Watch the 2020 Chevy Corvette's trick GPS front-lift tech in action
Chevrolet's new C8 Vette takes life-easing tech popularized by Ferrari and Lamborghini and makes it worlds better with a few lines of code.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Of all the high-performance features on supercars and sports cars, nose-lift mechanisms are among our very favorite, and the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is promising a game-changing one. Admittedly, that may sound like a strange thing to get excited about in a high-powered sports car. However, this traditionally simple technology, which temporarily raises the front end of low-riding vehicles to clear objects like speed bumps and driveway aprons, can be a lifesaver (or at least the savior of front splitters, oil pans and embarrassing scraping noises). Simply put, a nose-lift feature makes living with a low-slung sports car like this sub-$60,000 Corvette much easier on a daily basis.
In the mid-engined 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray's case, the hydraulic front-lift feature is activated by pushing a switch on the center console adjacent to the gearshift buttons.
So what makes the new C8 Corvette's nose lift so different? In a word, GPS. The Corvette's optional new front-lift mechanism, which raises the pointy end of the Vette by 1.6 inches in under 3 seconds, can be programmed to remember the GPS locations of up to 1,000 different obstacles, so it can automatically stand the chassis up on its tip-toes when approaching them.
Once an obstacle is programmed in, all you as the driver have to do is slow down as you approach them -- the system works at speeds of up to 24 mph. That means if you live in a subdivision that's littered with speed bumps or your driveway is a ski slope (like mine!), this Corvette has you covered. Of course, the nose lift feature can still be manually raised and lowered whether you max out those 1,000 GPS locations or not, but assuming this feature works well, the convenience factor could be off the charts.
Check out this tech in action in the General Motors' video below (that voiceover sounds suspiciously like Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter, by the way).
This sounds like simple, smart bundling of two existing technologies -- GPS and nose lift -- to ultimately create a much more user-friendly product. Improbably enough, it's safe to say this front lift tech is yet another reason why we're incredibly eager to drive this new mid-engined C8 Corvette. We just hope the feature isn't terribly expensive, or annoyingly bundled into expensive option packages on higher trims.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette blends the new and the familiar