Vette Revolution: The Tech of the 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray
Now that the years-long wait is over and Chevrolet has finally spilled the beans and given us a ton of info about the long-awaited mid-engine C8 Corvette Stingray, the internet and social media have exploded with reaction to the new car.
But more than just being the first ever mid-engine production Corvette and a huge departure from the past, the C8 is loaded with technology that sets its apart from previous Corvettes and shifts it more toward the realm of European supercars.
So after taking some time to soak in all the fresh information, we decided to break down some of the key new technology and interesting mechanical components that will be featured in the C8 platform.
Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission
With the shift from a front-engine to a mid-engine platform, one of the biggest new pieces of technology in the C8 Corvette is the eight-speed dual clutch transmission that will be mated to car's small block V8. Co-developed with the Tremec, the new gearbox has been optimized for both hard track driving and everyday cruising.
First gear has been designed for off the line performance, while two through six are close ratio for spirited and circuit driving. In typical Corvette fashion, gears seven and eight are for cruising and should help the C8 continue the modern Corvette tradition of getting surprisingly great highway fuel economy.
Needless to say, the new transmission can be operated by paddle shifters, and Chevy has even included a way to disconnect the clutch manually by holding both shift paddles at the same time. It might not be the old-school manual gearbox some had hoped for, but it's certainly one of the more interesting new parts on the C8.
The move to the mid-engined platform also gives the C8 a radically different cabin layout when compared to the C7. In fact, the whole thing has been moved forward by 16.5 inches in comparison to the old car.
More than just the position though, the cockpit has also been redone with a heavy dose of inspiration from both modern fighter jet aircraft and single seat race cars. Maybe it's not a coincidence to the C8 was unveiled on the same day the Top Gun 2 trailer dropped?
Without the engine sitting in front of the windshield, the C8's hood is much lower than before, and that also contributes to a view that's more race car or fighter plane than the long-hooded Corvettes of the past.
No More Leaf Springs
While the words "leaf springs" might make you picture American muscle cars from the '60s or heavy-duty pickup trucks, the Corvette has been using leaf springs for its entire life—the transverse setups on the modern cars actually working incredibly well.
But now the Corvette will say goodbye to leaf springs with the C8's new coilover damper on each corner. The Z51 performance package will even include manually adjustable threaded spring seats.
The C8's new suspension design might not be quite the leap that 2015 Mustang made when it went to an independent rear suspension layout, but it's just one more example of the new Corvette throwing out the rulebook and going in a new direction.
Mag Ride 4.0
Magnetically-controlled suspension is easily one of the most impressive technologies on today's performance cars, and it's not surprising to hear that the C8 will be available with an even more advanced version of this tech.
Dubbed "Magnetic Ride Control 4.0," the system uses accelerometers to provide more precise readings from the road for faster and smoother operation of what already was a rather seamless-feeling setup from behind the wheel.
One of the big missions of both the C8 and past Corvettes is to combine ultra high level performance in a package that isn't punishing or uncomfortable during everyday driving, and Mag Ride 4.0 looks to continue that tradition.
GPS Leveling System
With its new mid-engine layout and radically different look, the C8 Corvette is clearly working into supercar territory, and one of its new pieces of technology has been found on ultra-expensive European supercars for a while—a front end lift system.
Designed to avoid having the low-slung front end make contact with obstacles on the road or parking lots, the C8's front lift system raises the bumper by about 40 millimeters and can elevate itself in less than three seconds. It can also be used at speeds up to 24 mph.
Most interesting of all, the system is programmed by GPS and can remember up to 1,000 locations, so the car will the raise the front end automatically without the driver having to manually activate it.
Dry Sump Lubrication for LT2 V8
Of all the equipment on the new C8, the naturally aspirated small block V8 might be the most familiar part of the new Corvette. Now designated LT2, the 6.2L V8 does have some performance boosts when compared to the old LT1, but the big story is its oiling system.
While past editions of high performance Corvettes have had dry sumps, the C8 marks the first time Chevy has employed a dry sump lubrication system on the entry level car, with three scavenge pumps to ensure the LT2 is never starving for oil.
With the C8 designed for heavy track use, the engineering team put a ton of work into making sure the system can keep up in situations with over 1G of lateral force on the engine in any direction.
All in all that’s just a little taste of some of the tech that the C8 will offer when it arrives for 2020. It's made all the more impressive by a starting MSRP that will come in under $60,000 and the fact that this is only the first model of what's sure to be a line of even faster and more technologically advanced C8 variants to come.
Additional photos by: Stacy Pittas
See everything shown at the 2020 C8 Corvette reveal, here.