It’s finally here! The mid-engine Corvette debuted during a special presentation last night and it’s even better than we could have imagined.
We start beneath the skin where the next-generation Corvette has finally been bestowed with a mid-engine configuration for better handling and weight distribution. At its heart is a next-gen LT2 6.2-L V8 that produces 495 horsepower when fitted with the Z51 Performance Package (more on that later) and 470 lb-ft of torque. Without the Z51 package or optional performance exhaust, it makes 490 horsepower.
Power is routed to the rear wheels through a brand new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with 19-inch wheels front and 20-inch wheels in the back wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport ALS tires. These are the first all-season tires Michelin has made that will pull nearly a full G on the skidpad, giving the C8 unparalleled grip.
Launch control, electronic limited-slip rear diff, and a rear spoiler with 400 lbs downforce are all standard offerings. Optional upgrades include Magnetic ride suspension and performance traction control management.
The Z51 Performance Package gives the Corvette significant upgrades, including manually adjustable performance suspension, larger brake discs, better cooling with front brake cooling inlets, a performance exhaust, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. With the Z51, 0-60 mph takes less than 3 seconds.
On the inside, the Corvette's cockpit is completely transformed from earlier models. Everything is tilted towards the driver, including an 8-inch infotainment and navigation screen as well as an ultra-thin set of buttons for the climate control. The squared-off steering wheel provides a better view of the 12-inch instrument display screen, while near-field communication makes connecting your smartphone a breeze.
Chevy says this Corvette will be a mid-engine supercar that you can live with so it's got plenty of storage. The front trunk can fit an airline-spec carry-on and laptop bag, while the rear trunk combines for a total of 12.6 cubic feet of cargo storage. There are also smaller cargo bins in the cockpit for storing pocket items so you'll never have to worry about being jabbed by your wallet on long drives.
Pricing and availability weren’t announced, but GM president Mark Reuss said that the C8 will start at under $60,000. That price once again undercuts similar mid-engine supercars from European manufacturers, but we'll have to see if the new Corvette sacrifices performance for a low sticker price.