The 1,400 people in attendance at the 2020 Corvette Stingray reveal on July 18, 2019, were treated to a spectacular show, a brilliant retrospective of the Corvette, and how the sports car evolved into what appeared at the reveal. But how much information did the team at Chevrolet really share about the highly anticipated C8?
While the flashing lights and smoke are still in the air, it’s easy to get caught up in the highlights and buzzwords, but actually filtering the data reveals that the Chevrolet executives on stage managed to stay surprisingly vague. Perhaps it was all part of a plan to drive people to the online C8 configurator that seemingly broke the internet and turned many an enthusiast back into a Mountain Dew swigging, Dorito’s eating teen as they stayed up past their bedtime in order to dive deeper into the car’s options. The madness.
Sharp individuals will have picked up on a little bait and switch when it came to the C8’s specifications that were shared during the new Corvette reveal. Case in point, there’s the LT2 small-block V8 nestled in the back, but that will only boast the claimed output of 495hp and 470lb-ft of torque when fitted with the optional performance exhaust. What we don’t know is how much of the car’s power output came via the optional exhaust, and what it added to the sticker price.
Additionally, the quoted sub three second 0-60mph time is a number Chevrolet quoted for the Z51-equipped Stingray. Well played Chevy; now we’re left to wonder how fast the sub $60,000 base model actually is, and how much it’s going to cost when properly optioned for that stated acceleration.
If we were to render a guess, we feel it’s unlikely that the Z51 suspension is so superior to the base unit (which, gasp, does not include leaf springs) that it impacts the acceleration number significantly. It’s far more likely that the optional summer-only performance tires on the Z51 are what will help propel it forward at a rate well beyond that of most anything else near this price point.
A dual-clutch 8-speed transmission sits out back of the LT2 V8, and is reportedly geared with splits that will offer both outstanding acceleration and comfortable highway cruising. The lack of a traditional manual transmission leaves some screaming, but we’re confident that eventually everyone will learn to adapt to shifting with their fingertips.
Perhaps the most awesome part of the C8 is the sheer number of choices. Chevy went off the rails by adding a slew of exterior and interior colors – more possible combinations, in fact, than have ever been offered on the Corvette. There are three different choices of seats, wheel options vary in both color and style, and then there are the numerous accent pieces, offering enough carbon fiber trim to give anyone street cred.
Undoubtedly, Corvette purist will be torn on this departure from what they have known and loved, as is the case every time the General alters from the status quo – but those with a focus on performance will undoubtedly be happy to take their place in the order queue. It’s also easy to assume that within days of the C8 hitting the streets, we will see them at SCCA autocrosses, Time Trials, and club races across the country. And when they show up, we’ll filter that data to unravel which version is truly the winning combination.