The new C8 Corvette is something that we’ve been waiting to see for decades — a mid-engine corvette. The C8 started rolling off the assembly lines in February of this year. In addition to the long-awaited mid-engine, the C8 is going to be fully loaded with all the cool tech that any car lover could ever hope for. Here is a rundown of all the cool tech that you’ll find in the new C8 Corvette.
A seriously upgraded transmission
While purists might be disappointed that the C8 doesn’t come equipped with a manual transmission to let you take advantage of all that torque, the new upgraded dual-clutch 8-speed automatic does not disappoint. It has two manual modes — a temporary manual which will automatically shift when your tachometer redlines, and a fully manual mode, which is almost unheard of for an automatic, where the transmission won’t shift. Plus, if you press both the upshift and downshift pedals at the same time, it works like the clutch pedal would in a traditional stickshift.
It is a lot different than more traditional dual-clutch transmissions. The mid-engine placement means that the DCT doesn’t have a torque converter. That leads us to our next cool tech innovation.
Cylinder deactivation isn’t a new technology but this is the first time it’s been paired with a dual-clutch transmission for one specific purpose — reducing vibration. It’s not necessary front-engine models because there’s a torque converter that absorbs any generated by the engine. The C8 Corvette uses both technologies together, shutting off four of the cylinders and allowing a little bit of RPM slippage in order to prevent it from transferring too much vibration into the cabin. It’s a little more challenging thanks to the mid-engine placement.
In addition to keeping you from shaking to pieces in the driver’s seat, the cylinder deactivation helps to reduce fuel use, at least according to Chevrolet but they haven’t released any information as to how much gas you might be saving because of this tech upgrade.
Mag Ride suspension 4.0
This upgrade isn’t particularly surprising since Mag Ride suspensions aren’t new, but it’s a welcome bit of information. The Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management might be a mouthful but it doesn’t come with the stock C8 Corvette. If you’re looking for some extra control over your suspension, you’ll need to opt for the Z51 package and the inflated price tag that comes with it.
What sets this Mag Ride system apart is the fact that it uses accelerometers and other sensors in the suspension to ‘read’ the road, allowing the ECU to adjust your suspension and dampers on the fly as you’re driving down the road. That way you don’t have to worry about tweaking the suspension while you’re driving — the car can handle that part for you.
Cockpits inspired by flight
If you’ve ever wanted to climb into the cockpit of a fighter pilot but haven’t had the opportunity, you might want to slip behind the wheel of the C8 Corvette. It’s interior is inspired by aircraft, giving you sleek lines and the ultimate functionality. The driver’s seat and controls are ergonomically designed, with everything in the perfect place to make it easy and comfortable for the driver to access it. That includes everything from a heads up display to 3D enhanced navigation and a built-in FT LTE Wifi connection, just to name a few of the tools and toys that you’ll have at your disposal when you drive a C8.
The hood is also a lot lower than it is in other Corvettes since you don’t have that massive engine hiding under it. The whole C8 looks more like a race car or a fighter plane than a Corvette and that isn’t a bad thing.
Buh-bye leaf springs
If you start thinking about muscle car suspensions, you might be picturing leaf springs — and in classic cars, you would be in the right ballpark, but the C8 has decided that leaf springs are a thing of the past. Instead, the C8 Corvette comes equipped with Coilover tampers on each corner which ties into that mag ride suspension that we just talked about.
The Z51 performance package is also supposed to include manually-adjustable threaded spring seats, but there’s no word on when those might be available.
Automatic ride height adjustment
The last thing you want to do with your new C8 is to bottom it out on a too-high curb or pothole in the road. With that in mind, Chevy has designed the C8 Corvette with a smart front-axle lift system that can help protect your car from those bumps and bruises that you might run into on the road. The system can lift the front end enough to keep you from scraping the bumper on speed bumps or steep driveways.
The most unique thing about this system is that it can tie into the C8’s built-in GPS. It can store up to 1,000 locations so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the front end height manually. As soon as you approach one of your stored locations, the lift system will raise your front bumper. It can do this at speeds of up to 24 miles per hour, so you don’t have to worry about coming to a standstill in a parking lot or while making a turn which could put you at risk.
The future of the Corvette
As of the time of this writing, the C8 Corvette is currently available for the 2020 model year and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve been waiting for a mid-engine corvette for a long time and now that it’s here. We can’t get enough of it or all of the tech upgrades and awesome toys that Chevy has piled into this marvel of automotive engineering. If you want to get your hands on a C8, you might want to hurry — they’ll probably sell fast!