What Does Jay Leno Think of the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray?
There are a lot of interesting things to learn about the all-new Vette in this eight-minute episodeby Kirby, on
Jay Leno has cached a lot of us can only dream of having. When Chevrolet debuted the Corvette C8 last week in Los Angeles, California, it did so in Leno’s backyard. And just as sure as the sky is blue, the comedian was one of the very first people to see the all-new Corvette C8 up close and personal. Proving that Leno’s cache in the auto world is second-to-none, the former host of the Tonight Show was even allowed to film an exclusive walk-around of the Corvette for his hugely popular Internet show, Jay Leno’s Garage. These are the kinds of things that only people like Jay Leno can pull off. It certainly helps, too, that Leno knows what he’s talking about when it comes to cars, and this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage is no different as the star of the episode — that’d be the Corvette C8 — is given the proper run-through by one of the most knowledgable gear heads in this side of the world.
Jay Leno Drives the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette
This is a special episode of Jay Leno’s Garage for several reasons, none more important than the featured model. This, folks, is the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8, and in typical fashion, Leno was allowed to get a first-hand look at the new mid-engine sports car. Naturally, Leno brought a special guest with him to talk shop about the new Corvette C8, who also happens to be the car’s chief engineer, Ed Piatek.
The conversation between Leno and Piatek started in rather predictable fashion as the first subject that was broached was the Corvette C8’s new 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine. Pietak wasted little time diving straight into the power figures of the sports car: 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. He also pointed out that the Corvette C8 can go from 0 to 60 mph in “less than three seconds with the Z51 package.” Most of what Piatek said is common knowledge at this point, but as the episode continued, Piatek made an interesting point saying that the only way to improve upon the Corvette C7 was to “reinvent” the car as a whole.
Giving the Corvette the long-awaited mid-engine treatment came as a result of that goal, and with it came a whole smorgasbord of changes that resulted in a completely different car from all other Corvette models that have come before it.
Without question, the most significant change is the engine placement, and as we get a close look at the exposed engine, Piatek points out that the engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s located underneath the engine. Props to Leno, too, for pointing out the quirky rear cargo area, which surprisingly looks like it has copious amounts of space. It’s a rare thing to have this kind of utility in a mid-engine car, let alone a model like the Corvette that’s never been built with this kind of layout.
The highlight of the episode, at least as far as I’m concerned, is the time Leno and Piatek spent talking about the interior. This area of the Corvette C8 often gets lost in the shuffle as everyone’s focus seems to be on the dissection of the sports car’s looks and performance capabilities. But Leno and Piatek spent a good amount of the episode talking about the cabin, including its cockpit-inspired and driver-focused layout, as well as the decent amount of legroom space brought about by the convenience of not having an engine in front of the cabin.
The rest of the episode was spent talking about a few more quirks about the Corvette C8, including Chevy’s decision to move the driver’s seat 16 inches closer to the front axle in order to create a more immediate driving experience in such cases that when the car turns, the driver immediately feels that turn himself. Overall, it’s a tremendous exploratory video of the Corvette C8 featuring two men who know what they’re talking about.
I will say, though, that my favorite part of the episode didn’t involve any of the discussion between Leno and Piatek. My favorite part of the episode was hearing the sound the Corvette C8 made when the liftgate and front door was opened. That’s a cool sound, Chevrolet.
Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!
Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1
Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
Read our full review on the 2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.