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- Highs Exotic sports-car performance, easy to live with on a daily basis, high-end trim offers a premium experience.
- Lows No manual transmission offered, lacks high-tech driver-assists, not everyone loves the squared-off steering wheel.
- Verdict Chevrolet’s supercar-killer puts exotic-level performance within reach for the average Joe and Joanne.
With supercar performance, an affordable price tag, and flashy styling, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette honors the nameplate's decades-old status as an automotive icon—but with a mid-engine twist. The current C8 is the first generation to have its naturally aspirated V-8 engine mounted behind the passenger compartment, which boosts Chevy's halo sports car into the realm of exotic machinery. Its sharp handling and explosive acceleration are a match for sports cars costing tens of thousands more, but it’s also comfortable and refined enough to drive cross-country. The C8 is offered as both a convertible and a coupe, and the hardtop model has a roof panel that can be lifted off to allow the sun to shine in. Its cabin is cozy but comfortable and there's adequate trunk storage for groceries or luggage, making the Corvette an easy sports car to live with on a daily basis. We're charmed by this perennial favorite and we think you will be too.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Corvette, and to celebrate Chevrolet will offer a special commemorative edition. The 70th Anniversary model will be available only on the top- line 3LT trim, but can be ordered on both the coupe or convertible body style. Exterior enhancements include special dark-finish aluminum wheels with 70th Anniversary center caps, red brake calipers, and special exterior badging; White Pearl Metallic or Carbon Flash Metallic are the two exterior colors, and they can be had with or without Satin Gray or Satin Black racing stripes. Leather upholstery with red stitching and microfiber trim adorns the 70th Anniversary edition's seats, and a set of custom matching luggage is also included. The 70th Anniversary treatment is also available on the high-performance Z06 model, but we review that car separately. Other enhancements for the 2023 model year include new 20-inch wheel designs, optional black tailpipes, new Stealth Aluminum interior trim, and an available Adrenaline Red Dipped cabin theme which covers the dash and door panels in red upholstery.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Corvette is available as either a coupe or a convertible with a folding hard top. Since the coupe's roof lifts off for open-top motoring anyway, we'd stick with it. We'd instead spend the money to upgrade to the 2LT version which adds a number of features, including a head-up display, a wireless smartphone charging pad, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a 14-speaker Bose stereo system, blind-spot monitoring, and much more. The Z51 performance package is also a must-have as it brings all of the Corvette's best performance-oriented gear.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Although the engine is in a new location—now behind the passenger compartment instead of in front of it—it remains a 6.2-liter V-8, albeit one making 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. With the dual-mode performance exhaust that is part of the Z51 package, it makes 495 horsepower. The Z51 option also adds an electronic limited-slip rear differential, more aggressive brakes, and summer tires. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (a Corvette first) is the sole transmission. It is controlled either by a push-button gear selector on the center console or by using two large steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A manual transmission is not available. In our testing, we recorded a zero-to-60-mph time of 2.8 seconds and the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 122 mph in a car equipped with the Z51 performance package and the optional FE4 magnetorheological dampers. We managed a braking distance of 149 feet from 70 mph and recorded 1.03 g's on the skid pad. Even in base form, however, the new Corvette is capable of heroic handling and delivers big thrills on both road and track.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Corvette earns EPA fuel economy ratings of 15 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined. We subjected it to our own 200-mile highway fuel-economy test and recorded 26 mpg, 1 mpg less than expected. The last generation–remember the Corvette with the engine in the front?–managed a 27 mpg result in the same test. For more information about the Corvette's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Corvette remains a pure two-seater, and the futuristic interior is lined in materials such as leather, real metal trim, and imitation suede; it even has a fancy stitched headliner. Speaking of the roof, it's removable on the coupe, just like those of previous Corvettes, and it fits inside the trunk that's just aft of the engine compartment. The rear trunk also can accommodate two golf bags, and a front trunk offers space for luggage or cargo while the roof is stowed. The driver sits behind a squared-off steering wheel and a 12.0-inch reconfigurable gauge display; a large infotainment touchscreen is angled toward the driver for ease of use. The interior design takes the driver-focused concept to the max, bisecting the cockpit with a tall bank of switches for the car's climate-control system. Overall, the Corvette's cabin is quite good. Upgrading to the 3LT package gets you upgraded materials such as sewn leather on most of its interior surfaces, plus carbon-fiber trim. The new Corvette offers two trunk areas, one ahead of the passenger compartment and one behind the engine, for a total of 13 cubic feet of storage space. Chevrolet says the Corvette can fit two sets of golf clubs in the rear compartment when they are stacked on top of each other. In our testing, we were able to fit our set of clubs easily, so Chevy's claim seems valid. When it came to seeing if there was room for our carry-on-size suitcases, we were able to fit one in the Corvette's front trunk and two in the rear compartment.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The new Corvette uses Chevrolet's Infotainment 3 Plus system, which features an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth audio streaming, a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The system is easy to use and quick to respond to commands.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Corvette can be had with a limited number of driver-assistance features, and none are standard on the base model. For more information about the Corvette's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
While its performance is amazing, the Corvette's warranty coverage is strictly average. At least the first maintenance service is covered at no cost.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51
mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa
PRICE AS TESTED
$88,310 (base price: $64,995)
pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement 376 cu in, 6162 cc
Power 495 hp @ 6450 rpm
Torque 470 lb-ft @ 5150 rpm
8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension (F/R): control arms/control arms
Brakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/
13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP, F: 245/35ZR-19 (89Y) TPC Spec 3120 R: 305/30ZR-20 (99Y) TPC Spec 312
Wheelbase: 107.2 in
Length: 182.3 in
Width: 76.1 in
Height: 48.6 in
Passenger volume: 51 cu ft
Cargo volume: 13 cu ft
Curb weight: 3647 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.2 sec
Zero to 60 mph: 2.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 7.2 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 13.2 sec
Zero to 150 mph: 19.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.2 sec @ 122 mph
Top speed (drag limited, mfr’s claim): 184 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 149 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.03 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
75-mph highway driving: 26 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 19/16/26 mpg