2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Powertrain and Performance
Car Pro | July 24, 2019
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 engine. Credit: Chevrolet
It’s a moment in time years in the making. The first-ever mid-engine Corvette is on the way and it’s the fastest entry Corvette ever. Chevrolet recently took the wraps off the long-anticipated Corvette C8 and the engine is just as showy as the sports car itself. It’s such an achievement that Chevy designers made it visible through a 3.2-mm-thick lightweight glass on the rear hatch. (Engineers thought of everything of course and it has a cantilevered trailing edge to evacuate heat from the LT2 engine compartment.)
Chevy’s next-generation 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 engine, the only naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment, is the heart of the new mid-engine C8. It’s good for 495-horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque when equipped with performance exhaust — the most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette. It also gives it the fastest 0 to 60 time of any Corvette ever - under three seconds when equipped with Z51 Performance Package. Chevy says the powertrain’s low position enables a low center of gravity for optimal handling.
“Though now placed behind the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral experience we all expect from Corvette,” said Jordan Lee, GM’s global chief engineer of Small Block engines. “The LT2 has been designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end power to give thrilling pedal response at any RPM.”
Perhaps the biggest update for the next-gen V8 is its lubrication and ventilation system. For the first time ever, the base Stingray will use an engine-mounted dry sump oil system and three scavenge pumps for improved track performance.
During serious track driving, Chevy says oil volume remains high to avoid diminished performance. The new Stingray’s lateral capability is greatly improved, so the LT2’s dry sump lubrication system had to be redesigned to provide exceptional engine performance even at lateral acceleration levels exceeding 1G in all directions.
Other notable engine characteristics include:
Every part, including the exhaust system’s wires, tubes, routing fasteners, coolant hoses, exhaust manifold and even the bolts and fasteners, is built with appearance in mind. All engine components were given careful consideration just like the exterior, and even the heat shields are textured.
A brand-new block and vent system. The centerline of the crankshaft sits an inch lower to the ground where it mates to the transaxle for better handling.
Low-profile oil pan that reduces mass.
Oil cooler capacity increased by 25 percent.
Standard edge Red valve covers.
Mid-Engine Performance and Handling
Chevy says the new mid-engine layout makes it more driver-centric. It gives the Stingray better weight distribution, enhancing performance. It also enables better steering responsiveness and sense of control due to the new driver seating position. It places the car’s center of gravity close to the driver’s inside hip, so the car literally turns around the driver.
Other features include:
A race car-like view of the road due to lower positioning of the hood, instrument panel and steering wheel. Excellent forward sightlines throughout the vehicle for both driver and passenger.
An enhancement of Corvette’s traditional utility strengths, with dual trunks for a total of 12.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, ideal for luggage or two sets of golf clubs.
The new Stingray also features coil over dampers that create entirely new ride and handling characteristics. Chevy says the mid-engine architecture allows for a short, straight and stiff steering system, coupled with an updated electronic steering system, making the driver’s chassis input instantaneous.
“Thanks to sophisticated suspension geometry, tailored tire technology and exquisite attention to structural details, we have improved ride and handling,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer. “No Corvette has ever felt so comfortable, nimble and yet completely stable.”
The new seating position places the car’s center of gravity close to the driver’s inside hip, so the car literally turns around the driver. It completely changes the perception of vehicle handling and responsiveness.
Other ride and handling upgrades include:
Steering ratio improved from 16.25:1 to 15.7:1.
New eBoost brakes that are more precise and tunable.
The first sports car application of Michelin’s all-season performance tire that can corner at nearly 1G.
Front suspension lift that raises ground clearance by approximately 40mm at the front bumper in 2.8 seconds, protecting against bumps, potholes, steep driveways and other road disturbances. It can operate at speeds up to 24 mph and be programmed to work automatically through GPS to remember up to 1,000 locations.
Launch control aided by the rear weight distribution, enabling the new Stingray to get off the line quicker than any Corvette in history.
Z51 Performance Package, which introduces a host of new technology to the 2020 Stingray.
Performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats.
Larger brake rotors with Z51 logo on calipers.
Specific axle ratio.
Front brake cooling inlets.
An electronic limited slip differential is integrated into the transaxle that modulates torque between the rear tires, enabling incredible vehicle stability.
A front splitter and open two-piece rear spoiler that add up to a combined 400 pounds of downforce while improving grip when cornering.
Available Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, which reads the road better, providing more precise data through suspension-mounted accelerometers. Its improved electronics respond faster and more smoothly to driver inputs and contribute to class-leading ride quality.
8-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission
The next generation LT2 is paired with Chevrolet’s first eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which Chevy says provides lightning-fast shifts and excellent power transfer. Chevy says it’s designed to give drivers the feel the connected feeling of a manual and the premium driving comfort of an automatic. The double-paddle de-clutch feature even allows the driver to disconnect the clutch by holding both paddles for more manual control. Paddle shifters allow drivers to choose a specific gear.
“The performance shift algorithms are so driver-focused, they can sense when you’re doing spirited driving — regardless of driving mode — and will hold lower gears longer for more throttle response,” said Juechter.
The new Small Block V-8 has a torque curve optimized to take advantage of the bespoke DCT’s lightning-fast shifts. Engineers set the DCT up with a very low first gear to leverage the additional traction to get the car off the line quickly, and its close-ratio gears 2 through 6 keep the engine near the power peak on track. Tall seventh and eighth gears make for easy long-distance cruising with low mechanical stress and excellent fuel economy.
The DCT is mated to a new Electronic Transmission Range Selector. With this electric shifter there’s no mechanical interface between the shift lever and the transmission. The Corvette’s electric shifter incorporates two pull toggles for Reverse and Drive and push buttons for Park, Neutral and Low/Manual. The shifter has been designed to be more attractive and compact than a standard shifter.
The 2020 Corvette offers six drive modes choices: the familiar Weather, Tour, Sport and Track modes remain, plus two new modes:
MyMode, a configurable setting for preferred driving style that can remain between key cycles.
Z mode, named after the famed Z06, ZR1 and Z51 Corvette performance packages, is activated through a “Z” button on the steering wheel. This is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well.
Performance Data Recorder
To keep up with performance stats, Chevy’s Performance Data Recorder is also getting an update. It has been upgraded with high-definition resolution camera and a new, in-vehicle user interface. Drivers can record both circuit and point-to-point road courses. The PDR can be set to auto-record like a dash cam that starts a recording every time the Corvette is running, or configured to only start when the car is set to Valet mode.
Click on the links below for everything else you want to know about the first-ever mid-engine Corvette: