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2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Mid Engine Reveal

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 image

By Dave Ashton

The all-new mid-engined 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 has finally been revealed. Lots of hype, lots of controversy, but now a chance for everyone to form their own opinions on if the latest ‘Vette is a worthy successor. Why the initial polarized views? Mainly due to the ‘Vette being front engined for the last 66 years. Now, the engine is placed behind the passenger compartment.

Stylistic changes have also come in, like the long hood and sweeping fenders being replaced by a ‘cab forward’ design with a shorter and flatter front nose. A tapered hatch now opens up a small trunk where the engine now sits, which also has influenced the overall design of the car. In essence, sports car now turns supercar.

As you can see in the video below, the big reveal happened yesterday showing the first glimpses of the preproduction model.

Corvette Mid-engine C8 Corvette Reveal Video

Questions……

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 threw up many questions before release – why change a format that has clearly worked for years? Why change a winning formula when the C7 was so good?

The chief engineering bods over at Chevrolet said they had reached the performance limits of a front engined car. With a mid-engined platform the weight distribution and balance is now more like a race car. Also, in a bid to constantly outperform sports sedans and the ever-growing power of modern muscle cars. The other take is to match up and beat European sports and supercars at their own game. A super car ‘Vette…, that is a new paradigms.

Recent sales have been a factor, with only a smidge under 10,000 being sold in June, but the ‘Vette is a halo car and has always sold in smaller numbers. With a possible starting price of under $60,000, a touch more than the current base price of $55,900, the new price shouldn’t take much convincing for existing Corvette fans. For the extra cash outlay there’s also more zest for your money with an optional ZR1 performance package that will do 0-60mph in under three seconds. A 6.2-liter/376cu. V8 with 490hp(365 kW) should also be the base offering.


Other changes in the C8 will be the addition of two trunks. Apparently large enough to throw in an ‘airline-spec carry-on bag and a laptop computer case’ in the front and a few sets of golf clubs in the back. Engineering wise, the engine can go from eight to four cylinders for fuel saving and be in the ballpark of 30mpg on the freeway. A custom-designed fast-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, will also be installed along with versions being in right-hand-drive for international markets. The last point being a major move, as it’s clearly to take on the European markets just as nicely as the Mustang GT has done over the past few years.

As for high-performance versions or electrics, they should be on their way, but no exact specifications as yet.

If you check out the promo video below, you’ll see that a mid-engined Corvette is not a new idea. Zora Arkus-Duntov, the big daddy originator of the Corvette always had the idea of a mid engined version, but it never got past the concept stage. It’s only now that the idea has come to fruition. The C8 will be larger than its predecessor and also be the first Corvette since the C1 to only offer an automatic transmission when released.

2020 Corvette C8 Promo Video

Which brings us to the question of who will be the direct competitors for the new mid-engined Corvette C8? Aiming at a younger buyer market and now with more high end performance vehicles in its sights, the C8 will likely go up against the likes of the Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type R, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911 Carrera S for starters. The base model C8 will have the largest size engine as a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 with 490HP. The Audi R8 has 562HP and the Jag. 550HP, but their base models cost $171,150 and $102,825, compared to the C8 at $60,000. A significant price saving.

The C8 should will be able to accelerate the fastest compared to the Audi at 3.4 seconds and the Jag. at 3.9 seconds. The C8 will also have options like the Z51 Performance Package, which should up the anti for cranking out the most performance for your money. Higher end C8 models could also be eyeing up suspects like the Ferrari F8 Tributo or McLaren 720S.

This is clearly a very bold move by Chevrolet. It’s still a Corvette, looks like a Corvette, but now with more European sensibilities. It’s still all American sports car at heart, especially with old school pushrods and a V8 to provide the power. An eye on the past, while pushing the platform forward for the next decade.

 

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