In a Hangar in Tustin, California in Orange County on Thursday, Chevrolet finally fully unveiled the mythical mid-engine Ferrari beater, the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
In a nutshell: it’s the quickest, most powerful entry-level Corvette ever. Here’s everything you need to know.
What’s the big deal?
It’s mid-engine, man! In layman’s terms, the engine’s no longer in the front, it’s, well, in the middle, like many a Porsche or Ferrari. This is the automotive equivalent of Coca-Cola introducing New Coke but still calling it Coca-Cola. It’s hard to evolve iconic things.
Why the change to a formula that already had a huge fan base, especially when you know there will be haters? Better weight distribution, which translates to better performance. The mid-engine setup also puts you closer to the front axle, so you have improved visibility and feel as though you’re on top of the front wheels. Exhilarating.
Or, as Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer puts it: “Our mission was to develop a new type of sports car, combining the successful attributes of Corvette with the performance and driving experience of mid-engine supercars.”
OK. Gimme the numbers.
The engine is a beast. 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 which is naturally aspirated—a dying breed. 495 horsepower, and 470 lb-ft of torque. The most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette. There’s no way this thing can’t produce a sound that will scare all nearby wildlife.
0-60 in less than 3.0 seconds with the Z51 performance package. That’s a world-class number for a car that is estimated to cost around $70,000.
Will there be a manual?
Oh, you’re one of those guys, are you? Nope. It will have an eight-speed dual clutch automatic. Translation for non car nerds: it will have those paddle-shifty things on the sides of steering wheels that will allow you to switch gears. While many of the car cognoscenti abhor this trend, the fact of the matter is dual-clutch cars are generally faster than those with standard/manual transmissions. If you’ve ever driven a new Porsche with PDK, the gold standard when it comes to dual clutch transmissions, you begin to miss manual cars much, much less. The best automatics feel like manuals without any of the fuss of a manual. And that’s what Corvette is aiming for here.
Tell me more about this Z51 Performance Package.
It gives you a performance suspension, bigger brakes, better cooling, and, most significantly, a performance exhaust note for letting people know you’re driving a mid-engine Corvette goddammit. Brap brap!!
Where’s the trunk?
There’s two. One in the front, which can fit a carry-on and another small bag, and one in the back, which can fit what has become the universal measure of utility for sports car trunks: two golf bags.
What else is new?
It’s available in both left and right hand variants. A first for Corvette. Will this increase sales in places like England and Japan where they drive on the opposite side of the road? Possibly.
What hasn’t changed?
Even though the shape of the car has dramatically changed from all previous generations, the Corvette will still have a removable roof panel that you can tuck away in the rear trunk. (Not with golf clubs though.)
What colors does it come in?
Torch Red, Arctic White, Black, Blade Silver Metallic, Shadow Gray, Ceramic Matrix Gray, Long Beach Red, Elkhart Lake Blue and Sebring Orange. And there are three new colors: Rapid Blue, Zeus Bronze and Accelerate Yellow.
Do you have to be a boomer with a goatee to drive this Corvette?