But is the C8 befitting of the title?
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is supposed to be a revolutionary car, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to divorce itself from Corvette history entirely. Yes, it’ll be the first ‘Vette in the model’s 66-year history to sport an engine that’s mounted in the center of the chassis rather than in front of its occupants, and all signs point to Chevy ditching the model's traditional pushrod cam setup in favor of overhead camshafts and even turbochargers, but if the eighth-generation car strays too far from its roots, it threatens to cut itself off from the DNA that makes it a Corvette.
That’s why General Motors is giving its superstar Bowtie-badged machine styling cues once borne by its predecessors, and, as we’ve learned from a recent "leak" from Chevy, a name that calls back to some of the company's most iconic Corvettes.
That name would be Stingray, the title that debuted with the 2nd-generation Corvette in 1963 and was later given to the base version of the C7-generation Corvette. This announcement is the latest in GM’s series of C8 Corvette teasers, which have given us previews of the new car and even revealed the design of its steering wheel. Like previous teasers, this one came in the form of a photo series depicting the 2020 Stingray's logos and was accompanied by confirmation that the C8 Corvette will be unveiled this week with the iconic name.
"The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut as a Stingray July 18, 2019,” read GM’s press release. "Did you know the second generation Corvette debuted as a Sting Ray in 1963? This nameplate ran until 1976, and was then revived in 2014 to introduce the seventh generation Corvette. Chevrolet is proud to announce the Stingray name will live on.”
For Corvette fans not wanting to see drastic changes made to their favorite car, this is good news since it could mean that Chevy has decided to keep other iconic Corvette names alive. Names like "Z06” and "ZR1” could once again be revived on more hardcore versions of the C8 Corvette when it comes time to unveil them.
What’s interesting to us, however, is that the Stingray name’s revival in 2014 seemed to be done in order to tie the modern ‘Vette back to its 2nd-generation predecessor, which it sort of resembles. The C8, due to its engine orientation, may end up looking nothing like the C7 or C2, which makes the name seem a little out of place.