The reveal of the all-new 2020 Corvette is just two weeks away, and it’s time to get everybody up to speed on what to expect. While Muscle Cars & Trucks has only been around for a very short while, yours truly has been following the development of this vehicle over the years, and reported on much of the rumors, tips, and scoops about the most anticipated vehicle from General Motors in decades. As far back as the original Zora trademark filing, I have covered the progress of the C8 mid-engine Corvette. Here is everything so far known about it:
The 2020 Corvette C8 will mount a variant of GM’s small block engine family behind the rear seats of the driver, coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sources have tipped that the base engine for the C8 Corvette at launch will be called the LT2, which is essentially an LT1 configured for mid-engine use. It will be naturally aspirated, and feature the same tech as the LT1, such as active fuel management, direct injection, and variable valve timing. Down the line, far more extreme variants of the mid-engine Corvette will debut, including an outrageously powerful hybrid performance model with an output expected to crack four figures. It will be far and away the most powerful vehicle General Motors has ever built.
Based on a few sleuth spy photos and renderings on the internet, everything appears to be digital. The analogue instrument panel found in Corvettes of yesteryear will yield to high-resolution displays that will be highly customizable and the center console will be more driver-oriented than before. More refinement and comfort will be present, as well. A sloped ledge between the passenger seat and the cupholder tray will feature a row of buttons controlling HVAC and heated/cooled seats. There will be no space behind the rear seats for storage anymore – which gave the liftback coupe models of the Corvette surprising levels of practicality. Instead, storage is moved to a “frunk” between the two front wheels. Rumor is that golf clubs will still fit, but we’re really not sure about that.
Mid-engine layout aside, the exterior design of the 2020 Corvette seems to evolve from the tightened and creased design of the C7 Corvette. Repositioning the engine gives the new Corvette a more exotic profile, akin to the likes of McLaren 570S, Ferrari 488, Porsche 911, Lamborghini Huracan, the Acura NSX, Audi R8, and others. And for the first time ever, the Corvette Convertible will feature an electronically folding hardtop.
The 2020 Corvette C8 will utilize, if not introduce, GM’s Global B electronics architecture. Featuring the cybersecurity equivalent to Fort Knox, Global B will be a major obstacle for tuning companies. In addition, every driver input will be electronic. The steering, the brakes, the throttle – all of it. A bit much? That’s up to the market to decide.
Sources say that the 2020 Corvette will feature a more traditional aluminum and steel space frame design, and not a carbon fiber monocoque chassis found in more exotic makes such as Ferrari or McLaren. This was in an effort to keep costs down, and passing the savings onto the customer with an MSRP that won’t be too far away from mid-range Corvettes for sale today. If you didn’t know that, you know now.
Sources tell us that the curb weight of the new mid engine Corvette will actually be heavier than that of the C7 model, likely due to its additional NVH-reducing materials, and larger size. You heard it here first. However, more granular numbers remain a secret for now. Suspension will come in three flavors: the base will be FE1. The next up will be the FE3 performance suspension, while the FE4 package will integrate magnetic ride control.
Speculation about the mid-engine Corvette price has a bigger spread than betting on Jon Jones to lose a UFC title fight. And the higher the number, the less likely the bet is wrong. Keep in mind that the Corvette is the best selling two-seat sports car in America, and the 2020 Corvette C8 will be built just like any other Corvette before it, which helps commodify its appeal. GM doesn’t want to mess with this formula too much. Like the C7, expect an incremental price change from the base model – likely lining up with what we currently see with the wide-bodied C7 Grand Sport ($65,900) or the 650 horsepower C7 Z06 ($78,995). By comparison, the base Corvette costs just under $56,000. Hopes that the C7 Corvette would sell alongside the C8 for a few years appeared to doused, as the last day to order a C7 was June 23rd, 2019.
The 2020 Corvette C8 will be manufactured on an assembly line at the Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky.
The 2020 Corvette C8 will keep around every variant name found on the C7, starting with the Stingray. The Z51 performance package will be a step up from that. Don’t expect a Grand Sport, Z06, or ZR1 at launch. All of those will enter the lineup in the coming years. Additionally, expect the “Zora” name to appear somewhere. For those unaware, Zora was the first name of the “father of the Corvette”, Zora Arkus-Duntov. It’s also the name of the amphibious race in the Legend of Zelda, but we don’t expect the new Corvette to go through water very well. Other names on the shelf include Manta Ray, Mako Shark, and L88. Lastly, the Corvette’s 70th anniversary is 2023.