Yesterday, Motor Trend magazine awarded the 2020 Corvette Stingray its prestigious, Car of the Year award.
Given this new Corvette generation’s remarkable technology and performance capability, it’s no wonder Chevrolet’s latest creation beat out the the Audi A8, Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Toyota Supra.
“The C8 wins our top award on the strength of how it drives. “Phenomenal performance,” news editor Alex Nishimoto said. He’s right. While conducting limit testing of the entire field at the Hyundai Motor Group California Proving Ground, I knew the Corvette deserved to be a finalist—but my mind remained open to other vehicles taking the top spot.
It was after cruising the twists and turns of Cameron Road on our finalist loop near Tehachapi that I became convinced the mid-engine Corvette had to be our winner. “It’s so easy to drive,” editor-in-chief Ed Loh said. That’s perhaps the No. 1 big change from behind the wheel of the C8 compared to the C7. You can just go for it and attack a road with abandon. I loved how potent, aggressive, and in control I felt. Total confidence.
Few cars change the automotive landscape, forcing other manufacturers to react, as the status quo will no longer do. It’s déjà vu all over again, again, folks. Chevy is selling a supercar for sports car prices. As I told a wealthy supercar collector friend of mine, “If I were you, I’d buy three.” Or as MacKenzie put it, “Hallelujah! A real, honest-to-god, mid-engine supercar for the price of a Corvette.” Great job, Chevrolet.”
Select Chevy Dealerships Sample the 2020 Corvette First Hand
A few weeks ago, GM invited select Chevrolet dealerships out to the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada to sample the 2020 Corvette on a racetrack. Corvette engineers were on hand to explain the various systems of the C8 and explain the incredible technology that went into designing and developing this all new Corvette.
The feedback we received, was nothing short of amazing. From what we were told, the performance and level of refinement is nothing short of astounding. When asked how it compared to the C7 Corvette generation, the answer we received was that there was no comparison what-so-ever. The 2020 C8 Corvette is heads and shoulders above the C7 Corvette in every single category from comfort, refinement and sound to quality and overall performance.
Dealership personnel had the opportunity to ride shot-gun in the passenger seat, while a Corvette Engineer took them around the track in order to exhibit the car’s full capability in the hands of a skilled driver, and then the cars were handed over to the passengers to sample for themselves.
The stability of the 2020 Corvette zipping around the racetrack is absolutely incredible. Flying down the track at approximately 150 mph and annihilating tight corners at speed is nothing but child’s play to this all new Corvette.
The engine sounds absolutely amazing at full throttle and the new dual-clutch transmission is a welcome change from the C7’s automatic transmission. Firing off lightning quick shifts without any hesitation, the DCT makes for a suitable mate to the LT2 engine. Speaking of engine sound, what blew a lot of the dealership folks away was how quiet the cabin of the C8 is. The engine is directly behind your head, but you barely even hear it. While driving around the track, you hear more of that symphonic exhaust system than you do the engine.
Impressive Technology Lies at the Heart of the C8
While the performance and overall ride quality was exhilarating, the technology was equally impressive. Corvette Engineers spent a considerable amount of time explaining various technologies integrated into the platform which allows this new Corvette to do what it does best.
One example of the advanced technology that went into the 2020 Corvette is the front-end lift system which raises and lowers the front-end of the car to avoid under-body damage from speed bumps and driveway slopes. This system utilizes GPS in order to remember where those dips and speed bumps are.
When you approach a speed bump and activate the front-end lift system, the car will ask you if you want to remember that location. If you select yes, the next time you approach that speed bump, you won’t have to activate the lift system. The car will automatically do it for you!
GM recently patented a similar technology for engine start-stop programming. Engine start-stop systems on some of today’s vehicles can be annoying to drivers because depending on how they’re programmed, they can be too sensitive and/or too invasive.
For example, my 2015 BMW daily driver has an engine start-stop system. In stop and go traffic on the highway, it’s not too bad, but it can become annoying depending on how the traffic is flowing. Driving through neighborhoods in a city with numerous intersections and stop signs, the system can become downright frustrating as it can shut the engine off prematurely while slowing down causing the car to abruptly stop and lose power steering control.
With GM’s new technology, their engine start-stop system will use GPS just like the 2020 Corvette’s front-end lift system to evaluate road and traffic conditions in order to determine when it’s best to engage the start-stop system. If this new technology makes the system less invasive, it will be a welcome upgrade from the current start-stop systems used in automobiles today.
Here at the Corvette Action Center, I’ve driven hundreds of C7 Corvettes in all various configurations including Stingrays, Grand Sports, Z06s, coupes, convertibles, etc. As a result, my heart has grown a big soft spot for the C7 generation. Regardless of what automotive rags think, the ride and handling is awesome, interior quality is light years away from previous generations, and the comfort and ergonomics are refreshing compared to most sports cars in its class. For me, the C8 Corvette has some big shoes to fill!
If everything I’ve heard about the new 2020 C8 Corvette is accurate, I can not wait to drive one and experience it first hand!
Below is the official press release from GM regarding Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award:
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Named 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year
The first-ever production mid-engine Corvette represents the fastest, most powerful entry-level Corvette in the vehicle’s 66-year history
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The redefined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray won the 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year award, earning the mid-engine masterpiece a top spot among the best vehicles the world has to offer for the third time in Corvette’s history.
The coveted honor, previously awarded to Corvette in 1984 and 1998, was presented to Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer and Michael Simcoe, General Motors vice president of Global Design, at an event featuring industry executives and celebrity guests at MotorTrend’s headquarters in El Segundo.
“It’s an honor for the Corvette team to receive this coveted award from MotorTrend against the best the industry has to offer,” said Juechter. “Our design and engineering teams spent several years sweating the details to deliver the first mid-engine Corvette. To have a third party validate our hard work makes it all worthwhile.”
Chevy’s first-ever production mid-engine Corvette represents the fastest, most powerful entry-level Corvette in the vehicle’s 66-year history, reaching 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package. The reimagined icon boasts exotic proportions and a modern design inspired by racing and aeronautics to deliver unprecedented levels of quality, customization, technology and craftsmanship. Powered by the next-generation 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 engine, the 2020 Corvette Stingray packs 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
“We have been looking forward to the arrival of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette for so long, that you’d think there is no way it could live up to the weight of expectations, but the all-new C8 Corvette epitomizes what it means to be MotorTrend’s 2020 Car of the Year,” said MotorTrend Editor-in-Chief Edward Loh. “Corvette delivers stunning design and world-class performance, around an exotic mid-ship layout, yet it remains a truly livable grand touring sports car, all at an almost unbelievable price point. Our 2020 Car of the Year is the one that democratizes the supercar – the Chevrolet Corvette.”
Production on the Corvette will begin in February 2020 at General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky. True to its roots of attainable performance, the 2020 Corvette Stingray upholds its no-compromise value proposition, starting at $59,995.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information can be found at www.chevy.com/nextgencorvette.
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