After years of speculation and months of spy photos, General Motors (GM) unveiled the 8th generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8) on July 18, 2019 in Tustin, California, USA. GM proudly claimed that the all-new mid-engine sports car is much more than just the “Next Generation” – it took the Corvette to the Next Level. Precise and powerful, the all-new Corvette Stingray has been completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver a thrill on every drive. GM re-imagined the American icon into a sculpted mid-engine sports car that is as functional as it is ground-breaking that it can be driven every day.
Designed in the wind tunnel, aerodynamic components are integrated throughout the Corvette Stingray. Each part of its gorgeous form is decidedly functional such as heat exchangers behind each opening to cool the engine; a hybrid rear spoiler that keeps the car planted at high speed; and hidden hatch and hood releases and door handles for a clean and aerodynamic appearance. Taking a cue from the Ferrari 488 GTB, the all-new V8 engine is visible through a rear hatch window while optional carbon-fiber components and LED lights are available to illuminate the engine.
Rich Racing Heritage
With the racing legacy of small block Chevy V8 engines behind them, GM engineers came out with the all-new 6.2-liter LT2 V8. It’s a no-compromise powerhouse that’s mounted low to improve handling and equipped with a standard dry-sump system for improved lubrication especially during cornering when the g-forces are high. It’s still a push rod V8 but it features Continuously Variable Valve Timing that further improves performance to deliver 495 horsepower and 638 Newton-meters of torque to make it the most powerful production Corvette ever.
The standard dual-clutch 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters combines the smoothness of an automatic with the precise action of a manual to provide lightning-quick shifts. Chevrolet claims improved acceleration and lap times with the new transaxle since there’s no deceleration between shifts. Lap times are also improved because of the inherent balance and improved roadholding characteristics of the Corvette’s new mid-engine layout.
Improved Driving Experience
The mid-engine configuration improves the driving experience by providing improved visibility, responsiveness, and driving feel. The mid-engine placement provides rear weight bias, directing more power to the rear wheels where it is most needed. The body structure is more than ten percent (10%) stiffer than the previous generation that contributes to a better ride and confidence-inspiring handling. Ultra-light 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels shod with meaty tires not only provide improved traction but provide a better ride and reduced noise, as well.
With the engine behind the driver instead of in front, GM engineers were able to lower the cowl, hood, instrument panel and steering wheel for improved forward vision. And with the windshield now over the front wheels, there’s improved downforce without the need for a front air dam. The new mid-engine layout allowed a thoughtful engineering of storage. An all-new front cargo area is large enough to carry an airline-size overhead bag while the trunk can hold two golf bags or the removable roof panel.
A Driver’s Car
Every detail of the Corvette’s cockpit is designed to provide a natural and immersive driving experience where each button is exactly where it needs to be for comfortable and intuitive use. The 12-inch diagonal reconfigurable digital instrument display panel incorporates all driver information and features three distinct themes while a color head-up display (HUD) helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The Driver Mode Selector electronically calibrates up to 12 performance variables to adjust the car’s performance for any road while the all-new My Mode and Z-Mode personalizes performance to save settings between drives.
The available Front Lift system raises the front of the Corvette almost 2 inches in less than 3 seconds at low speeds to clear low obstacles like speed bumps or steep driveways. It also remembers up to 1,000 GPS locations to work seamlessly during the drive. The Performance Data Recorder (PDR) digital driving coach with 1080p recording captures acceleration speed, braking, gear choice, sound and more to help analyze and improve the driver’s performance. It also functions as a dash cam with auto-record and equipped with Valet Mode that monitors the use of the Corvette when others are behind the wheel, recording video and vehicle data.
Technology and More
The all-new mid-engine Corvette comes with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen with simplified Bluetooth pairing, where a compatible phone is placed above the volume button to automatically pair with the system. Other options include enhanced Navigation with 3-D View, Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection.
If the craving for even more agility and performance is insatiable, then the Z51 Performance Package is a must. The package includes performance tires, massive brakes, electronic limited slip differential (eLSD), front splitter, and performance exhaust. Also included is the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 next-generation damping system that reads the road every millisecond and adapts in as little as 10-15 milliseconds. An innovative suspension fluid contains metal particles that align and become rigid in an instant altering the handling and providing the driver with the confidence and control to push harder while staying planted.
Chevrolet quotes prices of the all-new 2020 Corvette Stingray start at USD$62,000, which is equivalent to P3.124 Million with the current exchange rates. Add shipping costs, applicable Custom duties, taxes and dealer markup, we figured that it could cost between P7.7 and P9.0 Million to drive one on Philippine roads. Compared to the V8-powered mid-engine European sports cars that are available locally, the new mid-engine Corvette C8 might prove to be a bargain. The only question now is “When will it come here?”