This is a very good day indeed! It’s been years since we first heard rumours about a mid-engined Corvette, and now the stories, hints, and camouflaged test cars have all finally made their way to the surface culminating in the new C8 Corvette Stingray.
It’s cab-forward layout, necessary when you’re placing an engine behind the driver, doesn’t only dramatically change the look of the car, but will also completely change its handling characteristics. Air intakes are poised just ahead of the rear arches, and a long sweeping rear neatly folds into the four iconic rear lights. If an Italian painter was to marry the manager of an American gun shop, then this would be their spawn.
“The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,” GM boss Mark Reuss says. “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history.”
It’s styled like an F22 Raptor and it goes like one, too, with a 6.2-litre LT2 V8 good for 488bhp and 470lb ft of torque to the rear wheels. This can launch the 1530kg (dry) C8 to 60mph in under three seconds and will rocket the car onto a yet to be revealed top speed – I expect it to be a hair over 200mph.
I too let out a slight gasp when reading those figures, and it’s all thanks to Chevrolet’s first ever dual-clutch gearbox supplied by Tremec. It’s got eight ratios and a de-clutch function, and while this is able to supply maximum performance to the road, it’s a shame that it’s unlikely that the C8 will ever be supplied with a manual. Especially as… wait for it… this car will be hopping across to pond to the UK!
As usual, Chevrolet’s new supercar will get front and rear double-wishbone suspension, and bigger brakes, a louder exhaust, better cooling, and Magnetic Ride 4.0 will be available if you check the Z51 option box. You’ll also get Pilot Sport 4S tyres over the 245/35/R19 front and 305/30/20 rear wheels, but Michelin ALS all-seasons will have to do for the bottom spec.
According to Chevrolet, the C8 is built around a strong central tunnel to maintain a strong but light structure. You can see this centrally in the interior photos between the driver and passenger seats. I’m not sure how I feel about the dash design, but that long line of buttons is certainly a new design element that you’ll either love or hate, but what’s wrong with a conversation piece?
Pricing will begin at a surprisingly low $60,000 for the Stingray, and further enhancements and high performance models will surely follow. Mark my words. this will be a very special car, and I’m extremely excited to get a closer look.