Love at first sight: Chevy’s new mid-engined Corvette is a true American supercar

I first laid eyes on a Corvette in my first trip to the U.S. I was already a car-crazy 16-year-old and it was the long-lived third-generation Coke-bottle Corvette (C3) that was on the market from 1968 all way to 1982. Needless to say, I was smitten. 

Over the years, I was mesmerized by every new Corvette that appeared on the glossy pages of Road & Track, Car and Driver and Motor Trend—from the Corvette C4 of 1984, to the 1995 C5 to the C6 of 2005. But it wouldn’t be until 2018—a full 36 years after I first saw a Corvette in the (fiberglass) flesh—when I would find myself behind the wheel of one. And it was the absolutely fabulous C7 version (2014-2019). Not only that, the drive was held in Spring Mountain Raceway in Las Vegas. Needless to say, I was blown away.       

And now, Chevrolet Philippines has brought over the game-changing, genre-redefining latest version of America’s sports car—the sensational (first-ever) mid-engined C8 Corvette Stingray. This is the Corvette that’s nothing less than a quantum leap in terms of technology, design, craftsmanship, luxury, and, of course, performance

The 2022 Corvette Stingray Coupe’s exterior has bold, futuristic, and I daresay, exotic Italian proportions—but it is still unmistakably Corvette. It’s lean and muscular, with an athletic sculptural shape conveying a sense of motion and power from every angle.

Supercar levels of craftsmanship, premium materials, and attention to detail were critical in crafting together the 2022 Corvette. The new location of the engine is truly the focal point for the car’s design. It’s the heart of this American supercar, and it sits like a jewel in a showcase, visible through the large rear hatch window much like in hyper-expensive Italian exotics.

The fighter plane-inspired cabin features a cockpit that has not only migrated forward by 16.5 inches but envelops the driver, conveying the high performance and aeronautic theme, vertical climate controls and ultra-thin vents that minimize the height of the instrument panel to create a low, spacious interior, and a new, squared-off, two-spoke, small-diameter steering wheel that enables an unobscured view of the 12-inch customizable instrument cluster display.

Premium interior materials executed at a high level of quality and craftsmanship features hand-wrapped, cut-and-sew leather components with thick press stitching, generous use of real metal, stainless steel speaker grilles with Bose Performance Series audio system, and carbon fiber trim on the GT2 bucket-type seats.

The C8 Corvette comes in five exterior colors: Torch Red, Arctic White, Ceramic Matrix Gray Metallic, Silver Flare Metallic, Hypersonic Gray Metallic, and a combination of Adrenaline Red/Jet Black interiors.

The Corvette’s structure is built around its backbone: the center tunnel. This enables a light, stiff structure to serve as the foundation for the suspension system to perform in an optimized manner. The Corvette will deliver the ultimate in riding comfort coupled with outstanding cornering capabilities.

The center tunnel design offers many advantages, including easier ingress/egress for a mid-engine vehicle (no wide rocker panels), preservation of Corvette’s beloved standard removable roof panel, which can easily be stored in the rear trunk, a front storage compartment that can fit an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag, and smart packaging with improved cabin comfort, including an additional inch of rearward seat travel and almost double the reclining angle.

The all-new 2022 Corvette Stingray Coupe is built with a smart mixed-materials strategy, enabling key features such as a strong, stiff, and lightweight main structure of six high-pressure diecast aluminum parts (that minimize the number of joints within the vehicle, making a stiffer structure that aids in handling and track cornering), industry-first carbon fiber curved rear bumper beam for weight reduction, and front and rear trunk tubs and dashboard molded from ultra-lightweight “float” derived from fiberglass and a proprietary resin. The material is so light that it can actually float in water. It works with other fiberglass and carbon fiber variants to lower mass and reduce noise and vibration.

Helping the 2022 Corvette deliver superior ride comfort on the highway and well-balanced handling on the track are coil-over dampers that create entirely new ride and handling characteristics. The mid-engine architecture allows for a short, straight, and stiff steering system, coupled with an updated electronic steering system, making the driver’s chassis input instantaneous.

The new seating position places the car’s center of gravity close to the driver’s inside hip, so the car literally turns around the driver. It completely changes the perception of vehicle handling and responsiveness.

Other ride and handling tricks include eBoost brakes that are more precise and tunable, Michelin all-season performance tires that can help the car grip the pavement at nearly 1G, front suspension lift that raises ground clearance by approximately 40mm at the front bumper in 2.8 seconds, protecting against bumps, potholes, and steep driveways (it can operate at speeds up to 40 km/h and be programmed to work automatically via GPS to remember up to 1,000 locations), launch control aided by the rear weight distribution, enabling the new Stingray to get off the line quicker than any Corvette in history, and the piece de resistance, the renowned Z51 Performance Package, which introduces a host of new technology to the 2022 Corvette Stingray Coupe like performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats, larger brake rotors with Z51 logo on calipers, specific axle ratio, front brake cooling inlets, performance exhaust, electronic limited slip differential, a front splitter and open two-piece rear spoiler that adds up to a combined 400 pounds of downforce, available Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 that reads the road better, providing more precise data through suspension-mounted accelerometers, and available Performance Traction Management.

Powering the new Corvette is Chevy’s next-generation 6.2-liter dry-sump small-block LT2 V8, the only naturally aspirated V8 in the segment. When equipped with performance exhaust, it will produce 474hp and 613Nm of torque — the most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette.

That world-beating LT2 is paired with Chevrolet’s first 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, which provides lightning-fast shifts. This transmission is uniquely designed with TREMEC to provide the best of both worlds: the spirited, direct connected feeling of a manual and the premium driving comfort of an automatic. The double-paddle de-clutch feature even allows the driver to disconnect the clutch by holding both paddles for more manual control.

Engineers set the DCT up with a very low first gear to leverage the additional traction to get the car off the line quickly, and its close-ratio gears 2 through 6 keep the engine near the power peak on track. Tall seventh and eighth gears make for easy long-distance cruising with low engine revs and excellent fuel economy.

The DCT is mated to a new Electronic Transmission Range Selector. There’s no mechanical interface between the shift lever and the transmission. The Corvette’s electric shifter incorporates two pull toggles for Reverse and Drive and push buttons for Park, Neutral, and Low/Manual.

Driver mode choices have been expanded from four to six, allowing drivers to tweak the feel of their Corvettes to their personal preference. The familiar Weather, Tour, Sport, and Track modes remain, and there are two new modes: MyMode, a configurable setting for a preferred driving style that can remain between key cycles; and Z mode, named after the famed Z06, ZR1, and Z51 Corvette performance packages, which is activated through the steering wheel’s “Z” button. This is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well.

For those who love to go on track days, the industry-pioneering Performance Data Recorder is an advanced driving analysis tool that is upgraded with a high-definition resolution camera and a new in-vehicle user interface. Customers can record both circuit and point-to-point road courses. The PDR can be set to auto-record like a dashcam that starts a recording every time the Corvette is running or configured to only start when the car is set to Valet mode (to monitor how valet parkers handle your car).

Corvette has always represented iconic American design, performance, technical ingenuity, and attainability. The 2022 Stingray‘s standard retail price is ₱9,915,888 and is available via indent order through any Chevrolet dealer. Like every Corvette before it, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is produced at GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky plant.

The Corvette comes with a 5-year warranty, automatic enrollment to the 24/7 Chevrolet Roadside Assistance for 3 years, and immediate access to the 24/7 Chevy Hotline for convenient vehicle service and ownership needs.

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