Chevrolet has revealed one of the worst kept secrets in automotive history, the mid-engined C8 Corvette Stingray – and it’s coming to Australia!
Mounted behind the passengers is a revised version of the 6.2-litre pushrod V8 that sat under the hulking bonnet of the outgoing C7. Dubbed the LT2, the engine produces 369kW of power and 637Nm of torque (or 365kW without the optional Z51 pack)
The American brand claims the C8 can complete the 0-60mph sprint in less than three seconds, astonishing for a car of its power output. Much of the impressive time is down to the Tremec-designed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which features a low first gear for fast launches, close second to sixth ratios for high-speed track driving and tall seventh and eighth gears for long-distance cruising.
Speaking of track driving, the Corvette’s new mid-engined layout promises to make it a true corner-carver that can rival Europe’s best. To aid it, it features double wishbone rear suspension (compared to the C7’s mono-leaf setup), 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport ALS tyres, a limited-slip differential, and 321mm front and 339mm rear Brembo brakes.
Want more performance? Option the Z51 Performance Package, and you get stiffer Magnetic Ride Control dampers, larger 345mm front and 350mm rear Z51-branded brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, a different rear axle ratio, additional brake cooling, a revised intake and a performance exhaust system – with the latter pair culminating in an aforementioned 4kW power increase).
There’s also the first front suspension lift system ever fitted to a Corvette, which features a GPS system that can store up to 1000 driver-selected locations to automatically raise the nose, whether it be for a speed bump, driveway or other non-supercar-friendly obstacle.
Structurally, the C8 features more lightweight materials than ever before, with a carbon-fibre rear bumper support, new aluminium components and front and rear boot housings made out of a mix of fiberglass and a new resin. The result is a 1530kg kerb weight, that’s 32kg lighter than the outgoing front-engined Corvette Stingray Z51.
As with any performance car, a number of drive modes are on offer, namely Weather, Tour, Sport, Track, MyMode and Z. MyMode is an ‘individual’ style mode that’s fully configurable, while Z mode takes it one step further with engine and transmission settings for use during spirited driving scenarios.
Visually, the C8 Corvette sports an aggressive new look. Thanks to that mid-engined layout, the car’s proportions are completely different to its predecessor, with a shorter front end with aggressive intakes, and a longer rear deck with a boot spoiler, angular taillights and quad exhaust tips.
Inside it’s all new, with a driver-focused design that features a large central touchscreen and a fully-digital instrument cluster. Drivers grip a squared-off leather steering wheel, and sit in a choice of GT1, GT2 and Competition sports seats.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette enters production later this year, ahead of a US launch in early 2020. It will be built in right-hand-drive from the factory, and is set to land in Aussie showrooms in late 2020 or early 2021, with a price tag between $100,000 and $150,000.