THE next generation mid-engine Corvette has been revealed. But the news is bigger than that, much bigger. For the first time ever, it will be right-hand drive, with further confirmation that it will join Holden’s model range here in Australia.
Powered by Chevy’s next-generation 6.2-litre small block V-8 LT2 engine, the Corvette will be the only naturally aspirated V8 in the segment. It will produce 369kW of power and 637Nm of torque.
That means we can expect a 0-100km/h sprint time of around 3.0-seconds when equipped with Z51 package, in what will be the first-ever production version of a Corvette in mid-engine configuration.
It is also the fastest, most powerful entry-level Corvette, offering new standards of performance, technology and craftsmanship. The new layout will provide better weight distribution, with rear weight bias enhancing performance in a straight line and on track.
Better responsiveness and sense of control will also come due to the fact the driver positioning closer to the front axle, while a race car-like view of the road will be afforded, thanks to lower positioning of the hood, instrument panel and steering wheel.
The new Corvette’s exterior has a bold, futuristic expression with mid-engine exotic proportions, but it is still unmistakably Corvette. It is lean and muscular, with an athletic sculptural shape conveying a sense of motion and power from every angle.
“Like anyone with a hint of petrol in their veins, we were glued to our screens watching the reveal of the new Corvette,” said Dave Buttner, Chairman and Managing Director of Holden.
“The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand-drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars,” he said.
“We look forward to taking on the European and Japanese performance vehicles with some highly sophisticated American muscle.”
General Motors president Mark Reuss said the front engined vehicle concept of previous Corvettes had reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout, affording the opportunity to create something new.
“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Mike Simcoe, VP of global design at GM.
The new location of the engine is truly the focal point for the car’s design. It’s the heart of this next generation Corvette and it sits like a jewel in a showcase, visible through the large rear hatch window.
The added attention to detail optimised the appearance of every wire, tube, bolt and fastener, similar to those found in modern track and all-road motorcycle designs, with an overall stance inspired F22 and F35 jet fighters.
The Corvette’s structure is built around its backbone: the centre tunnel. This enables a light, stiff structure to serve as the foundation for the suspension system to perform in an optimised manner.
“Thanks to sophisticated suspension geometry, tailored tyre technology and exquisite attention to structural details, we have improved ride and handling,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer.
“No Corvette has ever felt so comfortable, nimble and yet completely stable.”
Coil over dampers feature in the new Corvette to create entirely new ride and handling characteristics. The mid-engine architecture allows for a short, straight and stiff steering system, coupled with an updated electronic steering system.
A new seating position places the car’s centre of gravity close to the driver’s inside hip, so the car literally turns around the driver. It completely changes the perception of vehicle handling and responsiveness.
The thumping LT2 is paired with Chevrolet’s first eight speed dual-clutch transmission, which provides lightning-fast shifts and excellent power transfer. The double-paddle de-clutch feature even allows the driver to disconnect the clutch for more manual control.
It also benefits from GM’s new digital vehicle platform, an all-new electronic architecture that enables the adoption of the company’s next generation of technologies.
Production of the next generation Corvette begins at GM’s Bowling Green facility in late 2019. Holden will share further details about the 2020 Corvette’s arrival in Australia at a later date.