is also a mystery, but CarAdvice reports that the C8 Corvette will start somewhere between AUD$100,000 and AUD$150,000. That’s a big hike from the C8’s U.S. price, but the premium makes sense once you add in import taxes and other extras that come with shipping a car overseas. Making a right-hand-drive car might also be a bit more expensive than the regular batch.

The Australian C8 Corvette will have similar specs

The Chevy C8 Corvette is going to Australia, but will it have a Holden badge?
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Chevy will ship the C8 Corvette with similar spec to Australia and New Zealand, so expect it to feature the same 6.2-liter V-8 engine. The naturally aspirated LT2 mill will deliver the same 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque as its U.S. counterpart. With the optional Z51 performance package, which adds a sports exhaust, output will jump to 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of twist. The C8 will hit 60 mph in less than three seconds, and its top speed will exceed 200 mph.

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)

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