The C8 wins a lot of comparisons.
Less than $60,000! That's the starting price of the C8 generation 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray. Can you even believe it? We thought for sure the switch to a mid-engine layout would cause the Corvette's base price to increase drastically but the C8 is barely more expensive than a base C7 even though it is much faster and more exotic. Chevy was clever with its tactics though, quoting the 0-60 mph time with the Z51 package without telling us exactly how much it will cost. The Corvette most people will buy should almost certainly cost more than $60,000 but even so, the C8 looks like tremendous value and is perhaps the best performance bargain on the market right now.
In order to see just how well the 2020 Corvette stacks up against competitors, we chose six other cars that encompass several sub-sections of the sports car market, to see how well they fare against GM's latest creation. These include the European Porsche 718 Cayman, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Japanese/German Toyota Supra, fellow Americans the Shelby GT500 and Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and the heavy hitter, the Acura NSX.
As we mentioned, Chevy hasn't officially announced pricing for the 2020 Corvette but we know it will start under $60,000. This already eliminates the pricey NSX and 911, which start at $157,500 and $113,300 respectively. Even the American-built Shelby Mustang GT500 is more expensive at $73,995, though it does have a lot more power than the base C8. This leaves just three cars, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Porsche 718 Boxster, and Toyota Supra in the same price range as the Corvette with starting MSRPs of $59,245, $56,900, and $49,990 respectively. Keep in mind, of course, only the Hellcat possesses more power than the Corvette at a similar price.
Taking price out of the equation, the Corvette stacks up quite differently against our six rivals. The C8 is powered by a 6.2-liter LT2 V8 producing 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque going out through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is not the most powerful mill among the seven cars but Chevy quotes a blisteringly quick 0-60 mph time of under three seconds with the Z51 package. In early tests, the 992 911 has been able to hit 60 mph in three seconds (albeit at a much higher price tag).
Even with over 700 hp on tap, the Shelby and Dodge won't put down power well enough for a sub-three-second 0-60 run and the less powerful Cayman and Supra are both significantly slower. The Corvette's only major threat comes from the Acura NSX, which can hit 60 mph in less than three seconds with its twin-turbo V6 and hybrid system putting out 573 hp. The NSX will almost certainly be quicker around a track as well but future Z06 and ZR1 models could narrow the performance gap.
At first glance, we like the design of the C8 Stingray and think it looks like a Corvette should. That being said, seeing it out on the road in production guise with real lighting may change this opinion slightly. With the switch to a mid-engine layout, many have compared the new Corvette to the NSX and even several Ferrari and Lamborghini cars.
Yes, the overall mid-engine shape is difficult to ignore but Chevy has created its own unique design here. The C8 looks more exotic and eye-catching than the front engine cars like the Challenger, GT500, and Supra, and the more sedate Porsches. We think the NSX looks just as cool from some angles but the Corvette has cleaner front end styling.
Chevy's Achilles' Heel with the Corvette has always been its interior. The materials used never compared to Europe's best and the car suffered as a result. This new model looks to have the most upscale interior ever found on a Corvette but we will have to wait to see a base model to be sure.
We don't love the long row of buttons going along the center console but the rest of the interior looks great. The NSX's interior is a pleasant place to sit but didn't blow us away and Porsche interiors have always felt premium at the expense of looking a bit dull. Ford and Dodge obviously have larger interiors with more space and Toyota's BMW-sourced interior is nice as well. The Corvette may finally have a cabin on par with its rivals.
Chevy's MyLink infotainment system is one of our favorites right now thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and plenty of available built-in apps. MyLink even lets drivers make purchases for gas and food right from their car. Ford's Sync 3 and FCA's Uconnect are also among our favorites while AcuraLink and Porsche Communication Management are fine as well. The Supra uses a reskinned version of BMW's iDrive with more of a learning curve and no Android Auto support. Chevy has also tossed in a fully-digital instrument cluster and a GPS-enabled vehicle lift system along with plenty of other tech features.
Unlike the interior, cargo capacity has always been one of the Corvette's biggest strengths. The C8 isn't quite as cavernous as the old C7 but Chevy says the rear trunk is larger is enough for two golf bags and can stow the removable Targa roof. There is also a front trunk like you'll find on the 718 Cayman. Chevy says the two trunks combined to offer 13 cubic feet of storage space, which is more than the NSX (because the front is taken up by batteries), 911, and Supra, but less than the GT500, 718 Cayman, and Challenger Hellcat.
Shopping for a sports car involves more than just facts and figures. It is an emotional decision based on how the car makes you feel. Even though the Corvette may be a better value than these six other options on paper, it may not be what some buyers are looking for simply because it is still "just" a Corvette. We think the C8 has the best chance of any Corvette ever made to steal customers away from the other American, Japanese, and German sports cars. Certain people (we are looking at you Porsche enthusiasts) will never be swayed no matter how much value the Corvette offers but we are sure there will be a lot of people with a GT500 or Supra pre-order that may want to cancel and get a Corvette.