ENGINE 6162cc V8, OHV, 16v
POWER 369kW @ 6450rpm
TORQUE 637Nm @ 4500rpm
0-100KM/H 3.0sec (claimed)
LIKE: Charisma of that V8; atmo power delivery; benign ride and handling
DISLIKE: Styling might take some time to get used to; order lead time
PRODUCTION OF THE eighth-generation (C8) Chevrolet Corvette got off to a slow start at the end of 2019. Much of 2020 was also understandably problematic. Other than for mask makers and online retailers, of course, it can’t have been a good year for anyone.
Now, however, Chevrolet’s production lines at the Bowling Green plant in Kentucky are cranked up and running apace, building Corvettes at a rate of some 50,000 per year, most of which are currently being gobbled up by the North American market. Wherever they’re headed, that’s a lot of sports cars: very likely more than all the 911s built by Porsche and all the F-Types built by Jaguar this year put together.
But sales volume hasn’t been enough, thus far at least, to make the Corvette a globally respected player within its strategically important market niche. That, you suspect, is what the car’s new mechanical layout and technical configuration – mid-mounted engine, dual-clutch gearbox, adaptively damped and manually adjustable coilover suspension and right-hand-drive option – is really all about. Not just making the Corvette handle like the pedigree Europeans but making it a much closer notional rival for them as well – and therefore so much harder for badge snobs to dismiss.
European deliveries of the Corvette kicked off in November, but despite our local importers rolling out a trio of C8s for the public to view at Bathurst, first customer deliveries take place here in January, with a healthy order bank running well into 2023. Yes, you did read that correctly. You might still be able to get a car quicker if you import one yourself or through a third party, but the official route gets you a right-hand-drive car, a proper dealer warranty, servicing back-up and more besides.
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MUSCLE CAR FIGHT
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