Chevy’s Mid-Engine Corvette Upgrades Style and Performance

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Chevrolet’s radically redesigned Corvette Stingray sports car – now with a mid-engine configuration – debuted two years ago and returns for 2022 with a starting price of $60,200 (plus $1,295 freight) for the base 1LT coupe and $68,400 for the base convertible.
The Corvette’s first mid-engine configuration was designed to give the Stingray better weight distribution, response and a greater sense of control, with the driver seated closer to the front axle, almost overhead front wheels.

This ‘Vette also has the fastest zero-60 mph time of any entry-level Corvette – under three seconds when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package ($6,345), included on our tester. 2022 Stingray 2LT coupe (base price $68,200).
The mid-engine layout also gives the driver and passenger a race-car-like view of the road due to the lower positioning of the hood, dash and steering wheel, Chevrolet says.

With the mid-engine, the new model has front and rear trunks for a total of 12.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, ideal for luggage or two sets of golf clubs
The Stingray is powered by Chevy’s newest 6.2-liter LT2 small-block V-8 engine, the segment’s only naturally aspirated V-8, producing 495 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque (when idle). equipped with a performance exhaust), the most horsepower and torque for any entry-level Corvette.

It is connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch electric gearbox. The manual transmission was deleted.
Benefits of the mid-engine layout include better weight distribution (rear weight bias improves straight-line performance), better responsiveness and control (driver positioned closer to the front axle), and excellent line forward sight (lower cover, dashboard and wheel steering).

Six configurations are available, all with the 6.2-liter engine and eight-speed manual transmission with overdrive and automatic manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive.
Coupe and convertible styles are available in three levels, each with distinct features: 1LT, 2LT and 3LT.
For this report, I drove the 2LT coupe in the Caffeine Metallic (brown) exterior color, with body-color exterior accents ($995), chrome exterior badging package ($100), and “staggered : Wheels – 19-inch front, 20-inch rear – with five trident-spoke machined-face sterling silver-painted aluminum wheels ($1,495).

Our tester came with the removable body-color roof panel, which could be safely stowed in the rear cargo area.
The specially designed engine sits under a glass panel in the rear hatch. The panel has a cantilevered trailing edge with seven vents to help evacuate heat from the engine compartment, which is separated from the passenger compartment by the glass panel. All engine components (wires, tubes, clips, hoses) are built with looks in mind, including textured heat shields and red valve covers.
Chevrolet’s first eight-speed dual-clutch transmission produces lightning-fast gear changes and exceptional power transfer, for the snappy, direct connection of a manual transmission and the superior ride comfort of an automatic transmission.

The electric shifter on the center stack/console uses pull-type rockers for reverse and drive, and push-buttons for park, neutral, and down/manual. The driver can choose a specific gear using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, for even more manual control.
Standard performance and mechanical features included Vehicle Health Management (warns of vehicle problems), Active Handling Stability Control (detects and corrects unwanted vehicle actions), and Traction Control at all gears (reduces/prevents wheel spin).
The driver mode selector (a button on the center console) includes Tour, Weather, Eco, Sport, Track and configurable MyMode (allows the driver to mix and match settings to suit the situation or mood). Z mode, with a button on the steering wheel, adds to MyMode with settings for the engine and transmission.

A valet mode with performance data logger is activated using a four-digit code and allows storage areas to be locked, the infotainment system to be disabled and videos and data to be recorded.
The new eBoost brakes are more precise, applying pressure based on information from electronic sensors rather than the physical/mechanical link between the foot on the pedal and the brakes.
My tester had the Performance exhaust, part of the Z51 Performance Package, which increased horsepower to 495 and torque to 470 ft-lbs (490 horsepower and 465 ft-lbs without). Z51 performance brakes with Z51 logos were also part of the package, along with a Z51 rear spoiler, high-performance tires, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a heavy-duty cooling system.
We also had the Z51 Performance Suspension with Magnetic Ride Control ($1,895), which included Performance Traction Management. The front lift-adjustable height memory was $2,250. Other extras included GT2 bucket seats ($1,495).

The Corvette’s muscular, sleek exterior with a forward canopy stance is inspired by modern fighter jets and Formula 1 racing. Corvette signatures include a classic horizontal crease and aggressive front fenders. Design features include low-profile LED headlights with vertical projectors and daytime running lights, hidden door (beneath the carbon black insert), hood and hatch clearances to maintain the sleek, sculpted design, large side air intakes and quad stainless steel exhaust tips at the outer bumper.

Even the interior door handles were disguised – a button under the pull handle, pressed with the thumb to exit.
Getting in and out was remarkably easy, thanks to the mid-engine design requiring no oversized rocker panel to support the weight. The design also produced a low center of gravity and excellent stability, two storage compartments (front and rear) and an extra inch of seat travel rearward and nearly double the recline angle.
With the center of gravity close to the driver’s inner hip, the vehicle seems to revolve around the driver, a very pleasant driving experience.

The interior is more luxurious and features several technical upgrades. A customizable 12-inch digital gauge cluster, suitable for all six drive modes, replaced the traditional set.
The Chevrolet Infotainment 3-Plus with eight-inch HD touchscreen faces the driver and is easy to reach and use. The center console layout and dashboard design are new, with a slim futuristic appearance.
Redundant controls for the HVAC are lined up along the top of the elongated center console, which separates the driver’s cockpit from the passenger side.

My Corvette’s seats were natural-colored leather with light stitching and silver metallic trim on the dash, steering wheel, and center stack/console. Beige seat belts stood out and added $395.
New technology includes Chevy’s first one-touch Bluetooth (phone/audio) pairing with Near Field Communication, wireless phone charging (a vertical pocket between the seatbacks), learn-as-you-go voice recognition as and improving real-time traffic.
New power features include seat memory, a heated steering wheel, tire inflation alert and a premium Bose 14-speaker system with navigation and an eight-inch touchscreen. There are speaker grilles built into the door trim and a center speaker between the headrests.

Customizable HD Radio, SiriusXM (All Access Trial), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, In-Car Apps, OnStar Services (with Navigation), Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi (via OnStar), SD Card Reader, Dual USB Ports, and a auxiliary port are standard.
The performance data recorder featured a new onboard user interface and an improved high-definition camera, which can start recording when the vehicle is running or only in valet mode.
Safety features included front and rear view cameras, rear camera mirror, rear park assist, programmable power door locks with lockout protection, Teen Driver mode, and anti-theft system.
Teen Driver mutes when front passengers are not wearing their seatbelts; issue audible and visual warnings when speed exceeds a preset limit; keep track of the distance traveled, the maximum speed reached, the number of times the vehicle has heeled or exceeded the speed limit; record forward collision warning and forward collision braking events, and more.
The anti-theft system is triggered by forced entry, vehicle tilt/tilt, or interior movement.
Roadside assistance, courtesy transportation, battery run-down protection and manual door release levers (in the event of a power outage) add peace of mind.

The C8 Stingray is a fun, comfortable yet comfortable ride (it’s a sports car) and an eye-catcher (all ages).
With $1,295 freight and $14,980 options, the total sticker price for our 2022 Corvette 2LT coupe was $84,475.
G. Chambers Williams III’s automotive chronicles have appeared regularly in the Express-News since 2000. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @gchambers3. His driving partner Emma Jayne Williams contributed to this report.

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The Package: Midsize, two-door, two-seat, mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, V-8 gasoline coupe or convertible sports car.
Highlights: The iconic Corvette entered its eighth generation for 2020 with its first mid-engine configuration and a complete redesign. It’s available in coupe and convertible body styles and a long list of standard and optional performance, convenience and safety features.
Cons: Can get quite expensive.
Engine: 6.2 liter V8 gasoline engine.
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual paddle shifters.
Power/Torque: 490 HP./465 ft-lbs (base 6.2 liters); 495 HP./470 ft-lbs (with performance exhaust).
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, anti-lock.
Length: 182.3 inches.
Curb weight (base): 3,366 lbs (coupe); 3,467 pounds (convertible).
Cargo capacity: 12.6 cubic feet.
Electronic Stability Control: Standard.
Side airbags: front seat mounted, side curtains.
EPA Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/24 highway/19 combined.
Fuel Capacity/Type: 18.5 Gallons/Regular Unleaded
Base price range: $60,900 to $79,850 plus $1,295 freight.
Price as tested: $84,475 with transportation and options (2021 Platinum 4WD).
Road rating: 9.3 (out of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices; actual sale price may vary.


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