The Corvette has long been an icon as America's flagship supercar. And now the new C8 breaks all of the traditions that the Vette came along with. Or does it?
When the first Corvette StingRay was launched back in 1953, months after a Belgian engineer caTlled Zora Arkus-Duntov joined Chevrolet. Duntov was also a compotent racer and loved the idea of a Corvette but didn't like the Corvette C1 because of its layout and unrefined mechanics. He thought converting the Vette into a mid engined roadster would make a better name for the car if they were to enter racing.
Duntov then started to make prototypes for a mid engined Vette for the next six decades. The first brainchild to come out was the 1959 CERV I (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle). Then in 1964 Duntov introduced the CERV II and if it were to enter racing, it would have competed with the legendary, Ford GT-40.
After 66 years of developing the front engined Vette's performance to the max potential, Chevy knew it was time to inherit Duntov's teachings. The new C8 Corvette is born.
Let's take the last Corvette C7 ZR1 in context. The C7 ZR1 was an absolute animal. It was everything the Z06 lacked but more. Resolved heating issues, more power, more aero and the list goes on. The ZR1 was so potent that in theory, you could compare it to cars like the McLaren 720s and Porsche GT2 RS. But there was one major flaw with the C7 that many journalists have reported. The car was unable to control the massive power figures and the auto gearbox was just not capable.
The new C8 is obviously mid engined which means, it has better handling. And since there is no major weight at the front, the C8 must turn in much better. The engine is a Chevy small block called the LT2 which has been developed from the C7's LT1. It is 6.2 litre V8 producing 490 horses. But the transmission is the big selling factor, it has a dual clutch box over the old auto torque converter.
The Corvette is made out aluminium majorly instead of carbon fibre. You might think that was a bad choice because, carbon is rigid and obviously super light. But the new C8 Corvette starts at an entry price of only $60,000. That is cheaper than any other car that even comes near to the level of performance the Vette offers. Heck a BMW M2 starts at the same price and can't even touch the Vette's performance. But still Chevy has achieved to make the Corvette 18% more rigid than the previous C7.
Obviously the interior has gotten a huge revamp. Yo obviously get a host of touch screens and other features you get in modern sportscars. The instrument cluster is now a screen which looks super slick. But my favourite part has to be the passenger jet fighter style array of buttons running along the cockpit and passenger divide. The new steering is the only thing I find a bit sketchy.
The Corvette in terms of design is just amazing. It isn't that big of a step forward from the C7, you can see cues from the older car and some Ferrari 458 and Alfa 4C in it but all in all it looks amazing. Chevy offers a Z51 performance pack in which you get a 5 horsepower upgrade, carbon aero and a massive wang. The biggest marketing figure Chevy are exploiting is that the car can run from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds. First of all that is as fast or faster than the C7 ZR1 which has a 250 horsepower gain over it. And if you think about it, cars like the 488, Aventador, Huracan, 720s, GT3 RS etc, pull figures like that. Those cars are almost 5 times more expensive the C8 and remember this is the base line Corvette. Just imagine what types of animals the C8 Z06 and C8 ZR1 must be!