The new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette broke cover on Thursday night, and the sports car will be boasting some impressive numbers. The first-ever mid-engine ‘Vette will get a big bump in power, with its 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. That will launch it from 0 to 60 in “under 3 seconds” announced General Motors President Mark Reuss, while the base price of the new two-seater will come in at “less than $60,000.”
We spoke to Reuss about the C8 Corvette after its debut in the Orange County suburbs of Los Angeles.
Q: I’ve talked with various folks involved in the platform and they’ve confirmed you have planned for the future with a variety of different drivetrains, not only big and bigger engines, but to use various forms of electrification. Can you discuss that?
Reuss: Thecompany is committed to a strategy of 0-0-0, zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion. All of the technology rolling into this vehicle is meant to support that. This platform can carry a lot of different things into the future for General Motors so, stay tuned.”
Q: Will that include a full battery-power version?
Reuss: We’ll see. Stay tuned.
Q: How can you pack so much technology into that car and sell it for just $60,000?
Reuss: “We’ve come a long way, baby. A lot of things you see here that will be used on a portfolio (of other GM products).
Q: You gave some interesting performance numbers but not the top speed. What is that?
Reuss: We don’t know yet. We were over in Germany last week doing final thermal and capability tests on the (Nurburg)Ring and Autobahn but we haven’t done a top speed test yet.
Q: Your Corvette buyers have been getting older. How much of the strategy behind C8 is meant to shake that up?
Reuss: If you do a great car that’s beautiful, has the performance and is attainable, every generation is going to buy it.
Q: When did it click that, after years of talking about a mid-engine design, you knew you could pull it off?
Reuss: We spent some money to make some mules (prototype using the bodies of existing products). One, called Blackjack started out with a Holden SUV. When we drove that car and looked at what it would take, it started the creative process.
Q: This has traditionally been known as America’s sports car…
Reuss: And it still is…
Q: But can this version become a truly global car?
Reuss: Well, we’ll make a right-hand drive (version). We’ll be able to sell it in Europe. There’s a lot of possibilities for this car. Europe and Australia and all the markets that like this sort of car is where you’ll see go first, internationally.
Q: Can you begin to attract buyers for brands like Porsche, who might never have looked at a Corvette in the past?
Reuss: I think they’ll be very interested to see what it is. It’s a very different car than what it was, I really think there’ll be some interest.