The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette reveal has long been rumored to change everything. And that’s because the engine is moving to the rear of the vehicle. Thus, taking the sportscar’s ability to perform into an entirely new realm.
So when the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette reveal was live-streamed from a hangar in Tustin, California to the world expectations were high. After all, it’s the eighth-generation Corvette. That’s C8 in Chevy-speak.
And ever since the Corvette’s beginning, mid-engine has been a hot topic. In fact, before the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette reveal, the automaker produced at least three different well known mid-engine prototypes. These were referred to as CERV I, CERV II and CERV III. And that’s an acronym for Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicle. ;0)
After the big reveal, select Chevy dealers were invited to that same Orange County hangar for more details. And I jumped at the opportunity to find out what my friend Lewis Cook from Martin Chevrolet found out.
Continue reading our talk below or play the podcast and scroll through on-site pictures of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette reveal. Because this really does change everything!
“They have outdone themselves in every stretch of the imagination. It’s a mid-engine. It’s just the sexiest car I’ve ever seen. 0 to 60 under 3.2 seconds in the base model car. It’s an exotic supercar. If I were to speak off the record, I think that we would see these cars late December, early January at the latest. I think if anybody’s really serious about it, they need to get on it.”
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Mid-Engine Reveal – More than 50-years in the Making
Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.
Tom Smith here and I am with my good friend, Mr. Lewis Cook, at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California right here on Hawthorne Boulevard.
We are talking 2020 Corvette Mid-Engine baby. Finally after what? Five decades of anticipation?
Lewis: Too long.
Tom: Lewis, thanks for joining me. Thanks for being a great iDriveSoCal partner.
This is, let’s see, we are Saturday. Not sure when you’re going to be listening to the podcast but we are Saturday, July 20th. And the big reveal, the big live stream reveal was on Thursday, July 18th.
I don’t know if you tuned into the live stream. I certainly did.
Chevy Topped All Reveals with the Mid-Engine Corvette
Lewis caught bits and pieces of it but intermittently because he knew that as a dealer, he was going to be going to the actual venue where the live stream was happening in Tustin, California.
The big hanger there that they did the reveal and he’s going to take us behind the scenes on what he saw and experienced in person. With, I guess all the Chevy execs and the vehicles themselves and if you’re not listening on iDriveSoCal.com, then go to iDriveSoCal.com.
And, we’re going to share the pictures that Lewis and one of his managers snapped while they were at this event.
So, with that long intro, Mr. Cook; Lewis please fill us in on the behind the scenes of the 2020 Corvette Mid-Engine reveal that you experienced.
Lewis: Man, where do I even start? I will say this. Doing this for so long, you go to these reveals and there’s lots of anticipation and there are lots of hypes.
They have outdone themselves in every stretch of the imagination and are… I can’t even say good about it. I don’t even know where to start.
We got to meet the actual designer, the actual engineer, and they talked a lot about it. It’s a completely different car ground up. I believe they said one piece, maybe, came from the previous generation Corvette.
Tom: It is gorgeous.
Lewis: It is gorgeous.
What Was Revealed About the 2020 Chevy Corvette Mid-Engine
Tom: It is. Okay, so one of the other things that I wanted to address is a little of, and this is common with any new vehicle rollout but obviously, with one with such heightened anticipation, there are a few discrepancies that were coming across.
Now obviously on Chevy’s website and what you were told on Friday, what I saw on the live stream, 495 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque.
I’ve seen some reports that have said, oh, 490 horsepower. That’s wrong but I’m just using that as an example for a discrepancy.
Zero to 60 is how fast?
One of the other really key discrepancies is that on the live stream, the notes that I took and I believe we could look at the recording that they have of the live stream, it was 0 to 60, they said, in under three seconds. They didn’t specify but then you were saying something different on Friday.
Lewis: So I think what we’re missing there is… so 0 to 60 under 3.2 seconds in the base model car. What I’m thinking is is that, because I didn’t see that part of the live stream, the 0 to 60 under three seconds might be Z06 type model or an upgraded model which I could see that happening.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Reveal – First Mid-Engine Available
Tom: Got it. And speaking of models, this is being named the Stingray. Now, that is… do we know yet? What the current Vette’s Stingray is the base, right?
Tom: So as we go into the mid-engine, here in 2020, they’re assumingly going to be coming out with the Stingray and then in subsequent years, we’re going to go upstream again with a more powerful performance like what we currently have in the whole 2019 lineup or it’s still unknown?
Lewis: Yeah, I wish I could answer that question specifically.
I know that I got in the car and there’s Stingray all over it. So the kick panel where you get in on the driver’s door says Stingray.
They have not released different types of models or there was literally four cars at the presentation I went to and all four cars were exactly the same besides the color as far as equipment and… and they’re pretty hush-hush about that right now. I wish I had some insight but.
Starting Price for the 2020 Chevy Mid-Engine Corvette
Tom: Yeah. Well in the live stream, they were cryptic at the end of it which everybody’s wondering, how much is it going to be? At the end of the live stream, they said, we’re not announcing the exact packages as of yet. But it’s going to start at under $60K.
Lewis: Right. Drop the mic!
“But it’s going to start at under $60K… Drop the mic!”
Tom: Because here’s the other thing. Good luck getting one for under $60K from a consumer perspective, from a buyer’s perspective just because, I’m assuming and you can correct me, there’s going to be so much demand on those vehicles that people are going to be at sticker or plus, right?
Lewis: Yeah and it’ll be hard for somebody to pay sticker for this car right in the beginning, you know? Which is a little bit unfortunate but-
Tom: But that’s a nature of anything like this. And this is a really big, amplified, magnified example of a lot of anticipation for a car.
Lewis: Yeah. There’s a lot of anticipation for it. And you’re right but you know, I just have a different thought process on that whole thing.
I wish we could just sell every car for MSRP and be done with it but instead of discounting others and marking the others up $10, $15, $20-grand, there’ll be dealers out there that’ll have this for $20,000 over MSRP.
Supply and Demand for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Hopefully, from what GM’s telling us, the production is going to be big enough that there will be enough supply and when there’s enough supply, then that kind of goes away, that big markup.
Let me tell you what. If there’s a car that’s going to demand a markup and for any kind of longevity that this is the car. So it wouldn’t surprise me that it goes on for a long time.
Again, it’s just going to be a production issue. General Motors also did say that they were adding a second shift for production which is huge because a second shift costs them a substantial amount of money.
“…from what GM’s telling us, the production is going to be big enough that there will be enough supply…”
Tom: A lot of money. A big investment.
Lewis: And it is a big investment. So they’re committed. I’ve never seen as much commitment to a project or a car like this as they put into it. They’ve done well.
The Long Road to Chevy’s 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Reveal
So C8 in Corvette terms. And that’s after more than 1.7 million Vettes have been produced.
And one of the original designers of the Vette, I’m not going to try and even pronounce the full name, but Zora.
He had wanted to do mid-engine all along and there have been some prototypes that had been on the track and whatnot and you got some really cool pictures of those.
Lewis: Yeah so I sent you that to some and you’ll have it up on the site, I’m sure.
Lewis: The first concept, Mid-Engine Vette. It looks strikingly similar.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Design Reveal
Tom: And a little bit about the design of 2020. I mean, it is a gorgeous car. Everybody’s just been jaw dropped as far as when I’ve talked to them in the last 24, 48 hours. Not a bit of criticism that I’ve been able to pick up on.
Lewis: Well, when you talk Chevy, you don’t think exotic and I think that’s the best way to describe this car.
Lewis: It’s an exotic supercar. I mean, that’s just it. As I said, you don’t expect that from Chevy so much.
I mean, you look at the Camaro, you look at Corvette, and now you look at. They all have some pretty aggressive lines but they’re kind of… it’s got that kind of American made look to it which is good.
That’s part of their deal. But this is, they were talking about out of the box. This is definitely out of the box for them.
Tom: You touched on, well, a lot of things just there.
Noticeable Rearend Design – 2020 Chevy Corvette Reveal & Camaro
I love the front end. It definitely looks like a Vette. It definitely looks like an exotic supercar, though, too. It’s that perfect blend.
The rear has a little bit of a Camaro look to it. I noticed some other and I’ve heard that from other people too which I think is really cool because it’s like, okay, it’s a supercar but it’s still a Chevy but it’s still a Corvette.
It just looks like they’ve done everything very, very well. Any comments on that before I go with-
Mistaking the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette for a Ferrari
Lewis: Well, I just think it’s funny because when I was trying to give you the pictures earlier today. Microsoft has this feature where you can put a picture on your phone and it’ll give you all the relevant information.
Lewis: It’ll look and try to guess what the picture is of and it thought it was a Ferrari.
Tom: That makes sense.
Lewis: Because there are no real pictures out there, you know?
Tom: Right. There’s no point of reference.
Lewis: There’s no picture to exact … an exact copy or point of reference to pull up, right? So this may be a Ferrari. And the cars that it may have been were all high end, $150,000 super exotic cars.
Tom: And watching the live stream, I guess there was… and ladies and gentlemen if you hear planes going by in the background-
A Chevy Corvette Just Buzzed Our Podcast!
Lewis: It was a Corvette.
Tom: Corvettes going by, we are podcasting at Martin Chevrolet on a beautiful Saturday with doors open so people are enjoying the South Bay here. So the Camaro. We talked about this recently. The Camaro’s going to be going away, supposedly, 2023?
Lewis: 2023 is the-
With the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Reveal – What Else does Chevy Have Planned?
Tom: Now here’s where I went off on a tangent after you mentioned something earlier.
We have the… because there’s something about American Muscle. And there’s something about the Corvette that I think, as awesome as the mid-engine looks and I can’t wait to drive it…
There’s just something special about the front-engine Corvette where you got a long nose. And I’m wondering, and I don’t think I’m alone here. I think a lot of people can probably finish this thought.
The Camaro’s never going to… it’s not going away forever, right? There’s too much in the Camaro and the name, my guess. I love to pull out the crystal ball with the iDriveSoCal podcast and try to figure out what the future has in store for everything.
But so, it’s conceivable that the Corvette becomes the mid-engine supercar like the Corvette has always been attainable to the average man.
Will Camaro Replace Corvette as Chevy’s Front Engine Muscle Car?
But then the Camaro comes back after going away a little bit in an upgraded form to kind of where the Vette is now.
Because I mean, hey, one of the things they said in the stream is with the ZR1 Vette, right? The tippity top Vette that you guys just got one in stock. Hard to come by, 2019 ZR1.
That took front-engine rear-wheel-drive about as far as they could go from a technological engineering perspective. And in fact, that vehicle, 755 horsepower, 715 pound-feet of torque, a top speed of 212 miles an hour and 0 to 60 in 2.85 seconds. So that’s the ZR1.
So let’s think about this. The mid-engine is finally coming out but the top of the line front-engine can outperform the new one, right? Now granted, the new one, we haven’t gotten the top trim packages yet but comments on that possibility. Of the Camaro coming upstream as the Corvette goes upstream as well?
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Revealed Remains Topped by ZR1
Lewis: Okay Nostradamus of the automobile business! Sorry, I don’t know. I can predict as you can predict.
Chevy’s real hush-hush on that and I haven’t heard from Chevy specifically that the Camaro is going away. That’s not their words, right? That’s people putting two and two together for the most part.
But to touch on the ZR1, the ZR1, just to put this into perspective, the ZR1’s $150,000 Vette that does 0 to 60 in 2.85 seconds. And this new Vette, this is just kind of… it makes everything click for me. This new Vette does 0 to 60 in 3.2. In my world, I’ll give up .4 for $100-grand. I mean if that’s what it’s coming down to.
So that’s how serious this car is going to be. A production car. A ton of them being made, supposedly, hopefully. And that’s how it performs.
However, the ZR1 is a beast in itself and it’s a very, very limited production car. I think that, in my opinion, I think this was just our holdover until the mid-engine came out and they did a really good job with it. Every dealership gets one or two. It’s more of a… what’s the word I’m looking for?
Tom: Kind of a halo?
Lewis: Yeah. Halo or it’s one of those one-offs, you know?
Chevrolet Sportscar Enthusiasts Will Likely Have Options
These enthusiasts that have a ton of money and can spend money on those kinds of cars, they’re getting them because of the nostalgia or because of… first of all, mid-engine is coming out and it’s going away. That’s the best of the best of the best.
But as far as the Camaro goes, I would love, I mean, come on. Who wouldn’t? Redesign the Camaro into a supercar like the new Vette. They need to do something.
I mean the reality of it is is that Mustang outperforms it and they realize that. So, I don’t necessarily agree with stopping the model line for one to two years and revamping it. I think that you should just keep going. Maybe that’s what they’re going to do. I don’t know. We can listen back to this podcast in 2024 and doesn’t that sound weird? 2024.
Tom: It does. It sounds really weird.
Lewis: Anyway, I won’t even touch on that. And then we’ll see if Nostradamus’s predictions come true.
When the Revealed 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Will Be At Dealerships?
Tom: Anything else that you want to share with us from behind the scenes perspective as far as what the dealer’s experience on Friday?
If I were to speak off the record, I think that we would see these cars late December, early January at the latest.
“If I were to speak off the record, I think that we would see these cars late December, early January at the latest.”
I think if anybody’s really serious about it, they need to get on it, right? And figure out what we’re doing or if they want a car, they need to start the process.
Most of the information that’s lacking information, right? It’s keeping everybody guessing too. I’m sure that’s, maybe, on purpose.
Tom: Yeah. Well, even if it’s not on purpose, it’s easy to spin it if you’re a Chevy, right? From a PR perspective. Oh no, no, yeah. We’re just doing that to increase anticipation. Like, wow, guys, we really got to make some decisions here.
No Stick But Cool Front End Lift in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Reveal
Lewis: But you know, some of the cool things that they were talking about at the meeting yesterday, there’s not going to be a stick. There’s not going to be a manual transmission.
And they were talking about how that would, they’d have to pretty much redesign the car. Put a hole in the chassis and they can’t.
And they didn’t want to compromise any of the integrity so they’re not doing that. They talked a lot about the design and how everything on a car is super functional. They have this really cool new feature where you can raise the front end almost two inches, right?
“There’s not going to be a manual transmission. [But] They have this really cool new feature where you can raise the front end almost two inches…”
Tom: During the live stream, I don’t know if you saw that, but that got a huge round of applause. I guess the live stream had primarily Vette owners in the audience.
Lewis: Yeah and media and all kinds of stuff and yeah, yeah. But not only that but it will remember where you do this at as you drive and will do it automatically, right?
Tom: So you’re coming up to a speed bump, you’re coming up to your driveway that has a big difference between the road and the driveway.
Lewis: Don’t push the button. It’s happening already, right? It’s mind-blowing to me.
Tom: That is crazy.
Lewis: So like I said, they’ve totally outdone themselves and I can’t wait.
2020 Chevy Corvette Mid-Engine Stats Reveal
Tom: And then one other… well, few other stats. So it’s going to have small black V8s, 6.2-liter. 495 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque. Eight-speed transmission as you said.
Tom: Dual-clutch. And it’s going to shift faster and better than any human possibly could anyway.
- Small block V8
- 470 pound-feet of torque
- Eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission
- 1 thru 6 will be tight – 7 and 8 for fuel-efficient cruising
- 0-60 is stated to be right around 3-seconds
Tom: Although, I think myself included, there’s going to be other purists that are like, I still would like to be able to step on a clutch.
Lewis: Well, the issue with a clutch in this, is it’s the mid-engine.
So for a clutch to be so close to the front of the car, if the engine’s in the front of the car and the clutch is there, it’s closer, right? So there’s not a lot of play, I guess, but to get the clutch to the mid-engine of this car, it would’ve been afoot.
And you’re right, based on that, it does shift faster itself than you’re ever going to be able to shift it. And I really think everybody’s going to that. Manual transmissions will be phased out. This might a Nostradamus saying.
Lewis: In the next probably five to ten years.
How to Reserve a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Tom: Well, it’s all coming. I mean, hey, fully autonomous vehicles are coming too but there’s still going to those of us that just enjoy driving like to drive, you know?
But then also, the one other note that I took during the stream was the first six gears are going to be rather right whereas seven and eight will be longer for highway driving and better fuel economy.
We’ll see what the 0 to 60 winds up being and all the other details but let’s go through, again, the specifics of I want one, what do I do as a consumer? Obviously, I’d Martin Chevrolet.
Tom: But what are the steps? I know they have some special and we touched on this but let’s go through top to bottom just before we wrap everything up on what consumers do.
Lewis: It’s a little tough right now from a dealer perspective because if any dealer tells you they know when the cars are coming, they’re lying because it’s definitely not true.
Tom: It’s a moving target.
Lewis: It’s a moving target. GM’s not committing to it for obvious reasons, right? They don’t want to underperform. They want to under-promise.
I think the best thing to do right now like so what we’re doing here at the store is… I mean, I already have five or six customers just from yesterday that are very interested.
So we’ve gathered all their information and then we’ve committed to keeping them updated with any news or any relevant information that we get. They get it at the same time.
And then they’ll have the first choice when these cars come in. If the production isn’t what GM said, my suggestion is to get on it now and to put your hand up in the air, right?
And let everybody know that you want one so that you’re one of the first thought of that when these do hit the floor because when they hit the ground, hitting the ground running is going to be an understatement.
How To Custom Order a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Tom: So that was another thing. They mentioned, I think, 12 different exterior colors and I remember, you could even specify your seatbelt color, I think they said. And there are a few different seats.
Lewis: Yeah. Three.
Tom: But so, when are customers going to be able to sit down with you and say hey, Lewis, I want to configure mine and I want this exterior, this interior, these seats, these seat belts, etc.
Lewis: That’s a great question. Not yet.
Tom: Not yet. So the firsts that are going to be available are going to be what the manufacturer provides to you-
We can’t do that yet. So that tells me they are probably two or three months away from even being able to start that process.
And then once that process happens, it’s a good 90, 120 days out before the car gets here. They build it to an extent and then we order it how we want to order it or how the customer wants it. So yeah.
Martin Chevrolet – Your 2020 Chevy Corvette HQ
Tom: All right.
Lewis: The whole paging thing just threw me off.
Tom: See, it’s hard. Isn’t it. You’re always trying to throw me off purposely.
Lewis: Yeah, right. Well, I was going to start with Baby Shark. I thought that might be … yeah.
Tom: Lewis and I were singing Baby Shark a little bit before the podcast started. My son is 21, 22 months old now. And yeah, all that, Sesame Street, very relevant in my world right now.
Lewis: We’re sound checking. We weren’t singing it because can we please elaborate on that a little bit? We were sound checking the mic.
Tom: Oh, we were just singing. Come on.
Lewis: And Tom might have been doing the hand motions. And I was going to start with Baby Shark. After that intro, I couldn’t do it to you though.
Tom: All right. Very good. Mr. Lewis Cook, Martin Chevrolet, love you guys. Thank you for your partnership with iDriveSoCal.
Lewis: So fun.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Reveal Recap
Tom: So fun. 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette C8, eighth generation. Man, this is going to be sweet. 495 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque. Eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission. 0 to 60 in either under 3 or 3.2 or somewhere around there. And it’s just going to be bad to the bone.
- Small block V8
- 470 pound-feet of torque
- Eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission
- 1 thru 6 will be tight – 7 and 8 for fuel-efficient cruising
- 0-60 is stated to be right around 3-seconds
So contact Lewis, Martin Chevrolet. E-mail me, Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com, I will put you directly in contact with the crew and here at Martin Chevrolet. And I’m getting some strange looks from Mr. Cook right now.
Tom: Are we good?
Lewis: Yeah, we’re good.
Tom: Are you sure? You don’t want to cover anything else?
Lewis: I was just singing Mama Shark but you blew it.
Tom: All right. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll talk to you very soon.
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