It’s here. It’s finally here. The mid-engine Corvette is finally here. After decades of rumors, the eighth-generation Corvette has finally dropped its front-mid-engine layout in favor of a true rear-mid-engine design. And we have to say, we like the results.
Since Chevrolet already showed off a camouflaged prototype, the overall design isn’t much of a surprise. The angular styling will probably result in a lot of comparisons to the Acura NSX, but the proportions are pretty standard for a modern mid-engine supercar.
And despite having a pretty good idea of what the mid-engine Corvette would look like, we have to say we’re still impressed. Chevrolet’s designers managed to take the front-engine C7 Corvette’s design language and translate it into a mid-engine layout far better than we expected. The first time you see one of these on the road, you’ll know it’s a Corvette even though the engine now sits behind the driver.
Turning a front-engine (well, front-mid-engine if you want to be pedantic) car into a mid-engine supercar is impressive enough, but it’s even more of an accomplishment when you look at what Chevrolet’s design team did to the 2019 Camaro. The fact that someone signed off on a design that bad had us seriously concerned about the final look of the C8. Perhaps the best designers were all put on Corvette duty.
We can understand why some people wouldn’t like the design, but the official MotorBiscuit position is that the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette looks good. Heck, Chevrolet even kept the Corvette’s targa top.
Inside, the C8 is just as big of a departure from the C7 as the exterior is. We’ll wait to pass judgment until we see it in person, but the driver-focused cabin has some seriously controversial design elements. The two-spoke steering wheel, for example, may feel still feel good in your hands, but it looks a little awkward in photos.
And even though there’s a large touchscreen infotainment system angled towards the driver for ease of use, there are still lots of buttons lined up in a row. How you’re supposed to remember which button does what, we’re not sure, but as we said, we won’t pass official judgment until we get to use them in person. If the buttons end up being easy to use instead of distracting, it could end up being a seriously cool design element.
As far as material quality goes, it looks like most surfaces are covered in leather, which would be a welcomed step forward from what you get in the current Corvette. C7s don’t necessarily feel chintzy like past models, but at this point, they do feel dated.
As important as the interior and exterior design are, the powertrain is probably the thing we were most excited to learn about. And while Chevrolet only announced the regular Corvette Stingray tonight (sorry, no twin-turbo V8 or hybrid news for now), the specs look pretty impressive. At launch, the Corvette will get a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 that makes 455 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Spring for the Z51 package, though, and those figures jump to 490 hp and 465 lb-ft.
As early rumors suggested, all that power gets sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Keyboard warriors and grumpy baby boomers may hate the fact that no manual transmission will be offered at launch, but the official acceleration estimates might be enough to shut them up. According to Chevrolet, the base Corvette Stingray will hit 60 mph in less than three seconds. Surely that’s worth having to use a weird push-button transmission, right?
Sadly, Chevrolet chose not to announce the new Corvette Stingray’s exact starting price. But that doesn’t mean the official reveal was devoid of pricing info. According to Chevrolet, the base Corvette will cost less than $60,000. Considering the current Corvette starts around $56,000, that means you’ll be able to get an American-build mid-engine supercar for only a few thousand dollars more.
How Chevrolet made that work, we’re not sure, but we’re perfectly happy to hear it. Now we just have to convince Chevrolet to let us drive one.