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Corvette C8

General Motors have confirmed details and American pricing for its forthcoming 2020 Corvette Stingray. It's a mid-engined machine, will come in a couple of trim levels, and will kick off at under USD$60,000. The engine configuration puts it into the same sphere as Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini. Importantly, it will be produced in factory fitted right hand drive, and is due to start production later this year.

The engine is the same sized "donk" as before, at 6.2L. It'll be naturally aspirated, and with an optional performance exhaust will pump 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. In Aussie numbers that's just shy of 370kW and 637Nm. Without that exhaust horsepower and torque drop by five each respectively. Expected weight is around 1530 kilos before fuel and passengers.

The engine is dry sumped, meaning a smaller oil pan. It also means, for the track day drivers, more consistent oil pressure as there's far less oil to slosh around in a traditional oil pan. As it means a lower engine height as it sits behind the driver and passenger, it could mean a supercharger for later on...

Transmission will be an eight speed dual clutch auto. Sadly, for the traditionalists, the manual transmission is no more, however the DCT will have paddle shifts as a semi-consolation prize. Expected 0-62mph/100kmh time is expected to be under three seconds.

Of course, the big talking point will be the relocation of the powerplant. Not only has it given the exterior a sleeker design, it's given the engineers a new platform to work on for handling. Mark Reuss, the former head of Holden, said: “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout. In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history.” Each corner has coil-over suspension with the stiffer chassis. Those going for the option list can specify struts with what GM calls adjustable spring perches. Get the spanner out and this means adjustable ride height and stiffness.

GM also offers Magnetic Ride 4.0, a system where magnets and a specific liquid work together to provide an adjustable ride height. There's even a GPS enabled nose lift setup, where kerbs or speedhumps will hit the GPS and lift the nose to provide safe clearance. If you check the Z51 option box you’ll also get Pilot Sport 4S tyres over the 245/35/R19 front and massive 305/30/20 rear wheels, but Michelin ALS all-seasons will have to do for the bottom spec. Seat spec offers three choices: the comfortable GT1, the sportier GT2 or the track-focused and carbon-backed Competition Sport.

Outside is different yet familiar. A choice of 12 colours will be available to coat the redesigned body. That body leaves little doubt where some of the inspiration has come from. Massive air intakes on the flanks, a 3.2mm glass pane to showcase the engine, a sharper and more angular nose cone with strakes underneath the headlights. Oh, and don't forget the removeable roof sections. There's also room in the rear behind the engine and up front in what is called a "frunk" or front trunk, for some bags. The relocated engine pushes the seats and cabin forward, leading to a lower roofline that tapers off at a more slender angle.

Inside are cues taken from the top line fighter jets in the form of F-35 and F-22. A 12 inch screen will provide information, and the relocated engine has the driver's position feeling more in tune with the car's chassis and suspension setup.

The entry level 1LT features colour coded removable roof panels and “Mulan” leather pews. The driver gets a broad choioce of drive modes to add further spice. These include Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, MyMode, and Z-Mode. The last two are personalised drive mode options with Z-Mode being the more in-depth of the two and having its own fast-action selector on the car's steering wheel.

Bump up to USD$67,295 and the 2LT is the version. A HUD or Head Up Display is ahead of the driver, pews are heated and vented, and wireless smartphone charging is fitted. Chevrolet offer a date recording service. The Personal Data Recorder allows a memory card or USB to record driving data and video.

The third level, strangely enough called 3LT, is priced at just under USD$72K. The seats get a higher level of trim, plus suede and leather trimmed door panels. It’s likely that this will be the sole level chosen for the Aussie market.

Chevrolet will offer its customers a USD$5,000 option called the Z51 Performance Package. This includes an exhaust upgrade (available separately), manually adjustable springs settings for the suspension, a Limited Slip Differential that is electronically controlled, bigger brakes and grippier tyres, plus better cooling flow and enhanced brakes. That exhaust is USD$1,195 and allows the engine to breathe more effectively. The knock on effect, says Chevrolet, is a boost in oomph. Peak power goes to 495 horsepower (369 kW) and peak twist to 470 lb.ft (637 Nm) of torque.

There is no word yet on its expected Australian release date or its Australian pricing. At the time of writing though, the USD was around $1.40 or so AuD, meaning a starting price of $85K plus the "Australia tax" and "on-roads"'s more likely to be, according to sources, closer to a $150K starting point.

Holden themselves have not yet released information about a buying or deposit process. Contact your local Holden dealer in this respect as it appears it may be a limited run and dealership placement option.

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