In a twist of fate that’s almost impossible as pigs learning to fly or hell turning into ice, the Chevrolet Corvette has been reborn as a mid-engined RWD supercar with an equally shocking (in a good way) US$60,000 (PHP3,061,230 as of this writing’s exchange rates) price tag. One of the most highly anticipated cars of this year, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is a complete reinvention of the iconic American sports car.
Having a mid-engine layout gives the Corvette a completely new sheet metal from its predecessors. This gives it a shorter hood which also happens to be a front trunk. Its front fascia is characterized by a wide air intake in the middle flanked by large air vents on the sides which leads to a radiator. A small front spoiler provides downforce for the front, while the slender LED headlights give it a sleek look. The windshield is extremely raked for aerodynamics, which flows neatly into the double-bubble roof that tapers nicely all the way to the back to where the engine resides. The sculpted bodywork channels air into massive side scoops which cool the engine. The rear engine cover has a camera for the digital rearview mirror. Lastly, the rear fascia is characterized by a bumper with vents for the engine bay and a rear diffuser featuring four tailpipes.
The all-new mid-engined Corvette C8 uses a lightweight aluminum-intensive structure with a few carbon fiber parts here and there such as in the curved rear bumper beam. Additionally, the front and rear trunk tubs and dashboard are made from an ultra-lightweight material derived from fiberglass and a proprietary resin. Chevrolet says that the material is so light, it actually floats on water.
Like the exterior, the C8 Corvette’s interior is a radical departure from its predecessors. A stylistic canopy houses a long array of buttons for the climate control system and it also gives a clear separation between the driver and passenger seats. A squared-off steering wheel gives drivers an unobstructed view of the 12-inch fully digital instrument cluster. On the right of the digital gauge cluster is an 8-inch MyLink infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, as well as NFC for an easier pairing of devices. Drivers can access a special Z mode which allows for customization of various vehicle performance settings. Buyers can opt for numerous customization options for the C8 Corvette, including aluminum and carbon fiber trims, as well as numerous interior colors such as Jet Black, Sky Cool Gray, Adrenaline Red, Natural/ Natural Dipped, Two-Tone Blue and Morello Red.
The seats themselves can be customized with three choices. The GT1 seats feature Mulan leather trim and offer a good mix between comfort and support. The GT2 seats have a more aggressive design and are upholstered in Napa and Mulan leather as well as carbon fiber inserts. The GT2 seats also add heating and ventilation functions. Lastly, the Competition Sport seats are designed for the track use as these feature Napa leather, more aggressive bolsters, and an all-new durable performance textile that Chevrolet says is inspired by Kevlar vests. Like the GT2 seats, the Competition Sport seats also offer heating, ventilation as well as carbon fiber inserts.
Power is provided by an all-new, mid-mounted 6.2-liter LT2 V8 engine that produces 490 hp and 630 Nm of torque. An optional Z51 Performance Package boosts output to 495 hp and 637 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Chevrolet says selecting the Z51 Performance Package enables the Corvette C8 to sprint from 0-100 kph in less than three seconds, which is mighty impressive considering that the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with 755 hp and 969 Nm of torque did the job in about 2.85 seconds.
Chevrolet promises the C8 Corvette to be the most dynamic Corvette ever, which was achieved through an improved suspension, updated electronic power steering system with a 15.7:1 ratio, as well as 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport ALS tires. Stopping power comes courtesy of Brembo brakes that measure 321 mm upfront and 339 mm at the rear.
Adding the Z51 Performance Pack also gives the Corvette C8 a few handling upgrades, including a stiffer suspension, upgraded cooling system, and a higher performance exhaust. Tires are now wrapped in stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires while stopping power is now provided by Z51-branded brakes which provide better stopping power as well as larger 345 mm brakes upfront and 350 mm brakes at the rear.
The all-new Chevrolet Corvette C8 will go on sale later this year with an unbelievable starting price of US$60,000, which is just slightly more expensive than a base model front-engined C7 Corvette at US$55,900.