By Steve Laser & Gregg Ziak
The long wait is over and Chevrolet revealed the new 2020 Corvette during a special event last night in Tustin, Calif. In addition to the all-new mid-engine design loaded with high-tech engineering, Mark Reuss, GM president, announced that the starting price for the base model is expected to be “under $60,000.”
“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM,” said Reuss (above). “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. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”
With so much ground to cover on the radically new sports car, Chevrolet has put together a helpful series of “Corvette Academy” videos. Hosted by the designers and engineers who developed the vehicle, the videos include Tech Talk, Quick Tips, and highlights of Corvette’s history leading up to the introduction of the 2020 model. Here’s a quick look at our favorite videos.
Chevrolet says that the new mid-engine layout gives the Corvette better weight distribution, with the rear weight bias enhancing performance in a straight line and on the track. (video: Chevrolet)
Other benefits of the mid-engine design include enhanced responsiveness and sense of control with the driver positioned closer to the front axle. Chevrolet says that the 2020 Corvette equipped with the Z51 Performance Package has “the fastest 0-60 time of any entry Corvette ever.” The layout also provides a better view of the road thanks to the lowered hood, instrument panel, and steering wheel.
Aero, Cooling and Downforce
The Stingray’s canopy-forward design was inspired by modern fighter jets and developed in the wind tunnel. “When you look at the new mid-engine Stingray, you can see the effect of aircraft design,” says Tom Peters, exterior design director for the Corvette.” (video: Chevrolet)
“We have this great process where we see the car evolving, and it’s part art and part sculpting clay, and part digital math-based design,” says Tadge Juechter, executive Chief Engineer. “So we sculpt the car, then we scan it, and then we’ll use numerically controlled machines to recut that surface back on the clay. Then you go back to the sculptors and they start finessing the car, changing the surfaces, make them blend together the way you want.”
Engine and Dry Sump Oil
For the first time, the base Stingray will use an engine-mounted dry sump oil system and three scavenge pumps designed for improved track performance. (video: Chevrolet)
The new Stingray’s 6.2L V8 engine is rated at 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Chevrolet says that during serious track driving, oil volume remains high to avoid diminished performance. To segue with the new Corvette’s improved lateral capability, the LT2’s dry sump lubrication system was redesigned to provide engine performance at lateral acceleration levels “exceeding 1G.”
Dual-Clutch Transmission – Deep Dive
A new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, a Chevrolet’s first, is teamed with the LT2. Designed with Tremec, it’s said to provide the best of both worlds: the direct connected feeling of a manual and the driving comfort of an automatic. (video: Chevrolet)
Engineers set the DCT (equipped with paddle shifters) with a low first gear to help get the car off-the-line quickly. Close-ratio gears 2 through 6 keep the engine near its power peak on the track. Tall gears 7 and 8 are designed for highway cruising, with lowered mechanical stress and improved fuel economy. A new Electronic Transmission Range Selector has pull toggles for Reverse and Drive plus push-buttons for Park, Neutral, and Low/Manual.
Chevrolet says that the new Stingray’s cockpit has migrated forward 16.5 inches and also envelops the driver, in concert with the high-performance and aeronautic theme. (video: Chevrolet)
The driver is treated to a new, squared-off, two-spoke small diameter steering wheel designed to offer an unobscured view of the 12-inch reconfigurable display. Meanwhile, vertical climate controls and ultra-thin vents help to minimize the height of the instrument panel. Customers can select from three seat styles: GT1 for comfort and support, GT2 with dual-density foam and added adjustments, and Competition Sport for the track with more aggressive bolsters.
Driver Mode Selector and My Mode
Drivers can adjust the feel of their Stingrays to suit their needs and tastes using the drive modes, that have been expanded from four to six. (video: Chevrolet)
Drive modes include Weather, Tour, Sport and Track. MyMode is a new configurable setting for preferred driving style that can remain between key cycles. The new Z mode is activated via a “Z” button on the steering wheel. This single-use mode allows drivers to adjust the engine and transmission.
What is PDR?
The Performance Data Recorder is an advanced driving analysis tool with a high-definition resolution camera and an in-vehicle user interface. (video: Chevrolet)
PDR is like a “digital driving coach” that records videos to help drivers analyze their techniques and improve their abilities. It can be set to auto-record like a dash cam that starts a recording every time the Stingray is running. Or, it can be configured to start when the car is set to Valet mode.
Corvette History (Mid-Engine Concepts)
The 2020 Stingray is the culmination of 60 years of mid-engine experimentation at Chevrolet. It incorporates lessons learned from engineering exercises and concepts from the past, including the Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicles (CERVs) I, II, and III, and the Aerovette. (video: Chevrolet)
In 1964, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette chief engineer, and his team debuted CERV II (above). Duntov and Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen, Chevrolet general manager, envisioned the concept as a challenger at Le Mans, Sebring and other races. It featured torque converters front and rear, plus an innovative mid-engine four-wheel-drive system.
“Corvette is more than just a vehicle,” says Tom Peters.“It’s a lifestyle, it’s a feeling, it’s an element of passion that I think transcends not only time but I think generations and cultures over the course of its life.”
For more information on the 2020 Corvette visit Chevrolet.com
News source, photos and videos courtesy Chevrolet. Additional photo courtesy Steve Fecht for Chevrolet
Note: Features, specifications and prices intended for future production models are subject to change without notice
Story into and commentary © 2019 CarNichiWa.com