Corvette C8: 2020

C8 Corvette History

The Chevrolet Corvette (C8) is the eighth generation of the Corvette sports car manufactured by American automobile manufacturer Chevrolet. Following several experimental CERV prototype vehicles, it is the first mid-engine Corvette since the model's introduction in 1953 (as well as GM’s first production mid-engined sports car since the Pontiac Fiero was discontinued in 1988), differing from the traditional front-engine design. The C8 was announced in April of 2019, and made its official debut on July 18, 2019 at a media event to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

Design

The C8 retains some design elements found on the C7, but the majority of the exterior has been completely overhauled. The engine's re-positioning has necessitated a stronger focus on aerodynamics and cooling. Large side scoops house air intakes and accentuate the side panels, and the rear features smaller vents below the taillights. A conventional trunk is located at the rear, with additional storage spaces over the engine and at the front of the car. Combined, these provide 13 cubic feet (370 L) of cargo space, 2 cubic feet (57 L) less than that of the C7. As a result of the switch to a mid-engine layout, the passenger cell has been shifted forward by 16.5 inches (420 mm). The C8 will also be offered in RHD variants, another first for the Corvette. The cockpit has been designed to be driver-centric, with numerous controls mounted on the center console (known as the Electronic Transmission Range Selector, or ETRS) as well as a new hexagonal steering wheel. A special Z button (an homage to the Z06, ZR1 and Z51) is also mounted on the steering wheel; this can quickly activate customized performance settings. Models equipped with the available magnetorheological dampers will also offer adjustable suspension settings.

Trim Levels and Options

Three trim levels will be available, 1LT, 2LT and 3LT, augmented by three suspension setups, FE1, FE3 and FE4 which correspond with the two Z51 Performance packages. Three seat options will also be available: GT1, GT2 and Competition Sport. The interior is upholstered in leather, microsuede or performance textile with carbon fiber or aluminum trims. Additionally, the Performance Data Recorder has been upgraded with a higher resolution camera as well as a new interface. GM’s virtual camera mirror will be optional, which projects video from the backup camera onto the rear view mirror.

Engine

The C8 Corvette Stingray uses a new version of the LS based GM small-block engine derived from the C7 Stingray's LT1, now called the LT2. The new naturally aspirated V8 is rated at 490 hp (365 kW; 497 PS) at 6,450 rpm and 465 lb⋅ft (630 N⋅m) at 5,150 rpm, an improvement of 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS) and 10 lb⋅ft (14 N⋅m) over the outgoing C7 Corvette Stringray. The engine uses dry sump lubrication.

The optional Z51 performance package adds a sport exhaust system to the Stingray, bringing the total power output to 495 hp (369 kW; 502 PS) and torque to 470 lb⋅ft (640 N⋅m). Chevrolet claims that the C8 can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 3 seconds when equipped with the package.

Transmission

The Stingray is only offered with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission made by Tremec with no manual transmission option available, the first Corvette not offered with a manual since the 1953-1955 C1 model. The car does however allow for semi-automatic shifting action with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The manual was dropped for several reasons: lack of demand for manual C7’s, improvements for the automatic transmission, and structural concerns.

Suspension

The base model of the Stingray comes with unequal length double wishbone suspension at the front and rear axles made from forged aluminum. Monotube shock absorbers are standard at all four wheels. The car can be equipped with a front-axle lifting system that can add 2 in (40 mm) of ground clearance at speeds under 25 mph (40 km/h).

The Z51 package adds a performance-tuned adjustable suspension setup with threaded spring seats for further setup customization, as well as an electronic limited-slip differential. Additionally, the top-of-the-line FE4 trim level includes the fourth generation of GM's magnetic ride adaptive suspension system.

Wheels

The Stingray is equipped with alloy wheels with diameters of 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear. The standard tires are Michelin Pilot Sport ALS, with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S available as a part of the Z51 performance package. The exact tire dimensions are 245/45ZR-19 at the front and 305/30ZR-20 at the rear.

The standard brakes are four-piston Brembo ventilated discs with diameters of 12.6 in (320 mm) at the front and 13.6 in (345 mm) at the rear. The Z51 package provides upgraded and enlarged brakes, at t\13.3 in (338 mm) in the front and 13.8 in (351 mm) in the rear.