The first production version of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe rolls down the production line.

General Motors finally made the switch at its Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, beginning regular production of the 2020 Corvette Stingray coupe.

The eighth generation of the ’Vette, which was named the 2020 North American Car of the Year, has had buyers waiting for a bit longer than expected, but the company is now saying initial vehicle shipments will start later this month or early March.

Traditionally known as America’s sportscar, the newest model is the company’s first-ever midengine version. The change is set up is designed to improve the new C8’s performance. The 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque races from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.

(First Corvette C8 draws $3 million at Barrett-Jackson auction)

According to the bowtie brand, the base version of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3 seconds. And, with the Z51 package, the number drops to just 2.9 seconds. To add some perspective: most tests suggest that the outgoing C7-generation ZR1 can barely muster a 2.8 to 2.9-second 0-60 launch.

Tadge Juechter is all smiles after the Corvette was named the 2020 Car of the Year.

The Stingray with the Z51 pack – which adds an extra 5 horsepower and 5 pound-feet of torque – becomes a car that the competition may now rue. There’s a substantial list of exotics it can match or beat through the traps, according to Motor Trend, including the McLaren Senna (and 600LT), as well as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Considering the Senna goes for $982,000 and the Corvette starts at $59,995, that’s an impressive feat, plus there are still more numbers that are likely to impress.

(Corvette takes home North American Car of the Year)

Chevy says the C8 Corvette with the Z51 pack will blast through the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds, hitting the traps at 123 mph. That’s about the same time it took to manage the quarter-mile last month in a Ford Shelby GT500, though the exotic Mustang finished the run at around 130 mph.

The demand for the new model may have helped out a charity, as the first street-legal version of the new Corvette managed to land a $3 million winning bid at the Barrett-Jackson Auction.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray offers impressive performance matched to stunning comfort.

Rick Hendrick, one of NASCAR’s most successful team owners, placed the top bid after what can best be described as a “spirited” chase among those gathered at the annual event. The proceeds from the charity auction go to the Detroit Children’s Fund.

(First Drive: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)

With the arrival of the first base models, some with now focus on the next version, likely the Z06, if history is any indication. Expected to arrive sometime late in 2021 as a 2022 model-year offering, the next Z06 is believed to be ready to deliver a whopping 800 horsepower and more than 700 pound-feet of torque. That’s at least 150 hp and 50 lb-ft more than the previous version Z06.

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