The new Chevrolet Corvette is a step up to the premier league for the American car legend. Chris Carter reports.
“The Chevrolet Corvette, over its many decades, has garnered a reputation for its appeal to older men – an unfortunate stereotype for a vehicle that was pretty freakin’ sweet even before its eighth generation came around,” says Alanis King on Jalopnik. Reputations aren’t easy to change, but the design director for the C8 told his team to be radical and “design it for the ten-year-old kid”.
The result should get your pulse racing whatever age you are, but what really “sent the car-buying world into a frenzy” is the price, says Rob Stumpf on The Drive. The C8 starts at just $60,000 (£49,000). Right-hand-drive versions of the C8 are expected to arrive on UK shores shortly after the car goes on sale in the US – expect to pay something like £75,000. That may not sound all that cheap, says Pat Devereux in Top Gear magazine, but consider that the Honda NSX costs almost twice that much. If it drives as well as it looks, then this could become “the default budget mid-engineered supercar”.
The ’Vette’s small-block V8 engine is “a thing of compact engineering beauty”, adds Devereux, and promises to “sound like a World War II aircraft on full chat”. But what surprises is the levels of practicality and “spooky attention to detail” – something you might expect from a Porsche, not a Corvette. In fact, the 911 is the car that Chevrolet had its sights on when it designed the C8. “The German car has owned the practical supercar badge for decades – and still does. But the C8 plans to give it a run for its money.”
The new Corvette is the quickest and most powerful naturally-aspirated model of its kind, says Ciprian Florea on Top Speed, and it’s been completely overhauled from the ground up, with new technology, dual-clutch transmission and a new V8 engine. Traditionalists will be pleased to note that for all the changes, the C8 still sports the trademark Corvette cues, however: the headlamps, taillights and nose are clearly reminiscent of its predecessors. But for the first time, the sporty two-seat grand tourer of old is now a “fully fledged sports car”.
Price: around £75,000 in the UK from 2020, right-hand drive available Engine: 6.2-litre V8 Power: 495bhp Torque: 470lb ft Top speed: 194mph (estimated)