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2020 Chevrolet Corvette: First Look

  • 495 horsepower comes from a new 6.2-liter small-block V8
  • 2020 Chevrolet Corvette uses a mid-engine layout
  • New Bose audio systems with 10 or 14 speakers
  • Base price will be under $60,000
  • Quickest 0-to-60 mph time of any Corvette ever

There’s really no more quintessentially American performance car than the Chevy Corvette. Chevrolet knows this and it was obvious the crowd at the 2020 Corvette’s unveiling knew it, too. The audience was packed with automotive reporters and a healthy showing from current Corvette owners. Plus, Chevrolet chose to reveal the long-awaited, highly anticipated Corvette at a huge blimp hangar in Orange County, California. At first, it seems like an odd location, but fans of the car know the next era in Corvette performance kicked off in the shadows of legendary racing venues, canyons and beach front strips that built the Corvette name, one green light at a time.

The new car looks tough and fresh but still looks like a Corvette — surprisingly so, given that the entire structure and engine/transmission layout have changed. Ultimately, it’s a Chevy Corvette that’s tailor-made for the Instagram era but is anchored in decades of Chevrolet tradition.

One notable fact for the exterior is that there are 12 color choices: Torch Red, Arctic White, Black, Blade Silver Metallic, Shadow Gray, Ceramic Matrix Gray, Long Beach Red, Elkhart Lake Blue and Sebring Orange, plus three all-new colors: Rapid Blue, Zeus Bronze and Accelerate Yellow.


Fans of anything General Motors will recognize the Corvette’s engine size — it’s a 6.2-liter non-turbo non-hybrid non-pixie dust gasoline powered V8. But the 6.2-liter displacement is the only thing the engine shares with previous Corvette V8s.

When the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette goes on sale, it will be the only naturally-aspirated V8 in the segment. It will produce 495 hp (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque when equipped with performance exhaust. No other entry-level Corvette before has had more horsepower or more torque.

With the mid-engine layout, the V8 sits right behind the driver so the cab of the car has been pushed forward 16 inches. Chevy says this will give a more commanding view of the road or track ahead.

Chevrolet put it like this:

"Though now placed behind the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral experience we all expect from Corvette," said Jordan Lee, GM’s global chief engineer of Small Block engines. "The LT2 has been designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end power to give thrilling pedal response at any RPM."

The engine is put on display, visible through a large glass area in the rear hatch. Therefore, all the engine plumbing and hardware, including red valve covers, were built and designed to be seen.

The V8 is paired with Chevrolet’s first 8-speed dual clutch transmission.

Ride and Handling

Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 is available and the car now has a feature that lets the driver raise the front end of the car about 40mm in less than three seconds to avoid driveway or parking lot scrapes. That feature is GPS enabled so the driver can store up to 1,000 locations where the car will lift itself when approaching.

The placement of the engine behind the driver will give the Corvette a more precise feel. Chevy puts it like this: "The new seating position places the car’s center 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."

Other ride and handling improvements detailed in Chevrolet’s press release:

  • Steering ratio improved from 16.25:1 to 15.7:1.
  • New eBoost brakes that are more precise and tunable.
  • The first sports car application of Michelin’s all-season performance tire that can corner at nearly 1G.
  • Launch control aided by the rear weight distribution, enabling the new Stingray to get off the line quicker than any Corvette in history.
  • Z51 Performance Package, which introduces a host of new technology to the 2020 Stingray:
    • Performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats.
    • Larger brake rotors with Z51 logo on calipers.
    • Enhanced cooling.
    • Specific axle ratio.
    • Front brake cooling inlets.
    • Performance exhaust.

There are also the familiar driving modes like Tour, Sport and Track mode. But there are new settings available as well. "Z mode" is activated by a button on the steering wheel. It’s meant to invoke famous Corvette variations from the past — Z06, ZR1, etc. There’s also "MyMode" that’s customizable.


Much of the discussion of the new Corvette will certainly focus on performance and the 495 hp engine. But the interior gets a major makeover, too. Buyers will have a choice of three specific seats — GT1, GT2 and competition sport. Buyers can even customize the interior with several color options. Those choices include six interior themes: Jet Black, Sky Cool Gray, Adrenaline Red, Natural/Natural Dipped, Two-Tone Blue and Morello Red.

Plus there are six seat belt color options: Black, Blue, Natural, Torch Red, Yellow and Orange. And two optional stitching packages: Yellow and Red. Standard black interiors have Sky Cool Gray stitching.

In addition. there’s lots of new tech. In fact, Chevrolet says the performance upgrades are inside the new Corvette as well as outside: "The 2020 Stingray 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. The architecture minimizes wiring while allowing for faster signal transmission between different vehicle systems and the higher resolution screens. The platform enables continuous vehicle improvements through over-the-air updates and enhanced cybersecurity measures."

Add to that, next generation infotainment with a higher resolution display, near field communication for simple, one-touch phone pairing, wireless phone charging and teachable voice recognition. There’s also driver and passenger seat memory, heated steering wheel and a tire-fill alert that tells you when the max tire pressure has been reached when airing up your tire — we assume this is similar to Nissan’s "Easy Fill" system.

Probably one of the coolest features on the whole car is Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder. It, along with self-raising suspension got the loudest cheers from fans and owners sitting in the massive hangar. Chevrolet says the data recorder is "…an advanced driving analysis tool upgraded with high-definition resolution camera and a new, in-vehicle user interface. Customers can record both circuit and point-to-point road courses. The PDR can be set to auto-record like a dash cam that starts a recording every time the Corvette is running, or configured to only start when the car is set to Valet mode."


At this point, we don’t know the price for every option and package. Certainly, there will be various levels of Corvette performance available. Right now, all we know is that the base 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will be priced under $60,000. Find a Chevrolet Corvette for sale

Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written... Read More about Brian Moody

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