It’s a day that Corvette fans have been anticipating for decades — the introduction of the new C8 Corvette. We’ve enjoyed driving Corvettes for many years, but this one is something entirely new. Why is the C8 so different from previous models, and what can you expect to see when you get behind the wheel of one?
If you’re investing in a sports car like a Corvette, the chances are high that you will not settle for the base model. With the C8, however, you aren’t missing out on much if you stick to the stock options. Plus, even at that level, you’re looking at a $60,000 car.
The base model comes with a 6.2L V8 engine, capable of generating 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. This setup is just a hair less than what you’d get with the performance exhaust. You still get an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, four-piston Brembo brakes, and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Driving a base model C8 Corvette will not disappoint.
What you’ll miss out on is things like the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which is available on the Z51 version. You will, however, get the standard suspension and all-season tires, which make for a slightly stiffer ride when compared to the Z51. Still, you’d have to drive the two side-by-side to notice the difference.
When it comes to customization options, you’ve got plenty to choose from with the C8. The first thing we’ll look at is engine options. You’ve got three to choose from for the base C8 — 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT — and all three of which come with the same 6.2L V8 engine mentioned above.
Opting for the Z51 performance package doesn’t get you much more in the way of power. You only get an extra 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque. It’s enough to push the Z51 from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds, which might be worth the additional $5,000 price tag for some.
The three trim options offered for the base model of the C8 Corvette have several different things you might need to make the most of your time behind the wheel.
1LT is the most basic trim option, but it still comes with some features that you’ll enjoy, from the push-button start and keyless entry to a digital gauge cluster and GT1 seats. You’ll also see a comprehensive infotainment system and a variety of safety features, including a rear-facing camera, parking assistance, and other options to keep you safe.
2LT includes everything from the first trim package, while also offering more interior and exterior color options. You will also have things like heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and a performance data recorder to monitor your driving performance and help you make the most of your C8.
The 3LT provides everything from the previous two trim options, as well as interior upgrades that include features like suede and leather upholstery. It also has GT2 seats, which have carbon fiber trim.
While all of these options sound pretty amazing, what sets the C8 Corvette apart from previous models? One thing that makes the C8 stand out is the engine placement. Instead of the front engine design used by the last seven generations of Corvette, the C8 has a mid-engine. Chevy has been working toward a mid-engine sports car for decades but hasn’t had the technology to make it happen until now.
In addition to having some serious power — even in the base models — the mid-engine design lowers the Corvette’s center of gravity. While these cars have never had an issue with rollovers because they’re so close to the ground, this shift in the model’s center of gravity means that the C8 hugs the road like never before.
Unfortunately for Corvette purists, there is no option for a manual transmission in this design. The only choice is the 8-speed dual-clutch transmission; This automatic transmission is traditional, but it might lack the connection with the car that manual models provide.
When the first Corvette C8 started to roll off the assembly line, you could expect to pay a serious premium — the first one off the line sold at auction for $3 million. Today, however, you can bring one home for a cool $60,000.
Are you considering adding this first run of the Corvette C8 to your collection, or do you plan to wait until Chevy has ironed out all the bugs from this first mid-engine model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! We might not add this one to our collection just yet, but we want to get behind the wheel and feel how the design changes the game.