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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray vs. Ford GT: A Specs Comparison

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 00:34

It took 50 years, but Chevrolet has finally introduced the mid-engine Corvette. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray promises to be the quickest, most powerful Corvette yet, but how does it compare to Ford’s halo car, the GT? Can this bargain supercar keep pace? Keep reading to learn how these two very different mid-engine cars stack up.

Interested in the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

Power

The GT delivers 647 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque, well ahead of the base Corvette Stingray’s 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the optional performance exhaust. That’s a huge gap, but Chevy will undoubtedly release more powerful variants of the Corvette (perhaps a Z06 or ZR1), so expect the match-up to be closer once that happens. Whereas Ford uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, Chevy relies on its tried-and-true naturally aspirated 6.2-liter push-rod V-8. Chevy says this output is enough to propel the mid-engine Corvette to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, but we’ll have to test that number for ourselves. When we took the Ford GT to the track, we managed to hit 60 mph in 3 seconds flat.

Switching gears (and drive modes)

Unfortunately, you can’t get a manual transmission on either car. The Corvette routes power through an eight-speed dual-clutch, while the GT has a seven-speed dual clutch. On both cars, the gears are electronically selected, with the Corvette featuring a push-button shifter and the GT having a rotary knob setup.

Both cars also offer multiple drive modes. On the Corvette, these include Weather, Tour, Sport, Track, and MyMode and ZMode (driver-configurable modes for street and track use, respectively). The GT has Normal, Wet, Sport, Track, and V-Max (for maximizing straight-line speed). Both models feature launch control.

Cargo volume

The previous-generation Corvette stood out for its reasonably large trunk measuring 15 cubic feet. The new model splits the storage space between a frunk and a traditional rear trunk, which combine to offer 12.6 cubic feet. Though that number is down slightly from the C7, it’s still way more than the meager 0.4 cubic foot of space you get with the GT.

Brakes and Wheels

The 2020 Corvette Stingray does not boast carbon ceramic brakes like the GT. On the ‘Vette, you’ll find front and rear E-boost-assisted discs with Brembo four-piston/two-piece front calipers and four-piston monobloc rear calipers. With the Z51 performance package, there are E-boost-assisted discs with Brembo four-piston monobloc calipers at the front and rear. The GT gets Brembo six-piston fixed aluminum calipers up front and Brembo four-piston fixed aluminum calipers at the rear. The Corvette sports 19-inch wheels in front and 20-inch wheels in the back, while all four of the GT’s wheels are 20-inchers.

Customization and interior

On its configurator, Ford offers eight different exterior color options for the GT, plus seven different stripe colors as well as carbon-fiber trim options. Ford has offered unique Heritage Edition models with unique looks. There are also four interior color schemes to pick from. The Corvette has 12 exterior colors (hello, bronze!), six interior color themes, six seat belt colors, and two optional stitch packages. Both models feature minimalist, driver-focused interiors with a flat-bottom steering wheel, large digital instrument display, and carbon-fiber trim. Uniquely, the Corvette has a strip of 20 buttons on its high-rising center console separating the driver’s side from the passenger side.

Exterior dimensions and weight

 

It may not be immediately apparent from the photos, but the GT is longer (187.5 inches in length compared to 182.3 inches for the Corvette). The Corvette has a longer wheelbase at 107.2 inches versus 106.7 inches. The GT is the lighter supercar, with a dry weight of 3,054 pounds compared to 3,366 pounds for the Corvette. We weighed in a GT at 3,354 pounds with fluids and a driver.

Price and availability

If you haven’t noticed, the Ford GT surpasses the C8 Corvette in just about every on-paper spec. But that’s no surprise, given the half million dollar price tag on this exclusive supercar. At the Corvette reveal, Chevrolet took us by surprise with the announcement the Stingray will start below $60,000, although it’s unclear at this point if that includes destination and delivery fees. We imagine that the car, which goes on sale early next year, will be available with numerous options that will drive that base price up pretty quickly. Still, the C8 will continue to offer a big bang for your buck.

The post 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray vs. Ford GT: A Specs Comparison appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:36

By now, we’ve all read the specs, seen the pictures, toured the interior, and rummaged through the customization options on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Now that we’ve examined the new sports car from every angle, it’s time to consider how the Corvette’s design has evolved from its predecessor. Moving into its eighth generation, the Corvette Stingray gets a completely new look that reflects its shift from a front-engine to a mid-engine car. But does the new look work? Let’s examine the styling changes below.

Corvette designers achieved a bolder look up front with a wider lower grille. Overall, you’ll find sharper lines, from the grille to the hood creases, and even the headlights, which are more stretched out and angular, coming to a sharp point at either end. Compared to the C7 Corvette, the headlights on the new model don’t bulge out as much from atop the hood. Also, you won’t find a hood vent on the new Corvette Stingray.

When viewing the Corvette from its side profile, the move from front- to mid-engine is abundantly clear. As you can see, the Corvette loses its cab-rearward design now that the engine is behind the passenger cabin. In fact, the driver has been pushed forward 16.5 inches compared to the C7 Corvette as a result of the new mid-engine layout. This gives it the well-balanced proportions we’ve seen on supercars like the Ford GT, Ferrari 488, and Audi R8. A large diagonal side vent is a key new design feature, accentuating the Corvette’s prominent hips. The new Corvette is 5.4 inches longer than its C7 predecessor, with a wheelbase that is half an inch wider. Height has dropped by 0.2 inch.

The boxy rear end was a point of contention when the C7 Corvette debuted several years ago, but fortunately, the look has changed with the C8. Now a little more sculpted, the rear features a low-slung look and bold vents just below the taillights. Speaking of those taillights, they represent an evolution of the previous Corvette’s design, with the dual light signatures taking on a new C-shape. Instead of four tailpipes all clustered together on the bottom, there are now twin tailpipes at either side.

We were satisfied with the C7 Corvette’s interior when it was new, but we’re glad the C8 Corvette takes it up a notch further with higher-quality materials and more personalization options. Six interior color themes are available, as well as six seat belt colors and two optional stitch packages. There are also three seat options with different materials and bolstering. The touchscreen is now canted toward the driver and sits close to the digital instrument display. Instead of a traditional gear stalk that the C7 model had, the new Corvette introduces a push-button shifter. And controversially, it has a long row of 20 buttons on the center console separating the driver from the passenger. Keep in mind that cargo space has dropped from 15 cubic feet to 12.6 cubic feet, and that the capacity is split between a frunk and trunk.

Do you think the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is refreshing or revolting? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Get Your 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Video Fix Right Here!

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:49

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is easily one of the most anticipated debuts in recent memory, and its reveal event was a whirlwind of information and spectacle. With all the content we put out on the C8 yesterday, you’d be forgiven if you missed any of our exclusive video coverage. But don’t worry, we’ve gathered our best videos in one place for your viewing convenience.

In this one, Head 2 Head host Jonny Lieberman takes you through the exterior styling of the mid-engine ‘Vette. Think all they had to do was move the engine? Watch the video to find out how much work went into designing the C8.

In this clip, editor-in-chief Ed Loh breaks down the 2020 Corvette’s interior layout and styling. Then, he puts Chevy’s claim that the mid-engine Corvette can fit two golf bags to the test.

Lieberman is back to go over the highlights of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s mid-mounted LT2 6.2-liter V-8 and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. What can we learn from poking around under the C8’s “hood?” Check out the video.

In this video, we cover GM’s history of designing mid-engine Corvette prototypes, and weigh the pros and cons of moving the engine behind the driver. Find out why Chevy ultimately chose to go with a mid-engine setup for the C8.

And because everyone loves bite-size factoids, here are eight cool things about the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that you can drop into casual conversation around the dinner table tonight.

And if you still want more 2020 Chevrolet Corvette  content, we’ve got you covered right HERE.

 

The post Get Your 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Video Fix Right Here! appeared first on MotorTrend.

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2019 Ford Ranger Misses Out on IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 18:54

The 2019 Ford Ranger has finally been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and it narrowly missed getting the organization’s top rankings. Available in two cab styles but tested only in crew cab configuration, the 2019 Ford Ranger received a Good score, the highest rating, in all but two categories, and they so happen to be the ones required to get either a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick+.

On the passenger side small overlap test, the 2019 Ranger received an Acceptable rating, the second highest. However, that also means it misses the Top Safety Pick+ award because the 2019 criteria require a Good score across the board. The truck received a Marginal rating on the headlights test, which is the second lowest rating, making it ineligible for the Top Safety Pick award. In order for a vehicle to get the Top Safety Pick award, it must receive a Good rating on all but headlights and the passenger side front small overlap test where it can get either a Good or Acceptable.

In the IIHS’ front crash prevention test, a vehicle must get an Advanced or Superior rating (the latter is the higher score) to qualify for either Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+. The 2019 Ford Ranger’s standard forward collision warning automatic emergency braking allowed it to get a Superior rating because it avoided a 12-mph collision and reduced the speed of a 25-mph one by 24 mph. Ford Co-Pilot360, which adds automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert that can take into account trailers, and lane keeping assist, is optional on the base Ranger XL and standard on the XLT and Lariat.

The Honda Ridgeline is currently the only truck to get the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award, missing the Top Safety Pick+ award because it only scored an Acceptable rating on the passenger side front small overlap test. Unlike the Ford Ranger and other midsize pickup entries, the Honda Ridgeline is a unibody truck and shares its underpinnings with the Pilot and Passport crossovers, and the Odyssey minivan. The Chevrolet Colorado crew cab missed the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards thanks to a Marginal score in the passenger-side small overlap test and a Poor rating for headlights.

Powering the 2019 Ford Ranger is a 2.3-liter turbo-four paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard and four-wheel drive is optional on all trims.

Source: IIHS

The post 2019 Ford Ranger Misses Out on IIHS Top Safety Pick Award appeared first on MotorTrend.

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Interior Review: What’s Different Inside the C8

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:12

It’s not by coincidence that Chevrolet revealed the mid-engine Corvette during the week that marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The brand is commemorating that giant leap for mankind with what’s perhaps the most anticipated reveal of the decade, the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8—the first production mid-engine Corvette in history. But besides its sharp exterior lines and strong styling, designers spent much time crafting the interior and making it different from what we’ve seen in the past. Here’s a deep look at the new ’Vette’s interior.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? Get comprehensive coverage HERE.

Squared-off wheel

The steering wheel has been redesigned to be a two-spoke, squared-off wheel with a small diameter. You can choose between suede or leather, but either way, the wheel’s design is sporty and has a premium feel. Best of all, the new Z button on the left side of the wheel activates Z mode, which allows the driver to adjust the car’s behavior for more spirited driving.

Luxury for everyone

The Corvette will come in six different interior themes: Jet Black, Sky Cool Gray, Adrenaline Red, Natural/Natural Dipped, Two-Tone Blue, and Morello Red. Regardless of which interior you choose, all have an elegant and clean design, and it’s without a doubt the most luxurious Corvette we’ve seen. How well the interior will wear over time is another question; we had mixed results with our long-term C7.

From the strip of buttons for the HVAC controls to the electric shifter, the C8 Corvette feels more like a luxury sports car. The interior of loaded Corvettes is also covered in suede, from the headliner to the door panels, giving it a premium feel everywhere you touch. There are carbon-fiber bits and aluminum trim in parts of the cabin, and because the air vents are very well integrated in the dash, the whole interior looks plush.

Driver’s car, driver’s cockpit

Everything, from the infotainment screen to the strip of buttons for the HVAC controls, is oriented toward the driver. There are two cupholders in the center console, and the wireless charger is located between the two seatbacks. There’s enough space for tall folks (I’m 6 feet tall and had sufficient room), and once you’re settled in, you’ll notice how the sharp creases on the sides of the hood stand out. The cabin feels roomy in that there’s enough space for two, and even enough space to adjust your driving position.

Technology

Right in front of the driver is a new 12.0-inch instrument cluster that changes color and graphics depending on the drive mode (weather, tour, sport, track, and the two new modes: MyMode and Z mode). The screen looks rad, and there’s a nice welcome profile graphic of the mid-engine ’Vette when you start the engine. The Corvette also comes with the latest generation of Chevrolet MyLink, making it very easy to control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are compatible.

Customize it your way

The interior can be customized, from the seat belts to the seats themselves. There are three seat options available: GT1, GT2, and Competition Sport. GT1 seats have a sporty style, but they are more comfort-oriented. GT2 seats are race inspired and have been designed for long road trips, according to Chevy. Competition Sport seats are the sportiest of the three, with additional bolstering on the sides and carbon-fiber trim on the headrest.

Need more customization than that? There are six color choices for the seat belts (black, blue, natural, torch red, yellow, and orange), and two stitch packages (yellow and red; the black interiors come with gray stitching as standard).

Chevy is not limiting the combinations, so if you want the blue or orange seat belts with the Adrenaline Red interior, you can.

Two premium sound systems

Every C8 Corvette will be equipped with the standard 10-speaker Bose premium audio system, but if you think that’s not enough, a 14-speaker Bose Performance Series system is available.

Performance Data Recorder

Performance Data Recorder, a feature in the infotainment system that records the car’s dynamic numbers, now records video with the front camera and in a high-resolution format. PDR can be turned on when driving on a track for dynamic driving or on the street for a dash-cam-like experience. The feature can also be used with Valet mode, so you can check if the valet drove your car aggressively before parking it.

The post 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Interior Review: What’s Different Inside the C8 appeared first on MotorTrend.

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FINALLY: After 70 Years, We Reveal Our Love of Corvette

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 09:00

What do you call a myth that finally comes true? Well, you can call it the cover story of our special 70th anniversary issue, on newsstands August 2. After decades of our theorizing and Chevrolet’s teasing, the Corvette quits banging on the limiters of a grand touring platform and upshifts into the realm of mid-engine supercar.

Seventy years of MotorTrend means, at minimum, 840 covers, not counting special editions or different versions of issues for newsstands and subscribers. We have a feature on the staff’s favorite covers over the years, and this exercise led me to count up the number of times we’ve prominently featured a Corvette on our most prized page, with either an image, headline, or other callout.

The love we’ve given the Chevrolet Corvette is astonishing and frankly a bit embarrassing; in 70 years, MotorTrend has featured Corvette on the cover 177 times, including this one. Put another way, we’ve devoted greater than 20 percent of our most precious real estate to one single car. Two issues out of every 10 means longtime readers reliably see a Corvette cover on average twice a year, but the frequency in more recent years has been much greater.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

The first issue of MotorTrend was September 1949. Corvette made its debut in 1953, but our first cover mention of Corvette was in June 1954, in a photo alongside a Ford Thunderbird. How MotorTrend survived those first 58 issues without Corvette remains a mystery to this day, because after its debut, we never looked back. In the ’60s and ’70s, there were a couple of years here and there with covers sans Corvette, but not by the ’80s. The banner year was 1985, the first time that fully half of the year’s covers made some mention of Corvette. We never published more than six ’Vette covers in a calendar year, but we managed half a dozen in 1992 and 2005, and we had many years in between when the Bowling Green boulevardier made the cover four or five times.

Our (and apparently your) fascination with Corvettes was both real and imagined. The bulk of our reporting included discussions of style, first driving impressions, and lots of comparison tests. In the early days, Ford T-Birds and high-test Mustangs made up the bulk of our shootouts.

Later on, our focus would shift to Shelby Cobra and the odd foreigner, until the rise of Corvette’s archnemesis, the Porsche 911 Turbo. Countless artful pairings and terrible puns positioned Turbo vs. ZR-1. Then the Dodge Viper entered the fray. We spilled gallons of ink on it, as well as Corvette tuners from Hennessey to Lingenfelter, and pulled off top-speed tests and cross-continent road trips. As Corvette (and Porsche) engineers began to push the performance envelope into the supercar space, so did we with comparisons involving Lamborghini, Ferrari, and some newcomer called GT-R.

In the imagined space, we devoted pages to what stunning new tech would push Corvette performance past the jet age. Gas turbine engines? Four-rotor Wankels? Hybrid-electric? And then, of course, were the cover stories focused on the imminent arrival of the mid-engine Corvette.

I chuckled to myself while tabbing through the folder of 800-plus covers and jotting down instances of C1–C7. What on earth were my forebears thinking with all of this Corvette lust and mid-engine lunacy, especially in the late ’80s through the ’90s? Had everyone lost their minds? Then I got to 2014, my third year as editor-in-chief, and discovered that I, too, was guilty: Six issues with Corvette on the cover, including one all-caps skyline blurb atop the Nov 2014 issue: MID-ENGINE CORVETTE PG 20.

Pictured: The June 1970 cover of MotorTrend.

Now that the mid-engine Corvette is finally here and we’ve blown out the candles on our 70th anniversary cake and tipped over the last bottles of champagne, I’m feeling a bit empty. What will we splash across our covers in the decades yet to come?

All-electric, 250-mph, all-wheel-drive Corvette, anyone? You read it here first.

Editor’s Note: At the first planning meeting for this issue, more than a year before we went to press, I opened with the statement, “I hate anniversaries,” and then tasked Miguel Cortina, Scott Evans, and Christian Seabaugh to come up with a plan to create retrospective stories you would all want to read and enjoy. Huge thanks that trio, along with Alisa Priddle and Frank Markus in Detroit, and our entire family of photo, copy, production, and online pros. We went out of our way to revisit the stories MotorTrend used to tell, and we wrangled vehicles from across seven decades, all to give you a taste of state-of-the-art, way back when. I hope you enjoy the issue.

More from Ed Loh:

The post FINALLY: After 70 Years, We Reveal Our Love of Corvette appeared first on MotorTrend.

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ICYMI: Chevy Teased the 2020 Corvette C8.R Race Car

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 05:48

It’s understandable if you missed it, given all the earth-shaking news revealed at the coming out party for the 2020 Corvette. But at the very end of the debut, just after GM president Mark Reuss shocked the world with his announcement that the all-new mid-engine Corvette would start below $60,000, a video played that flashed a camouflaged version of the Corvette race car, as well as the convertible.

Chevrolet confirmed to MotorTrend that the camoed race car—equipped with a massive rear wing and diffuser and ground-hugging front splitter—that flashed on screen is indeed the C8.R, but that was hardly a surprise. C8.R spy photos and videos have been around the web for years, and now that the C8 is live and available for order, the racing version is expected to make its debut soon, most likely in January at the 2020 24 Hours of Daytona.

Neither Reuss nor Chevrolet provided any details on what will power the C8.R, but news that the base-model Stingray will be equipped with a 495-horsepower 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 has only poured race gas on the speculation of what will power the C8.R. Smart money says Corvette Racing will rely on a variant of the LT5.5 V-8, derived from the ZR-1, that powered the C7.R, as endurance racing demands ultimate reliability, the kind that only years of development can bring. However, there has been a lot of speculation that Cadillac’s 4.2-liter twin-turbo Blackwing V-8, an engine championed by Reuss, will eventually power C8.R.

When it does begin racing, the C8.R will have big, front-engine racing shoes to fill. The Corvette Racing team has a storied 20-year history in sports car, grand touring, and endurance racing series, including the American Le Mans Series, Pirelli World Challenge, and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Corvette Racing’s most notable wins have come at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where it has been a class winner twice (2015 and 2016) and overall winner once (2001). The team’s record is even better at the vaunted 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the C5.R, C6.R, and C7.R Corvettes have combined won their class eight times. However, the last win in France was in 2015, so the pressure is on for the C8.R to deliver, and not just against traditional rivals like Porsche. In the 2020–2021 season, a new “hypercar” class comes to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, that should see racing variants of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, McLaren Senna, and Mercedes-Benz Project One. Whether the C8.R will actually challenge these rivals head to head in class remains to be seen, but we certainly hope so.

Can a race car built on the back of a $60,000 American icon really challenge exotic hypercars from foreign lands? Wait a minute, of course it can—and has—for the past 20 years. All that’s changed is, well, everything. By moving to a mid-engine platform, the Corvette Racing C8.R officially takes the gloves off. Stay tuned.

Want more on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

 

 

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We See You: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Peeks Out at Coupe Reveal

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 05:14

While we’re still oogling the mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray coupe, Chevy just teased the convertible at the coupe’s unveiling event. The automaker is moving quickly, which makes sense considering the 2020 Corvette Stingray convertible will beat with a 495-hp heart. The 2020 Corvette convertible promises more athletic responses than any ‘Vette drop-top predecessor thanks to its mid-engine layout.

Just as important, perhaps, the 2020 Corvette convertible will allow driver and passenger to better appreciate that small-block 6.2-liter V-8. Let’s be honest, though. Some 2020 Corvette convertible buyers won’t be as interested in the V-8 or its new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as they are in how they look behind the wheel and what the car says about them. Although we don’t have any specs just yet, expect the mid-engine Chevy Corvette convertible to make the make the most of its front and rear cargo spaces. The 2020 Corvette Stingray coupe offers a total 12.6 cubic feet of space; expect the convertible—which looks to be power-retractable back behind the seats, though we couldn’t confirm that—to not quite carry as much but still be competitive with other high-priced competition.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

The post We See You: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Peeks Out at Coupe Reveal appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Supercar Bargain! 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to Start Below $60,000

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 05:09

Going mid-engine can’t be cheap, so you’d think the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray would receive a hefty price hike. But you’d be wrong. At the reveal in Tustin, California, Chevrolet’s Mark Reuss shocked the crowd by announcing that the C8 Corvette will have a starting price below $60,000.

That’s for the base Stingray model, which is equipped with a 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 turning 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque through a dual-clutch eight-speed transaxle developed with Tremec. With this revolutionary drivetrain the Stingray can launch from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds.

 

For reference, the 2019 C7 Corvette Stingray starts at $56,995. That the C8 Stingray, with its clean-sheet development, complex R&D cycle, and intricate construction, might start for only a few thousand dollars more is an impressive feat by General Motors and a highly appealing proposition for enthusiasts.

The Corvette has always presented great value, delivering V-8 thrills at attainable prices. However, it was sometimes clear where Chevrolet put its development dollars—just look at the interior of the C6. Now, though, the Corvette looks to be a world-class item throughout, and it joins an elite club of mid-engine performance cars that put driving dynamics at the forefront.

Stacking the C8 Stingray against its competitors proves its value. A comparably priced mid-engine car is the Porsche 718 Cayman, starting at $58,150, but that Porsche’s comparative performance pales with 300 hp and a 4.9-second 0–60. The Challenger Hellcat starts at $62,440 and has a tremendous 717 hp, but it also has a 4,428-pound curb weight. Although we only know the C8’s dry weight is 3,366 pounds, even filled with passengers and fluids it’s a lightweight compared to the Dodge. The track-focused Mustang GT350 is similarly priced at $60,235, but drivers will feel a twinge of pain any time a fleet-spec turbo four-cylinder Mustang passes by—C8 Stingray drivers, never. The mid-engine Audi R8 has 562 hp and accelerates to 60 in 3.4 seconds, but you could buy two C8 Stingrays for its $171,150 starting price and have cash left over.

MotorTrend includes destination and delivery charges in pricing, so there’s a chance that the C8 Stingray will crest $60,000 once the official price is revealed. Options like the Z51 performance package and a multitude of available interior and exterior details will further drive the price up. No matter what’s on the order sheet, though, the C8 represents great bang for the buck.

Check out our comprehensive mid-engine C8 coverage HERE. Once you’ve read up on Chevy’s new sports car, you can reserve your own 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray here.

The post Supercar Bargain! 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to Start Below $60,000 appeared first on MotorTrend.

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The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8’s Exterior Styling in Detail

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:30

After decades of rumors, waiting, and promises, it’s finally here. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette sports a mid-engine layout and looks like a proper sports car. In this video, senior features editor and Head 2 Head host Jonny Lieberman gives the lowdown on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and its exterior design.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

The mid-engine configuration has changed the way the C8 Corvette looks compared to its front-engine C7 predecessor. Gone is the cab-rearward design because of the engine’s position behind the passenger cabin. Some of the design cues including the headlights and lower front fascia are clearly evolutions of the previous generation Corvette adapted to the new car’s layout. An air intake is the most prominent part of the car when viewed from the side profile along with its cool new alloy wheels. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s rear end sweeps down in the same way as most mid-engine sports cars. However, the rear fascia is easily distinguishable as a Corvette thanks to its cool-looking rear wing and the taillight cluster design that’s essentially an evolution of its predecessor’s.

Powered by a new 6.2-liter V-8 with up to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette promises improved performance. It’s also the first Corvette to come with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the only Chevrolet vehicle to do so. Looking for the manual transmission? Sorry, it’s not offered.

Check out the video below to see some of the cool exterior design details on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette.

The post The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8’s Exterior Styling in Detail appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Build Your Dream 2020 C8 Mid-Engine Corvette in Chevrolet’s Mobile Showroom

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:30

Want to get a sense for your C8 Corvette before you drive it? Chevrolet has developed an interactive mobile showroom to display all the car’s exterior and interior options. It’ll be hauled in a massive trailer behind a Silverado to more than 125 dealerships around the country so prospective buyers can get an eyes- and hands-on impression of the Stingray’s myriad options.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

And options there are—Chevrolet has seriously stepped up personalization over the C7. Outside, 12 paint colors are available, with some eye-catching hues to choose from. Six distinct wheel finishes are offered, which cover colored brake calipers, with requisite tire options shown too.


Inside, nine interior color schemes are presented, from luxurious dark to sporty bright. Buyers can select from three seat designs, ranging between comfort-oriented to heavily bolstered. Seats will be accented by belts in six optional colors, and a squared-off steering wheel wrapped in either sueded microfiber or leather. Two key choices and various genuine metal or carbon fiber trim pieces will be shown as well.

Eager to spec your dream C8? Watch for Chevy to announce locations for this nationwide tour. Until then, follow our coverage of the mid-engine sports car HERE.

The post Build Your Dream 2020 C8 Mid-Engine Corvette in Chevrolet’s Mobile Showroom appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Can the New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Really Hold Two Golf Bags?

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:30

Move over, ZR-1. Step aside, Ford GT. Back up, NSX. You too, R8, 488, Huracán. There is a new mid-engine sheriff in town, one whose name and face are very familiar, even if the proportions—and performance—have changed dramatically.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

A day before the debut of the all-new 2020 Corvette, we got an exclusive sneak peek at Chevrolet’s new mid-engine supercar, and indeed it is stunning. Here is a quick review of the 2020 Corvette highlights. Yep, the engine and passenger compartment have swapped places. The driver’s seat is now roughly 16.5 inches closer to the nose of the vehicle, to make room for the 6.2-liter LT2 pushrod V-8 engine, the most powerful standard Corvette engine in history (when equipped with a performance exhaust) at 495 horsepower. Read all the details, including how it feels going down the road and some technical triumphs the Corvette engineering team had to overcome, in our exclusive coverage.

In this interior video, we walk through some of the highlights of the C8 Corvette’s interior, including the trunk and frunk capacity, “squircle” steering wheel, new digital instrument cluster, and Competition Sport seat. Where is the Z button and what does it do? How can a mid-engine supercar hold two golf bags in the trunk? Check out the video!

The post Can the New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Really Hold Two Golf Bags? appeared first on MotorTrend.

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8: 4 Tech Triumphs

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:20

Flagships always get the coolest tech first, and the Corvette C8 is most definitely Chevrolet’s flagship and a major standard-bearer for the entire General Motors Corporation. Here are four technologies that piqued the interest of your humble MotorTrend technical director.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

Cylinder Deactivation + Twin-Clutch

Neither is a new technology, but General Motors is the first to combine them in this market and this segment. This is a big deal because the vibration that comes with shutting off half the cylinders is way harder to absorb or mask without a torque converter in the driveline.

Torque converters are basically fluid couplings, and fluid is great at absorbing vibes. And even when they’re locked for fuel savings, their housings can incorporate nifty pendulum mass dampers tuned to absorb torsional wiggles.

All a multiplate clutch pack can do in a twin-clutch system is loosen its grip enough to allow a few 10s of rpm slippage, so that’s what happens during the transition between modes. The team still wasn’t quite satisfied with the quality of these transitions as of our development drive ride-along, though I couldn’t detect four-cylinder operation from the passenger seat.

GPS Nose Lift

The C8 Corvette’s front suspension includes screw jacks that can raise the car by 1.6 inches in 2.8 seconds to help the chin spoiler clear aggressive speed bumps, driveway approaches, and the like. The fresh thinking Chevy brings to this staple of mid-engine wedge-mobiles is the option to geo-tag and store each such obstacle in a memory bank, so you need not fuss with manually lifting the nose for every bump, dip, or apron on your daily commute.

The car can even start jacking itself up early if you’re approaching a bump at speeds up to 24 mph. Heck, with a memory for 1,000 such places, you can program in every permanent bump or hump you encounter.

Programmable Turn Circle

With no powertrain in the way and no drive to the front axle dictating constant-velocity-joint angles, it’s possible to really crank the front wheels of the C8 Corvette when maneuvering in tight quarters—but only at low speeds and when neither front wheel is articulating over some bump.

The electric power steering, informed by myriad speed and wheel-position sensors, imposes “virtual stops” that limit steering angle based on speed and conditions. At its most extreme limits, the Corvette’s turn circle is just 36.4 feet curb to curb, down from the C7’s 37.7 feet. This is especially impressive given that the C8’s wheelbase is a half-inch longer (at 107.2 inches). Note, without the FE4 suspension, the turn circle diameter is 38.1 feet.

Sequential-Decay Turn Signals

Our killjoy government just doesn’t want us to have fun things like sequential turn signals. There’s a minimum amount of light that must be displayed when the signal first illuminates. The first of three elements in a Mustang taillamp are big enough, but cars that attempt to successively illuminate LEDs in the direction of a turn can’t meet the standard, so they typically flash a full-size element at the same time (see Audi). The Corvette’s LEDs flash on fully, and then switch off successively from the inside out, indicating the direction of the turn. A clever workaround.

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette: Three Challenges the Mid-Engine Car Presented

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:20

Everything about building a mid-engine car was new to the C8 development engineers. There’s virtually nobody left from the earlier mid-engine Corvette programs (or even the Pontiac Fiero team) to consult with, so the C8 team pretty much had to benchmark state-of-the-art competitors. And because most competitors have been developing mid-engine sports cars for several generations, the pressure has been high to nail the benchmarks right from the start. Plenty of computer-aided engineering and rough mule prototype vehicles were involved in this program. Below are a few of the diciest challenges the team faced.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

Engine Note Tuning

Some of the nastiest (in a bad way) sounds an engine makes are now 12 inches from the driver’s ear: the accessory drive. Hence the firewall is well insulated, and the bulkhead window is 9mm thick (most windshields are 5mm thick).

Everyone loves exhaust noise, but that’s really far away, and the pipes are short, presenting no opportunity for X-pipes and other plumbing elements to improve the sound. Even the intake is located pretty far back, but airflow is directed through some body cavities with openings near the driver door in an effort to naturally direct some of that noise forward.

The car’s audio system is primarily programmed to cancel objectionable frequencies, but a bit of constructive enhancement of the trademark small-block burble is also dialed in. The Z51’s low-restriction exhaust valve makes the car as loud as it legally can be. A mid-motor NVH windfall: Road noise is inherently reduced by moving the big rear tires aft and insulating them behind an engine.

Matching Corvette’s Legendary Trunk Space

Few sports cars can touch the Corvette hatchback’s 15-cubic-foot luggage capacity. The ability for the C8 to continue the legacy as a weekend getaway car was deemed crucial. So despite an engine sitting where all that luggage used to go, the team has managed to package 12.6 cubic feet split roughly one-third in the frunk and two-thirds in the rear trunk, behind/above the powertrain.

The front accommodates a standard airline-regulation roll-aboard laid on its narrow, tall side. The rear can fit two reasonably sized golf bags. And although a new four-piece set of fitted semi-rigid leather duffels will be offered for the C8, the C7s five-piece set fits in the C8. You know what else fits in the back? The removable targa roof panel (though not necessarily along with the golf bags or fitted luggage).

Torsional Stiffness/Crash Energy Management

The long-hood/short-deck front-mid-engine layout was a breeze for energy management. There used to be plenty of room to gently steer crash energy down around the front wheel to the side frame member. Swap the powertrain and cabin positions, and suddenly the tire is right behind the dead pedal, leaving no room for a crash energy load path. Those forces must now be directed into the center tunnel structure.

The comparatively narrow box the engine used to fit in is smaller and more inherently rigid than the larger opening required to accommodate the C8’s entire powertrain. But the team reports that the torsional stiffness is better than that of the C7 and several key competitors. There are also several local stiffness wins, one of which is the steering column. Because it’s shorter and more direct, it was easier to stiffen it up.

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Mid-Engine 2020 Corvette Basics: What You Need to Know

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:15

Prepare to be bombarded with facts, trivia, and minutiae covering every aspect of the long-awaited mid-engine Corvette in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date. For now, here’s a concise distillation of the most basic information you need to get the conversation going at your local cars ’n’ caffeine gathering.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? Get comprehensive coverage HERE.

Engine

The base Stingray’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine might be the least interesting part of the new C8, yet it has been significantly revised in morphing from LT1 to LT2 nomenclature.

Myriad little refinements contribute to the 40-hp/10-lb-ft jump in output to 495 hp at 6,450 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 5,150 rpm (with performance exhaust—standard exhaust output has yet to be announced). A big one is the camshaft. Another biggie: All variants now get dry-sump lubrication, featuring three suction pumps and a more compact remote reservoir. The system is said to be capable of providing full-pressure lubrication under sustained lateral cornering loads of greater than 1 g.

The cylinder deactivation system is still of the Active Fuel Management V-8-4 style, not the Dynamic Skip Fire system that deactivates any cylinder at will on GM trucks.

As yet there is no confirmation of the pressurized DOHC engine options that have been predicted for higher-powered future variants.

Transmission

Everyone predicted the C8 would get a Tremec TR-9070 seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but in fact it will get a completely bespoke eight-speed twin-clutch developed in conjunction with Tremec. (Note that Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter asserts it is not just a Ford Shelby GT500 gearset in a Chevy housing.)

No three-pedal manual or torque-converter transmission is planned. Full details of this M1L transmission haven’t been disclosed, but we know the top three gear ratios are overdrive, and first gear is primarily for launch. Most of the great handling circuits will use second through sixth. It is capable of shifting directly between any two gears as necessary—say, eighth to third when nailing the gas for a pass. The transmission is tuned to provide a creep mode when lifting off the brake from a stop.

Suspension

Three suspension options will again be offered on the Stingray: the base FE1, FE3, and FE4 for Z51 models (the latter with magnetorheological damping). These fourth-gen MR shocks offer greater bandwidth and react much faster.

In order to take full advantage of this newfound quickness, wheel-position accelerometers are located on the knuckles where there’s little or no lost motion; as such, they’re four times faster than previous setups at reporting wheel motion.

FE1 tuning is slightly more aggressive than the base C7 Stingray setup. It’s close to the FE4 Tour setting, though spring rates are slightly higher on the Z51. FE3 tuning is slightly sportier than the FE4 Sport setting—close to the factory Z mode setting (a high-performance street setting that can be accessed via a single button on the steering wheel).

Power steering is electric, and there’s no active rear steering. The new suspension is purely coil-over shock units, which will therefore put all those leaf-to-coil-over conversion peddlers out of business.

Brakes

Brembo brakes use four-piston front and rear calipers and eliminate the drum-in-hat parking brake in favor of lighter secondary rear calipers that set and release automatically when shifting in or out of park. Base JL9 front brake rotors are similar in size to today’s (12.6-inch) rotors, while the rears are slightly larger (13.6 inches up from 13.3). The Z51’s J55 brake setup gets larger rotors all around (13.3 inch front, 13.8 inch rear). Carbon-ceramic brakes are not offered on the Stingray.

A big braking challenge that was not related to the amidships powertrain placement: regulation to remove copper from the brake pads, which had accounted for 20 percent of the material. (It’s out, but only the pad suppliers know exactly what replaced it.)

Wheels and Tires

All Stingrays will ride on Michelin run-flat tires sized 245/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR20 rear. They’ll be wrapped around spun-cast aluminum wheels that are strengthened to cope with America’s worsening roads. Base cars get Pilot Sport All Seasons; Z51s get Pilot Sport 4S tires that we’re told function quite well in the wet. Winter tire fitments will be available. Pilot Sport Cup tires are available now in these sizes, but the development team cautions track rats that the extensive chassis-control electronics are optimized for the stock tires, so caveat emptor.

Launch Control

There’s no special button, and none is really needed because the mid-engine Corvette is an inherently strong launcher. All you have to do is engage Track mode, turn traction control off, step on the brake, floor the accelerator, and lift off the brake. And an improved Performance Data Recorder will now record all such launch and lap data (and presumably Russian dash-cam-style wreck footage) automatically and continuously. It saves the video and time/speed/distance info to a 128 GB card that writes over itself after 1,000 minutes.

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REVEALED! Mid-Engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Makes 495 Horsepower

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 04:15

If you say anything enough, it’s bound to come true. In our case, cry “mid-engine Corvette” a sufficient number of times, and eventually Chevrolet will just have to build one. After threatening to build a Corvette with a mid-mounted engine for 50 years, the dream is finally realized: Tonight the mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was revealed to crowds of Corvette adorers and media inside a former airship hangar in Tustin, California.

Interested in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

The heart of any Corvette is its engine, no matter where its placed. That remains true for the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray, too. Mounted under just over 0.1 inch of glass is the new Corvette’s crown jewel, the LT2 6.2-liter V-8. Good for up to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque (when equipped with the optional performance exhaust system), the LT2 makes 35 more horsepower and 5 lb-ft more torque than the LT1 found in the C7 Corvette Stingray. The new ’Vette’s naturally aspirated mill (which Chevy says is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine found in a mid-engine car) is built from an aluminum block, and it’s designed to drop weight and the Stingray’s center of gravity. It also gets a dry-sump oil system with three scavenge pumps, a first for a base-model Corvette, to deal with lateral acceleration levels that Chevrolet says can exceed 1 g in all directions.

The “jewelry” Chevy fit to the LT2 is less functional but arguably just as important. Given that the engine is exposed for all to see, the Corvette’s engine is designed to be seen, with, as Chevy says in its press release, “every part … built with appearance in mind.”

A standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is paired with the LT2. The first dual-clutch ever fit into a Corvette, this quick-shifting transmission will be the only available transmission in the C8, so for the first time since the original 1953 Corvette, no manual transmission is available. Even though you can’t shift your own gears, the 2020 Corvette’s Tremec-built eight-speed dual-clutch seems promising. It’s built with a low first gear to allow for quicker launches, and a close-ratio gear spread from second through sixth gear are optimized for track use. Seventh and eighth gear are essentially overdrive gears designed for grand touring. Power, as you’d expect, goes out the rear axle via a transaxle-mounted electronic limited-slip differential.

Aided by its newfound rear weight bias, Chevy says the 2020 Corvette with the Z51 performance package—which we’ll get to in a sec—will be the quickest Corvette ever, launching from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. Launch control joins six drive modes on the new ’Vette: Weather, Tour, Sport, Track, MyMode (a new driver-configurable setting for street use), and ZMode (a driver-configurable mode for track use).

Given the radical shift of engine placement, a brand-new platform was needed for the C8. The Corvette’s lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber platform, built around a rigid center tunnel, negates the need for the extra-wide rocker panels found on some mid-engine cars.

A revamped suspension works hand in hand with the new platform; for the first time it does away with the old-fashioned transverse rear leaf-spring suspension design. Instead, the C8 Corvette gets double A-arms front and rear, backed by modern coil springs. The suspension will be available in four states of tune: FE1 (a slightly sportier tune than the old C7’s standard system), FE3 (sportier still), and FE4 (the fourth generation of GM’s phenomenal magnetic ride control system). The Corvette also gets a nose-lift feature that can jack the car’s nose up 1.6 inches to increase ground clearance in 2.8 seconds at speeds up to 24 mph. The system can also be programed to work automatically through GPS to remember up to 1,000 locations.

Electrically boosted Brembo brakes—four-piston, two-piece 12.6-inch units up front and four-piston monobloc units in back—back up the suspension at all four corners, and somewhat disappointingly, standard Michelin Pilot Sport ALS all-season tires are mounted on 19-by-8.5-inch front and 20-by-11-inch rear wheels.

Although the choice of standard all-season tires on a mid-engine supercar is perplexing, to say the least, the all-seasons are at least avoidable by opting for the Z51 performance package. This package includes a long list of must-have items, including upgraded cooling capacity, a different axle ratio, and a performance exhaust. It also includes the FE3 suspension package, upsized four-piston monobloc Brembo brakes all around (13.6 inches in front; 13.8 inches in back), and Michelin’s fantastic Pilot Sport 4S performance tires.

Daily usability has always been a Corvette hallmark, and the C8 is no different. The new F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter–inspired fiberglass and resin bodywork covers what’s supposed to be a practical daily driver. A shared trunk/engine compartment replaces the massive rear hatch of previous-generation Corvettes; it’s designed to swallow two golf bags or the car’s standard removable targa top. A frunk can supposedly hold an airline-regulation carry-on bag. At 12.6 cubic feet combined, the C8’s cargo capacity falls shy of the C7’s 15 cubic feet, though Chevy says it’ll offer a fitted luggage set to help make the most of the space.

Open the hidden door release and hop inside, and you’ll find a cabin nearly unrecognizable from previous Corvettes. The new Stingray features an odd hexagonal steering wheel, a 12.0-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster display, a large driver-oriented infotainment screen, a push-button shifter, and a strip of 20 buttons separating the driver’s side from the passenger’s. It’ll be interesting to see if Chevy ends up moving this switch bank for right-hand-drive versions, another Corvette first.

Chevy says it spent more time focusing on premium interior materials “executed at a high level of quality and craftsmanship” for the 2020 Corvette. It told a similar story about the last Corvette, too, so color us unconvinced for now, though hand-wrapped leather, real metal trim, optional carbon fiber, six interior color themes (black, gray, “natural,” blue, and two reds), six seat belt colors (black, blue, “natural,” red, yellow, and orange), and three stitching options (gray, yellow, and red) do seem like promising step forward.

Speaking of seats, ever-sensitive to past criticism about putting couch seats in the C5 and C6 Corvettes, Chevrolet is offering up three seat options for the C8. GT1, which is supposed to emphasize comfort while still providing lateral support, comes standard. The GT2 and Competition Sport are optional. The former is a “racing-inspired” seat with extra adjustability, heating and cooling functions, and dual layers of foam to improve comfort. The Competition Sport seats are designed for track use, with aggressive body-hugging bolsters plus heating and ventilation.

With a reveal this big, Chevy’s keeping some of its cards close to its chest—chiefly information about pricing, trim levels, and fuel economy. Our best guess at this juncture is that the 2020 Corvette will be priced aggressively, possibly as low as $60,000 when it goes on sale early next year, with well-equipped variants just cresting $100,000. Fuel economy ratings shouldn’t stray much from the previous car’s 19 mpg combined EPA score. In the meantime, GM will kick off production of the new Corvette in its Bowling Green, Kentucky, factory late this year, with the car slated to go on sale soon after.

For our part, we’re already cooking up alternatives to the mid-engine Corvette to dream about for the next 50 years. Electric ’Vette has got a nice ring to it, no?

Did we mention we’ve got MORE on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette? See our comprehensive coverage HERE.

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2020 Cadillac CT5 Price Undercuts the BMW 3 Series by Quite a Bit

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 00:27

Cadillac has announced pricing information for its new compact sedan. With a starting price of $37,890, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is $3,355 less expensive than a base 2019 BWW 3 Series, and $2,305 less expensive than a base Audi A4. It also undercuts the Lexus IS by $1,695.

The CT5 comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine making 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and pairing to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include a 10-inch touchscreen with rotary controller, keyless entry and push-button start, OnStar, and a safety suite including forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and automatic braking.

Priced from $41,690, the Premium Luxury trim focuses on opulence, offering a warm maple sugar leather and wood interior. Sport models, available from $42,690, get a more industrial-looking cabin. Opting for all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive will add $2,600 to the price of a base model or the Sport model, but it’s a $3,090 upgrade on the Premium Luxury trim.

Cadillac has not yet announced pricing for models with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, which pack 335 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque and are mated to the 10-speed auto. Also forthcoming is pricing info on the upcoming 355-hp V-Series model and Super Cruise models.

The CT5 is a new nameplate and effectively replaces both the ATS and CTS sedans. It rides on GM’s next-gen rear-drive platform that promises a smoother, quieter ride. Check out our First Look for more on the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

Source: Cadillac

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Elon – How Do You Become A Meme Lord on Twitter?

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 23:11

After selecting the Tesla Model S our Ultimate Car of the Year, we texted with the Tesla PR team to see if co-founder and CEO Elon Musk would be interested in reminiscing about the days leading up to the Model S launch and what a game-changer it went on to become. After our interview, the very busy head of Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, and Neuralink was kind enough to answer your questions, pop quiz style, from social media.

You see, the day before we visited Elon at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California, we posed a question on MotorTrend’s Twitter and Instagram accounts: “If you could ask Elon Musk one question, what would it be?”

We received more than 400 responses, mostly in the comments section of our Instagram (go ahead and follow: instagram.com/motortrend) ranging from the obviously scandalous to the outright hilarious. We cut them down to only the best, of which Elon answered 10. Did your question make it? How did Elon respond? Watch the video to find out!

 

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The Hennessey Goliath 6×6 Is a Six-Wheeled Truck for Bow Tie Fans

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 22:07

So you want a six-wheeled Hennessey monster truck but Chevy is life? You now have another option in the form of the Hennessey Goliath 6×6, a highly modified current-generation Chevrolet Silverado. Hennessey will only produce 24 examples of the Goliath 6×6, making it a rare beast. The Hennessey Goliath 6×6 is the latest addition to Hennessey’s growing roster of custom go-fast vehicles, which also includes the VelociRaptor 6×6, a heavily modified, three-axle Ford F-150 Raptor making more than 600 hp.

The Hennessey Goliath 6×6 adds an extra axle, a new rear suspension, an 8-inch lift kit, a custom 6×6 bed, special 20-inch wheels, upgraded anti-roll bars, LED lighting, special badges, and BFGoodrich 37-inch all-terrain tires. Powertrain upgrades include a cold air intake and stainless steel exhaust, giving it a total of 450 hp. Hennessey also provides a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty for the Goliath 6×6.

Pricing for the Hennessey 6×6 starts at $375,000 including the Chevrolet Silverado donor truck. Although production is limited to only two dozen vehicles, Hennessey says that it will make the monster pickup available to all global markets and select Chevrolet dealers will also sell it. The very first Hennessey Goliath 6×6 was sold to Bob Berrard, the owner of the largest potato farm in Wisconsin.

Source: Hennessey

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1967 Shelby GT500 vs 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 427

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 22:00

Chevy vs. Ford! Corvette vs. Shelby Mustang! Take another look at this classic comparison from December 2012, yet another story you’ll only find at MotorTrend.

“For the first time in its decade and a half of production, Chevrolet’s Corvette — billed as ‘America’s only true sports car’ — is being challenged for the title.”

That’s how Steve Kelly introduced our April 1967 comparison pitting the newly refined big-block Shelby GT500 against the Corvette Sting Ray 427. By way of explaining why Shelby’s original GT350 wasn’t deemed a worthy Corvette competitor, he described it as “a rough-riding, hard-steering Mustang fastback with Bunyanesque brake pedal and an engine which would outshout a John Deere tractor.” Similarly, he noted, “There was a brief period when the [Shelby] Cobra was thought to be a fair and equal competitor to the ‘Vette, but a too-high price and rather impractical design put it out of contention.” On the surface, this comparison still looks lopsided, pitting a purpose-built fiberglass-bodied two-seater against an all-steel four-seater that shares underpinnings with the lowly Falcon. But, in fact, their performance was close, and a similarly equipped GT500 was priced within $250 of a Sting Ray.

Carroll Shelby’s star was indeed rising throughout the 1960s. The good-ol’-boy chicken farmer/car racer from Texas possessed sufficient raw driving talent to win the 1959 Le Mans race in an Aston Martin just seven years after his first race in a teetering MG TC. An angina diagnosis a year later prompted his untimely retirement from racing, but before long, he was shoehorning Ford engines into AC Aces that subsequently won enough races to attract the attention of one Lido Anthony Iaccoca. Lee wanted to build some racing cred for his gangbuster-selling pony, and when Ford’s own efforts to homologate the Mustang for SCCA B/Production racing failed, he commissioned the Shelby American shop to get the job done.

For its production classes, the SCCA allowed major engine or suspension modifications, but not both. Shelby decided to keep the K-Code 271-horse 289 small-block and focused on lowering and stiffening the suspension, beefing up the brakes, and installing a Detroit Locker axle, among other modifications. The formula worked. His 36 R-spec full-race GT350s won five out of six regional SCCA championships, with Jerry Titus winning the ’65 B/Production championship against certain Corvettes and Sunbeam Tigers.

Shelby’s race shop, located in a hangar at LAX airport, received “knock-down” Mustangs — minus their hoods, rear seats, and radios — from Ford’s San Jose plant. Shelby modified the suspensions, installed a scooped fiberglass hood, relocated the battery to the trunk, and tweaked a number of other items. Just 521 ’65 GT350 street cars — all Wimbledon White — found buyers, so to broaden customer appeal for 1966, four new colors were added and the styling was better differentiated from the Mustang’s by installing Plexiglas quarter windows in place of the side louvers, adding brake-cooling scoops, and polishing the Mustang’s black horizontal grille bars. The rear seat also became optional, and the raucous suspension and exhaust were tamed somewhat, although a Paxton supercharger option boosted power to around 380 hp (at $700, it found only 11 takers). Sales jumped to 1365 retail street cars and another 999 sold through Hertz.

Seeing that a little more differentiation and refinement had more than quadrupled sales, Shelby American figured that a heaping pile of it would really ring the registers. So, for 1967, a longer fiberglass hood with a wider scoop was matched to extended headlamp surrounds that also changed the grille shape, and quad headlamps replaced the Mustang’s duals, with the middle two clustered near the center of the grille — until it was discovered that several states’ laws prohibited this arrangement, whereupon they were relocated outboard. Venturi-effect air-extractor scoops replaced the one-year Plexiglas quarter windows, and in back a fiberglass trunk and new quarter-panel extensions provided a ducktail spoiler effect. Full-width taillamps borrowed from the Mercury Cougar (but without the vertical chrome bars and sequential signaling), a Cobra logo fuel cap, and Magstar aluminum wheels or Thunderbird five-spoke wheel covers completed the exterior transformation. Inside were a wood-rimmed three-spoke wheel and a rollbar incorporating suspender-style shoulder harnesses like the ones on an airline flight attendant’s jump seat. The inertia reel at the top was patterned after the belts in an F-4 Phantom fighter jet. The GT500 was the first production car to incorporate a rollbar and shoulder harnesses. The rear seat was standard, and A/C and AM/FM radio became optional. These were no longer race cars with license plates.

The biggest news mechanically was the availability of the new GT500 model powered by a 428 Police Interceptor engine topped off with two 600-cfm Holley four-barrels (though it’s doubtful this engine could possibly inhale 1200 cubic feet of air per minute without help). Output was rated at 355 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Ford installed these Shelby-only engines before shipping the cars to LAX. The same was true of the slightly stiffer springs, anti-roll bar, and Gabriel adjustable shocks fitted to GTs. Gone were the days of the race shop handbuilding a high-strung chassis — the Shelby folks were now busy painting and installing fiberglass body parts and trim items. It would have been a lost cause anyway. The ’67 Mustang grew so much and gained so much weight that Shelby knew he couldn’t produce a racing version that would outrun his original ’65 GT350, so he didn’t even try. (He did, however, build the notchback Mustangs Ford raced in Trans Am that year.)

Meanwhile, Chevrolet was in the final year of perfecting its C2 Corvette (actually, it was working overtime readying a delayed C3), so the ’67 featured cleaner ornamentation and new seats with a proper handbrake between them. The 427-cube engine options entered their second year — now covered by the beloved stinger hood design — and four-wheel disc brakes had been in production since 1965. Naturally, for his king-of-the-American-sports-car-hill contest, our man Kelly selected a top-spec L71 solid-lifter tri-power 427 (435 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque) mated to a close-ratio four-speed transmission, though, oddly enough, it came mounted in a roadster instead of the more Shelby-competitive coupe.

Kelly praised the GT500’s roomier interior, sublime inertia-reel shoulder belts, civilized trunk, and quieter drivetrain, while knocking the more highly strung Corvette for being “ticklish to keep running at slow speeds in bumper-to-bumper traffic.” The Corvette demonstrated better workmanship and clearer gauges, and its engines — 327 and 427 — were deemed better breathers with greater bandwidth for performance tuning than the Shelby’s 289 and 428. But the ‘Vette had an Achilles heel: its 7.75×15 rayon bias-ply tires. The aging bodywork lacked clearance to accommodate the GT500’s lower-profile, more modern E70-15 Goodyear Speedway 350 tires, so grip at launch and when exiting turns suffered greatly by comparison. Nevertheless, the Corvette managed a 0.7-second advantage in quarter-mile acceleration (13.8 seconds at 104 mph versus 14.5 seconds at 101 mph) and a 9-foot advantage in stopping distance (135 versus 144 feet).

Mr. Kelly signed off acknowledging that the GT500 needed more power to match the Corvette’s performance, but he neglected to pick a winner. We can only assume that management scolded him and sent him back out to do the job properly, because, just one month later, in the May ’67 issue, Kelly had rounded up both automatic and manual versions of the GT350 and GT500 to pit against an automatic 327/300-hp Corvette and another 427/435-hp four-speed, both coupes.

This time around, he revealed a soft spot for the lazy, quiet demeanor of the C6 automatic-equipped GTs, noting that they accelerated to 60 more quickly than their row-your-own counterparts, though they trailed the four-speeds at the quarter mile. He was unimpressed with the two-speed Powerglide Corvette, which proved slower down the strip than both GT350s. Ironically, he found the refinement of the 327 Corvette matched that of the GT500, while the 427 was “as loud and hard to tame as the GT350.” The Shelbys picked up a few more bonus points for spaciousness and lower maintenance and insurance costs, but at the end of this review, the Corvette’s superior build quality (“The add-on fiberglass pieces of the GT aren’t nearly as well finished or mated as any part of the entire Sting Ray body”) and its performance advantage (Powerglide notwithstanding) ultimately led to his crowning the Corvette “the granddaddy of the sport-personal cars.”

Of course, 1968 brought revisions to both our American hero cars, especially the Coke-bottle-curvaceous C3 Corvette, so in March ’68, we returned to the well, this time with ragtop versions of each. Shelby’s styling didn’t change much (the hood, grille, and front lighting were revised, and the convertible joined the lineup), but the company’s structure changed a bunch. Shelby American had outgrown its LAX digs, so manufacturing was subcontracted by Ford to A.O. Smith in Michigan, with oversight by the newly spun-off Shelby Automotive Inc. (A.O. Smith didn’t have much better luck matching the paint on the fiberglass bits.)

By this point, Steve Kelly’s institutional memory was fading, as he looked longingly back upon the true LAX-tuned ’66 Shelbys as “much more of a sports car than the ’67 and ’68.” But it was hard to argue with his assessment that “Shelby has sold out to the add-on and chrome-it establishment. The new cars are more decorated than the old and show strains of having too much ornamentation.” The new fat-tired Corvette was widening its lead, with the GT500’s acceleration falling between that of the 327 and 427 Corvettes, and 60-0-mph braking far behind them (155 feet for the GT500 versus 117 to 119 for the ‘Vettes). Ditto the handling: “Steering is right out of Mustang land. At least the feeling of ‘plasticity’ is. Response is not at all like the Corvette’s.”

Never much one for hyperbolically proclaiming comparison winners, Kelly wound up saying of the top-finishing Corvette, “Kinda wish we had one.” We never bothered comparing the dramatically restyled ’69-’70 Shelby following our initial drive report, which concluded, “Driving characteristics left much to be desired when compared to Shelby ancestors, as is evidenced in [its] severe understeer and body roll.”

For this reenactment of our recurring series, we rounded up two cars owned by inveterate Shelbyphiles. Corvette owner Colin Comer literally wrote the book from which much of the research for this piece was gleaned, “The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles” (Motorbooks International), and has owned well over 50 Shelbys of various stripes over the years. But this 40,000-mile Corvette, resplendent in its original coat of Marina Blue paint, earned a spot in Comer’s collection and sees frequent hard use in rallies like the Copperstate 1000. It’s also equipped almost exactly as our April ’67 car was.

Craig Conley’s Dark Moss Green GT500 is his prodigal Shelby. The original owner bought the car and a racing 427 short block and heads like those used on the Cobra, with the intention of making a true race-bred GT500 upon his return from Vietnam. Unfortunately, he never returned, and Conley bought the car and engine in 1977, but the realities of family life forced him to sell it in 1981 to buy his first house. The third owner completed the engine swap (mounting the 428’s intake and carbs). Conley pestered the owner annually to sell it back to him, which he finally did — five days before our photo shoot, during which time Conley fitted a Detroit Locker axle (a dealer-installed option in 1967).

I start out in the Corvette and am impressed by its eagerness to fire after about a quarter of a revolution. The idle is a tad lumpy, as expected with a solid-lifter high-overlap cam, but the car is perfectly happy to motor around for photos, and a few brief dabs at the loud pedal evince no balkiness from the vacuum-operated front and rear two-barrels (as early reports on the L71 had complained about). This close-ratio box’s short-throw chrome-ball shifter moves with the same sublime mechanical precision I recall from driving “The Last” 1967 Corvette (MTC November/December 2006). Modern radials provide oodles more grip than the early skinny bias plies, too, but probably compound the effort required to twirl the helm at maneuvering speeds.

This higher-strung (12.5:1 compression) GT500 probably makes a better Corvette rival than the ones Kelly drove. Having just received the car, Craig has yet to fine-tune the carbs, which are running eye-wateringly rich. This undoubtedly compromises performance somewhat, but the sensation of big-lunged torque is unmistakable. The wood-rim steering wheel delights the fingertips as much as the Nardi wheel in any Italian GT, though I concur with Kelly’s “plasticity” comment regarding road feel. Brake and clutch operation is also more pedestrian than the Corvette’s (long-throw clutch, overboosted brake). Shorter gearing seems more tailored toward quarter-mile blasts than Le Mans duty, and the Detroit Locker axle makes an unholy racket in all but the gentlest of bends. But overall this particular GT500 seems to be trying to set the record straight in Motor Trend once and for all: I’m NOT so refined, I’m a rip-snorter like my ’65-’66 forebears, now lemme at that Corvette! OK, point taken. And right about now we’re more inclined than ever to forgive and forget Shelby’s brief decline into “add-on-and-chrome-it-dom” in light of the recent introduction of Ford’s 650-hp, 200-plus-mph Shelby GT500. But the top-dog Corvette was then, and remains now, the king of the Yankee-doodle sports cars.

Which Shelby Engine to Choose?

Of the two standard and three optional engines officially available to the prospective 1967 Shelby buyer, the most powerful was the special lightweight 427 racing engine lifted straight out of the GT40 Mk II. No horsepower or torque numbers are available, but the one GT500 that was built this way was sent to Goodyear for tire testing at speeds of up to 170 mph, and it averaged 142 mph for 500 miles to set a record. The price for this ultimate Shelby Mustang, dubbed Super Snake, was to be $7500. Long Beach dealer Mel Burns Ford envisioned selling an exclusive run of 50 such cars the way Pittsburgh’s Yenko Chevrolet sold special 427 Chevelles and Novas, but the first one took forever to sell and no more were built. The next step down was the 427 medium-rise-intake engine from the Cobra (it actually displaces 425.8 cubic inches), which was conservatively rated at about 425 hp and 480 lb-ft. Its bigger-bore, shorter-stroke configuration allowed greater performance than the more square standard “428” (actually 427.0 cu in) 355-hp/420-lb-ft engine, but its $2000 option price found only two buyers. The base 289 GT350 traded its steel-tube headers for a stock cast-iron manifold while somehow maintaining its 306 hp and 329 lb-ft rating, but this engine was 277 pounds lighter — a boon for handling. This suggests that maybe the ultimate canyon-storming option was the Paxton supercharged GT350, which added back only a fraction of that weight difference. It was advertised as boosting power by 46 percent (which would be 446 hp) based on the ideal mathematical effect of its 6.3 psi boost, but the realistic improvement was said to be perhaps 25 percent, or about 380 hp. Car Life test results reinforce that assessment, recording 6.2 seconds to 60 mph and a 14-second 92-mph quarter-mile run. Alas, priced about $500 more than a similarly performing GT500, only 35 1967 Shelbys were supercharged.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray ASK THE MAN WHO OWNS ONE

Colin Comer bought his first car at age 13 — a damaged ’68 Mustang ragtop, quickly sold before his parents found out. Today he is editor at large for Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines, has written three best-selling books on muscle cars and Shelbys, and restores and sells collector cars in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Why I Like It: “I love the originality of it, the great color combination, and its factory original side pipes and the L71 435-hp engine. I’m really not a big Chevy guy — my collection is almost all Shelbys — but who can ignore the importance of a 1967 427 Corvette?”
Why It’s Collectible: 1967s are the most valuable of the “mid-year” Corvettes, and only the aluminum-head L88 is more valuable than this L71, but they’re not driveable because they’re million-dollar cars, and their high compression demands racing fuel.
Restoring/Maintaining: Most parts are widely available — maybe too available. When you can buy all the parts, it becomes difficult to tell the originals.
Beware: Original paperwork documenting the car’s history is essential, and fake paperwork is easy to get. Track down and verify the chain of ownership, and consider having a museum authenticate the paper’s age if all else fails, before buying.
Expect to Pay: (coupe/convertible) Concours-ready, $139,675/$162,175; solid driver, $77,600/$90,000; tired runner, $42,675/$50,375.
Join the Club: Corvette Club of America, America’s Corvette Club, The National Council of Corvette Clubs, Inc.

OUR TAKE

Then: “For those rare individuals who want — and can handle — its potential, the 427 Turbo-Jet is a red-hot machine. But if it gets away from you, don’t say we didn’t warn you.” — Bob McVay, MotorTrend, March 1966
Now: Mid-year examples are the hottest-selling Corvettes at auction, especially the big-blocks, but the only way to guarantee maximum return on investment is to find an open road, drop the top, and listen to those side pipes sing.

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 426.9-cu-in/6996cc OHV V-8, 3×2-bbl Holley 3902355 (prim) & 3902353 (sec) carburetors
Power and Torque (SAE gross): 435 hp @ 5800 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Drivetrain: 4-speed manual RWD
Brakes: front: vented disc, rear: vented disc
Suspension: front: control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar: multi-link, transverse leaf spring, anti-roll bar
Dimensions: L: 175.1 in, W: 69.6 in, H: 49.8 in
Weight: 3366 lb
Performance: 0-60 mph: 5.5 sec, quarter mile: 13.8 sec @ 104 mph, 60-0 mph: 135 ft (MotorTrend, April 1967)
Price: when new $5733

1967 Shelby GT500 ASK THE MAN WHO OWNS ONE

Craig Conley’s business, Paradise Wheels Inc., started out refurbishing Shelby wheels, and today Craig is among the world’s foremost independent experts at authenticating Shelby American automobiles. He’s owned more than 50 Shelbys and restored, sourced parts for, and fettled countless others.

Why I Like It: “What Shelby fan wouldn’t like a 427 GT-500 four-speed California black-plate car with 28,000 miles on the clock? I bought it in 1977 and regretted selling it to buy my first house, until I was able to buy it back after it had covered only 6000 miles in 35 years.”
Why It’s Collectible: 1967s are considered the last of the Shelby-built GTs, and this unmolested original preserves all its original endearing flaws (like mismatched paint on steel and fiberglass pieces), making it highly desirable.
Restoring/Maintaining: More parts are being reproduced to high quality today, and the high value of the cars means the Shelby-unique bits get circulated in any condition for people to put cars back together with original parts.
Beware: The big-blocks run hot in this small chassis, so the cooling system needs to be in perfect condition. The dual Holley carbs run rich and, with today’s ethanol-rich fuel, they need frequent service–especially if you let them sit.
Expect to Pay: Concours-ready, $168,625; solid driver, $114,000; tired runner, $77,500.
Join the Club: The Shelby American Automobile Club, Shelby GT 500 Club

OUR TAKE

Then: “With personal cars getting hairier all the time, it seemed likely that Carroll Shelby would do something to keep ahead of the pack. Sure enough, he introduced the Shelby GT500, a car so hairy as to make others look crew cut by comparison.”
— Unattributed, MotorTrend, January 1967
Now: The David versus Goliath aspect of this pairing is undeniably appealing, and had the GT500 in our April 1967 contest packed this race-bred 427 option instead of the milder 428, its slingshot stone might have felled the mighty Corvette.

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 425.8 cu in/6978cc OHV V-8, 2×4-bbl Holley 2804 (prim) & 2805 (sec) carburetors
Power and torque (SAE gross): 425 hp @ 6000 rpm, 480 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm
Drivetrain: 4-speed manual RWD
Brakes: front: vented disc, rear: drum
Suspension: front: control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; rear: live axle, leaf springs
Dimensions: L: 186.6 in, W: 70.9 in, H: 51.6 in Weight 3794 lb Performance 0-60 mph: 6.2 sec, quarter mile: 14.5 sec @ 101 mph, 60-0 mph: 144 ft (MotorTrend, April 1967, original “428” 355-hp, 420-lb-ft engine)
Price: when new $4576a

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