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The First Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette

The First Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette

It’s now official. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will arrive as the first production mid-engine Corvette. America’s new supercar will arrive with an all-new Small Block V-8 and a host of technological improvements.

“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM. The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”

Chevy says the Corvette’s new mid-engine layout is enabling significantly better performance, inherent to having the engine behind the driver. The weight distribution has shifted to be biased to the rear, enabling better handling. Meanwhile the driver is positioned closer to the front axle, enabling better control under all conditions.

“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette Stingray from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of Global Design, General Motors. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.”

Some additional design touchpoints include:

  • Low profile headlamps designed around all-new projectors.
  • Completely hidden door, hood and hatch releases do not disrupt the sculpted design.
  • Large side air intakes for engine cooling and aerodynamic performance.
  • A-pillar shape that communicates speed and assists in visibility.
  • Large rear hatch that showcases the engine with seven air vents.
  • Quad exhaust tips located on the vehicle’s outboard ends.
  • Dual-element LED taillamps with animated turn signals.

Corvette’s new mid-engine layout has also enabled designed to totally rethink the interior, which has moved forward 16.5 inches thanks to the new platform. The entire interior is dressed in hand-wrapped, cut-and-sew leather components with thick press stitching, giving the Corvette innards that match its supercar layout.

Chevrolet has even gone to the length of offering three unique seat designs, each tailored to a specific type of buyer.

“Our mission was to develop a new type of sports car, combining the successful attributes of Corvette with the performance and driving experience of mid-engine supercars,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer.

As rumored, powering the mid-engine Corvette is an all-new 6.2-liter Small Block V-8 dubbed the LT2. This naturally aspirated V-8 will generate 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque when equipped with an optional performance exhaust.

“Though now placed behind the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral experience we all expect from Corvette,” said Jordan Lee, GM’s global chief engineer of Small Block engines. “The LT2 has been designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end power to give thrilling pedal response at any RPM.”

Perhaps the biggest update is found in the lubrication and ventilation system. For the first time ever, the base Stingray will use an engine-mounted dry sump oil system and three scavenge pumps for improved track performance.

Bolted to the LT2 is a new Tremec designed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is the first dual-clutch transmission application for the brand and it promises lightning-fast shifts and excellent power transfer.

And a 3.2mm thick glass display allows Corvette owners to show off their LT2, resting behind the passenger compartment.

Perhaps the biggest piece of news here is that the all-new 2020 Corvette will start under $60,000, easily making it the most affordable mid-engine car on the market. It is slated to being production in Bowling Green, Kentucky in late 2019.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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 One Comment

  1. Jul 22, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    It looks like they hit a home run with this.

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 Latest Forum Messages
  1. carnut
    I think they hit a home run with it. The price and performance are amazing.
    adk024
    Under 3 seconds 0-60 for under $60k, mind. blown.
    CobaltSSKing
    The front engine Vette just became yesterday’s news. Quickly forgotten. Much like the launch of the C7 where They couldn’t keep up with demand. Same will happen with the C8.
    jgill16
    I still say GM should have offered both vehicle’s , the new mid engine vette and front engine corvette. Especially if they are axing the camaro. The front engine vette could have offered a twin turbo 6 and priced it around 40,000, then offer the king of sports cars the mid engine vette with V8 and price that puppy a little over 100,000. But that’s just me.
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