Mid engine Corvette is finally here it's finally in production and finally heading to dealerships across the country.
That means I can finally answer all those questions that have been burning in the back of my mind since day one.
First saw this thing last year.
This is the biggest generational change the Corvette has ever seen and so I want to know stuff like, Is it still practical enough for day to day driving?
Can it still hold up to a day of abuse on the racetrack?
It's still sound good enough it still offer the best bang for the buck performance in the markets.
Basically, what I want to know is Is this thing still a Corvette?
The first question, of course, is whether it still looks like a Corvette.
And that's a little bit debatable, to be honest.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that even without the badges most people would be able to pick this out of a lineup as a Corvette, but it's still certainly a radical departure from before.
And that overall profile is plenty more exotic than the C7, or any previous generation Corvette for that matter.
The nose is ar shorter and the tail quite a bit longer as you would expect, but the big issue visually are actually those massive air intakes just after the doors, keeping the 6.2L V8 cool.
New LT2 is of course the heart of the beast now fully on display in his new location closer to the center of the car.
The new motor makes more power than before to up to 490 horsepower from 455 last year and 465 pound feet of torque from 455.
But up for the performance exhaust which we have on here and you're looking at a slightly taste your 495 horsepower Not to mention that 0 to 60 time of less than three seconds, plus a [UNKNOWN] exhaust note.
Chevrolet has done a great job of packaging here, still keeping the Corvette trademark removable top and roof, and giving you room in the trunk to store it.
That's where in a last gen car, you can still fit some bags in the rear hatch.
In the new Corvette, you almost certainly can't.
Good thing there's a frunk this time around.
From an overall aesthetic standpoint, the Corvette is definitely a head turner, but I have to say it's all just a little bit too busy for me with too many fussy lines and styling cues, a problem that extends to the interior.
I've been luch enough to drive every generation Generation corvette yes, even the c1 was terrifying brakes and it's three foot wide steering wheel.
And of course this thing feels like a spaceship compared to that.
But even compared to the c7, the previous generation corvette, the thing feels radically different.
The first thing is, it feels much more shrinkwrap than before.
And I think part of that is because, I've got a pane of glass back here.
We're before of course had an open cargo bay, but also the way the cockpits designed.
It's designed to really highlight the driver and really feel like I'm tucked in here, which is great.
As long as you're the driver, if you're the passenger, you're kind of out of luck along the control stage fact, for example, are on this kind of silly look in row of buttons that run all the way down the right side.
Everything from temperature to fan speed.
See here controls
They're all in here.
They're all oriented toward me, which is nice as the driver.
But if you're the passenger and you want to change the temperature, you can have a little bit of a hard time doing that.
The navigation system too is oriented toward me.
And I've also got buttons kind of scattered all over the place, this ridiculous row in the right, other head controls are down the lower left, then it's kind of spread around a little bit more.
And I don't really like that too much, but I do like the seating position.
I feel like I'm I'm sitting low.
I feel like I'm in the middle of the car which is great.
And ultimately this seems like a really engaging place to be.
But probably the biggest step forward over the sea seven materials everything in here looks and feels fantastic from the Alcantara on the wheel.
I've got carbon fiber trim around a lot of different things.
Even the plastics feel like they're on a different level compared to what we had in The last generation Corvette, and that definitely makes us feel like a much more premium car, maybe even like a mid engine European car.
Right now we've been mostly tooling around the speed limit cuz we're on the roads and we've been in tour mode which is a more comfortable way of driving this car.
Here we've got both the LT3 option package and As you can see one performance package on this car.
That means we've got a very comfortable ride mode right now, the brakes have also modular themselves to be a little bit more easy to modulate.
The steering is nice and light in that new eight speed dual clutch transmission, which is the only transmission for now basically feels like an automatic but with a twist of a knob and a little bit of patience.
It takes about 3 seconds to change modes annoyingly.
You can go for sport mode, and then you can go to track mode, and then the fun starts.
We're on the racetrack now and you see a tour in track mode at Spring Mountain which is in forum about an hour to Las Vegas.
This is a really great facility.
Really nice place to put this thing through its paces in track mode.
It feels like a completely different car.
It's of course.
Sniffer because the Magneto radiological suspension can adjust and dynamically adapt itself based on what you're up to.
And what I'm up to right now is pushing it to say the least.
The transmission of course can adjust as well.
Good that HVDCT which has got super quick shifts, they get much more aggressive here.
I'm using manual mode right now.
And I probably don't need to be a little bit more fun that way.
Jeremiah says actually, why are these chip panels directly to the traffic transmission?
To give you more responsive shifts basically instantaneous, and I gotta say, I don't know if that's marketing fluff or what but.
[SOUND] It works, every time you tap this pedal you immediately get the gear, there's no lag, no delay.
And this will absolutely hold that gear all the way to redline.
You can bounce off the redline for as long as you want to this thing will not auto up shift.
That's pretty nice.
The steering's got a little bit more weight to it as well.
Which honestly I don't like about we're going to make my custom drive mode which you can do.
I'd be turning this down to the more touring oriented, less resistant steering mode.
But maybe the most interesting thing is CA is that the brake pressure changes depending on what mode you're in.
This has basically a brick by wire system they come on a booster.
Similar to what you would find in the NSX and a couple of other, production cars on the road right now.
So that means that basically, what I feel when I step on the left pedal with my left foot is almost an entirely synthetic sensation.
So as I'm running around and doing laps here in the desert if it were a hot day, for example, I really wouldn't feel any brake fade, the car would more or less just take care of it and give me a really strong consistent pedal feel.
lap after lap after lap after lap, and that's a good thing.
Yeah, okay, it makes me a little bit more disconnected from the car.
If I were worried about brakes overheating, it'd be a little bit less feedback from.
For me, but on a short stint like we're doing today, just a couple laps It means just nice consistent feedback all the time.
But it also means we get on the road.
You have a more easy to modulate brake pedal [LAUGH.] That's a good thing.
So That's all about how the car kind of adapts the track mode.
How's it feel the track?
The car will understeer.
The car will oversteer.
Basically, this thing will do what you want it to do.
And that's really what you want.
It feels really nicely neutrally balanced and really aggressive.
The steering feedback is really strong.
I feel like as soon as I make any input on the steering, the car merely reacts.
And part of that is because I'm sitting 16 and a half inches further forward than I was in the last generation Corvette.
So that means as soon as I turn the wheel, I actually feel it because I'm a little bit closer to that moments That turning radius and it's a little bit closer to my hip.
So even though this is a bigger heavier car than last year, it's still going to interact in this track.
And it means, I can push a little harder.
For long this circuit Spring Mountain has a number of long.
Long corners, left and right.
Which if you were driving a normal car with a normal oil pants and down below, oil sloshing back and forth is you're going left and right might pose some starvation issues but it's a great test for, Wasn't one of the great summers here.
This is a great test for the new dry sump system that they've got in the new VA this year.
Chevrolet engineers told me that the Corvette will sustain 1.25 G's laterally with no oil starvation.
That's pretty remarkable because you're not likely to sustain that for very long on your average race track.
They also say that there's even to one package which has some extra cooling is good enough to do.
Basically, a long attract session as you want.
In 100 degrees Fahrenheit without the car overheating, they said you could put in a full tank of gas lap around here and hundred degree day, the car would never overheat and that's where the air conditioning on.
[SOUND] That's pretty impressive.
I can't test that today.
It's actually closer to about 50 degrees today.
In fact, I've got the heat on today.
But if you live in a place like this and you wanna be doing this kind of thing in the summer, that's good to know.
And that's also very encouraging.
If maybe you've heard some.
Cooling issues in the previous generation progress.
What about this cockpit which is not a little bit claustrophobic out on the street?
Out here, it feels pretty great.
I've got good bolstering for my knees so I can brace myself against the side of the car.
And there's just enough padding.
That I'm not getting bruises on my knees, which can be a problem when you are going through a course that's as technical as this.
The car certainly sounds a lot nicer out her as well.
People think that a mid-entry car must necessarily sound better than a front-engine one that has an owner of a mid-engine car Don't get too excited, it's just a number two.
I can tell you that that's not always the case, in fact, just I linked through town in the CA Corvette before.
The effect is a little bit more like a sewing machine and a big V8 because really what you're getting is just a lot of valve noise out here on the track In track mode, we have the sport exhaust wide open.>> [SOUND]
It's what we do.
And I just missed my breaking point by about a mile.
[SOUND] Maybe we'll ride it that one out.
Now this track has changed a lot since the last time I was here.
Is growing a lot, this whole facility is growing a lot.
And so I'm not terribly familiar with this track.
It is pretty tricky.
But I feel like I can come out here and attack immediately to feel very comfortable in this car.
And that I think is about is blowing and endorsements that can give.
On the road, the new Corvette is as comfortable and practical as it ever was.
And thanks to the new transmission, you don't have to make the choice between the comfort of an automatic and the performance of a manual.
You kind of get the best of both worlds.
That's doubly true out here on the race track, where this thing is an absolute demon.
So is this thing still the performance bargain that it ever was?
Is this thing still a Corvette?
The answer is a resounding yes.
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