A little-known fact about the C7 Chevrolet Corvette is that it’s a bit shorter in overall length than the Porsche 911. Drive the C7, with its long, long hood, back-to-back with the rear-engine 911, though, and you might feel like you’re comparing a muscle car to a sports car. That’s why Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter, who has led development of the car since the C5 generation, went to great lengths to explain how the new car’s mid-engine placement allowed designers to lower the hoodline. In a highly tactile, glove-fit sports car, when it comes to handling and balance, perception becomes reality.
As General Motors President Mark Reuss put it, “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout.” Chevrolet touts better weight distribution, better responsiveness “and sense of control,” and a “race-car-like view of the road” thanks to the lower frunk (front trunk), cowl, and dashboard. We’ll have to reserve judgment about whether this new layout works as intended until we drive the new Vette ahead of the market launch late this year.
Horsepower and Torque
Horsepower and torque ratings for the base Stingray’s 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 with variable valve timing, direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and performance exhaust are 495-hp at 6,450 rpm and 470 pound-feet at 5,150 rpm. That compares favorably with the ’18 C7 Stingray’s 455 horses and 460 lb-ft, as well as the new 992-generation Porsche 911 Carrera S‘s 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six’s 443 horsepower and 390 lb-ft.
Transmission and Fuel Economy
The ’20 Stingray will come only with the bespoke M1L eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (it’s a wet clutch setup). No fuel-mileage estimates are available, as the EPA numbers typically are released within days before the first cars are delivered.
The front suspension is a short/long control-arm setup, with forged aluminum upper and cast-aluminum L-shaped lower arms and monotube dampers. The rear suspension is the same, and it also has a direct-acting anti-roll bar. Four-corner Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 is available with the Z51 package, and adjustable front lift with memory also is available.
Staggered-diameter Michelin Pilot Sport ALS tires are fitted to the base Stingray, while Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber appears on the Z51. In both cases, they’re sized 245/35ZR-19 at the front and 305/30ZR-20 at the rear.
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Dimensions and Weight
On its tall “backbone” chassis designed to make for a more direct, better balanced sports car, the C8 is nearly a half-foot longer than the front-engine C7. The C8 is 182.3 inches long overall (up 5.6 inches) and rides on a 107.2-inch wheelbase (up by 0.5 inch). It’s 76.1 inches wide ( an increase of 2.2 inches) and 48.6 inches tall (down by 0.2 inch). All comparisons are against the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe. The 992 Porsche 911 Carrera S is 177.9 inches long overall and has a 96.5-inch wheelbase; it’s also 72.9 inches wide and 50.8 inches tall.
Chevrolet lists the C8 Corvette Stingray coupe’s curb weight at 3,366 pounds, 68 heavier than the ’18 Stingray coupe and 16 pounds lighter than the new 911 Carrera S.
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