By NITISH S. RELE – firstname.lastname@example.org
Zora Arkus-Duntov may not be a household name but his vision has come true after over 60 years. The late ‘father of Corvette’ imagined a mid-engine for the iconic car but bumps along the way kept it just a pipe dream. Until now. The 2020 Corvette Stingray has finally made the leap to a mid-engine configuration that gives the ride outstanding weight distribution, handling and forward visibility.
The Stingray is powered by a 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 engine that thumps out a pulse-raising 495 horsepower @ 6450 and 470 pounds-feet of torque @ 5150 rpm. It is mated to Chevy’s first 8-speed dual-clutch gear box, which should provide quick shifts and first-rate power transfer. And of course the driver can use the paddle shifters for a more lively, in-control experience. Zero to 60 in the muscle car is possible in less than 3 seconds with top speed of 184 mph. The adrenalin rush that kicks in as the engine roars to life in this high-performance sports car is something not to be missed. A drive mode selector, which can be operated via a rotary knob, offers tour, weather, MyMode, track and sport options. A silver “Z” button on the squared-off steering wheel (reminiscent of Z06, ZR1 performance packages) allows the driver to fine-tune engine, transmission and steering settings.
It is no secret that the front fascia of the Corvette was inspired by F-19 fighter jets and Formula One racing (Ferrari, hint, hint!). Out goes the stretched hood as the rear deck gets longer with a cabin that moves forward by 16.5 inches. Wide front air dams, carbon-flash accents, low-set LED headlights and door handles hidden under side air intakes accent the robust look. Admitted, there aren’t any scissor-type gullwing doors but the wing mirrors scream supercar, as in McLaren! Our coupe came with a removable roof panel that can be stored in the rear stowage area. There also is a frunk as in front compartment hold. The finest view of the speedster is the rear hatch window showcasing the intricate and minute details that went into the stunningly built engine.
Yes, this is a speed demon but let’s not forget that the cabin is as enjoyable and gorgeous as the exterior. Relax in the first-rate, rich-looking eight-way power bucket leather seats as you play with the 8-inch driver/infotainment touch screen. But wait a minute, what’s this vertical streak on the dashboard, you ask. Those, my friends, are the climate control and vent buttons, which may take some getting used to. Also, the ride becomes a mobile hub thanks to OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Apart from several other packages, the available Performance Data Recorder with in-car video lets you record video of the driving experience, on or off track. Other welcome indulgences are dual auto a/c, power tilt/telescopic steering column, 12-inch instrument panel, Bose stainless-steel 10-speaker grilles, and keyless open/start.
Safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, active handling with electronic stability control, safety belt pretensioners, limited slip differential, rearview camera, rear park assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
Displaying astounding agility, power and response, the attractive and athletic Stingray will stop onlookers in their track. With a muscular-styled appearance, which matches the breathtaking cabin, this mid-engine speed monster should continue to be a huge draw with Corvette buffs admirers while gaining new well-wishers. And somewhere up there, Zora Arkus-Duntov is smiling!
2020 CORVETTE COUPE
Tires: P245/35R19 front; P305/30R20 rear
Wheelbase: 107.2 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Width: 76.1 inches
Height: 48.6 inches
Suspension: short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone
Steering: variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Weight: 3,366 pounds
Base price: $58,900
Price as tested: $80,315
Web site: www.corvette.com