The saying “newer is always better” rings true more than ever with the 2022 mid-engine Corvette (C8). Chevrolet broke decades of tradition by moving the engine from the front to the middle of the Corvette, but it made this evolutionary change for all the right reasons: performance, performance, performance. The Corvette, “America’s Sports Car,” has almost always relied on a big beefy V8 to win races: endurance, road course sprints, and drag races. They favored raw horsepower over modern engineering to dominate competitors such as Porsche and Ferrari. But now with the C8’s mid-engine layout plus a dual-clutch transmission, the standard Corvette has the horsepower plus the technology. In case you are unaware, the reason why the mid-engine design is so crucial is because moves the vehicles center of mass from the front of the car to the middle of the car. This allows for better rotation and more rear tractions, thus allowing you to go around a corner faster and accelerate faster.
During my most recent test of the C8 Corvette Z51, I had the pleasure of also re-testing the front-engine C7 Corvette Z51. The Z51 bit indicates that this is semi track-ready version, with bigger brakes, better engine cooling, and more aggressive suspension. Both of these vehicles also had optional magnetic ride.
Right away, I noticed that the C8 was quicker off the line than the C7. The C8 does have 40 more horsepower and delivers lighting quick gear changes via the dual-clutch transmission, but having the bulk of weight over the rear wheels also means better traction. The rear wheels will spin when you smash the gas pedal, but they lock much quicker.
Around corners, the C8 feels more planted than the C7. The perfectly balanced platform allows the car to turn-in better and instills enhanced driver confidence. Do I dare say that the C8 is the first Corvette that actually handles well? By contrast, the C7 was more of a point and shoot car: heavy braking coming into the corner, rotate the car, then heavy acceleration. Where as with the C8, you don’t have to brake as hard because it simply glides around a corner.
You can learn more about the interior quality of the C8 Corvette by reading one of my previous reviews, but the most important thing to note is that the fit and finish of a C8 1LT base model is better than a C7 3LT luxury model.
The base price of a C8 Corvette is only a few thousand more than the cost of when the C7 was new, however you can expect to pay a premium when buying a 2022 Corvette because it is in such high demand. With the C8 Corvette, it is not just Corvette enthusiasts who are clamoring to buy one, but also for the first time, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and McLaren owners who want a super car they can daily drive.