Mid-Engine Corvette Finally Gets Opportunity to Shine After 60 Years—In Depth

Photo Source/Copyright: Chevrolet Pressroom

Long known as “America’s Sports Car,” the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 has been an iconic and powerful vehicle for motor enthusiasts ever since its debut. Adding to the excitement that has followed the Corvette for years is Chevrolet’s decision to fit the sports ride with a mid-engine rather than the traditional front-engine, giving drivers heightened handling abilities. While the mid-engine experimentation is not something new for the C8, it’s the first time the idea could stick since the early 1960s, thanks to some help from the momentum picked up in 2011. 

Production of the first-generation Corvette C1 began in 1953, with its knockout styling being the star of the show and grabbing consumers’ attention. But it wasn’t until General Motors engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov (known as the “Father of the Corvette”) was brought on to the team that “America’s Sports Car” catapulted to its iconic status. After two years of hard work and climbing the ranks with the American automaker, Arkus-Duntov became the brand’s high-performance director, and in 1955, the Corvette was made available with a 4.3-liter V8 engine.

Fast forward five years, Arkus-Duntov organized Chevrolet Engineering’s first research vehicle, the CERV I. This vehicle was comparatively different from the production Corvette, which inspired the potential of the mid-engine structure with a comparable layout to a Formula 1 racing supercar. Arkus-Duntov realized the power of the mid-engine and believed the next-generation of performance vehicles could utilize the mid-engine chassis structure. 

And finally, the return of the mid-engine and the retiring ceremony of the front-engine can begin. All C8 models currently feature a 6.2-liter small-block LT2 V8 engine pushing 490 horsepower with 465 lb-ft of torque. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Drivers can tack on an extra five hp and lb-ft of torque via the Z51 Performance Package. The vehicle remains rear-wheel drive and comes with a standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Unfortunately, there is no manual transmission option available for the stick shift faithful.

“The Stingray leaps ahead like a beast scalded, monstrously quick, and with a soundtrack to match,” said Chris Davies, executive editor of car site Slash Gear. The Corvette is indeed a beast, with a blistering 0-60mph in 2.9-seconds and a top speed of 194 mph. 

You can watch the progression and history of the Corvette’s mid-engine history in the two-part documentary series “Revolution: The Mid-Engine Corvette Development Story,” where the Chevrolet design team explains the inspiration behind their new monster engine.

If you are interested in checking out the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray check out the team at a local Florida dealer for more information or to schedule a test drive with “America’s Sports Car” today.  

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