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The C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is arguably the most dramatic evolutionary step in the nameplate’s history. Gone was the traditional front-engine formula of the first seven Corvette generations. Instead, the model adopted a factory midengine layout for the first time since the nameplate’s inception in 1953. However, there are a handful of things you may not have known about the Stingray and its development.

Why are Corvettes so special?

An orange eighth-generation Chevy Corvette drives on a desert track.
Eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | General Motors

The Chevrolet Corvette is America’s original sports car and one of the longest-running nameplates in the country’s automotive landscape. As a result, the Corvette holds a special place in car enthusiasts’ hearts. 

However, the latest base model, the C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, is a unique development for the sports car icon. It shrugged off the classic front-engine formula for a world-class mid-engine layout. Still, not every fan knows some of the eighth-generation model’s claims to fame.

  • The C8 Corvette Stingray isn’t the first midengine Corvette
  • It’s the first base Corvette to hit 60 mph in under 3.0 seconds
  • The Stingray is one of the only cars still on the market with a removable hardtop
  • A Stingray’s front-axle lift system can remember the bumps on your route

1. When was the first mid-engine Corvette concept?

Belgian engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, one of the fathers of the Corvette at GM, designed a midengine prototype in 1959. The vehicle, known as the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, or “CERV I” was an open-wheeled concept for a midengine Chevy performance car. 

Since then, Arkus-Duntov and the GM powers-that-be designed many prototype and concept midengine ‘Vettes. Some prototypes were dramatic departures from the front-engine Corvettes of the day, like the 1973 Wankel-powered “Four-Rotor” Corvette and the 1986 Corvette Indy. However, despite the still-born attempts at evolving the ‘Vette in the earlier eras, the C8 became the first production mid-engine model in 2020.  

2. How fast is the 2023 Corvette Stingray 0 to 60?

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the fourth model year in the C8 lineup, will hit 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds with the Z51 Performance Package. As a result, the C8 Stingray is the first base-model Corvette to hit 60 mph in under 3.0 seconds. 

3. Is the C8 a hardtop convertible?

An orange C8 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible shows off its retractable hardtop.
A Convertible Corvette | General Motors

The C8 Chevrolet Corvette, like the C7 Stingray before it, is available as a removable hardtop and a convertible. However, the C8 is the first retractable hardtop convertible in the nameplate’s history, ditching the C7’s soft top for a more rigid roof. 

Moreover, the C8 Coupe’s removable roof panel survived the transition from the seventh-gen to the eighth-gen model. As a result, the C8 Stingray is one of the last performance cars on the market with a manually-removable roof. 

4. Does the C8 Corvette have adjustable ride height?

The Chevrolet Corvette’s front-axle lift system isn’t a secret; the mechanism will raise the Corvette’s nose to pass over an obstacle like a ramp or speed bump. After driving over the impediment, the C8 can lower itself back to stock ride height. It’s a handy feature for drivers in urban environments with obstacles and poor road surfaces.

However, some fans might not know that the axle lift system is GPS-compatible. That’s right; it can remember up to 1,000 locations on your frequented routes, so you don’t have to prompt the nose to lift. It’s a blessing for owners who want to avoid the judgemental scraping noises of a Corvette grinding over a bump.

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