Demand for the C8 Corvette continues to run sky high, with fans around the world clamoring to get the mid-engine sports car in their garage. In fact, in a recent interview with GM Authority, Chevrolet director of car and crossover marketing, Tony Johnson, admitted that GM was “not even close” to meeting demand. Meanwhile, the Corvette was the fastest-selling car in July in the United States. But beyond the hype, specs and photos, what’s it like to actually drive this thing, and more importantly, what makes it good? GM Authority recently spent a few weeks with various versions of the C8 Stingray, and now, we’re listing to the top five things we love about it.
1. Luxury-Like Refinement & NVH Levels
The Chevy Corvette is a sports car, first and foremost, but that doesn’t mean it has to leave passengers battered and bruised at the end of the journey. As such, we found the refinement offered by the C8 Corvette C8 Stingray to be quite impressive, even approaching those found in luxury cars. Compared to its predecessors, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels were all quite low, even at highway speeds, making it a great choice for extended driving. Better still, driving around town doesn’t sap the life out of the C8’s occupants with a harsh ride, which is quite a bit more refined than that of prior Vettes.
“On the highway, the C8 Stingray is as refined as a modern sport-luxury car,” commented GM Authority Executive Editor, Alex Luft. “The Magnetic Ride Control suspension soaks up the bumps and imperfections with ease when in Tour mode, while the wind and road noise are also remarkably low. All that takes place while the driver still feels completely in control of the car. A blip of the throttle thrusts this exotic-looking Chevy forward at a break-neck pace. The end result is a calmer and more enjoyable ride that should be appreciated on longer trips.”
2. Driving Dynamics
Don’t let the quiet ride and higher refinement fool you – the C8 Corvette Stingray is still an absolutely thrilling thing to drive. With a 0-60 time as fast as 2.8 seconds with the optional Z51 performance package, the ease with which the new mid-engine Vette builds speed is intoxicating. Insanely high levels of grip and handling complement the acceleration nicely, making for an attractive combo that even GM technicians can take advantage of.
“The C6 and C7 were fast, but the C8 is an entirely different league,” Luft writes. “For starters, it enables even the least skilled driver to become good at driving fast. Better yet, that benefit also extends to experienced drivers, who will be able to drive faster and more confidently in the C8 than they could in the car’s front-engined predecessors.”
3. The Exterior Styling
Not only does the C8 Corvette Stingray’s mid-engine layout enable it to raise its performance envelope, but it also lends the nameplate new proportions, giving the Chevy an exotic aura that was simply non-existent in previous generations.
“During my time with the C8 Stingray, two people complemented me on my ‘new Ferrari,’” Luft writes. “Others, who are more informed, couldn’t stop looking at the C8 and complementing how awesome it looks. And I couldn’t even count the amount of second-takes and thumbs up from other motorists and onlookers. The C8 turns heads everywhere it goes. Having a bright yellow color certainly doesn’t hurt.”
4. The Cabin
Along with the new styling, the C8 Corvette Stingray also introduces an all-new cabin that cocoons the driver with a fighter-jet-esque layout. An all-digital instrument cluster sits behind the steering wheel, while a long strip of hard buttons is located between the driver and passenger on what’s essentially a massive center console. We also loved the quality of the cockpit, both in terms of the actual materials as well as the build quality.
“I like the interior of my C7 Grand Sport, which is my daily driver. But the cabin of the C8 is on a whole different level,” Luft writes. “Quite literally everything, from the materials to all the touch points and details, is elevated to a whole other level. The added customization in colorways makes those higher-quality materials pop even more.”
5. In-Vehicle Technology
In addition to quality materials and driver-oriented layout, the interior of the C8 Corvette Stingray also offers the latest in infotainment technology, including a standard 8-inch diagonal HD color touchscreen, the latest Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (the wireless piece is new for 2021, as 2020s were wired only), and a Bose Premium 10-speaker sound system.
“The thinking behind this one follows that of the interior: the tech in the C7 is pretty good, but it’s taken to a whole other level in the C8,” Luft writes. “Things are faster and more responsive, graphics are crisper, and the animations – as seen when switching drive modes – have a video-game-like quality. At the end of the day, the C8 doesn’t feature technology for the sake of technology. Instead, it offers a perfect blend of functionality and eye candy.”
Bonus Item – No Low-Speed Tire Stuttering
When equipped with the factory run-flat tires, the C7 Chevy Corvette exhibited an issue known as “tire stuttering.” Also called “tire jumping” or “tire hopping,” the front tires move longitudinally across the pavement surface when turned at (close to) the maximum wheel angle at low speeds, such as when maneuvering in a parking lot. No such issue with the C8 Corvette Stingray.
“This is an annoying quality of the C7. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I switched from the stock run-flat tires on my C7 to a set of non-run-flats. Luckily, the C8 doesn’t have that problem, run flats or not,” Luft writes.
Stay tuned, as we’ll have a list of the top five things we dislike about the new C8 Corvette Stingray soon. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more mid-engine Corvette news, Corvette C8 news, Corvette news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.