2021 model-year orders will be accepted in May.
We can easily envy new C8 Corvette owners, cruising proudly along in their American-bred steeds. At the end of the day, however, even the slickest sports cars need mundane attention. Fluids run low. The digital instrument cluster baffles you. The battery gives up the ghost and you need a jump … where did Chevy hide that manual key cylinder again? How do you access the battery?
Chevrolet helpfully released 23 new “Corvette Academy” videos detailing run-of-the-mill procedures of C8 ownership. You can find the entire stash of short videos on chevrolet.com or YouTube, but to help you sort through the 54 total clips, we picked 8 of the most practical.
Though its exotic looks and powertrain layout will (hopefully) court younger buyers, many of the newest Stingrays will find a home with established Corvette collectors. Such customers will likely store their C8 for extended periods of time. Long, inactive seasons often mean dead batteries come springtime, and that requires a temporary return to the analog key hidden in your fancy remote-access fob. One of the C8’s manual-key locks is tucked inside the drivers’ side scoop; engineers snuck the other behind the rear license plate. To get to the battery, which lies behind C8’s frunk compartment, you’ll need to remove not one, but three trim pieces—watch this video to see the process step-by-step.
That low, ultra-slick stance comes at a risk—a scraping, wince-generating argument with a curb. Thankfully, your Stingray will protect both itself and your dignity by lifting its front end nearly two inches (below 24 mph). Even better, it will remember to activate the front lift for up to 1000 speed bumps and threatening driveways so you can enjoy anxiety-free trips to Dairy Queen. (The C8 can’t help with lactose intolerance, sadly.)
The newest Corvette’s dual-clutch, automatic gearbox has produced some … heated discussion in the surrounding community. However, if you’ve made your peace with this bit of standard kit, Chevy would like to inform you of the DCT’s fun features. This video has a couple helpful tidbits about the automatic’s “I’m a manual” mode; for instance, it will only start in first gear. The gearbox’s flashiest party trick is its “declutching” feature, which can be triggered by pulling both paddles simultaneously. As long as you’re pulling back on both paddles, the DCT mimics clutch-in and allows you to rev that mid-mounted LT2 to your heart’s content. For, you know, any Camaros or Mustangs that happen to be near.
Don’t be too intimidated by the C8’s break-in schedule; this handy video breaks down the process in less than two minutes. Your job is to drive your new Vette—a chore, we know—and, for the first 200 miles, take things easy on your brakes. For the next 300 miles, Chevy suggests staying under 4000 rpm and avoiding cruise control; torque is limited in low gears in this mile range to prevent harmful gear wear patterns. Stay off the track until you hit 1500 miles, and check the oil every time you fill up before reaching that mark. When you do, though …
Chevy makes clear this 1:35 video isn’t an exhaustive guide to getting your ride track-ready, but it hits the high points: check fluid levels, add two quarts of transmission fluid, swap your brake fluid for a high-temperature variant rated at 310 degrees Celsius or higher. Owners can get the full scoop in their owners’ manual and track prep guide.
Dropping off your Vette at the local Chevy dealer for service is always a safe bet, but for owners who’d like to get their hands dirty (which we encourage), this video holds some handy tips, including the proper ratio for mixing your own coolant (40 percent Dex-Cool, 60 percent drinkable water). In addition, it details the different placements for the dipstick and coolant tank between the coupe and convertible C8 models.
Now that you know how to access the most common fluids in your Vette, Chevy’s laid out a recommended maintenance schedule for you. Thanks to the LT2’s dry-sump system, you have until 7500 miles to do your first oil change (the C7 required its first service at 500).
Comfortable that your Vette is mechanically healthy? Time to get comfortable toggling through the trove of information stored in its 12-inch digital instrument display. The trip computer menu tracks stats including fuel consumption and economy. The performance menu enables a 0–60 timer, and the maintenance tab evaluates oil and transmission fluid life down to the percentage point. If you get overstimulated, there’s a “simplify” button that looks very appealing.
If you’re feeling like a 21st-century tech master, however, dive into customizing your own mode. Chevy calls the C8’s comfort-focused mode “Tour” and includes Weather mode for wet or icy driving. Sport and Track modes are self-explanatory, but the customizable MyMode and Z-Mode are less so. Z-Mode will capture your preferred cocktail of engine sound, steering sensitivity, suspension stiffness and is activated via a steering-wheel-mounted button. Chevy suggests Z-Mode as your own flavor of Sport mode. MyMode, on the other hand, is Tour mode tailored to your preferences; your C8 will retain this setting across ignition cycles.