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Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

In these times of forced induction and downsizing, it’s a pretty lazy petrol motor that produces just 75bhp per litre. But that figure gives you some idea of the big-heartedness of the Corvette’s 6.2-litre V8.

It fires to a lazy, throbby idle that – as in the Vauxhall VXR8 – emits less of a baritone rumble than you might expect, due to the demands of modern emissions and noise regulations. But there’s character here, no question; give the throttle a positive prod and it sends the Corvette’s body rocking mildly.

An 'eLSD' allows the car to turn in with less understeer but drive out with optimum traction and attitude control

Engaging gears and using the medium-weight, long-throw clutch is a refreshingly physical experience, but the powertrain is incredibly tractable – as you’d expect. Frankly, were it limited to only second and fourth gears, the Corvette would still get along quite nicely.

As it is, we coaxed it from 0-60mph in 4.4sec – 0.2sec behind the claim, but the fact that we figure two up, with lots of fuel on board, and take our measurements from complete rest, rather than a one-foot roll-out, accounts for that.

Either way, this car doesn’t lack performance. If the engine were in a different place and there was a dual-clutch automatic gearbox to join the launch control (which performed little better than our own feet), you’d probably be looking at a 0-60mph number that starts with a three. As it is, 100mph comes up in comfortably less than 10 seconds and the standing quarter mile in 12.6sec. Premier league performance, in other words.

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Premier League flexibility, too. Some of our testers found the throttle response a little slow, but that’s to be expected with an engine of this capacity. Keep it in the mid-range and it’s perfectly responsive, and it’s here that the sound comes alive.

We’d prefer it if the gearbox had six well spaced ratios that could be more easily selected, rather than a seventh that is too easy to catch when you’re after fifth, but by and large it is positive enough. And there’s no denying that the leggy gearing improves touring economy (seventh is worth almost 50mph per 1000rpm), as does the fact that the engine can slip into cylinder shut-down mode on a part-throttle cruise. Not imperceptibly, unfortunately.