New Chevrolet Corvette: Stingray goes mid-engined

Published: 19 July 2019

► Mid-engined 6.2-litre V8
► Left- and right-hand drive
► In production later this year

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. 

We’ll update this article when we know more about the new 2020 Corvette. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast