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Review: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT (Non-Z51)

This is the only Corvette that matters. This one, right here. Not in the sense that the Clash was once "the only band that matters." Quite the opposite, in fact. People used to say that about the Clash so you understood they were too sophisticated to listen to Led Zeppelin or Boston. (While at the same time not being sophisticated enough to listen to Ornette Coleman or something like that.) It was meant to be a marker of superior discretion, albeit not that superior. Snob appeal for Main Street, if you will.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/review-2020-chevrolet-corvette-2lt-non-z51/

Replies (16)

Replies (16)

In the mid-1980s, I owned a 1972 Corvette for all of 8 months because I had to give it up for a larger car. I wish I never sold that car. Of the Corvetts I've ever driven, I still like that 72 the best. It was also the last C3 with chrome. I love chrome. I wish cars still came with chrome. Then again, I'm an olde phart! 

New Driver

A note of appreciation is expressed to Jack for an excellent article.

 

Jack, Don Sherman, and others in other Corvette publications, have contributed to an understanding  of all the aspects of the C8; LT2 engine, DCT, aluminum frame, etc.  They have provided significant insight into the engineering, development, and
performance achievement of the C8.

I believe there is more to the equation for the C8s great acceleration times than just more hp/torque, a rear weight bias providing better traction, and, therefore, less torque management.  Specifically, it has much to do with the C8s ridiculously high numerical, low gear, base-4.89 and Z51-5.17 final drive ratios.

Comparing the C8 to my C6 2013 man-trans Grand Sport, the performance of which I am familiar with, the C6 GS 0-to-60 time is right around 3.8.  That is attained
with a lower numerical, higher gear, 3.42 final drive ratio.  The power-to-weight ratio of my GS is around 7.7, the C8 is around 7.2.  Those numbers are not that disparate as to afford the C8 a one second+/- faster time.  Albeit, a 3.42 vs a 4.89 or a 5.17 final drive ratio is.

I would venture to say if the C8 were equipped with a "more conventional" 3.42 final drive, the times would be closer to my GS 3.8 than its 3.0 - 2.9, probably around 3.5, give or take.  Still fast, but not what Corvette Team was gearing for [pun intended].

We all know one of the goals of Corvette Team was a 3, or more zealous, sub-3, 0-to-60 time.  That could not have been accomplished with a curb weight of around 3535LBS, 490/495HP, with a "more conventional" final drive ratio.  That dog wouldn’t hunt.  To be sure, Tadge and company computed, calculated and did simulations to figure out exactly just what ratios would be needed in order to achieve the C8 planned goal.

At my age, 73, I recall when 4.10s and 4.56s were the final drive ratios of choice for drag racing.  Holy kryptonite, a 4.89 and 5.17 are radical in comparison.  Heck, given an abundantly high numerical, low gear, final drive ratio, I could get my Suburban to run a 3!  Just sayin'.

Mike Waal
Chestertown, MD

retired tire guy & rubber guy, 40 years in the tire industry, 1/3 of those with Michelin

Since we're doing music analogies, General Motors is like a talented, but mercurial musician. When they put it all together, they can produce something enchanting. But for whatever reason, they can't consistently put it all together, hindering the rest of their life and work. Perhaps General Motors is the Lauryn Hill of car companies. Then the Corvette is their Miseducation, and the rest of GM's output is comparable to the rest of Lauryn Hill's life and work after Miseducation (learning about this will be an exercise left to the reader.)

 

The C8 is exerting downward pressure on the rest of the Corvette market if you would like to wait for the bugs to be worked out. The C7 was the product of a quarter-century's worth of refinement whereas the C8 is GM's first mid-engined car since the Fiero. Yes, Corvette engineers made very sure to point out their track-day validation was done down South as a way to say that they learned the lessons of the C7 Z06. But not even Toyota can test for all cases until the cars get out into the real world.

Intermediate Driver

Love it in that color and without the rear spoiler. Also, I drove this with Jack and was properly floored. That quick drive made me sell my C5 and start saving...

Hagerty Employee

$7300 for 2LT is hardly a bargain when the camera center mirror works poorly, base seats are leather, and every iPhone offers handy navigation.  I skipped that option and will report my satisfaction without it as soon as Bowling Green comes across with my C8.  Don Sherman

Intermediate Driver

Fantastic review, Jack.  Thank you!

Passenger

Thank You for testing the C8 most of us actually buy (about 50% of production) and drive at mostly legal speeds on city streets and highways.  I've learned from first-hand experience (4 Corvettes owned) that you don't need -- and will never use -- the capabilities of Z51 and MagneRide, especially if you never set foot on a race track.  In fact, the base FE1 suspension is amazingly supple and the brakes are outstanding.  Better to spend extra money on truly practical options like Front Lift, wheel locks (should be mandatory) and appearance/convenience upgrades.  No question, this car is a real game changer.

Pit Crew

I have owned Corvettes since 1971.  I have many Corvette friends and acquaintances.  So many of them were negative toward the C8 until they saw it.  One friend sent me a pic of one at a car show and said, "I was wrong about this car before.  Now that I've seen it in person, I LOVE it!"  And I think that speaks for a lot of people.  

I've told them all this is the car Chevrolet had to build.  It is intended for a new generation of buyer.  If the traditional Corvette buyers buy it, that's great.  But there are only so many of them who are buying cars like that now.  If the Corvette brand is to survive, it had to evolve.  And whether everyone likes it or not, this is the evolution of one of the greatest cars ever made.  

I am proud to say I've owned Corvettes for 49 years.  I hope there is a generation 49 years from now who will say the same thing.

Pit Crew

Sinister, Batmobile-looking photos by Mr. Trahan! I love the look of this base without the rear deck spoiler and in this color. Having driven a Z51 C8 some on twisty mountain roads (and spent considerable seat time in every gen through my former gig), I fell in love with it. Maybe not the "purist" Corvette architecture, which does make the car feel and look very different, but it is a much needed leap forward, having wrung all they could from the front-engine setup. Zora was right.

Hagerty Employee

It's great that the transmission has so many gears, that they can gear it so low for acceleration. Problem is that when you compare it to a Ferrari F8 or even a Shebly GT500, after the quarter mile the C8 isnt so hot. Giving the C7 with this transmission would produce very impressive results. Just think its a little unfair to dog the C7.

New Driver

Great article on 2012 2LT Corvette. It gives you a lot of details on the features and options for the new Corvette. I like the safety feature to brake for you if you're taking a turn to fast. Pricing is very reasonable compared to a Ferrari. 2020 Corvette will be a big seller for General Motors/ Chevrolet. 

Passenger

My one and only Corvette was a C5 3LT. It was a fun car as far as it goes. Practical, yes, large cargo capacity for long trips, even for impromptu camping excursions, MagnaRide, HUD, dual zone climate, CD changer, Plexi roof. But it was an autobox 4-speed that felt very old for a last year 2004 car. A decent daily driver with tremendous fuel mileage.

 

The new C8 appears to be quite a bit more capable (it should be for double the price), but it has lost all semblance of "practicality." It makes a 911 seem roomy, all due to the mid-engined architecture. In the end, it's more a toy than a daily driver, something to make one "feel" special rather than something good enough to rack up miles on. Fine if you are a trackday junkie, not so good if your friend wants to come with you and drive to Monterey for the Historics next year...

Passenger

I guess nobody is left at GM who remembers how wrong they were about luggage capacity not being critical to the success of the Solstice and Sky. 

Intermediate Driver

Okay guys...if you had to pick one...would you go C8 2LT as you have spec'd out here or would you choose a C7 Z06 manual? Are you in the same $$$ ballpark anyways with a fair amount of new or slightly used C7's out there? 

Because you are going to have to trade/sell your much cherished C4 Grand Sport and your Beloved will only let you have one. And her position is firm on this.

Asking for a friend...

New Driver

New Vette looks great, however, to me it isn't Corvette enough in it's look.  I think my '87' was/is the best looking, not only Corvette, but the best looking of all autos.

Bill 

Passenger

Would like to see a review of a base model with no options.

New Driver