The hardtop model has a removable roof panel and the rear glass shows off the engine, right. The convertible, left, keeps the engine hidden at all times. Photo: Chevrolet

The hardtop model has a removable roof panel and the rear glass shows off the engine, right. The convertible, left, keeps the engine hidden at all times. Photo: Chevrolet

Get to know the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Perhaps the only thing that’s not exotic is the price

Perhaps not since the First Sting Ray broke cover for the 1963 model year has there been a more highly anticipated Corvette.

Why? Two reasons. First, the engine is in the back and not the front, immediately making the 2020 Stingray a more exotic machine than any previous Corvette. Second, the base price is $70,000, which isn’t really exotic money.

Certainly some Corvette fans are not happy that their favourite sports car now looks like it was created in Europe and not in America, but their grumbling is drowned out by the praise.

From any angle, the new Corvette is stunning. And yes, it does look European in nature; especially the pointy nose, low hood and massive windshield. Chevrolet says their shapes were inspired by fighter jets, which is easy to see.

Other aspects of the design, however, such as the in-your-face air intakes positioned ahead of the extra-wide rear fenders, add some North American flavoring.

The rear window gives gawkers a peek at the engine bay, while the extended-length rear deck opens to reveal trunk space aft of the engine that Chevrolet says can hold two sets of golf clubs. It’s also where the removable body-coloured roof panel is stowed. Translucent and carbon-fibre panels are optional.

A smaller cargo hold in front — the frunk, as it’s called — is good for an airline-approved carry-on suitcase or a few grocery bags.

For the convertible — which costs about $9,000 more than the base coupe — the power-operated rear deck opens, clamshell-style, then the roof section retracts to rest above the engine before the deck returns to its original position. The process takes 16 seconds and can be done at vehicle speeds up to 50 km/h.

READ MORE: 2020 AMG C43 Wagon and Sedan are true benchmarks

The Corvette’s interior is almost as radical as the body. The unusual steering wheel is flat on the top and the bottom and might take some getting used to. The 30-centimetre configurable instrument display and the 20-centimetre touch-screen (angled toward the driver) appear to have been influenced by hardcore video gamers. Most obvious, though, the driver is separated from the passenger by a wall topped with a lengthy row of buttons and switches almost entirely needed for the climate-control system.

As is the trend these days, switches and pushbuttons have replaced the traditional shift lever, clearly indicating that this Corvette is not available with a manual transmission. Instead, an eight-speed automatic — of the rapid-shift, dual-clutch variety — with paddle shifters handles the gear swapping and hooks to a 6.2-litre V-8 that punches out 490 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The drive system has six modes, with engine and transmission settings ranging from cruising (soft) to sporting (firm), according to driver preference.

Chevrolet says the Corvette can reach 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in less than three seconds, which is about as quick (or quicker) than the most powerful seventh-generation front-engine Corvette (the 755-horse ZR1).

KEEP READING: 2020 Nissan Pathfinder keeps moving forward

Part of the credit goes to rear weight bias of the new car (which means more traction), but to pull off that time you’ll need the optional launch control. Just keep the throttle floored and the system releases the brakes, immediately dispatching the Stingray with barely a hint of wheelspin.

The extra cost should be no problem considering the Stingray’s shockingly low $70,000 starting price (coupe), which includes destination charges. That gets you plenty of content, but along with launch control, most enthusiasts will likely shell out a bit more for the Z51 Performance Package. It includes bigger brakes with cooling outlets, performance suspension and rear-axle ratio, and a performance exhaust system that adds five horsepower.

Other options include an electronic limited-slip differential, rearview mirror/camera, upgraded interior appointments (including a choice of two front-seat designs) and magnetic ride-control shock absorbers that instantly and constantly adjust to road conditions and driver inputs.

Given its wild styling, hot performance and even hotter price, the 2020 Corvette Stingray is understandably in high demand. Deliveries begin soon, but that’s likely just the beginning as higher performing models will come on stream with more exotic power and looks. And likely at a price that’s still not exotic.

What you should know: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Type: Two-door, rear-wheel-drive midengine sport coupe/convertible

Engine (h.p.): 6.2-litre OHV V-8 (490/495)

Transmission: Eight-speed automated manual

Market position: For the first time in its six-decade-plus history, the Corvette has the engine behind the seats instead of in front, pointing the way to a whole new future for the car as it severs ties to the past.

Points: Stunning design also comes with a dash of practicality. • Ground-breaking interior has an almost singular focus on the driver. • Non-turbo overhead valve V-8 has been a Chevrolet staple for years. • Some enthusiasts will be saddened by the lack of a manual transmission. • Look for future more versions that stretch the performance envelope.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (n.a.); emergency braking (n.a.); pedestrian detection (n.a.)

L/100 km (city/hwy): 15.0/9.0 (est.); Base price (incl. destination): $70,000

BY COMPARISON

Porsche 718 Cayman

Base price: $65,200

Midengine coupe (and 718 Boxster) has a base 300- h.p. turbo four-cylinder.

Jaguar F-Type coupe

Base price: $73,200

Coupe and roadster offer four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines with up to 575 h.p.

Toyota GR Supra

Base price: $66,750

2020 coupe is slick and quick. BMW Z4 roadster uses the same platform.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The info screen is tilted toward the driver and is essentially blocked from the passenger by a divider topped with a lengthy row of mostly climate-control buttons and switches. Photo: Chevrolet

The info screen is tilted toward the driver and is essentially blocked from the passenger by a divider topped with a lengthy row of mostly climate-control buttons and switches. Photo: Chevrolet

The eight-speed automatic transmission is of the dual-clutch variety, which means fast shifts. There is no manual transmission offered, at least initially. Photo: Chevrolet

The eight-speed automatic transmission is of the dual-clutch variety, which means fast shifts. There is no manual transmission offered, at least initially. Photo: Chevrolet

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: Town of Smithers lifts alert for high levels of chlorine in water

Residents are advised town water is now safe to use

Garry Merkel has been recognized for his work in culturally appropriate Indigenous education with an honourary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Tahltan educator recognized with honorary doctorate from UBC

Garry Merkel has dedicated his life to improving Indigenous educational outcomes

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read