2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette: Euro Looks & Speed, Bargain Price

Parts shortages mean the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is going to have a somewhat limited production run. However, that hasn’t stopped the C8 Corvette from earning admirers on both sides of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Part of that might be due to the C8 being the first ‘Vette available with right-hand drive. But it’s also because it can genuinely hang with its European rivals.

How much does the 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray’s performance cost?

A blue 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in the desert
2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Although the Z06 and other high-performance trims are still in development, the 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette isn’t necessarily lacking in the speed department.

Both the Stingray and Stingray Convertible feature a mid-mounted 6.2-liter V8 rated at 490 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. And if you get the optional Z51 Performance Package, the 2021 Corvette makes 5 more hp. With that and launch control, the Chevrolet C8 Corvette goes 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, Car and Driver reports.

The Z51 Performance Package offers more than just that exhaust, though. It includes an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, upgraded suspension, Brembo brakes, a stronger cooling system, and a different axle ratio. And for a little extra, you can give the 2021 Corvette adaptive magnetorheological dampers.

Speaking of extra, the 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette is slightly more expensive than the 2020 model; it now starts at $60,995. But it still has the same three trims: 1LT; $68,295 2LT; and $72,495 3LT. The $5995 Z51 Package is available on all three trims, as are the $1895 magnetorheological dampers.

Between the three 2021 Corvette trims, MotorTrend and Car and Driver recommend the middle-child 2LT. On top of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, WiFi, a digital gauge cluster, and an 8” touchscreen, it has a wireless charging pad and 14-speaker Bose audio system. Plus, the 2LT comes with navigation, a front camera, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. And while the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT has well-bolstered seats, the 2LT’s optional GT2 seats are sportier.

The Chevrolet C8 Corvette “feels every inch like a…rival” to Europe’s sports cars and supercars, Evo says

The red-stitched black-leather interior of a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray interior | Chevrolet

It’s worth noting that international 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvettes are more expensive than the US equivalents. That’s because shipping costs, taxes, and regulation-related modifications quickly drive prices up, Autocar explains. As such, overseas, the C8 Corvette loses some of its value advantage over its European rivals.

Dynamically, though, the mid-engine Corvette is as “deeply impressive” as those cars, Evo says. While the lighter Porsche 911 Carrera S is faster, MT found the C8 Corvette grips the road better. And while the 911’s steering has slightly more feedback, the Corvette’s steering is no less accurate. However, it’s arguably more stable. Plus, in some ways, the C8 is “initially more engaging than the Porsche 911,” Autocar muses.

Also, when you’re not at the racetrack, the 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette “emerges as one of the best GT cars you can buy,” Top Gear claims. For one, its interior is significantly better than the outgoing Corvette’s interior. And those magnetic dampers “are the stuff of magic” when it comes to ride quality, MT says. The 911 has the edge in interior quality, Autocar reports, but only slightly.

Little wonder, then, that Top Gear calls the Chevrolet C8 Corvette “a revolution, not evolution.”

Where does it still need work?

To be sure, the 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette isn’t perfect.

Besides the production issues, reviewers note the mid-engine sports car has a slight tendency to understeer. MT muses that could be a safety-related choice, and points out that the upcoming Z06 will likely resolve that. And the Corvette’s brake-by-wire system doesn’t provide as much feedback as, say, the 911’s system, MT notes.

Still, the C8 Corvette is by no means an also-ran compared to its European rivals. It’s right there with them without costing quite as much.

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