Unless you’ve had your head in the sand all weekend or you’ve been residing under a rock, you’ll know that the next most hyped-up car of the year after the Toyota Supra has finally been revealed.
I am, of course, talking about the Chevrolet Corvette C8 – a car that is to muscle car fans now what Radiohead’s Kid A was to rock music fans in the year 2000. That is to say, as radical a departure from everyone’s expectations as you could imagine.
With new facts and figures emerging over the course of the whole weekend, we decided to hold off on posting anything until now so that we could give you a comprehensive round-up of everything we know about the C8 Corvette so far.
It will have a mid-mounted V8 engine
The most notable and drastic departure seen on this all-new Corvette is it’s ditching of the traditional front-engined layout to a more, dare we say, exotic mid-rear engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.
Why? Primarily, it’s to help it have an optimal weight balance with the bulk of its heft over the drive wheels to aid with traction, as well as to sharpen its handling. This change isn’t something Chevrolet has done on a whim, either, with it supposedly being part of the plan for the Corvette line for years.
Despite the different engine location, the entry-level model, which will continue to help the Stingray name live on, will come with a classically Corvette-like ‘LT2’ 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 that will churn out 370kW and 637Nm.
Also a big change is that the C8 will adopt an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission for the first time, rather than a conventional torque converter automatic. And thanks to the quick-shifting and cleverly-geared unit, it will supposedly hit triple digits in around – if not under – three seconds.
And for those not satisfied with that amount of power for whatever reason, do note that this is just the base model. We’d hazard a guess that some nutty supercharged variants will be in the works already.
It will still come with targa top and full convertible variants
As is somewhat customary with the hard-top Corvette at this point, this new mid-engined model will still come with a removable roof panel, which is intended to be stored behind the engine.
Also previewed at the end of the official reveal is a full convertible variant as well, so for those who really want that wind-in-your-hair feeling, the Corvette will still have you covered.
And given these roof options are distinct stylistic elements, it’s worth noting that while the effects of it putting the engine in the middle can clearly be seen on the outside, it still very much looks like a Corvette. From the front end in particular, its angular nose is clearly in keeping with previous Corvette offerings, and the Camaro-like rear-end looks a little more ‘Vette-ish when seen with the rest of the car, rather than in isolation like in some shots that were leaked late last week before the official reveal.
The leaf springs are gone
In altering the Corvette’s drivetrain layout, a total redesign of its suspension setup was naturally required, which means that one traditional Corvette element that has been ditched is the transversely-mounted leaf spring rear suspension.
Instead, all C8s will come with adjustable coil-over suspension as standard, while adding the Z51 performance pack will also add struts with adjustable spring perches.
All of that will require some spanner-turning to get it set up, however, but for those who would rather things be done at the push of a button, Magnetic Ride Control will also be available and will include a GPS-activated nose-lift feature to help you get up an awkward driveway or over speed bumps.
It’s a certainty for the Australian market
That’s right – for the first time ever, the Corvette will officially be sold here by GM Holden in right-hand drive form. And don’t just think that it’s a conversion job done locally as is seen on Australian Camaros and Silverados. No, this is a proper factory-produced version with the steering wheel already put on the correct side.
Like the Camaro and Silverado, it’ll continue to wear its bow-tie badging when it lands here, too, rather than plastering a lion on the front of it instead.
Given Holden Special Vehicles’ new focus on converting the other Chevy offerings available down here, we would suggest you’ll be seeing these sold through HSV-specific dealerships, rather than being placed alongside Astras in your regular Holden showroom. As for when, the current timeline is indicating it will be landing here in late 2020 or early 2021.
It won’t be as expensive as you might think
Having always been pitched as somewhat of a budget alternative to your typical mid-engined Italians, and especially now that it adopts a similar engine configuration, we’re glad to have heard that the Corvette will continue to be priced at a suitable price point.
Well, at least it will be in the US of A, where the entry-level Stingray will come in at under US$60,000 – that’s $85,000 Australian, which is remarkable value for a mid-engine V8 machine.
However, the mumblings from Aussie dealers are pointing more towards a starting price tag for our market of anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000. Yes, that is a lot of money, but it is a lot of car. We’ll hold off judgement on the price until we know a final figure for sure, however.
And with all of that, you’re now up to speed on just how the new Corvette is shaping up. By the looks of it, we reckon it should turn out pretty great when it finally hits the market.