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2020 Chevrolet Corevette Stingray C8 Review



2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: front side profile


You know, there has been much buzz around this all-new Corvette. It is supposed to be mid-engine. It is faster. It is supposed to have a beautiful interior in it too. It is supposed to handle well. It is supposed to be a lot. I will believe it when I see it.

 

If we can ignore the fact that this new Corvette is completely new and is also a mid-engine Corvette--

try hard to ignore the fact that this is a mid-engine

Corvette--the interior on this car is the biggest talking point. It's amazing. It's well crafted. It's nice. It looks like no other Corvette interior ever, and that's a good thing. So the first thing you see on the inside

when you sit down is the steering wheel, which is a two-spoke steering wheel, something you wouldn't expect in a sports car. But it's also a little square. And when you're on the road, it doesn't matter that much. You're not putting a lot of lock into the wheel.

And once you start to make U-turns or tighter turns, it does get a little weird because you wind up grabbing a corner. It's not the end of the world. It's just unique. So the second thing you're likely to see in this car--maybe it's the first thing--is this climate control arrangement. And they've put all of the buttons, all of the switches in a row, which is unique. When I first saw it in pictures, I wasn't thrilled about it. But to be honest, now that I've spent some time in the car. it does work. And the climate control system is pretty good. So you just set it, and then you don't even look at it. And it frees up this whole center console area and keeps it relatively clutter free.

But like the square steering wheel, it's unique. Another big change with this brand new Corvette is the digital instrument panel.

And it changes with the drive mode that you select. And some manufacturers can get that a little tacky with explosions and weird swipes and changes on the screen.

The Corvette is straightforward. And when you change the instrument panel display, the heads up display also

changes at the same time. I think it's kind of cool. It's one of the better executions on the market. So the passenger seat in the new Corvette is what I like to call the sit down and shut up seat because as you can see, you don't have anything to control.

You have seat ventilation, seat heating, and climate control buttons.

Everything else--that's for the driver,

kind of as it should be. Another nice touch on this interior, and one that was totally unexpected, are these nifty little air vents. I'll admit-- at first glance, they looked a little useless. But they have good airflow, good adjustability, and they're well-made with a nice, oily action.

I think they're pretty cool.

 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: rear profile

Yeah, yeah, so who cares about the rest of it, right?

What's it like to drive?

Well, it's got a 6.2-liter V8, 495 horsepower with the Z51 exhaust, 470 foot pounds of torque. I mean, it's a small

block Chevy, man. It's great. Ah, listen to that. There's only one transmission offered in this,

and it's an eight-speed automatic. Now, before you get all sad and wish that they made a manual, I can tell you that the time I've spent in this car, I have never wanted

for a manual. This transmission is very smooth and quick acting, and the shifts are seamless.

Listen to that. And as an added bonus, these shift paddles are heavy. They're metallic. They feel really good. It's just-- it's extra confidence, and it just makes the whole car feel better and more upscale than it's ever felt before. The way this thing shifts-- downshifts really

quickly, upshifts quickly. Everything is

seamless and smooth, and the car is never upset by the transmission. For all the power that this car makes, that's something to really celebrate.

I wouldn't even buy a manual transmission in this car if they offered it. Yeah, you can take away my performance driving card if you want. I don't care.

That's a Lotus Elise. How fast is it?

Well, we were able to take it to our test track and put the car through its paces, so let's go see how that went.

 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: wheels

First off, yes, these numbers aren't as quick as we were expecting. But since we didn't have access to 93 octane,

we only get 91 octane in California, and we used a fairly standard asphalt surface, we were limited onoutright traction. The Vet spun its wheels through most of first gear, even with launch control, so these are real world numbers. But hey, 3.2 seconds to 60, 11.5 seconds, and 118.7 miles an hour through the quarter mile is nothing to sneeze at.

105 feet from 60 miles an hour is pretty solid. There is good consistency and stability. Of course, wider grip

your tires would easily shave off another 10 feet.

We suspect they're saving those for the inevitable Z06.

Pulling 1.09 on the skid pad puts the Corvette in some pretty rare company, and that's with Pilot Sport 4Ss and a fairly narrow 245 section front tire. Sure, we could talk about how it needs more tire, but this number speaks volumes about the chassis, suspension, and differential tunings.

FYI-- that number was pulled in track mode with ESC fully off.

 

That small block V8 provides what you'd expect out of a small block V8-- a broad, meaty power band that sounds just amazing at full throttle, just amazing.

 

See? Amazing.

 

Probably the biggest change with this Corvette is how fast you can go with it. I'm not saying the other Corvettes were slow. The C7 was no slouch. The C6 was no slouch. Any Z06-- ferocious. But you had to be really

careful with them. And unless you spent a lot of time in an older Corvette, it took a while to get to know the car.

And they could catch you out. They could catch out experienced drivers simply because the front axle didn't really tell you what was going on, how much grip you had left. You know?

In this car, it's talking to you constantly.

I know right where the grip is on the front end. Also unlike those older Corvettes, the back end on this

car behaves itself. 495 horsepower in this trim follows the front, helps power you out of corners. I am not afraid of this car on this road.

And I wouldn't be driving a C7 or a C6 Corvette anywhere near this quickly. In order to drive on a road like this, as hard as you want to drive on it, you need good brakes too. With the Z51 package, you get good brakes.

I think they're 13.6 inch in the front and 13.8 in the back. I hope I got that right.

If I didn't, I'm sure the Corvette forums will let me know. But there's a lot of feel with these brakes too, and the pedal is solid and consistent. Much like the ability to change steering effort and weighting,

this Corvette allows you to change brake pedal pressure.

So if you like a harder, more immediate pedal, you can punch it up. Punch it up on the screen, and you can change it. That changes with the drive mode as well.

My feet aren't sophisticated enough to really tell the individual modes apart, but I spend no time adjusting in between the modes.

The brakes are intuitive and easy to use. And when you're going fast, that's the best thing to be.

 

All of this phenomenal grip is brought to you by rather ordinary Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

These are tires you can find on a lot of normal cars. In other words, they're not super hero tires.

They have tread. They're not noisy, but they still offer near supercar levels of grip.That just goes to show you how good the chassis is. So this car has three main drive modes.

And I'm going to say three because I live in LA, so I don't need a snow mode or a weather mode. You've got the touring mode, which is what we're in right now. And it just slackens off the shocks a little bit. It's really good compliance.

This is a pretty bumpy road, and I'm not that upset. It also tones down the exhaust.

You get a lighter steering feel and the slightly less jumpy throttle. Moving into sport mode, everything

gets a little bit more intense. The throttle becomes more sensitive. The ride becomes a little bit more firm,

as you can probably see. And sport mode is a really good all-around mode in this car.

You could drive in sport mode all the time. You can even drive it on this road, which is fantastic, and you wouldn't really want for anything else. But there is track mode. The track mode is not silly.

I've driven cars with track modes that try and knock the fillings out of your teeth. This car, with the

[INAUDIBLE] shocks, gets tracked mode right.

So I've got two complaints with this car. They're not really serious complaints because you don't have to get

these things, like this tan. This tan causes reflections all through the windshield. It's really annoying.

But you can get it in black, so just buy it in black. So the other complaint I have are these seats.

Now, these are the competition seats. And I know that I'm not a small man, but I'm not that big.

I'm 6'1", like 210 pounds. But these seats pinch my legs to the point where it's uncomfortable. But just like the tan leather up here, you

don't have to get these seats. You have two other options--the regular seat, and you have the GT2 seat.

I'd get the GT2 seat. So the Corvettes is an automatic. Will the Corvette do a burnout? Of course the Corvette will do a burnout.

Turn traction control off. Pull the paddles to put it in neutral. Ride the rev limiter. Oh! Proper burnout. So maybe it's a good thing that we didn't have as much time in the Corvette

as we wanted to, because I think if I kept driving that, I'd get arrested. It's really fast. It's so composed and so easy to drive on any manner of roads, even on the open highway.

It's a total piece of cake. This mid-engine car has ushered in a whole new era for Corvette, and I think it was about time.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: Rear side profile

So what does this car compete with?

It is basically a mid-engine supercar, but it doesn't cost as much as a mid-engine supercar. It's about half the price or less. So a base Corvette is $60,000. The one that you see behind us is pretty well optioned up, but that's still about $83,800, I think. In that car's price range is now the BMW M4, which is slower.

It's the Shelby GT350, which is slower. It is the Porsche 718 Cayman S, which is slower and does not have the rad V8 engine in it. And there are probably a couple other cars in the class that I have missed simply because I can't remember them, because they don't make as much of an impression on me as this thing does.

This is-- it's really that good. I'm genuinely surprised at how good this car is.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: racing




2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: side profile driving



2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: racing side profile




2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car





2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: front seats






2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: passenger side view








2020 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Car: front seat view

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