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2021 Chevrolet Corvette Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.5

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette strikes an excellent balance between sports car agility and luxury car comfort. The Corvette slices confidently around turns, its suspension minimizes the jitters and jolts from rough pavement, and its big V8 engine can rocket the Corvette up to speed just as well as it can whisk the car around town.

  • "Beyond its spectacular performance, Chevy's engineers made the ride supple enough for daily commuting and cross-country road trips, yet with the Z51 package the Vette is track-capable." -- Car and Driver
  • "At the end of the day, what the Corvette is all about is the driving experience. Thanks to the midengine arrangement, not only is the weight more evenly distributed front and rear, the engine sits lower for a lower center of gravity. The car feels more planted and predictable. You really feel in control. A function of 470 hp and a svelte 3,500 pounds of mass, acceleration is as neck snapping as you want it to be." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "Toe into the throttle, and the torque is plentiful enough to zip through traffic without raising the V8’s voice. The new dual-clutch transmission quietly goes about its work just like a traditional GM automatic. In the first 10 minutes, it’s clear: I could live with this as my only car." -- Autoweek (2020)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque (495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque with the performance exhaust)
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed dual-clutch automatic

The engine in the Chevrolet Corvette produces 490 horsepower in its standard configuration and 495 in models equipped with the performance exhaust. It’s a perfect match for this sports car. The midmounted V8 is quiet at low speed, but it roars at higher rpm, and it can slingshot the Corvette from zero to 60 mph in a snappy three seconds. Throttle response is quick, and shifts from the dual-clutch transmission are seamless and well-timed.

  • "Untangling our feelings about the C8 Stingray starts with examining its performance, which definitely lives up to expectations. With 60.6 percent of its mass over the rear tires -- the C7 Stingray had a roughly 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution -- the C8 is ferocious off the line." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "While there’s no provision for a manual transmission, the 8-speed DCT does a great job of providing smooth, seamless shifts in everyday driving, with the responses sharpening considerably when Sport or Sport+ modes are engaged. You can manually work your way through the gears with the paddle shifts, however, the logic on the transmission does such a good job of learning your driving style and level of enthusiasm you’ll find more often than not it’s preferable just to let the car do its thing." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)
  • "The other side of the coin is a disconnectedness from the raw performance of the car. The engine is rather quiet for a Corvette (though it retains that distinctive small-block roar), and the transmission is so smooth in Tour mode that you don't get a sense of just how fast you're going, at least until you brake. Similarly, it neither looks nor feels like a sub-3-second 0-60 sprint, but the numbers don't lie. There's never a big shove of torque; the engine's delivery is always exactly the same. You just gain speed, as simple as that. The dual-clutch transmission is exceptional for a first try, a game effort to match Porsche's benchmark PDK." -- Motor Trend (2020)

MPG Estimates

The Chevrolet Corvette gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Sports cars typically don’t return great fuel economy, but these estimates are worse than most. However, keep in mind that many cars in this class have smaller turbocharged engines; V8-powered competitors like the Mercedes-AMG GT yield similar fuel economy ratings.

Handling and Braking

The Chevrolet Corvette is just as competent on a winding country road as it is on uneven city streets. The Corvette feels stable and composed around turns, its steering is responsive and direct, and the brakes slow down the car assertively. The Corvette’s ride quality is smooth as well, especially with the optional Magnetic Ride Control system.

  • "Chevy made every effort to make the new Corvette more rigid, which translates into better control and cornering. Whether cruising along the freeway or attacking a few curves, the 2020 Corvette is every inch the supercar Chevrolet hoped it would be. And, we still think it's the best performance bang for the buck." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "While the C8's performance places it within the bounds of the supercar class, character matters as much as capability. … Make no mistake, if you want to haul ass down a writhing piece of asphalt, this car will do it at astounding velocities, with a viselike grip on the pavement and the haughty assuredness of a car born to the task. … The faster you go, the better the C8 feels. The steering cuts like a race car's, and the cornering limits are virtually out of reach on the street -- though steering feel and feedback aren't as communicative as those from a Porsche 911 or a McLaren 720S." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "With my tester's optional Z51 Performance Suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, the Corvette's suppleness is remarkable, especially on watchstrap run-flat tires. I even happily trundled through towns on Michigan's broken roads and … over railroad crossings without bothering to switch out of Sport mode. … The takeaway? Even with my loaded 3LT test car's $85,710-as-delivered price tag, the Corvette delivers an unprecedented amount of performance for the money." -- CNET (2020)
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2021 Chevrolet Corvette

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