Car Review: Big changes turn the Chevrolet Corvette into a world-beating sports car

The Chevrolet Corvette has been the quintessential American sports car, giving drivers a lot of performance for a more reasonable price tag than other big-ticket sports cars. And for 2020, Chevrolet gave the Corvette its biggest makeover in its storied history.

Like an exotic car, the new ‘Vette has the engine behind the driver, providing good balance. The handling limits are very high and can be approached more easily with the new layout. The forward vision is very good, but the rear vision is more compromised now.

It still has V-8 power. The Z51 performance package adds 5 hp over regular Corvette models for a total of 495 hp. One big change is the loss of a manual shifter. Luckily, the new 8-speed dual clutch transmission is very good.

Style is important for a sports car and the new Corvette provides an exotic look, although it still looks like a Chevrolet Corvette — it sits low and wide — and seems smaller than the previous generation.

The removable roof panel carries over from previous models; it stores in the rear trunk. With the engine moved, there’s a “frunk” — a front trunk — in the front of the car for some extra storage.

The inside sees a big makeover also, with improved materials and a more modern look. The driver is the focus — the controls and screen are tilted toward the person behind the wheel. The high-tech virtual cockpit and flat-bottomed steering wheel give strong hints of a race car.

Cost: $58,900; as tested $65,690

MPG: 15 mpg city, 27 mpg highway. I managed 19.7 mpg in 220 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $5,000 Z51 performance package; $595 bright red-painted brake calipers; $100 carbon flash-painted mirrors

Safety: HD rear vision camera; rear park assist; teen-driver mode; active handling stability control; performance traction management

Things to know: This is the biggest makeover in Corvette history with the jump to a mid-engine layout. You get exotic car performance for a reasonable price tag. Good luck finding them at the dealer. Its a hot ticket.

Pros:

  • It has exotic style but retains Corvette styling cues.
  • The performance is breathtaking for the price of entry.
  • Improved interior is driver-focused.

Cons:

  • New mid-engine layout leads to some compromised rear vision.
  • No more manual transmission.
  • The entry 1LT version I drove doesn’t come with side blind zone alert and could use it.

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