This world record holder houses a 4.5-litre V12 from an F1 car
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This is the new mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Everything you need to know about the UK-bound, 495bhp V8 American supercar
Angular, isn’t it? Very creasy-y. Sharp-looking. The 2020 Corvette Stingray is here.
It’s here at last, and yep, the engine’s in the middle. That engine being a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated smallblock ‘LT2’ V8, sending 495bhp and 470lb ft to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
If you’re a Brit, we’ve some good news: this one’s for you. Right-hand drive is, at long last, coming to the Corvette.
With the Z51 package fitted (which adds a sports exhaust, adjustable suspension, bigger brakes, better cooling and a spritelier final drive ratio) Chevy claims the Stingray will get from 0-60mph in around 3.0 seconds, making it the fastest ‘entry-level’ Corvette ever.
And it’s not just speedy in a straight line. The front splitter and rear wing generate a claimed 180kg of high-speed downforce for better cornering. There’s a Ferrari-style electronic rear diff. Optional magnetic-adaptive suspension, for, well, you get the idea. It’s got a dry-sump oil system so the engine stays lubricated when the car’s pulling big Gs. This isn’t just a hot-rod with its motor in the middle, promises Chevy. It’s a true supercar that can run with the European elite. And supposedly, it’s practical too.
Want to carry two sets of golf clubs? No, us neither. But apparently some supercar buyers do, for some reason, so the Corvette Stingray has two boots. Or trunks, if you must. One in the front, and one in the back, which can also swallow the targa roof panel.
Together, the trunk and frunk add up to offer 357-litres of boot space. And the cabin’s roomier too. And cleverer. Look at that 12-inch digital instrument display. At last, we’ve got a Corvette with an interior that looks like it came from the country that invented the iPhone, instead of the country that also invented spray-on cheese. Though what’s going on with that super-long strip of buttons? Did Chevy forget to put the heater controls in until yesterday?
Underneath, Chevy has gone for an aluminium chassis instead of a McLaren-style carbon tub, to keep the car affordable (the base-spec will cost under $60,000). TG’s spoken to Alex MacDonald, the guy in charge of setting up how the new Stingray drives, and quizzed him on the new chassis and some of the crazy rumours that’s followed the new Vette for years. Check out his answer as he sets the record straight here.
Of course no modern sports car would be complete without an armada of modes to fiddle with. So, in addition to Weather, Tour, Sport and Track settings, the new Stingray offers two new modes to play with. There’s MyMode – basically a cherry-pick-your-faves individual setting. And finally, a ‘Z’ mode, which is, well, a bit confusing really.
Chevy says “Z mode is named after the famed Z06, ZR1 and Z51 Corvette performance packages. It’s activated through a ‘Z’ button on the steering wheel. This is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well”.
So, Z mode is like MyMode, but more so. The Corvette Stingray turned up to eleven, if you like.
Oh, you don’t like. Want something more comfy, do you? Well the Stingray reckons it’s got that sussed out too. There’s wireless smartphone charging, a heated steering wheel, Bose audio, and on-board cameras to capture your best lap times for posterity. And your biggest shunts for YouTube infamy.
But for now, all of that can wait. No lap time chat, no ‘will it beat a Tesla in a drag race’ semantics. Only one thing matters right now. Do you like the way the Stingray looks?