Currently reading: Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray confirmed for UK launch in 2021
Mid-engined V8-powered supercar priced from £81,700 in highly specified Launch Edition trim
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4 mins read
3 June 2020

Chevrolet has confirmed European specification details for its new C8 Corvette Stingray, which will be the first Corvette in the model's 67-year history to officially be sold in right-hand-drive form. 

Arriving in European dealerships in the second half of 2021, the C8 will be available in both coupé and convertible guises, from £81,700 and £87,110 respectively. All models sold here will be specified with the Z51 performance package and highly specified 2LT trim as standard.

That means all European cars will gain a number of hardware upgrades over the base-spec US car, including manually adjustable suspension, larger brake discs, an electronic limited-slip differential, a shorter axle ratio, a performance exhaust system, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and an aerodynamically enhancing bodykit. 

Additional standard equipment fitted includes a head-up display, data recorder, sat-nav, 14-speaker Bose sound system, rear camera 'mirror' and heated, ventilated seats. 

The first Corvettes to arrive will be limited-run Launch Edition cars, which will pack a magnetic ride control system and bespoke design details that set them apart from the standard models. 

The new C8 features a mid-engine layout – the first time for a Corvette – in a bid to take on European rivals such as Porsche and Ferrari.

Since the original version of the two-seater was launched in 1953, Corvettes have featured a front-engined, rear-drive layout – but the 495bhp 6.2-litre V8 in the new C8 machine is mounted behind the driver for the first time.

Mark Reuss, president of Chevrolet parent firm General Motors, said at last year's launch: “The traditional front-engined vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout.” He added: “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history.”

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First mid-engined Corvette feels like a huge step forward from its predecessors, but the critical question is whether its bargain price will translate to non-American sales

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The entry-level version of the new machine is dubbed Stingray, reviving a badge first used in 1963, and is able to cover 0-60mph in under three seconds, making it the fastest base-level Corvette yet. More powerful variants are due to follow.

Switching to a mid-engine layout has increased the length of the new model by 137mm to 4630mm, with the wheelbase stretched to 2723mm. It is 1933mm wide, 56mm wider than the previous C7 model, although at 1234mm it is marginally lower. The new Corvette weighs 1527kg, 166kg more than previously.

While retaining some familiar design cues, the new Corvette has a more ‘global’ look due to the new layout, with echoes of recent two-seat McLaren and Ferrari machines. Chevrolet claims a more ‘driver-centric’ interior design, with the shorter bonnet bringing increased visibility.

When it was introduced in 1953, the original Corvette was a striking alternative to the hefty behemoths that dominated American roads, with its lightweight glassfibre body and two-seat cabin. Zora Arkus-Duntov, considered the ‘father’ of the Corvette, had long pushed for a mid-engine layout, but while several prototypes were built, this is the first production version to make the switch.

To underscore the switch, the C8 Corvette features a glass cover to highlight its engine, which produces 40bhp more than in the previous model. It also develops 470lb ft of torque, 10lb ft more than previously.

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It will also be the first Corvette since the sports car's early years to forego a manual gearbox in favour of an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. It includes a new feature called double-paddle de-clutch, which allows the driver to decouple the clutch for greater manual control.

The gearshifter is electronically linked to the transmission, freeing up space, and an array of key controls are lined up, Porsche-style, along the edge of the centre console. A new customisable display is visible through the squared-off steering wheel, while the infotainment screen is now angled towards the driver.

As with the C7, the new C8 Stingray features Magnetic Ride Control, which uses a special, magnetically sensitive fluid that allows the suspension dampers to be quickly adjusted. A performance traction management system is also available, with an electronic limited-slip differential standard on the entry-level car. 

A front splitter and open two-piece rear spoiler work together to generate as much as 181kg of downforce under aggressive cornering.

Buyers have the option of all-season Michelin Pilot Sport ALS tyres – which, Chevrolet claims, can manage nearly 1g cornering – or the Z51 package’s Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Front tyres are 245/35 ZR19s, with 305/30 ZR20s at the rear.

Like all recent generations of the Corvette, the C8 is being assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but Chevrolet is seeking to enhance the model's presence around the world, much as rival Ford has done with the latest-generation Mustang.

Upgraded versions are likely to retain familiar designations such as Z06 and ZR1 and will be following over the next few years, with rumours suggesting the C8 could eventually nudge towards 1000bhp.

READ MORE

The long and winding road to the mid-engine Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette owners club meets the mid-engined C8

Chevrolet Corvette C8 review

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Comments
42

19 July 2019

Unfortunately Chevy have merely taken the C7 design language, already degraded with Camaro cues, and reproduced it in mid-engined form, with a messy rear and also a ho hum interior (without the opton of a gear lever!).  But, if it performs the way I think it is likely to, and starts at around one sixth the price of the Ford GT, as I think it will, I'm willing to forgive a lot.  It's just frustrating that I already want to see the half life do over.

19 July 2019

That looks superb!  Well balanced and just edgy enough.

Not sure how it will do sub 3s but we'll see.

Best (base model) 'Vette yet?  I'd the house (ranch!) on it!!!

19 July 2019

275not599 that very big of you showing such forgiveness  !. Lets celebrate the vastness of   change this new Chevvy   is going mid engine. to me it looks fine .Messy rear you say elaborate and the interior has a driver focused look to me. Think this will be a hit

19 July 2019

275not599 that very big of you showing such forgiveness  !. Lets celebrate the vastness of   change this new Chevvy   is going mid engine. to me it looks fine .Messy rear you say elaborate and the interior has a driver focused look to me. Think this will be a hit

19 July 2019
Good that they are making right hand drive too.

I am suspicious a 495bhp and 1533kg car can sub 3s to 60 though

19 July 2019
Cenuijmu wrote:

Good that they are making right hand drive too. I am suspicious a 495bhp and 1533kg car can sub 3s to 60 though

I'd imagine street-legal track tyres will play heavily into that sub-3 second time, but if it can get close, a $70k base model (in USA) is a whole lot of looks and performance for the money...

 

19 July 2019
Folsom wrote:

Cenuijmu wrote:

Good that they are making right hand drive too. I am suspicious a 495bhp and 1533kg car can sub 3s to 60 though

I'd imagine street-legal track tyres will play heavily into that sub-3 second time, but if it can get close, a $70k base model (in USA) is a whole lot of looks and performance for the money...

Yeah,  good point, also the fact they have lots of sticky asphalt over there, motortrend gets really low numbers at the strip for cars.

19 July 2019
Oviously you did not watch the unveiling, where the astonishing news was dropped on the motor press, that the Base price for an LT1 coupe will start at under $60,000 USD..

19 July 2019
Folsom wrote:

Cenuijmu wrote:

Good that they are making right hand drive too. I am suspicious a 495bhp and 1533kg car can sub 3s to 60 though

I'd imagine street-legal track tyres will play heavily into that sub-3 second time, but if it can get close, a $70k base model (in USA) is a whole lot of looks and performance for the money...

 

Oviously you did not watch the unveiling, where the astonishing news was dropped on the motor press, that the Base price for an LT1 coupe will start at under $60,000 USD..

19 July 2019

Base price? New to the US are we? That’s a therorethical price not including unavoidable delivery, registration, taxes, and for a model without any options whatsoever that no dealer ever stocks. At an absolute minimum you’ll need z51 package to get appropriate tires and brakes. Welcome to the USofA!

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