► Mid-engined 6.2-litre V8
► Left- and right-hand drive
► Convertible joins C8 Coupe
UK pricing and specs for the mid-engined GM sportscar have been released, confirming that the right-hand-drive program has survived GM’s COVID-19 cost-cutting measures.
It’s been the subject of much discussion and whether the right-hand-drive program – already considered a “bit of a bet” within the walls of GM – would be continued after a fraught year at GM.
Long-running strike action late last year put the build program behind schedule by several months, before closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic laid the US car industry out cold.
The Launch Edition of the car will kick off at £81,700, and each car will be equipped with the company’s Z51 pack. That includes manual ride-height adjustable front suspension, Brembo brakes with larger rotors and front brake ducts, electronic limited slip differential, shorter axle ratio, performance exhaust, an aerodynamics package and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
As well, the Corvette C8 will ship with a data recorder, head-up display, satellite navigation, a rear-view mirror with integrated camera and heated/ventilated seats.
On top of that, the launch edition scores 3LT exterior and interior details, as well as active dampers.
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.
‘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.
‘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.