IN THE CORVETTE’S EPOCHAL 2020 MAKEOVER, A HOMEGROWN ICON WAS REBORN AS A ROADRAVAGING SUPER-MACHINE FOR THE MASSES AVAILABLE AS A HARD-TOP CONVERTIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME

BY AMANDA MCCOY

By now, every reader has probably experienced whiplash from quickly craning their necks on the road as the eighth generation ‘Vette stormed by. Since its birth in 1953 at a time when the sports car market was dominated by European marques like Benz and BMW Chevrolet’s homegrown muscle-coupe has earned the affectionate nickname “America’s sports car,” offering a road to entry into the sports category with both strength and swagger in equal measure. But when the engine revved during the 2019 unveiling of the C8 Corvette Stingray in Orange County, it was clear the lovable little brother of hyper cars everywhere was all grown up. With massive air intakes, dramatic side scoops, and deep wind-sculpted lines, the supercar established a new order in American-bred performance. Vlad Kapitonov, the C8’s lead exterior designer, proclaimed during the super-coupe’s launch event that he was inspired by predatory animals. Something fast, ferocious that stalks in the night.

Aside from a provocative new exterior, the most notable change in the 2020 redesign was the implementation of a mid-mounted engine. It was the first mid-engined ‘Vette in the nameplate’s 66-year history, joining an elite list that includes the Bugatti Chiron and Porsche Boxster. Chevy’s LT2 engine is a 6.2L small-block V-8 that commands 490 horses and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, architecturally transformed to sit lower for razor sharp handling, so even a quick grocery run feels like the final lap of Le Mans. An available dual-mode performance exhaust adds another five horsepower and torque. This hungry heart is paired with a Corvette first eight-speed dual clutch transmission, providing lightning-fast shifts and excellent power transfer. Enthusiasts might weep over the elimination of the manual offering, but the 2.9-second 0-60 time should soften the blow. Several third-party testers clocked even quicker accelerations.

A limited edition appearance package is available for 2022, inspired by the 2021 IMSA GTLM champion C8.R race car. This Champion Edition package is available on 3LT models equipped with the Z51 add-on and is offered in either Accelerate Yellow with gray accents or Hypersonic Gray with yellow accents. The wheels are finished with bright yellow calipers and marked with the Corvette Racing “Jake” skull logo on the center caps.

In addition to the coupe which features a clever rear hatch window that puts the engine heart on display a retractable hard-top is available for the first time (in the past, the only convertible Corvettes donned a soft-top).

MM Bubbles Spread

Creature comforts and tech upgrades include a mighty 12-inch digital instrument display, Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system, color head-up display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (beginning in 2021). Starting MSRP for the 2022 C8 is $62,195.

MAGNETIC RIDE CONTROL 4.0
Is a mega-precise, next-gen dampening system that reads the road every millisecond and adapts to changing road conditions on the fly. It uses a cutting-edge suspension fluid with metal particles that align and become rigid in the snap of a finger (or bump in the road), beckoning its pilots to push even harder.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES FOR 2022
Include a new optional low profile rear spoiler, offering a more subtle option for drivers interested in a spoiler without opting for the more aggressive Z51 accent. The motor has also been tweaked with new fuel and engine management systems that provide a cleaner ride without sacrificing power or performance.

THIS SUPERCAR WAS ENGINEERED FOR EVERYDAY DRIVING
Thus the cabin was designed to be plush and comfortable. The top-of-the-line 3LT coupe and convertible add luxe interior features like a custom leather-wrapped instrument panel, sueded microfiber upper interior trim, and Nappa leather seats.

WITH A NEW YEAR COMES A NEW ‘DO.
Three flashy new colors join the lineup for MY 2022 Amplify Orange, Caffeine, and Hypersonic Gray.

BRACE FOR TAKEOFF
with the Z51 Performance package, which readies the roadster for track use with aerodynamic aids that add 400 pounds of downforce, stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP summer tires, revised suspension tuning to handle track cornering speeds, and more effective cooling for the engine and brakes.

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