I don’t think it’s any secret that the 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette is the most anticipated car to hit the streets since its announcement on July 18, 2019. I remember watching it with baited breath even though I knew full well what the big deal about it was: It was going to be mid-engined.
This is a huge deal because the Corvette has been the same recipe for 66 years up until this point. A large V8 at the front sending power to the wheels at the back. No complex suspension. No crazy materials. All combined with a price tag that punched above it’s weight. This recipe was so proven, so effective, that General Motors simply became bored and decided mix it up.
Someone took a big risk in a meeting within GM by suggesting something dramatic: put the engine behind the driver. This completely threw out the rule book on everything the Corvette was about until this point. Not only would they move the engine, which was a crazy enough idea, but they would remove the option for a manually shifted gearbox. This would prove to be incredibly controversial.
But I knew something that most people didn’t. The V8 in the newest generation would be paired with an INSANE dual clutch transmission developed by both GM and Tremec. I knew this because I was lucky enough to work on that very transmission during my time at GM in 2016. Because of this, I knew exactly how fast this transmission was going to shift. What I didn’t know, however, was how GM would stay true to the Corvette name. I had no idea just how crazy (or safe) they would get.
During the press release all the performance figures were thrown out at once, followed by the price. The MSRP for the 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette would start under $60,000. While this is not a small sum of money, the next cheapest car with an engine in the middle is probably an Alfa Romeo 4C at $70,000 or a Lotus Evora at $100,000.
In person the C8 absolutely delivers. The rear is a bit funky on camera, but the proportions just plain work. The interior has some spectacular flow to it. It’s very reminiscent of the MK4 Toyota Supra, which also has everything focused on the driver. The seats are well placed with tons of leg room and, as far as I can tell, enough head room for anyone under 6’5″. I’m beyond excited to see what happens with these cars on the road, in the aftermarket, and on the used market.