From now on, the Chevrolet Corvette will no longer be known as a simple sports car, something that was once a rival to the Dodge Viper and even an alternative to mainstream muscle cars in its base form(s).
Now begins the age of the mid-engine Vette, a machine capable of giving an Acura NSX a run for its money as far as 0-60 times, and will do so even in base spec. But is it a completely superior car to its predecessor, the C7? Let’s try and figure that out.
Who’s got the looks?
Both models feature an aggressively-styled front end, with similar design elements. However, everything is sharper and more tucked in on the newer model, which was to be expected seen as how the engine is no longer at the front – so the long hood could be ditched in favor of a smaller one, giving the C8 Vette a more exotic, supercar-worthy nose.
Move away from the front and the two models only become more and more different. The C8 boasts a rakish windscreen, sculpted side skirts that channel air into those massive scoops at the rear, muscular rear fenders (even a little more so than before), and a double bubble roof.
However, Corvette designers also made sure that the C7 and C8 retained a few basic common styling cues and details (albeit in an evolutionary form), such as the lights on both ends, to keep a sense of continuity and familiarity.
Who’s got the grunt?
This is a simple one, really. The new C8 was launched in base Stingray spec, rocking a mid-mounted 6.2-liter LT2 V8 engine, good for 490 HP (497 PS) and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) of torque. You can also go for the optional Z51 Performance Package, which raises the output ever so slightly to 495 HP (502 PS) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque.
According to Chevy, their all-new Corvette will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under three seconds, with the Z51 package putting it on par with the 755 HP 2019 ZR1 and its 2.85 second 0-60 time. So yeah, it will blow the old Stingray out of the water when it comes to performance (3.7 sec), despite having just 35 HP and 5 lb-ft of torque more than the latter, and weighing about the same at 3,366 lbs (1,527 kg) vs. 3,444 lbs (1,562 kg).
As for shifting gears, you’ll be doing that with the help of an eight-speed dual clutch automatic, sending its power to the rear wheels.
What about tech?
Well, this is a brand new car so, what do you expect? Of course the C8 is going to one-up the C7 when it comes to on-board goodies. You get a squared-off steering wheel, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, a higher resolution infotainment system, voice recognition tech, wireless smartphone charging, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system as standard, among other things.
If you pay extra, you can also get a heated function for the steering wheel, memory seats, a better Performance Data Recorder and plenty of seat customization options. Overall, the new model’s cabin appears more modern and of a higher quality than its predecessor’s.
You haven’t heard the best part yet
The 2020 Corvette C8 will set you back less than $60,000 in entry-level spec, which is astonishing seen as how you can get a 2019 Vette right now for $55,900. Now that’s what we call value for money, not to mention progress.