2020 Stingray revealed as first ever mid-engine Corvette
More anticipated than every new Star Wars film, the long-awaited mid-engine Corvette is finally here after more than a half-century of teasing and promises.
After decades of rumors, countless sightings of prototypes, and weeks of anticipation, the first mid-engine Corvette is finally here… The anticipation for the new Chevrolet Corvette has been palpable, with leaks and guesswork going around as the unveil neared. What began 66 years ago reached a fever pitch in Orange County, California, where Chevrolet chose to unveil the 8th generation Corvette on the 18th of July.
Unveiling the latest Stingray Corvette
The new Corvette is a mid-engine design, putting the big growling powerhouse behind the driver instead of in front, but retains its rear-wheel-drive focus as an American sports coupé. The first 2020 Chevrolet Corvette models to hit showrooms will be the Stingray option, but the company promised track-focused and other models will also be coming. It’s also been confirmed the car will be released globally thanks to the availability of a right-hand-drive model.
How it all started
It all started with a prototype. In 1964, Zora Arkus-Duntov (father of the Corvette) built the XP-819, a mid-engined vision of what the front-engined Corvette could be. Multiple mid-engined Corvette prototypes followed, and more than 50 years later, we finally have a production model. From what we know, it will be the most hardcore Corvette ever.
New features of the supercar
The 2020 Stingray will be the fastest and most powerful base model Corvette ever introduced and putting the engine mid-ships will mark a Chevrolet first. “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,” said GM President Mark Reuss.
The exterior design of the 2020 Corvette Stingray features the proportions expected of a mid-engined supercar, including the fat rear end and forward-leaning bias most associated with them. The signature “Coke bottle” shape remains in the overall profile, though, as does the angular rear end and the strong Corvette swoop at the front bumper. Corvette designers mentioned aircraft and fighter planes as inspiration for the new car. What’s new, though, is the aggressive way the new ‘Vette pushes the air with a lower front fascia resembling British racers and a rear haunch and side intake that might remind one of Italian makes. The Corvette has always been America’s most European sports car, but will retain one uniquely American trait in its build. A huge, naturally-gulping V8.
What about the Corvette’s engine and transmission?
As speculated, the Stingray is fitted with a 6.2-liter V8 derived from the LT1 used in the current car. It’s called the LT2 and actually, it’s quite a different animal. With the Z51 Performance Package the engine develops 495 naturally-aspirated horsepower, and it sends that power to the rear wheels exclusively through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. With all respects to manual fans…
Positioned low in the car, the new V8 has been designed to push power early in the RPM band towards a newly-developed transmission. That eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is performance-focused and includes both full manual control (via paddle shifting) and automatic shifting, and includes a de-clutch feature that can be used by pulling both paddle shifters simultaneously.
How fast will the C8 Corvette be ?
Here’s where it gets very interesting. Chevrolet announced the 2020 Stingray can run 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in under 3 seconds. That’s on a car equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, but still, that’s an astounding figure for any car in that price range, never mind a mid-engined two-seat supercar. Quarter-mile and top speed figures for the 2020 Stingray haven’t been released yet, but an unrestricted speed close to 200 mph is likely.
Where do we go from here?
With the big unveiling finally complete, GM is planning a nationwide tour with its new supercar, visiting dealerships across the country. Complete pricing will eventually be announced, and though a production date hasn’t been revealed, it’s expected to begin late this year, with availability in showrooms early in 2020.