Chevrolet has taken the covers off of the much-anticipated, mid-engined 2020 Corvette Stingray. Chevrolet, after many years of rumours, finally took the decision to ditch the traditional front-engined rear-wheel-drive layout in favour of a rear-mid-engined setup. During his presentation at the official reveal yesterday, Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, confirmed that “the traditional front-engined vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout.”
The new mid-engined Corvette steps up its pursuit of Porsche and Ferrari. The entry-level version features a massive 6.2-litre V8 LT2 engine with 495 hp and 637 Nm of torque. The crankshaft sits 2.5 cm lower to the ground. The LT2 now uses an engine-mounted dry sump oil system and three scavenge pumps.
For the first time, the Corvette will not be offered with a manual gearbox. Chevrolet has instead opted to use a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), designed in collaboration with TREMEC. It features a double-paddle de-clutch feature which disconnects the clutch by holding both paddles.
Performance is expected to be blistering. Corvette will offer an optional Z51 package which gives an improved passive suspension system with manually adjustable springs, larger brake rotors, improved cooling, specific axle ratio and a performance exhaust. 60 mph should take just 3 seconds.
The chassis remains aluminium in preference to the carbon fibre monocoques that have become commonplace for mid-engined supercars these days. The chassis gains 137 mm in length over the C7, carrying an additional 56 mm in width. Corvette has confirmed that it will be offered in both right and left-hand drive variations.
In terms of design, the Corvette gets low profile headlamps and hidden door handles to ensure that the lines are not disturbed. Larger side air intakes were essential. Chevrolet has opted for a small rear spoiler to complement the front spoiler. This adds 180 kg of downforce.
Inside, the main functions are extremely driver-oriented. The whole cockpit sits 42 cm further forward and features a vertical line of buttons that run along the centre console towards a central monitor. The steering wheel has been squared off to enable an unobstructed view of the 12-inch digital cluster.
Leather finishes are standard with Corvette opting to use real metal wherever possible. Stainless steel speaker grills cover a Bose audio system, carbon fibre trim options are also available. Three seat options are available with GT1 offering the most comfort, GT2 an intermediate option and Competition Sport focussed on performance. 12 exterior colours will also be made available together with six interior themes, six seat belt colours and two stitching patterns.
In terms of availability, no details have been confirmed, however, we do know that production will begin in late 2019. The Corvette will also be offered both stateside and in Europe for the first time, no doubt spurred on by the success of the latest generation Ford Mustang! Those in the know have suggested the mid-engined Corvette will get a hefty price increase but will remain sub-$60,000.