By Shakthi Perera:
Recently after months of speculation, leaks, and renderings, the upcoming 2020 C8 iteration of the Corvette has been unveiled.
In addition to a completely new design, one main change is groundbreaking for this model: the shift from a FR to a MR format. The familiar LT series engine is now mounted behind the driver. Although this may come as a surprise to some, in Corvette’s long history spanning almost six decades, the company has employed configurations of rear engines, mid engines, and even rotary engines.
Alongside the development of the Corvette in the 60s and 70s, many new advancements were being explored in anticipation for future application. These include one-off concepts such as the rear engine Aerovette and CERV concepts. Despite the in depth research Corvette conducted, only few prototypes held the actual Corvette name while the majority of information was intended to further develop Chevrolet models. Although many of these ideas never came to fruition in the final product, their influence and legacy have stood the test of time, and in the current climate of hypercars, lightning fast track times and ultimate performance, a mid engine option for the Corvette has seemed much more of an obvious step in the right direction.
One thing that remains from the preceding C7 generation (other than a single part) is a hilariously superb value for money. The new LT2 engine produces 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, propelling the car from 0-60 in under 3 seconds. The LT2 is paired with a dual-clutch gearbox and optional magnetic ride dampers. All this comes for a starting price under $60,000.
So what does this mean for the future of the sports car? Well this step by Chevy signals a bright corner in the auto industry. Among the robotic hybrids and grey waves of tasteless commuters, there now stands something promising and exciting. If this mass produced model can make a large change in the American car buyer demographic, then that bids well for the future of performance cars.