The new 2020 Corvette C8 has Corvette enthusiasts champing at the bit and waiting for them to make their way to showroom floors later this year. But what is so special about the newest incarnation of the Corvette and how will it change the sports car market for years to come?
1. It’s Affordable
One of the most exciting things about this new generation of Corvette is that you won’t have to mortgage your house to bring one home. This by itself is astonishing if you consider the fact that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 started at about $120,000. The base C8 will start at less than $60,000.
How can Chevy afford to offer this piece of automotive history for such an affordable price? By being smart during construction. Chevy was frugal with the C8, choosing lightweight materials like aluminum, composite and carbon fiber to reduce weight while increasing power. There’s also the possibility that Chevy might decide to cash in on the Corvette name by turning it into its own brand, complete with a sedan and an SUV with a Corvette nameplate.
No matter where Chevy cuts corners, it means the new C8 Corvette will be more affordable than some of its predecessors. If you skipped the ZR1 because of the massive price tag, this might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
2. It’s Mid-Engined
This new Corvette has plenty of power, but it’s not under the hood like you’d expect. Chevy has considered a mid-engine Corvette since the 1960s, but until now it’s never made it past the prototype stage. It’s relied on the same front-engine design with rear-wheel drive for nearly seven decades, but it’s been actively working toward a mid-engine model since the sixth generation debuted in 2005.
The problem is that even with modern technology, automotive designers have reached the limit of what they can do — handling-wise — with a front-engine design. The C8 might not be the first mid-engine sports car, but it will not be the last, either.
3. It’s Powerful
You can’t have a Corvette without some serious power under the hood, and the C8 does not disappoint. It’s the most powerful base Corvette model ever released, with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that generates 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Its lightweight aluminum and composite body, paired with this powerful engine, means it moves from 0-60 mph in an astonishing 2.9 seconds.
Chevy didn’t redesign the engine when it moved it to the midline of the Vette. It is still utilizing the naturally aspirated LT2 engine, a modern take on the small-block V-8 that it has been using for decades.
Moving the engine away from the front of the car provides better handling. With its Pilot Sport tires, this sports car is capable of 0.95 G’s of lateral acceleration. Chevy’s trying to get it up to that full 1g, though hopefully, you won’t be cornering like that when you’re driving to the grocery store.
It’s One Of A Kind
The Corvette C8 Stingray might be the first of its kind, but it won’t be the last. Automotive manufacturers are running out of changes they can make to standard front-engine sports cars. When it comes to cornering and lateral handling, none of them will be able to compete with the mid-engine C8. If you’re interested in owning a piece of automotive history, consider adding one of these Corvettes to your collection.
This push toward mid-engine sports cars is just the beginning. The C8 is showing us the way, but it will be up to other manufacturers to follow Chevy’s lead and create the next generation of these muscle cars.