It’s really happening.
2020 Corvette Stingray: I have viewed the messiah, and it is good
A few days ago, I joined 1300 other lucky souls to see the new Corvette for the first time. Most of my concerns about its design are gone and, except for a few quibbles, the 2020 mid-engine Stingray blew me away. I’m anxious to complete my order for the car at my local Chevy dealer, where I’ve been number two on the waiting list (after the dealership owner’s son) for 18 months.
This car is a touch larger, heavier, but quicker than before. Chief engineer Tadge Juechter, whom I’ve learned to trust over years of dialogue, is thrilled about the strides in handling and ride comfort. While I’ve been the lone wolf crying a base price between $65,000–70,000 for ages, GM president Mark Reuss promised the Stingray will start just under $60,000. That whimpering sound you hear in the background is Porsche’s Zuffenhausen crowd sobbing into their lager.
My quibbles start with a molded plastic engine topper which will be stripped off my car moments after it arrives within reach of a toolbox. The steering wheel spokes also appear to be contrary to wrapped thumbs and fingers at nine and three. While I favor the mega air scoops adorning the flanks, I am investigating the order form in search of ways to minimize the contrast between those side boomerangs and surrounding surfaces. Forgive me for not opting for the intricate spoiler/wing attached to the deck’s surface. And while I understand the significance of the sacred Stingray badge in back, I’m thinking about stripping it for display off my new Corvette.
Of course I am thrilled with the engine location, don’t mind the loss of the clutch pedal, and I’m totally OK with pushrods opening a mere two valves per cylinder. I’m convinced that when the last ever drops of gasoline are ignited, that combustion will occur inside a pushrod engine.
The continuation of the throwback volume control knob illustrates the thought invested in the aggressively new cockpit. Even though I’m of “normal” build—not especially tall or thin—I appreciate the extra seat travel and backrest angle adjustment range. I’m fine with the reconfigurable instrument cluster and center stack touch screen. While I have not so much as sat behind the wheel—I was too far back in the 1300-person line—I’m confident that forward and outward visibility and my view of the redline will be A-OK.
I am understandably anxious to hear the new LT2 small-block rumble and roar through its exhaust headers. The very first one-two upshift I experience with the new dual-clutch automatic will be with the throttle pegged. A break-in drive the length of Route 66 has moved to the top of my bucket list.
My excellent luck is that my loving wife Cheryl is totally onboard with this “investment.” After I’ve had an opportunity to actually sit in the new ‘Vette, I will report back with fresh findings. And I pray my digital road test will follow before this year is out.
In the meantime, here is my current order plan:
Base trim, black exterior, black wheels, black brake calipers, red GT1 seats, red seat belts. Should make an excellent garage mate to my 1967 black and red 427 Stingray.