With the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette's public release date rapidly approaching, we're finally starting to get a full picture of the car's performance from various test drives and reviews. In addition to the somewhat-mixed but decidedly positive driving impressions, this includes specific attributes of the mid-engined machine. Car and Driver was among those able to pilot the new Corvette recently and, upon checking the tester's curb weight, the outlet discovered something interesting.
When they put the car on the scale, they found that the new Corvette Z51 weighed 3,647 pounds—about 200 pounds more than the outgoing model. They note that their C8 test car had, as all 2020 Corvettes do, a dual-clutch transmission and that the C7 Stingray they compared it to was a manual, which may skew the numbers a bit. Chevy does say, however, that the new DCT is heavier than both transmissions that were available for the previous generation, so it's all valid.
Chevy lists the C7 Z51's base curb weight at 3,444 pounds, further supporting the stat provided by Car and Driver.
Part of the extra “chonk” is due to the fact that the C8 is both longer and wider than its predecessor, while it also sports wider rear tires and larger rear brake rotors.
Chevy says that 2020 will be the first time in the Corvette’s history that it’s offered in a right-hand drive configuration for global sales. In order to meet the wider array of regulations, extra design components contribute to the C8’s bloating. Combine that with a larger liquid-to-liquid oil cooler to keep the LT2 engine temps town, a more robust lubrication system, and an extra radiator and you have your answer.
For what it's worth, the outgoing C7 Corvette came with transverse leaf springs while the new model has coilover shocks, which improve the ride and handling but also weigh more.
Making the car heavier seems like the wrong direction to go when performance is the ultimate goal, but the C8 Corvette Stingray offsets its increased mass with a bump in horsepower and torque over its predecessor, to the tune of 35 hp and five pound-feet. Because mid-engined cars have more weight riding on the rear of the vehicle, there's often more available traction, and the C8’s launch control helps get power to the ground off the line. All of that adds up to a zero to 60 time of 2.8 seconds, a number that makes some very expensive supercars seem slow.