Sometimes, a car comes along that leaves the automotive landscape different than before. In today’s Silicon Valley parlance, we’d be tempted to term such a car a “disrupter.” The last car to so radically shift the car world was the Tesla Model S, our 2013 Car of the Year.
Chevrolet Performance did not phone in the first-ever production mid-engine Corvette. It dialed it, massaged it, honed it, crafted the new ‘Vette to the point of the nearly impossible. The eighth-generation car will bring people into dealerships who previously would never have come in. The mid-engine Corvette is a game changer, an inflection point, and a reminder that when Americans truly set our minds to a task, look out. For soon you’ll be standing on the moon—or driving the sports car equivalent thereof.
The father of the Chevrolet Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, began working on a mid-engine Corvette back in 1959. Called the 1960 CERV-I (for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle), the single-seater located its 283-cubic-inch pushrod V-8 small-block just aft of the driver’s head. Subsequent CERV concepts only stoked the belief among MotorTrend editors that such a vehicle was not only possible but also likely.
Fast-forward to September 2019, and we finally get our greedy, grubby hands on the 10th-ever production mid-engine Corvette, an early-build, production-intent model with a VIN that ends in 000010. From our weeks of testing the Corvette against a field of formidable competitors, we can say Zora was onto something six decades ago.
“We’ve been waiting so long for this car that, climbing in, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle said. “I didn’t care if it was going to be good or bad, I just wanted to unwrap the present and drive it.”
A very true statement, as we’ve had our eye on the mid-engine Corvette ever since we broke the story (yes, Virginia, it was us) back in August 2014. Half a decade is quite a lengthy waiting period, and if life teaches you anything, it is to be prepared for disappointment.
Not here. I’m happy in the extreme to report that the 2020 Corvette delivers the goods, and does so in ways you wouldn’t think possible.