- The all-new Chevy Corvette C8, with its mid-engine layout, weighs significantly more than the outgoing C7 generation.
- We weighed a 2020 C8 coupe with the Z51 Performance package and found that it was 195 pounds heavier than a similarly equipped C7 Corvette.
- While Chevy cites multiple reasons for the additional weight, it won't give specifics, so we've spotlighted the most obvious sources.
With the new generation of Corvette, the C8, Chevrolet moved the engine to the middle of the car to unlock higher performance potential. That transition and several other changes have made it a couple hundred pounds heavier than the version it replaces.
We recently got our hands on a 2020 C8 coupe with the Z51 performance package and promptly rolled it onto the scales. Its total curb weight came in at 3647 pounds, which is 195 more than the last C7 Corvette Stingray we weighed.
While the front-engine version was also a Z51-equipped coupe, it had the seven-speed manual transmission. The C7's optional eight-speed automatic would be more comparable to the C8's standard dual-clutch gearbox (DCT), but we didn't have the test data for a more exact apples-to-apples powertrain comparison. Still, Chevy admits that the DCT is heavier than both of the transmissions it replaces—the torque-convertor automatic and the manual—and contributes to the new car's extra mass.
Although adding weight is typically the opposite strategy for improving performance, the mid-engine Corvette's newfound poundage is offset by horsepower and torque gains of up to 35 hp and 5 lb-ft, respectively. The C8's increased power comes courtesy of Chevy's fifth-generation 6.2-liter V-8 (read: LT2) that boasts revised internal components but is a close relative to its pushrod LT1 predecessor. The new engine's larger liquid-to-liquid oil cooler, more-robust lubrication system, and extra radiator (three total on the Z51) undoubtedly add weight. The mid-engine's inherent rear-heavy weight distribution (39.4/60.6 percent front/rear versus 49.4/50.1 for the C7), improves launch traction dramatically. Factor-in a top-notch launch-control system and, despite the added weight, the C8 posts a dramatically improved zero-to-60-mph time of 2.8 seconds. It's the quickest Corvette we've ever tested, even beating out the C7 ZR1 at 3.0 seconds.
The C8 Corvette is also one of the largest mid-engine cars, measuring some 5.3 inches longer and 2.2 inches wider than the now-obsolete C7. Those increased dimensions, including a half-inch longer wheelbase, are obvious sources of added heft.
Other incremental size changes that translate to increased weight on the 2020 Corvette are wider rear wheels and larger rear brake rotors. Every C8 Stingray has a set of 305/35R-20 rollers out back mounted on 11-inch-wide wheels—1 inch wider than those on the C7 Stingray—that are quantifiably heavier. Likewise, the C8's rear brake rotors grow by 0.3 inches on the base Stingray and 0.5 with the Z51 package to take advantage of the rear-biased weight distribution.
Chevy also cited the C8's new suspension setup as a factor for it being heavier. For those who forgot, the outgoing Corvette rode on composite transverse leaf springs. Its mid-engine replacement features coil-over shocks sandwiched by control arms at all four corners, which improve ride and handling but add weight.
Finally, since the 2020 Corvette will be the first to offer right-hand drive for global markets, it must also meet broader regulatory requirements. Chevy says this requires certain design elements and more components that in turn add more mass.
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