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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: GM's Ferrari rival is coming to Australia

Holden will offer the new generation Chevrolet Corvette locally.

The big news for Australian Corvette fans isn’t where the engine is - it’s the location of the steering wheel.

While Americans are coming to terms with the eighth-generation 'Vette moving the engine from the front to the middle (although that has been expected for several years now), Australian performance car fans will finally be getting their chance to own this American icon.

Holden has confirmed that the new C8 Corvette will be hitting local showrooms, but hasn’t confirmed when just yet.

“Like anyone with a hint of petrol in their veins, we were glued to our screens watching the reveal of the new Corvette,” said Dave Buttner, Holden managing director. “The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars.

“With our long history in motor-racing, performance vehicles are an indelible part of the Holden brand. Our team is totally revved up to build on Holden’s performance legacy with the most technologically advanced Corvette ever built.

Styling is a dramatic departure from previous Corvettes. Styling is a dramatic departure from previous Corvettes.

“We look forward to taking on the European and Japanese performance vehicles with some highly sophisticated American muscle,” said Mr Buttner. 

While full details and Australian pricing and specification won’t be revealed until closer to its local arrival, Chevrolet has provided the key information on the latest model.

While it’s model codename is C8, the car will officially be known as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray; continuing the nameplate that began in 1963. But while it carries an old name, the car features all of General Motors' latest and greatest technology in order to make this, in the words of GM President Mark Reuss, “a mid-engine American supercar” with its sights set firmly on fighting with Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini. Oh, and maybe the Ford GT?

However, Chevrolet doesn’t want to price itself out of its traditional market, so the body structure relies heavily on aluminium with more expensive and exotic carbon-fibre used where it is most needed.

The engine is classic Corvette though - a 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 producing 370kW and 640Nm - which, when fitted with the performance exhaust, makes it the most powerful Corvette Stingray ever built.

The engine is paired to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that naturally sends its power to the road via the rear wheels.

Styling is obviously a dramatic departure from every Corvette that has gone before, with its more cab-forward stance, but the angular, aggressive lines do seem to have evolved from the C7 model.

There was an Australian influence to the looks too, with former Holden stylist Mike Simcoe now in charge of General Motors design globally, and he kept watch over the Chevrolet team. For the man who famously revived the long-dormant Monaro, reinventing the Corvette wasn’t a challenge - but rather something exciting.

“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Mr Simcoe. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.” 

The interior is just as different as the exterior. Not only is it significantly further forward than the previous model (41 centimetres, in case you’re wondering) but everything is focused around the driver with a dramatically angled cabin layout.

Inside has a more premium than before with liberal use of leather, carbon fibre and aluminium that fits with the upmarket push. Inside has a more premium than before with liberal use of leather, carbon fibre and aluminium that fits with the upmarket push.

There’s a two-spoke, hexagon-shaped steering wheel and lower set dashboard for improved visibility too. The minimalist design includes a bridge featuring a number of switches, but word is that most elements can be operated via the touchscreen.

It’s more premium than before thanks to a liberal use of leather, carbon-fibre and aluminium that fits with the upmarket push.

It’s a smarter Corvette, too; for example, the front lift-kit can is connected to the GPS system and can memorise 1000 places. Which means, you don’t need to worry about pressing the lift button every time you come to your driveway, the car will remember to do it for you.

While we await Australian pricing, Mr Reuss confirmed that in the US the new Stingray will “start at less than $60,000”, which is approximately $85,000 in local money on current rates. Given the import costs and depending on the level of specification don’t be surprised if the Corvette starts north of $100,000 locally.

But stay tuned and we’ll keep you informed as news comes to hand.

Are you excited the new Corvette is coming to Australia? Tell us what you think in the comments below.