We’ve been awash with info on all of the C8’s crazy high-tech features but GM didn’t forget its target audience wants a practical car

The eighth generation of the Chevrolet Corvette was finally unveiled officially during a dedicated event in Irvine, California, and, in the hours that have passed since that genuinely historical moment, the internet has been filled to the brim with material about the first production Corvette with the engine behind the seats. Now, this means that the Corvette finally becomes a bona fide supercar after being a Grand Tourer that hit above its weight for decades. The figures too back the reposition of America’s Sportscar in the market but Chevy knows full well that its core customer base wants a practical, user-friendly car and the C8 won’t disappoint in this department as we shall explain.

The first things you probably heard about the new-for-2020 Corvette C8 is that the base model, called the Stingray, will be powered by an updated version of the C7’s push-rod 6.2-liter V-8 - now dubbed LT2 - that will produce 490 horsepower without the Z51 Performance Package that, among many other things, adds five ponies. You’ve also heard that if you opt for the Z51 Performance Package, the base model C8 will sprint from naught to 60 mph in under three seconds or, in other words, as fast as the quickest C7, the 755 horsepower ZR1 that was on sale for anywhere between $120,900 and $155,300. You also know that the C8 won’t cost $120,000 and it won’t even cost $100,000 or $80,000, Mark Reuss announcing a sub-$60,000 base MSRP. But what about practicality? With the hatchback gone, where will you fit all your stuff?

The 2020 Corvette C8 is one of the most practical mid-engined supercars out there

Two Trunks Ensure The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Will Be As Practical As Possible
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The introduction of the first mid-engine Corvette, a hard-fought realization of Zora-Arkus Duntov’s lifelong dream, has many purists upset. For starters, they argue that the engine is in the ’wrong’ place and they also point to the lack of a manual transmission as a reason to dismiss the C8 that will only be available with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with flappy paddles behind the wheel. However, all these changes were deemed necessary by Corvette engineers if us, the public, were ever going to see a Corvette that moved with the times in terms of performance. By the looks of things, the result of all these years of development is a car that’s massively fast and, also, massively clever while retaining an amazingly competitive price tag.

But beyond the gaggle of performance-related specs, GM also released some figures that are, in our view, just as important when we’re talking about the Corvette: interior dimensions and cargo space. You see, the Corvette’s never been only about performance and about how fast it can lap a track, although motor racing has always played a key part in its development and it’s embedded in its DNA since the early days. A Corvette’s bet has always been a very tricky one to pull off: it had, in theory, to match and surpass some of the best European and Asian sports and supercars while retaining the practicality that its foreign rivals (for the most part, at least) lack.

Two Trunks Ensure The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Will Be As Practical As Possible
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With the move of the engine aft of the cabin, many of the aforementioned purists (or old-timey fans, should you like to call them that) started worrying that with the manual off the table, luggage space will follow suit. However, this isn’t quite the case and, on top of that, due to the fact that the cabin has been moved forward by 16.5 inches compared to the C7, you’ve actually got more room to adjust your seat rearward or recline it. This is something that people complained about when comparing the C6 to the C7 (although the two were just as big on the inside), especially if that C7 came with the optional Competition bucket seats.

Chevy says that 182.3-inch-long C8 Corvette with its 107.2-inch wheelbase will offer 37.9 inches of headroom, 42.8 inches of legroom, 54.4 inches of shoulder room, and, finally, 52 inches of hip room. The C7, meanwhile, is a grand 5.4 inches shorter but its wheelbase is just half an inch shorter. While the C8 looks sleeker from its side, the C7 doesn’t even offer a fraction of an inch more in terms of headroom which stood at precisely 37.9 inches in the case of both the Stingray Coupe and the Convertible. Shoulder room was measured at 55.2 inches so just 0.8 of an inch more than in the case of the C8 while you had 53.7 inches-worth of hip room - or 1.7 inches more than in the C8. Lastly, 43 inches of legroom put the C7 almost on even footing with the C8 as those 0.4 inches that make up the difference are a non-issue really.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray interior dimensions
Headroom (in. / mm): 37.9 / 962
Legroom (in. / mm): 42.8 / 1086
Shoulder Room       (in. / mm): 54.4 / 1381
Hip Room (in. / mm): 52.0 / 1321

Now, you may remember that some customers also claimed that the C7 felt more cramped because of the slightly wider center console and, indeed, the C8 also features a broad tunnel between the seats but, unlike most other mid-engined supercars, it doesn’t have those annoying wide sills that make ingress and egress a pain in the backside (both literally and metaphorically). Going back to that broad center console, you’ll notice from the images released thus far that there’s a rather big and, we reckon, quite deep space to deposit some stuff just next to the toggle for the transmission on the left-hand side of the reclining wall of buttons. Then there’s also more storage space in the pockets of the door panels, as well as in between the seats - all besides the glove box and what space there may be behind the seats themselves, although we think there may be none due to the fact that the engine is pushed quite far in front towards the middle of the car to make room for what we’ll talk about next.

Two Trunks Ensure The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Will Be As Practical As Possible
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That is the dual trunk configuration. You’ve seen it in many electric cars that store the battery pack within the floor while the electric motors are attached to the axles or to the wheels, but it’s not often you see a mid-engine supercar powered by an old-school internal combustion engine to feature two trunks. We don’t yet know the measurements of these storage areas but Chevy did say that the total cargo volume is 12.6 cubic feet, less than three cubic feet shy of the trunk volume of the outgoing Corvette Coupe (15 cubic feet). The C7 Convertible could carry up to 10 cubic feet worth of stuff in the trunk with the retractable roof folded in place.

While losing 2.4 cubic feet of room may seem like much, think about the fact that a Mazda Miata’s trunk can take in just 4.6 cubic feet of cargo. What is more, the 2020 Corvette C8’s got more cargo space than a Honda Civic Coupe (11.9 cubic feet), Audi S5 (11.5 cubic feet), while a Mustang GT beats the Corvette in terms of practicality but only marginally with its 13.5 cubic feet of total cargo space - as much as a Mercedes-Benz SL.

The Corvette C8 also fairs respectably well when compared to much bigger cars such as the Porsche Panamera (15.7 cubic feet of cargo space) or the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (16.2 cubic feet of cargo space), both of which are four-door luxury sedans. This brings us to the most important part of our discussion on practicality: comparing the C8 Corvettes with its new rivals because, well, if you’re in the market for a Corvette C8, you’ll never pit it against a Panamera, no matter how undecided you may be.

The Acura NSX is the car that is maybe closest to the Corvette in terms of proportions and, given that the original NSX offered, just like the Corvette, some cargo space in the front and in the back, you’d expect the new, hybrid model to be practical, right? Well, nope. The 2019 Acura NSX’s 4.4 cubic feet of storage space is dismal as it’s just a third of the cargo space of a Corvette C8 which, as we’ve written back in March, can take in a pair of golf bags in the trunk that’s placed in front of the engine and some carry-on bags in the front.

Now, we won’t even mention that the NSX starts at about $160,000 because that’s not the subject of this article but you should also keep that in mind as we move on to the Audi R8, another key rival of the mid-engined Corvette (one that’s even more expensive with a $171,150 price tag). We all know the R8 is built is surgical precision by Audi Sport but the Germans didn’t worry much about giving the R8 a big trunk. The luggage compartment in the front can take in just 3.95 cubic feet of stuff. By comparison, the McLaren 570GT is roomy with 13.1 cubic feet of cargo room due to the fact that, just like the Corvette, McLaren designed it to house a trunk at either end. This is also the case for the 2020 McLaren GT that may be the C8’s chief rival in terms of practicality because it’s also designed as an ultra-practical mid-engined supercar but McLaren went a step further giving the GT a 14.83 cubic feet rear trunk along with a 5.3 cubic feet trunk in the nose.

The Porsche 911 992-generation is widely considered as one of the most user-friendly GTs on the market but its rear-engine configuration hampers its ability to carry lots of stuff. The ’frunk’ of the latest 911 can take in just 4.34 cubic feet of your prized possessions - this is slightly less than what you could cram in a 911 from the 991 generation that came with a 4.41 cubic feet trunk in front of the cabin.

The Jaguar F-Type is another rival of the C8 and one that actually can surpass the American supercar’s trunk capacity. With the cover on, a standard F-Type sports a 10.9 cubic feet trunk and, if you take the cover off, the trunk volume increases to an impressive 14.4 cubic feet. Like the Corvette, the Jaguar can also take in a pair of golf bags (lengthways), a feat that’s matched by the (also front-engined) Mercedes-AMG GT that boasts with a 10 cubic feet trunk (with the cover in place). The trunk ’magically’ grows to welcome up to 12.36 cubic feet of cargo without that cover.

Moving up the echelons of performance (and prestige), there’s Ferrari’s replacement for the 488 GTB, the F8 Tributo that comes with a 7.06 cubic feet trunk but nobody mentions that as you’ll be sure most buyers will be focused on its 710 horsepower and other performance-related numbers. The Lamborghini Huracan has a downright tiny trunk that can carry just 3.53 cubic feet of stuff and it also comes with fewer storage areas inside the cabin. The Aston Martin DB11 delivers 10 cubic feet of space, just 1.3 cubic feet less than Ferrari’s most powerful front-engined car, the 812 Superfast.

Final Thoughts

Two Trunks Ensure The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Will Be As Practical As Possible
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Comparing all the figures that have been disclosed up until know makes us believe that the Corvette C8 continues to score way above average in its class when it comes to practicality. If you take all of the mid-engined Ferraris and Lamborghinis, none will ever to at least match the C8 and you really have to dig deep to find cars with more room in the trunk.

Then, when you finally do, you’ll realize that these are, mostly, front-engined cars like the outgoing C7 and, as such, they are packed differently. This means that the Corvette C8 is arguably the most practical mid-engined supercar at its price point (truthfully, it’s also the car that best combines practicality and performance at that price too) and Corvette Engineers shouldn’t worry about the opposition when it comes to practicality, unless that opposition is called ’McLaren GT’. But, even then, who’d pay more than three times the price of a base model Corvette for the extra 7.3 cubic feet of cargo space? After all, you could just buy the three Corvettes and, as a result, you’d end up with a mass total of 37.8 cubic feet and the means to have your very own convoy when you travel somewhere with your buddies. Beat that, McLaren!

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

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