Pamplin Media Group – 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Delivers Exotic Performance at Nationwide Price

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The latest version of the American sports car offers exotic performance at a fraction of the price.

When the current generation of Chevrolet’s venerable Corvette debuted last year, it was the biggest change in the nearly 70-year history of the American sports car. The Corvette has always been designed with a traditional layout – the engine in the front and the drive wheels in the rear. This is the same configuration that Louis Chevrolet used when he built the first Chevrolet in 1911.

The new Corvette – the eighth generation – placed the engine behind the driver’s compartment, as is often the case with exotic brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. Along with this change, for the first time in decades, the Corvette was not offered with a traditional manual transmission.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 Chevy Corvette's massive 6.2-liter V8 sits under the steeply sloping rear hatch.

The question was whether traditional Corvette buyers would accept the new design? Ultimately, just about everyone loves the exotic mid-engined new format. The new Corvette drives great, handles like a dream, and offers more power than anyone needs, but exactly what a sports car enthusiast wants.

Chevrolet has kept some things the same. The Corvette is powered by a 6.2-liter LT2 V8 engine. To unpack a bit, the LT2 is a chunky aluminum version of Chevrolet’s traditional 1950s V8. It only has two valves per cylinder and the camshaft is inside the engine block, not on your mind. It’s a dinosaur of an engine compared to the turbocharged and hybrid engines found in modern imported exotics, but it’s Chevrolet’s stroke of genius. The engine still produces 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, or 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet if you purchase the optional performance exhaust system. That’s enough to propel the Corvette’s lightweight chassis from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 Chevy Corvette's 6.2-liter V8 starts at 490 horsepower and rises from there based on the performance sets.

The Corvette also comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There is no manual option, and there won’t be any in the future. The point is, modern automatics are significantly better than manual ones in every way. We human drivers are slow and often make bad choices. In addition, the mechanisms of manual transmissions tend to wear out. It will be so from now on, and those of us who like to use the clutch and shift gears will just have to get used to. The new Corvette offers steering wheel shifting, but you don’t need it.

Inside, the Corvette offers a beautiful interior. It is high quality and comfortable. But again, this is a radical departure from anything that came before. The climate controls are placed in line on a raised ridge between the driver and passenger. Everything is geared towards the driver. The passenger does not have much to do but hangs on and enjoys the ride.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the 2022 Chevy Corvette is another radical departure from tradition, with the climate and other controls between driver and passenger.

One area that might surprise you is trunk space. Corvettes never had a lot of storage capacity, but the news divides its carrying capacity between a small rear trunk and an even smaller front trunk. Together, they offer 12.6 cubic feet of space, which is roughly the same as a subcompact sedan. But nobody buys a Corvette to go to Costco, do they? It is sufficient for a few travel bags.

On the road, you can see and feel all the benefits of the new Corvette design. By placing the engine and humans in the center of the car, most of the weight is in the middle between the axles. This makes the Corvette a much more stable platform than previous generations. The mid-engined car responds instantly to its steering wheel and the suspension tuning is balanced for comfort as well as traction.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 Chevy Corvette's deep-contoured sport bucket seats help keep the driver and passenger in place through tight corners.

The biggest advantage of the new Corvette is its price. In the fairly luxurious LT2 version, the Corvette has a starting price of $ 66,200. Our test model had the Z51 performance package, which adds $ 5,995 but also improves horsepower, handling and braking. But the all-inclusive price of $ 78,765 is still a small fraction of the price you’d pay for a European exotic. That’s about half the price of the Acura NSX, which once held the position of the most affordable exotic.

The bottom line is that the new Corvette looks and performs like a high-priced exotic, but you can buy it for around the price of a rigged pickup truck. It’s a slap in the face for the high-end automakers of the world and a great badge of honor for Chevrolet. If you’ve always dreamed of buying a Corvette (or an Exotic), the opportunity has never been better.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette offers 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space between a small rear trunk and an even smaller front trunk.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2LT

Base price: $ 66,200

Price as tested:$ 78,765

Type A Sports car

Motor : 6.2-liter V8 (495 hp, 470 lb-ft)

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic

EPA Estimated Mileage: 15/27

Total length : 182.3 inch

Unloaded weight :3,366 pounds

Final assembly: Bowling Green, Kentucky


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