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Motor1 Reviews C8 1LT

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  • Motor1 Reviews C8 1LT

    Very glowing, though it does note a couple of things they do not like. Thanks Motor1 for your thorough review.

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    Originally posted by Motor1
    2020 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT Review: Value Valedictorian

    Feb 22, 2021

    By: Brett T. Evans

    You won’t know what you’re missing. And you’ll be happier for it.

    Since its inception in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has always been a relative bargain, offering lots of straight-line and cornering performance for less money than similarly capable sports cars. Newly mid-engined, the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray adds exotic styling to the mix. But like its European competition, your dream Chevy gets dramatically more expensive with every passing minute spent on the online configurator or options sheet.

    However, there’s a case to be made for a zero-option C8, as I experienced over a weeklong test of a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1LT, dressed in Ceramic Matrix Gray Metallic paint with Adrenaline Red leather (a modern homage to the first Corvette’s white and red color scheme). With a starting price of $58,900 and a $1,095 destination charge, this tester cost five bucks shy of 60 grand, though it felt far richer than that. Even (or perhaps especially) in its most basic form, the C8 Corvette is a genuinely enjoyable sports car, and like its forebears, it does nearly everything well.
    First-Chair Baritone

    The Chevrolet Corvette is only the second mid-engined car from GM (following the Pontiac Fiero). Yet despite its parent company’s limited experience building such an exotic type of vehicle, the Corvette is remarkably composed and enjoyable to drive, offering instant thrills that only increase as the driver becomes more accustomed to the idiosyncrasies associated with the engine placement.

    Part and parcel to that familiar (but exotic) driving experience is the ‘Vette’s engine. Just like the C7, the C8 gets a direct-injected 6.2-liter V8 with two valves per cylinder, but the 2020 model receives dry-sump lubrication, which allows it to sit lower in the chassis than before. Producing 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet, the V8 sends power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, Chevy’s first such gearbox. In sum, the powertrain works very well, with the good ol’ American V8 playing nicely with the DCT even at low speeds.

    Although we won't get world-beating Ferrari and Lamborghini levels of performance until the Z06 and ZR1 arrive, the base engine leaves nothing to be desired. Nearly 500 hp is plenty for a vehicle that weighs as little as the carbon-intensive Corvette (3,535 pounds), and the eight-speed ratchets off gearshifts instantaneously – though like other DCTs, it can only dispatch gears one at a time. Helping compensate for this mechanical limitation is a feature that allows the driver to hold down the left paddle, forcing the gearbox to downshift sequentially as engine speed allows – useful when approaching a corner, for example.

    This is also one of few performance cars that doesn’t require an exhaust upgrade to sound good. Around town, the base exhaust fades into the background, but as speeds (and RPMs) rise, the V8 makes itself known with a husky, decidedly American burble that seems wholly at odds with the Corvette’s newly exotic form factor. That said, the $1,195 performance exhaust seems like a decent buy, though I doubt you’d be able to feel the extra 5 hp and lb-ft it adds. If I were signing checks, I’d probably skip it, if only for the meme of a sub-60k Corvette.

    Varsity Athlete

    For all the strength training in the engine room, this particular Stingray doesn’t seem to have skipped its agility classes either. Even riding on base-spec all-season tires, the Chevy rarely wanted for grip, thanks in part to a mechanical limited-slip rear differential and massively meaty 305/30R20 rear tires (245/35R19s show up in front). In fact, the most exciting thing about piloting a mid-engined Corvette is how deftly it handles power on corner exit, eliminating the high-speed hairiness that often plagues rear-drive sports cars.

    Thanks to those wide tires, the brakes are even better at stopping than the engine is at going. Brembo four-piston front calipers bite down hard on 12.6-inch rotors, while two-piston clamps and 13.3-inch rotors show up on the rear axle. The $5,000 Z51 packagebrings larger rotors and one-piece calipers to the party, but the base setup is good enough for even max-attack canyon driving – I suspect the Z51 stoppers would make more sense in sustained track driving, but outside of that extreme situation, the base brakes are more than capable enough.

    For all the strength training in the engine room, this particular Stingray doesn’t seem to have skipped its agility classes either.

    The Z51 pack also includes tighter suspenders that, again, probably feel sublime at Buttonwillow or Sebring, but the base suspension is just fine for the Angeles Forest Highway while yielding a creamy ride on the broken pavement. Body motions are absent in this base model, and although its vertical center of gravity is actually a bit higher compared to the C7 Corvette, the C8’s seats are mounted much closer to the vehicle center, making the new ‘Vette feel more responsive and exciting. What’s more, the engine’s rear-mid placement lightens up the front tires significantly, yielding light steering that’s nearly telepathic on a twisty road.

    Unfortunately, that rear-biased weight distribution (the Corvette carries 60.6 percent of its mass over the back) means that the front wheels start to slide out when getting on the gas too early in a corner. It’s easy to quash this behavior by easing up on the throttle, but it’s a disappointing regression from the nearly perfectly balanced C7, especially since the abundant rear grip seems tailor-made for quick corner exits. Understeer in a modern Corvette – who’d have guessed? But driven with some care, the C8 is capable of a supremely quick pace, putting the driver deep into extralegal speeds with little provocation.

    Honor Roll

    Gone are the days when buying a Corvette meant sacrificing comfort and convenience in exchange for a low price and hot performance. The standard coupe comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display running on GM’s newest software that makes it very easy to navigate. Meanwhile, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster serves up crisp, attractive graphics and a variety of layouts, and swapping between displays is easy, even on the fly.

    The base, “Mulan” leather seats are also among the best buckets ever offered in a GM product, with plenty of support even though they’re only adjustable eight ways. The interior is yet another case of blissful ignorance – if you haven’t seen the 3LT’s leather-wrapped dashboard and available two-tone upholstery options, you won’t miss it. That said, we do wish the base seats offered at least some lumbar adjustment. They’re nearly perfect for me as-is, but not every driver will like them as much as I do.

    That same caveat applies to the tall center console and squared-off steering wheel. Although the C8 Stingray is far more livable than many other mid-engined cars, climbing aboard and finding a comfortable seating position is more difficult than it was in the C7. For my part, I fit in the Chevy just fine, and the fighter-jet steering wheel and long strip of secondary controls separating the driver and passenger felt very exciting and cockpit-like. The ergonomics take some getting used to – finding the hazard lights took about 45 seconds, for example – but once I figured out where everything was, I bought into the gee-whiz design.

    It’s not all ray guns and roses, however. Removing the roof panel yielded headache-inducing buffeting at freeway speeds, with the windows up or down. And while the mid-engine layout affords the driver a panoramic view of the road ahead, the Stingray now has massive side and rear blind spots. While most Corvettes before it have offered quarter windows or a wraparound glass hatch, checking the adjacent lane on a C8 is all but impossible, and the smallish side view mirrors help only a little. Every traffic maneuver was an exercise in prayer, making the C8 a much more stressful daily driver than its predecessors.

    The Stingray now has massive side and rear blind spots.

    Also notably lacking, at the base or any other price, is active safety technology like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Chevrolet is already known to be rather slow at adopting modern safety technology – active safety features are frequently only available on top-spec models, but their omission on even the top-rung Corvette is all but inexcusable. Blind spot monitoring is available, but only on the 2LT trims and above.
    https://www.motor1.com/reviews/48982...e-base-review/
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    All-n-All still an excellent value and will be even for the use car buyer market.
    [2021 2LT-Z51-HTC-Red Mist-Carbon Flash Nacelles-Mirrors-Spoiler][GT2 Sky Cool Grey 2-Tone Torch Red Belts][E60 - FE4 - RC8]
    [Current 1999 C5 Z51 Magnetic Red Coupe]


    Deposit June 18 2020

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    • #3
      It sure is an outstanding work of performance machinery for an unbelievable price. For those who have questions about Motor1’s visibility concerns, while this was not the first time it was noted by auto reviewers, there are those tiny little convex mirrors one can stick on the door mirrors and greatly assist, some owners say fully solve, that issue — especially with proper OEM mirror alignment. Some have noted that with proper alignment alone they are not having any rear and rear corner visibility issues.
      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

      Comment


      • #4
        A good part of the thrill in owning my base 1LT is revealing what I paid for it. People find it hard to believe you can get that much value for the money, so I laminated the window sticker and keep it in the frunk.
        Every mid-engine car ever made has issues seeing out the back. With the mirrors adjusted properly, there is no prayer involved, you can see everything behind you.
        Torch red 1LT, no options. Built June 4, received July 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Will. WELL POSTED!
          GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John View Post
            It sure is an outstanding work of performance machinery for an unbelievable price. For those who have questions about Motor1’s visibility concerns, while this was not the first time it was noted by auto reviewers, there are those tiny little convex mirrors one can stick on the door mirrors and greatly assist, some owners say fully solve, that issue — especially with proper OEM mirror alignment. Some have noted that with proper alignment alone they are not having any rear and rear corner visibility issues.
            I do have a question here. I note in pictures that the side mirrors have blind spot alerting on them. does that not resolve lane-changing issues, or even with that alerting it is still an exercise in some level of 'guess work', which is really not cool....?
            2LT z51 coupe, Red Mist, mag ride, front lift, NCM delivery, etc.
            Ordered 7/11/20, 2000= 3/18/21, 3000=3/24/21, TPW=6/7/21

            2004 Z06, machine silver
            2016 Ducati xDiavel S, black
            2016 Can Am Spyder F-3, pearl white

            Comment


            • #7
              Z06_Pilot Great Question above🙄
              07/01/20 Deposit @ VanBortels on 2021 C8 Coupe; 08/01/20 Prelim Order Status 1100; 01/21/21 Final Order Status 2000; 01/27/21 Status 3000; 03/06/21 Status 3300 (TPW 03/22/21); 03/16/21 Status 3400; 03/22/21 Status 3800; 03/23/21 Status 4B00; 03/26/21 Status 4D00: Status 4200; 04/02/21; 04/06/21 Status 5000; 2LT Coupe; GMO; DSZ; Q8Q; HTA; AQ9; E60; FE2; NPP; ERI

              ”I’m not the best in town, but I’m the best, until the best comes around“

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              • #8
                The 1LT’s do not come with blind spot monitoring. We find the blind spot monitors on ours works well. We also have the rear camera mirror (also standard on the 2/3 LT’s).
                Last edited by MidEngine; 02-24-2021, 10:35 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John View Post
                  It sure is an outstanding work of performance machinery for an unbelievable price. For those who have questions about Motor1’s visibility concerns, while this was not the first time it was noted by auto reviewers, there are those tiny little convex mirrors one can stick on the door mirrors and greatly assist, some owners say fully solve, that issue — especially with proper OEM mirror alignment. Some have noted that with proper alignment alone they are not having any rear and rear corner visibility issues.
                  Actually Sandyeggo Designs offers a convex driver side mirror for the C6 and C7 that attaches to the stock mirror glass. Looks like a simple and neat installation. They do not yet seem to offer one for the C8 but I suspect they will at some point. I think I may get one for the C7 and see if I like it. Seems like a good idea. --Bob

                  Edit: Actually I just ordered one. We'll see but reviews were all favorable. -Bob


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                  Last edited by Warp Ten; 02-24-2021, 11:07 AM.
                  2016 Z06 Long Beach Red #10281 "POPS Z"
                  -Kalahari, 2LZ, Auto, chrome wheels
                  1995 ZR-1 Polo Green #409 "WARP TEN" --Haibeck 350/510hp package, Sold but still running strong
                  1993 ZR-1 Quasar Blue #161 "HIL KING" --Sold but still running strong
                  1967 Corvette Coupe --Marlboro Maroon/Saddle 300 HP 4 Speed, Sold in 1977
                  ZR-1 Net Registry Founding Member #95
                  Member of Original ZR-1 Registry
                  NCM Lifetime Member
                  Favorite Quote--Attributed to Mickey Thompson:
                  "Too Much Horsepower is Almost Enough"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MidEngine View Post
                    The 1LT’s do not come with blind spot monitoring. We find the blind spot monitors on ours works well. We also have the rear camera mirror (also standard on the 2/3 LT’s).
                    yes, I should have been more clear. On the 2/3 LT's with the side mirror blind-spot monitoring AND the rear camera mirror, i would hope that blind spots are virtually eliminated, from a lane change standpoint. Obviously, your eyes always take precedence over electronic aids, but you get what I mean.....

                    regarding another point in the review regarding his comment about the Corvette not having Ferrari/Lamborghini beating performance until the Z06/ZR1, and I really question that statement. When the C8 came out I thought "nah, I will wait for the Z06", just like I did with the C5. Two things happened:

                    1. I realized that optioning a C8 Stingray the way I want will cost me $85k (including taxes) and that is my absolute high water mark for what I want to pay for a car.....any car. No doubt, the Z06, optioned relatively nicely will be north of $100k

                    2. I saw the astounding real-world measurements for the car from a 0-60, skidpad, and slalom standpoint. Absolutely blew my socks off, so I put my money down and should be in 2000/3000 order level heaven in March.

                    The C8 in its present form beat 10 hyper-performance cars on MT's figure-8 course (not by much in some cases, but it bettered them all). Astonishing........
                    Last edited by Z06_Pilot; 02-24-2021, 12:18 PM.
                    2LT z51 coupe, Red Mist, mag ride, front lift, NCM delivery, etc.
                    Ordered 7/11/20, 2000= 3/18/21, 3000=3/24/21, TPW=6/7/21

                    2004 Z06, machine silver
                    2016 Ducati xDiavel S, black
                    2016 Can Am Spyder F-3, pearl white

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I too am fine with our 3LT’s visibility. Having said that, it is a mid engine sports car and not as easy to see out of some other types of vehicles.
                      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is the little video I made showing how to set the mirrors to avoid blind spots. When set correctly you dont need sensors, cameras or additional convex mirrors.

                        https://youtu.be/kpkVY5CiZVA
                        Torch red 1LT, no options. Built June 4, received July 2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No comments about exterior design? The car is gorgeous. Every time I drive it anywhere people stop and stare, point at it, hold up their phones, etc.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "Removing the roof panel yielded headache-inducing buffeting at freeway speeds, with the windows up or down."

                            I am curious what other C8 coupe owners experience is with the top off. I have not had the opportunity to drive with the top off yet as the weather is not ideal.

                            I am wondering if the buffeting issue only occurs at speeds above a certain MPH and if you notice a difference with either both windows up or down?

                            My only other experience was with my 85 C4 but it was so long ago I cannot recall if it suffered from this issue or not.

                            From what I have also heard from others on this forum, including several reviewers, the HTC seems to minimize this issue versus the coupe.

                            Would love to hear comments from others.
                            Last edited by GAG; 02-24-2021, 11:35 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GAG View Post
                              "Removing the roof panel yielded headache-inducing buffeting at freeway speeds, with the windows up or down."
                              I am curious what other C8 coupe owners experience is with the top off.
                              I'm not sure about headache-inducing buffeting, but definitely a lot of wind and wind noise above 45-50 mph with windows up or down. Even my 13-year old son, who I thought would prefer the top off due to the novelty also prefers to have it on, so we can hear the radio properly. The amount of noise can be fatigue-inducing; so we're definitely not convertible-type owners. Glad I got the coupe. If you're cruising slowly around town, then maybe it wouldn't be an issue.

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