Mid-engine supercar…under $60,000.
If ever two phrases didn’t seem destined to ever appear together, these were they. And yet somehow, someway, Chevy found a way to make it a reality with the new C8 Corvette Stingray—a mid-engine supercar with a 6.2L LT2 V8 engine able to produce 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque at a base price of less than $60,000.
This, after months of concern from the automotive enthusiast community that the latest generation of the iconic vehicle could come in well over $100,000.
Nope. Less than $60,000. Let that soak in for a minute.
Chevy unveiled the new Corvette July 18 at an event in Tustin, CA, highlighting features like better weight distribution (thanks to the mid-engine layout), improved responsiveness and torsional rigidity, paddle shifters, and a “race car-like view of the road” provided by lower positioning of the hood, steering wheel, and instrument panel.
In a press release, the company called the 2020 Stingray “the fastest, most powerful entry Corvette” it has ever produced.
“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM. The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,” said GM President Mark Reuss in the press release. “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”
The base 2020 Stingray will weigh 3,366 pounds and feature a Tremec 8-speed dual-clutch transmission—a first for Chevy—designed to offer “lighting-fast shifts and excellent power transfer,” the company said. When equipped with the upgraded suspension, larger brake rotors, enhanced cooling, front brake cooling inlets, and performance exhaust available with the Z51 Performance Package, the vehicle is capable of achieving a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds.
Among various other upgrades and enhancements over the C7, the new Corvette includes an improved steering ratio of 15.7:1 (from 16.25:1); new eBoost brakes that Chevy says are more precise and tunable; an electronic limited-slip differential integrated into the transaxle; and a front splitter and open two-piece rear spoiler that add up to 400 pounds of downforce.
The 2020 Corvette Stingray will go into production at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly plant in late 2019, the company said, adding that it will share additional pricing and packaging information closer to launch. The vehicle is expected to show up in dealer showrooms later this year.
Unsubstantiated rumors of a mid-engine Corvette have circulated for decades, in many ways driven by Chevy’s own insistence of building rad prototype after teasing prototype.
All-in-all, the first actual mid-engine Corvette looks like a worthy successor to the C7, which debuted with an LT1 6.2L V8 engine that delivered 455 HP and 460 pound-feet of torque in the base model.
Of course, there are those purists who refused to even call it a Corvette based on the engine placement alone—some of whom expressed concern over their ability to fit a golf bag in car’s trunk. We’re happy to report that you totally can:
You sure showed those purists, GM. Now let’s get back to gawking at more photos: