Driving the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a revelation. Why? Because moving to a mid-engine layout turned it into a supercar for the masses, giving you performance that punches above its weight minus the requisite price tag. In short, this icon has evolved into a world breaker — and this is just the start.
The C8 Corvette’s interior alone is an exercise in giving you more than what you bargained for. Everything you touch feels expensive as if they came right out of a new Cadillac Escalade. The seats are supportive on enthusiastic drives, comfortable for road trips, and offer plenty of adjustments. Together with the power-adjustable steering column, you can easily find your perfect driving position. With the roof on, you get minimal noise entering the cabin save for that sweet V8 rumble. Yeah, visibility is bad because of the massive B-pillars and small rear window but that’s what blind-spot monitoring is for right? Right?!
Complementing the excellent fit and finish is one of the most intuitive user interfaces available. General Motors’ infotainment system is snappy, responsive, and vivid. You’re not digging through submenus either because everything is just a tap or two away. In case you get tired of the music coming from behind you, the 14-speaker Bose Performance Series pumps out tunes in stunning clarity even with the roof off.
Impeccable suspension tuning gives the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette world-class ride and handling. The Z51 package and Magnetic Ride Control further polish the car’s agility and comfort, giving you a sports car that’s right at home devouring endless highway miles or slicing through corners on your favorite winding roads with staggering precision. Add quick, telepathic steering and exceptional body control to the mix and you get a confidence-inspiring vehicle that you can enjoy on every drive. You get sharpness and compliance in one package. The only way you know you’re in a sportier suspension setup is the vertical motions; you get more of them but you don’t feel any impacts.
Rounding things out is a 6.2-liter V8 that roars with authority. With 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, there’s power everywhere. Together with the snappy eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, you get unrelenting acceleration accented by burbles that sound more like rolling thunder. Together with its wondrous road manners, the Corvette blends performance with flair and an unmistakable character.
You might be wondering, wait a minute, what about the future? What’s this thing doing on a site focusing on electrified vehicles? Well, dear reader, the Chevrolet Corvette does belong here. It’s the harbinger of General Motors’ electric future. Moving to a mid-engine layout wasn’t done just for the hell of it or to copy the Europeans. Oh no. This is GM futureproofing the Corvette hence why the current version of the C8 is just the beginning.
The C8’s mid-engine layout enables GM to fit a wider range of powertrains, meaning the Corvette is ready for electrification. Take a quick glimpse inside the engine bay and schematics of how the car is laid out and you can see places where a battery and additional components can neatly fit. Additionally, GM engineers can delete the frunk and add electric motors in front to give it torque-vectoring capability and extra power. Another electric drive motor can be sandwiched between the transmission and engine, and housed inside the former’s casing.
When GM phases out the internal combustion engine, the mid-mounted layout will stay. This allows for easier packaging of EV powertrain components, meaning GM’s Ultium batteries can be integrated without too many major modifications. The foundations are in place and GM is poised to electrify everything, including its performance vehicles. This is a steppingstone for the next chapter of America’s iconic sports car and allow it to put the rest of the industry on notice once again.
For a long time, the Chevrolet Corvette has offered class-above performance without the crazy price tag. With electrification, this is poised to continue with variants like the E-Ray on the horizon. The Corvette may be the vehicle to democratize electrified performance, doing what the Bolt EV did for everyday vehicles in the sports car segment. Now that GM has shown it can build a Corvette with style and substance in spades, it may just be the company that helps regular consumers and enthusiasts alike embrace our electrified future.