Talks of a mid-engine Corvette have been going around for most of the last 50 years. And anyone looking forward to it has been met with nothing but disappointment. That changes this year, as the long-awaited mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray finally makes an official debut.
That’s right, the decades’ long wait for a mid-engine version of America’s sports car is finally over. And from the looks of things, the wait was worth it, with the automaker delivering an entirely new version of the car for its 8th generation – one that combines the Corvette’s sporty performance with supercar-like styling and proportions.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s headlining feature is, of course, the new layout, which puts the engine behind the driver and passenger, instead of out front. On its own, this should improve the car’s center of gravity and make steering feel much more responsive, apart from giving the vehicle a much more exotic feel. This exotic feel is aided by a window on the back hatch that gives you a glimpse of the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8, which puts out a whopping 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (no manual available), the engine brings enough power to accelerate the car from 0 to 60 in under three seconds.
Along with the radical shift in engine placement is an all-new body structure to accommodate it. Made primarily from aluminum with a few carbon fiber parts, the chassis boasts 10 percent more stiffness than the previous generation Corvette, although it is heavier, tipping the scales at 3,366 pounds. This new structure lowers the cowl, hood, steering wheel, and instrument panel to give the driver excellent forward vision, along with cargo area under the hood that’s large enough to fit any bag that’s sized to go on an airline’s overhead compartment. And yes, it retains trunk space in the rear, too, with enough room to fit a pair of golf clubs.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is fitted with a revamped suspension that does away with the transverse rear leaf-spring design from older models, instead using double-A arms backed by coil springs both front and rear. Three states of tuning will be offered for this suspension: FE1 (a standard sporty tune), FE3 (a sportier tune that includes the Z51 package), and FE4 (it’s integrated with the outfit’s magnetic ride control system).
Because the hood is shorter, the car moves its cockpit forward a significant 16.5 inches, which gives the vehicle a radically sportier profile. Inside, it’s more driver-oriented than any Corvette we’ve seen before, a direct result of the improved forward visibility, with an all-digital instrument cluster, floating 12-inch infotainment system, button controls, and shift paddles. On the luxury front, the interior is heavily clothed in leather and metal, with options for carbon fiber and aluminum trims, as well as six options in interior color schemes. You get three seat options: the touring-style GT1, the track-focused Competition Sport, and the GT2, which balances touring and sporting functions.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will go in production in late 2019. Pricing starts at $60,000.