One feature not often mentioned in discussions about the Chevy Corvette C8 is what we at GM Authority have come to call ‘dark mode’.
The principle behind dark mode is to remove as many distractions as possible from a Chevy Corvette driver at night, leaving only with the most important information.
As with many other GM vehicles, a knob located to the left and down of the steering wheel in the C8 Corvette cabin controls the brightness of the interior lighting. But in the case of the C8, turning this knob all the way to the left turns off most of the interior lighting, except a few specific items, such as the “D” and “M” indicators on the push-pull gear selector.
Meanwhile, the instrument cluster goes into a minimal mode, showing only the vehicle speed, the drive mode, the engine temperature, fuel level and the driving range, plus any temporarily necessary information like exterior light indicators and park brake status.
That’s still quite a lot lighting, but it’s important. The center infotainment screen and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls of the Chevy Corvette are less vital. Therefore, they go completely black in dark mode.
The end result is that the driver now has much less interior light to deal with, and can therefore focus more on what’s happening in the night-time scene directly ahead, with lease light-related fatigue to boot.
Students of General Motors history will be aware that dark mode has been around for a while. GM took a shareholding stake in Swedish automaker Saab in 1989, and owned it completely from 2000 to 2010. During that period, Saab developed what was known variously as Black Panel and Night Panel.
This system was more severe than the one used in the C8 Chevy Corvette. When Black (or Night) Panel was engaged, only the speedometer remained lit. Other gauges or lamps appeared only when the driver needed the information.
The 2021 Chevy Corvette is available only in Stingray form, though other versions of the C8 will become available over the next few years, including the C8 E-Ray, C8 Z06, C8 ZR1, and C8 Zora. A C8 Grand Sport will not be part of the lineup.
The vehicle is built exclusively at the GM Bowling Green plant in Kentucky, and is available in 1LT, 2LT and 3LT trim levels and Coupe (with a manually-removable roof panel) or hard-top Convertible body styles. The only engine offered in the Stingray is GM’s 6.2L LT2 V8, which produces 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque as standard or 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque if the car is fitted with Z51 Performance Package.
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