2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray arrives with mid-engine design, no manual, up to 495 hp

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray arrived Thursday in Southern California to fulfill the vision of Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov after 62 years.

With a mid-engine layout, no available manual transmission, rear-biased weight balance, and different driving position, the C8 Corvette should drive unlike any production Corvette before it while starting from less than $60,000.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The mid-engine layout inverts the 2020 Corvette’s look. While previous Corvettes had a long hood, set-back cabin, and short deck, the new Corvette flips all that with a short hood, a cabin that’s 16.5 inches closer to the front, and a long, flowing rear deck to house the engine and drivetrain. It’s going to be a very different view out of the windshield for Corvette owners.

It’s still a Corvette with a sharp, pointed front end, low headlights, sculpted hood that flows up into the fenders, and even a removable roof panel (that can be stored in the rear trunk). Gaping front and side intakes help cool, and also give it a McLaren or Acura NSX vibe.

Hidden door handles, hood and hatch releases, along with taillamps that feature animated turn signals are firsts for the Corvette, and the quad exhaust tips are split with two pipes per side.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The big news for the new Corvette is its engine and its location. Chevrolet designed the rear of the Corvette around the engine, which sits below a glass rear hatch 1/8th-inch thick. Even the bolts, wires, tubes, and fasteners are meant to be visible through the glass.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

At launch, all 2020 Corvette Stingrays will be powered by a naturally aspirated, direct-injection 6.2-liter V-8 engine dubbed “LT2.” Based on the LT1, the LT2 features a new aluminum block and 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque when equipped with an optional exhaust system. Chevrolet hasn’t disclosed how much power the LT2 V-8 makes when not equipped with the optional exhaust system. Like its predecessor, the LT2 can shut down four of its eight cylinders for better fuel economy. The LT2 also features an engine-mounted, dry-sump oil system with three scavenge pumps to fight starvation on the track.

Chevy claims the Stingray equipped with a Z51 performance package will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic, which can be controlled manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Unlike most dual-clutch automatic transmissions the driver can use the paddle shifters to de-clutch the transmission so owners can rev the engine without putting the gearbox in neutral. The DCT is set up with a low first gear for torque off the line while gears two through six feature closer ratios to keep the engine on boil. Both seventh and eighth gears are tall to eke out every mpg, one of the Corvette’s newest tricks that debuted on the current version.

There are six drive modes that modify the Corvette’s drive systems: Weather, Tour, Sport, Track, MyMode, and Z mode. The first four are familiar to anyone that’s been in a Corvette, but MyMode allows drivers to set particular settings, while Z mode allows drivers to take MyMode and tweak the engine and transmission.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Beneath the painted body panels is a six-piece structure made of high-pressure diecast aluminum parts that all center around the center tunnel. To further save weight, the 2020 Corvette features a carbon fiber curved rear bumper beam while the front and rear trunk tubs and dashboard are molded from ultra-lightweight fiberglass and resin.

The suspension features a double-wishbone setup with coil over dampers front and rear while a Z51 package includes GM’s Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers as an option. A front suspension lift increases ground clearance for the front bumper by 1.57 inches in 2.8 seconds at speeds up to 24 mph. It can also be programmed to automatically lift the front end via the GPS at up to 1,000 locations.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Current C7 Corvettes feature a 50:50 weight balance, but with the engine shifted aft of the cabin the mid-engine C8 Corvette should feature about 60 percent of the weight in the rear, which helps in traction. The steering ratio is quicker than the previous 16.25:1 setup with a 15.7:1 ratio, and Chevy says an electronic brake system is more precise and tunable.

With base Michelin Pilot Sport ALS all-season tires, Chevrolet said the new Corvette can handle close to 1 G of lateral grip, but the optional Z51 package swaps in Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4S summer tires for better performance. Regardless of what tires are on the C8, the fronts are sized at 245/35 R19 while the rears are 305/30 R20 steamrollers. Behind the wheels and tires hide 12.6-inch Brembo brakes up front and 13.6-inch rotors in back on base cars. Opt for the Z51 package and the diameters increase to 13.3 inches up front and 13.8 inches in back.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

All 2020 Corvette Stingrays feature an electronic limited-slip differential to help put the power to the ground. Up to 400 pounds of downforce helps stability thanks to a front splitter and open two-piece rear spoiler.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Inside the new Corvette will feel familiar yet different for current and previous owners. The design is evolutionary, but the tunnel-mounted grab handle now houses all the climate controls. GM’s next-gen infotainment system sits mid-dash looking like a giant 8.0-inch iPad hovering above the NSX-like pushbutton gear selector. A 12-inch digital gauge cluster sits behind the squared-off two-spoke steering wheel, and there are three seat options: GT1, GT2, and Competition Sport, with increasing sportiness. The interior is awash in leather and metal, and stainless steel speaker grilles covering a Bose audio system will be available.

In a Porsche-like bid for customization, the new C8 Corvette will be available in 12 exterior colors, six interior colors, six seat belt colors, two optional stitching packages, with three different seat designs.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The new Corvette might not be as versatile as its predecessors in its utility, however. Chevrolet claims 12.6 cubic feet of combined cargo space between the front and rear trunk. The automaker said the former can hold an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag while the latter can hold up to two sets of golf clubs. The current C7 Corvette has 15 cubic feet of cargo space under its rear hatch.

Chevrolet hasn’t yet detailed standard and optional features, and the C8 Corvette is based on GM’s new digital vehicle platform that can update its software over the air. The 8.0-inch next-gen infotainment system will feature one-touch Bluetooth pairing via NFC and there’s wireless phone charging onboard. Advanced voice recognition, real-time traffic, driver and passenger memory seating, heated steering wheel, tire fill alert, and a 10-speaker or 14-speaker Bose audio systems will be available. General Motors’ ace in the hole, the Performance Data Recorder, is available.

GM President Mark Reuss said the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will start from under $60,000 when it goes on sale later this year. Further details will be released closer to the mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s launch later this year. Stay tuned.

Source link