Detroit’s Chevrolet made history Thursday evening in Tustin, Calif. when it unveiled its first-ever production mid-engine Corvette, which will go on sale next year as the 2020 Corvette Stingray starting with a sticker price of $60,000.
The new Corvette also is the most powerful version of the iconic Chevrolet nameplate when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package. Drivers of those models can expect 0-60 mph times of less than three seconds.
“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM,” says Reuss. “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout. In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”
The car’s new mid-engine layout and design inspired by racing and aerodynamics gives the 2020 Stingray better weight distribution, with the rear weight bias enhancing performance in a straight line and on the track. It also provides better responsiveness and sense of control due to driver positioning closer to the front axle. It also gives the driver a race car-like view of the road due to lower positioning of the hood, instrument panel, and steering wheel.
Chevrolet says the new Corvette was redesigned from the ground up.
“(That) presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” says Michael Simcoe, vice president of global design for General Motors. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.”
Among the new design touchpoints are low-profile headlamps; completely hidden door, hood, and hatch releases; large side air intakes for engine cooling and aerodynamic performance; a large rear hatch that showcases the engine with seven air vents; quad exhaust tips located on the vehicle’s outboard ends; and dual-element LED taillamps with animated turn signals.
The cockpit features a new, squared-off, two-spoke, small-diameter steering wheel that enables an unobscured view of the 12-inch reconfigurable cluster display. The interior also includes hand-wrapped, cut-and-sew leather components with thick press stitching; generous use of real metal; stainless-steel speaker grilles with Bose Performance Series audio system; carbon fiber trim on the GT2 and Competition Sport Seats; and the buyer’s choice of either real aluminum or real carbon fiber for console and door trim plates.
The 2020 Corvette Stingray will be available in 12 exterior colors, with six interior color themes, six seat belt colors, two optional interior stitch packages, and three seat options.
While not exactly under the hood in the mid-engine layout, the 2020 Stingray’s engine is Chevy’s next-generation 6.2-liter small-block V-8 LT2 engine, the only naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment. It will produce 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque when equipped with performance exhaust in the Z51 Performance Package. Otherwise it will make 490 horses.
“Though now placed behind the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral experience we all expect from Corvette,” says Jordan Lee, global chief engineer of small-block engines for GM. “The LT2 has been designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end power to give thrilling pedal response at any rpm.”
Additional features included in the Z51 Performance Package are:
- Performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats.
- Larger brake rotors with Z51 logo on calipers.
- Enhanced cooling.
- Specific axle ratio.
- Front brake cooling inlets.
- Performance exhaust.
Although the new Corvette isn’t available with a manual transmission, the new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic has paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Option and package pricing will be announced closer to the car’s dealership debut next year.