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Why Did the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Move its Engine?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/19/2019 Motor Trend Staff
a close up of a black car on display: 2020-Chevrolet-Corvette-engine-6.jpg

The debut of an all-new Corvette is a pretty big deal. In the 66 years since its debut, there have been only seven generations of Chevrolet's iconic American sports car. (For context, in the same 66 years we've had 12 different presidents.) But the debut of this car, the eighth-generation 2020 Corvette Stingray, is arguably more of an occasion than any one of its predecessors. What's all the fuss about? It's not like the seventh-gen C7 Corvette Stingray is an old car. Its five-year production run is one of the shortest in the Corvette's history and the C7 is a lot less dated now than the 12-year-old C6 Corvette was when it was replaced in 2014. No, just about all of said fuss around the debut of the C8 Corvette has to do with a single foundational characteristic: its engine is right behind the passenger compartment.

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Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

The production mid-engine Corvette has been rumored for almost as long as the nameplate has been around. We've even published nine cover stories about different prototypes, concept cars, and production promises about a 'Vette with its engine mounted mid-ship. The reason why the engine's location has been such a hot topic of conversation for all these years is that it can have a positive impact on a vehicle's acceleration, braking, and handling characteristics. It's the same reason why the vast majority of Formula 1 cars made the switch all the way back in 1961. The Corvette's transition from front-engine to mid-engine could be what elevates the 'Vette to supercar status, taking the bow tie's fight to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini.

a car parked in front of a building: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 5© Motor Trend Staff 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 5

We can't wait to drive it, but for now, watch the video for a quick history of the benefits and drawbacks of a mid-engine Corvette.

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