While the engine is the beating heart of any vehicle and sports cars, in particular, are often focused on engine performance and power, with the 2020 Chevy Corvette, it goes even further. It is truly no exaggeration to say that the entire vehicle has been built around the engine – it is the foundation of everything else. Not only regarding the kind of power it can produce but also, naturally, its position within the vehicle.
We should take a moment to talk about that position and why it is so important. With a high-performance vehicle, a lot of time is spent on dealing with weight to give the car the best handling and balance possible. If you put the engine at the front of the vehicle, then you have a lot of weight up front, and you need to design around that. With a mid-engine design, all that weight is shifted toward the middle of the car, which makes it much easier to balance everything else. The position of the engine in the 2020 Corvette is just behind the cabin, above the rear wheels – creating fantastic balance and handling on the road.
That position is not all that matters – if you slapped any old engine there, it would offer great balance but little else. The engine in the 2020 Corvette, also called the C8, is an improvement of the engine in the previous generation, the C7. The new LT2 engine is a 6.2L V8 that can provide up to 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque with the standard setup. There is an available performance exhaust package that boosts those numbers up to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque for a truly amazing driving experience.
That powerful engine comes paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which gives it a 0 to 60 speed comparable with models and engines far more powerful. This is the only transmission currently available with the 2020 Chevy Corvette, and while some people might lament the loss of a manual option, there are paddle shifters on the steering wheel for some driver control. The precision and quick gear-shifting offered by the dual-clutch transmission cannot be denied, however, and it lets this new Corvette fly through the gears.
With any new generation of a vehicle, you expect to see some redesign to its interior, but the 2020 Chevy Corvette takes this a step further. Not only has the layout of the interior been updated, but radical changes and new designs have been implemented to take full advantage of the mid-engine configuration. Moving the engine behind the cabin has shifted the cabin forward significantly, and the interior has been changed as a result.
With the cabin moving forward, the driver is now closer to the road, so the front dashboard has been lowered, giving you a greater view of the road in front of you. As a result, controls have been removed from the dash and added to a new row of buttons that run along a middle console between the driver and passenger. This way, nothing has been lost, but the driver feels much more immersed in the road and the experience of driving the Chevy.
The interior itself is gorgeous, and you feel like you have had it poured around you the moment you sit in the driver’s seat. There is a 12-inch driver display in the dash, which is customizable and provides you with all the information you need while driving. An 8-inch Infotainment display sits between the driver and passenger, and features available enhanced navigation with 3D View. There is Bluetooth pairing with NFC available, along with a 14-speaker Bose premium audio system, and available Wi-Fi connectivity.
The look of the outside of the 2020 Chevy Corvette has been the source of some controversy, but it remains true to the heritage of the Stingray while also moving forward in a bold new direction. By shifting to a mid-engine design, the cabin has been moved forward, which means the nose of the new Corvette is significantly shorter than in previous years. While the swooping Stingray design remains, the shorter nose and longer rear change the shape of the 2020 Corvette – but all in the service of boosted performance.
Large vents on the door panels are used to cool the powerful engine, which flows with the shape of the doors to create an aesthetic that pulls your eyes naturally from the front of the vehicle toward the rear. It is an elegant design combining functionality with grace in a way that serves the vehicle well and makes for an impressive side panel. Since the front is smaller but does not have an engine, there is a small front compartment large enough for a carry-on bag.
The rear trunk is big enough for a pair of golf bags, or it can fit the removable roof panel if you want to take full advantage of the targa roof. There is also a rear window just behind the cabin that gives a view down into the engine area. Available lighting showcases this feature even more, turning the engine itself into a major feature from the outside of the vehicle, highlighting what matters most in the 2020 Corvette: power.
In addition to all the major improvements and new features in the 2020 Chevy Corvette, there are also a few pieces of technology that should be pointed out. For one, the Chevy Performance Data Recorder has been updated and improved for the C8 with better functionality. This will be particularly useful if you plan on taking your Corvette to a racetrack, or just want to monitor your performance and overall driving experience.
One of the most impressive new features on the 2020 Chevy Corvette is the GPS-enabled nose-lift technology. The nose-lift function lets you raise the front nose of the vehicle by almost two inches to avoid speed bumps or steep inclines that might otherwise scrape the underside of the Corvette. What is more impressive, however, is the fact that you can program locations into the Corvette’s system using GPS. The vehicle will then track when you arrive at one of these locations, and automatically lift the nose to avoid a bump or other obstruction you often encounter; up to 1,000 locations can be programmed and saved in this way.