Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray: first car sells for $3million

Published: 20 January 2020

► Mid-engined 6.2-litre V8
► Left- and right-hand drive
► Convertible joins C8 Coupe

The first Corvette C8 has been sold for $3,000,000 USD (£2,300,000). VIN 001 was sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction, and snapped up by Rick Hendrick, NASCAR team owner and a former racer himself.

The car shown at the auction was just a pre-production model: the actual C8 Hendrick will receive has a black-on-black colours scheme with pretty much every box ticked. 

'The car shown and crossing the auction block is representative of the actual vehicle the winning bidder will receive, which will be a black-on-black Corvette 3LT loaded with every available option, scheduled to be built during the first quarter of 2020,' Barrett-Jackson said of the car before its sale.

'The entire hammer price of this sale will benefit Detroit Children’s Fund - a non-profit organization that makes targeted investments to grow the number of quality schools in Detroit.'

Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray

Another year, another Corvette, only this one brings in a seismic change for the nameplate. Somewhere underneath those incredibly busy lines, there’s an engine, but this time it’s mounted in the middle of the car, not the front.

The 2020 Stingray is the first mid-engined Corvette in the history of GM, and comes after decades of front-engined sports cars. It's a bit like the Porsche 911 moving away from a rear-engined ethos – it's a serious automotive U-turn.

The new Stingway  be available in left- and right-hand drive – another first for a Corvette, and will go into production later this year. 

Why now?

‘The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,’ said GM President Mark Reuss. Essentially, GM engineers had done everything they could engineering-wise with the front-engined layout, and opted for the fundamentally superior performance mid-engined configuration. This is still a Corvette though, so features such as the removable roof are still present – it just promises to be the best handling ‘Vette ever. 

With that in mind, the new 2020 Corvette slots a 488bhp, 6.2-litre V8 behind the passengers – and even makes a show of it with an Audi R8-style engine gallery. With 470lb ft of torque (quoted figures included a performance exhaust) it’s the most powerful engine ever seen in a Corvette. 

The change in engine location brings a wealth of benefits over the previous car. Weight distribution has improved, the centre of gravity has been lowered, and when combined with a tunnel-dominant approach, Chevrolet reckons the car is more stable but agile as a result. It’ll weigh 1530kg. 

The V8 block is mated to a eight-speed ‘box, and holding both paddles down will disconnect the clutch so you can rev in tunnels, traffic etc.

The Stingray will come with six driving modes; Weather. Tour, Sport, Track, MyMode and Z mode, with the last two allowing drivers to customise everything from drivetrain repsonse to ride firmness and steering weight. 

New Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible

Chevy promises the folding hard-top roadster-coupe was designed from day one with a convertible in mind and says no sacrifices are made to performance. ‘The mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray was engineered first and foremost as a convertible,’ engineers say.

It’s fitting since the very first Corvette was only available with a soft-top.

As you would expect, the open-top Corvette keeps the same monumentally fast 6.2-litre V8 as the coupe, developing a fulsome 495bhp and 470lb ft of the twisty stuff.

Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible

‘Our goal from the beginning was to make sure customers didn’t have to sacrifice any functionality, performance or comfort when choosing the hardtop convertible,’ says Josh Holder, programme engineering manager for the Corvette.

‘We managed to keep the same design theme as the coupe, as well as the exceptional storage capacity and track capability.’

How much do I have to pay for the pleasure of removing the Stingray’s roof?

Chevrolet vice president Brian Sweeney said ‘the convertible will be priced only $7500 [£6000] more than an entry 1LT Stingray coupe.’

Stay tuned for our first drive of the new Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible in the coming months.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast