The 2021 Corvette still can’t be equipped with the optional black Rocker Panel Extensions (RPO STI) pieces, GM Authority can confirm.
The optional black Rocker Panel Extensions have been unavailable since February of last year and have not returned to the vehicle’s order book in the 16 months since they were removed. The Rocker Panel Extensions cost $550 on the configurator tool on Chevrolet.com and were also offered as a separate Chevrolet Accessory for $495.
Chevy says the Rocker Panel Extensions can help prevent scratches and stone chips from road debris on the side skirt area of the C8 Corvette. For most C8 Corvette owners, though, these will mainly be a cosmetic upgrade to enhance the exterior appearance of their vehicle.
GM experienced a number of parts shortages for the C8 Corvette last year as the COVID-19 pandemic that forced it to remove certain optional extras from the sports car’s order book. For example, the optional Visible Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package (RPO 5VM) was cancelled last year due to a supplier issue, although it returned on the Chevrolet Accessories website at the beginning of this year.
Additionally, Chevy removed the optional High Wing Rear Spoiler from the C8 Corvette order books last year due to increased demand before bringing it back once again for 2021.
GM stopped taking new sold orders for the 2021 Corvette back in March after it sold out of its production allocation. The automaker will begin taking orders for the mildly updated 2022 Corvette in July, with production set to commence at the GM Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky later this summer.
The 2022 Corvette continues with the same naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 LT2, which produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the factory performance exhaust system. Output is routed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.