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2020 Corvette: Even Faster, Still Iconic

By Sue Mead, November 23rd, 2019

There's new. And then there's truly new. There's fast and there's truly fast. Some vehicles are iconic, but there are very few true icons.

The all-new and stunningly fast 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is an authentic icon and I was one of the first to drive it. I must admit, I'm infatuated.

The eighth generation of this American supercar has a huge and faithful fan following. It's expected that the "C8" Corvette Stingray will be available early in 2020, sporting a new mid-engine platform, updated fighter-jet styling, and a number of new features and technologies that make it more comfortable and fun to drive.

This General Motors halo car is honored with a museum dedicated to its heritage in Bowling Green, Ky., where buyers who are true aficionados can watch their specially ordered model roll down the assembly line at the Chevy plant where the Corvette is built.

Priced starting under $60,000, it comes in three trims: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. It's hoped that Grand Sport and ZR1 versions are on the drawing board, as well.

Its muscular canopy-forward exterior styling carries many classic Corvette elements, but also pumps up its Formula One looks. Longer, lower, and wider, it wears a fresh front end that is much shorter than the previous generation; up front is a mini trunk for cargo and a rear stowage area can swallow two sets of golf clubs.

The side profile is punctuated by air intakes for engine cooling; the back is defined by dual LED taillights with animated turn signals perched above the quad tailpipes. The rear hatch glass showcases the V-8 engine.

Inside is an upscale cockpit with fighter-jet cues, a digital instrument panel, and slender vertical ventilation slots. Notable are hand-wrapped leather, thick press stitching, real metal, and carbon fiber, depending on trim. A Corvette first are additional personalization options for exterior/interior colors and three seat choices; standard are GT1s with eight-way power, GT2 brings heated/ventilated surfaces, and Competition and Sport adds bolstering for aggressive motoring. Ergonomically appealing is the new squared-off, two-spoke steering wheel that allows an unobstructed view of the 12-inch reconfigurable cluster display.

I drove the head-snapping Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package that is propelled by Chevy's updated 6.2-liter eight-cylinder engine. It now boasts 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, moves this version from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and features such upgrades as bigger brakes, an electronic limited-slip differential, and performance suspension/traction management.

A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is backed by paddle shifters and can be motivated for six different driving parameters: weather, tour, sport, and track carry over, while new MyMode and Z Mode allow for driver personalization.

Most notable are the changes that make the new Corvette Stingray quieter and more comfortable, with manners that would be agreeable for everyday driving around town -- not just taking it to a speedway or drag strip. At the same time, I loved the "launch mode" that truly is drag-strip worthy and propels the Stingray forward like a rocket ship.

On board is a next-generation infotainment system that is faster and simpler, with a higher-resolution display; new is a Chevy-first, one-touch Bluetooth pairing with Near Field Communication; wireless charging, and improved real-time traffic. Buyers get a choice of two new Bose audio systems: a 10-speaker standard premium system or a 14-speaker Bose Performance Series on 2LTs and 3LTs.

The industry-pioneering Performance Data Recorder is an advanced driving analysis tool upgraded with a high-definition resolution camera that joins with the new, in-vehicle user interface to record circuit and point-to-point road courses. The 2LT trims get front-curb camera view, heated steering wheel, and available GT2 seats in Napa leather while 3LTs are adorned in a leather-wrapped interior, with 13 color choices, suede trim, and GT2 seats.

Specifications

Base price $58,900 (as tested: $59,995)
Curb weight 3,366 lbs.
Displacement 6.2-liter
Engine type OHV V-8 w/DI
Epa mileage rating N/A
Fuel capacity 18.5 gal.
Horsepower (net) 495 at 6450 rpm
Overall length 182.3 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 470 at 5150 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Vehicle type 2-passenger RWD sportscar
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