Chevrolet has finally taken the veil off its first production mid-engine Corvette. At an event held in southern California, Chevrolet revealed that the C8’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 would make 495 HP and 470 lb-ft of torque (when fitted with the performance exhaust) and that it would hit 60 mph in less than 3 seconds with the Z51 package.
That package adds improved aerodynamics, bigger brakes, performance tires, and an electronic limited slip differential and will likely accelerate to 60 slightly faster than the sub-$60,000 base model.
All the same, the base model will get the C7’s four driving modes (Weather, Tour, Sport, and Track) as well as a new Z Mode, which the driver can configure themselves.
Although the C8 has its engine in a new place, Chevrolet insists that it is, if anything, more practical. With a trunk and a frunk, the C8 can accommodate two standard golf bags or the C8’s removable roof.
Chevrolet’s presenters made no mention of a manual transmission but did mention that the C8 Stingray will get an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to allow for lightning-fast shifting, a first for the Corvette.
Other parts of the C8’s construction are a little more familiar, though. Chevrolet opted against a monocoque chassis for the Corvette. This, says the Corvette program’s chief executive engineer Tadge Jeuchter, allows for lower rocker panels and thanks to diecast aluminum substructures, this remains the stiffest Corvette ever made.
The C8 will also make use of the now traditional fiberglass. This time, though, Chevrolet is using a type of fiberglass so light that a brick of it would float.
Jeuchter was also quick to mention that Chevrolet wanted to alleviate the fears of snap-oversteer at the limit. They did that by adjusting everything from the tires to the bushings to the dampers.
“No Corvette has ever felt so comfortable, so stable, and so nimble,” says Jeuchter.
The C8 isn’t just a performance showcase, though. It also sits on a new electronics platform. That allows electronic signals to travel faster throughout the car and will reportedly allow for over-the-air updates.
It also allows the Corvette to learn where you lift its nose (by up to two inches). By tying that information to its GPS system–and asking your permission–it can automatically lift its nose when it recognizes a spot you’ve done it before.
If all of this sounds like a lot for less than 60 grand, I’m sure Chevrolet would be thrilled to hear you say that. But they do appear to have a plan to ensure that not all C8s sell for $30,000 less than a base 911. And to do that, they’ve taken a page out of Porsche’s book: options.
With 12 exterior colors to choose from, three seat options, numerous interior colors, and even a number of stitching options to choose from, Chevrolet appears to be allowing rich people to option out a Corvette whose MSRP more closely resembles what you’d expect from a mid-engine supercar.
Chevrolet also ended its presentation with a hint of more, higher-performance C8s to come, which will no doubt also help bring the MSRP closer to the six-figures you’d expect from a supercar.
“The C7 was as close to perfect as front-engine was ever gonna get,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM. “To get more, we had to go mid-engine.”