It's no longer good "for the price." It's just, excellent.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is such a radical departure from previous generations - the engine now sits in the middle, the manual transmission is gone, and there are even rumors of an electric or hybrid model in the future - thatwe couldn't wait to get behind the wheel. CarBuzz spent the week driving a Rapid Blue Coupe in the 2LT trim with the coveted Z51 Performance Package. The C8 didn't just live up to our expectations, it obliterated them.
Let's get this out of the way, the Corvette attracts attention like a supercar. People will mistake this for a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Everywhere you go, people want to ask you about it or give you a thumbs up. Chevy's color palette includes a slew of exciting options, including Rapid Blue, Accelerate Yellow, Sebring Orange Tintcoat, Torch Red, Zeus Bronze Metallic, and more, so there's no excuse for choosing a boring hue.
If we had to nitpick, we don't like the available wheel options (which is easily fixable on the aftermarket) and the rear end could have been prettier if it didn't need to accommodate such a large trunk. Blame golfers for that one. These are only minor complaints though, and we love how the C8 looks.
The C7 Corvette made major strides by providing a more premium interior, which was previously a major challenge for Chevy. With the C8, Chevy has learned from past mistakes and crafted a cabin fit for a Cadillac. Our 2LT trim tester came filled with premium leathers, suede materials, and metal, combining to create a world-class interior that's easily on par with what's coming out of Germany right now.
We loved the driver-focused cockpit, though some might object to how the Corvette separates the driver from the passenger with a massive ribbon of buttons. In practice, we found the ribbon easy to navigate thanks to raised switches for the fan speed and temperature, the most frequently-used controls.
The Corvette isn't just a nice place to sit, it's a wonderful place to spend a long period of time. You might expect the Corvette to ride like a sports car, but with the optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension system, it floats like a Cadillac. Thanks to the mid-engine layout, Chevy didn't need to give the Stingray overly stiff suspension, so rough roads don't upset it at all. The optional GT2 front bucket seats might get a little tiresome on a long road trip, but the base seats are available should you want more comfort.
Thanks to a massive glass hatch, the C6 and C7 generation Corvettes were among the most practical sports cars available. While the C8 boasts less storage space than those models, it's way more practical than you might expect. Like most mid-engined vehicles, the Corvette boasts a small "frunk" with four cubic feet of space. It's perfect for a medium-sized suitcase. In the back, the trunk stores up to 8.6 cubic feet, and its wide configuration will allow for a set or two of golf clubs.
Even the fuel economy isn't terrible, with ratings of 15/27/19 mpg city/highway/combined. The V8 can shut down to just four-cylinders and if you drive economically, you can eek our around 30 mpg.
We aren't quite ready to call the Corvette a supercar, but it pulls off some impressive performance figures. The 6.2-liter LT2 V8 spits out 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque or 495 hp with the Z51 package. A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission helps put the grunt to the tarmac, launching the car to 60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds. In our testing, we only achieved 3.4 seconds, but that's still highly impressive given the relatively "low" power figure. Chevy says the Corvette can complete the quarter-mile in a blistering 11.2 seconds, and even in its Tour setting, we found the handling superb.
More impressive was the smoothness of the eight-speed DCT. This is Chevy's first dual-clutch in a Corvette, and it operates surprisingly quickly and smoothly in traffic. There is some slight jerkiness in traffic, but it felt far from annoying. It even includes a mode to drop into neutral by pulling both paddles to clutch kick the car or rev it pulling into car shows. The "no manual, no care" crowd may need more convincing, but we think this DCT is effective enough to draw in some converts.
When considering the Corvette's awesome performance, it's important to remember that this Stingray is only the base model. Future Z06 and ZR1 models will push the Corvette into supercar territory, striking some serious fear in the hearts of those Italian automakers. The base Stingray already takes corners with undeniable poise, so we can't wait to see what Chevy has in store for the faster versions.
If we had one complaint, the LT2 V8 engine isn't loud enough from inside the cabin. It even relies on pumped in engine noise from the speakers. We expect the Z06 to fix this issue with a high-revving flat-plane crank V8. The ZR1 could take performance even further, with some rumors predicting over 800 hp from a twin-turbo V8 and the addition of all-wheel-drive.
The 2020 Chevy Corvette is easily the best sports car package available right now, full stop. And that's before we even mention the pricing. Factoring in the car's $58,900 base MSRP, there is no better value in the automotive industry. Our 2LT tester with the Z51 Package and a few other goodies stickered at $80,315, which is still an impressive deal when you consider that a base Audi R8 is $169,900 and a McLaren 570S costs $192,500. If we had just purchased a European supercar and the new Corvette pulled up at a set of lights, we'd feel a bit silly.