General Motors Holden has confirmed that the next generation mid-engine Corvette will be built in right-hand-drive and will be made available in Australia.
“Like anyone with a hint of petrol in their veins, we were glued to our screens watching the reveal of the new Corvette,” said Dave Buttner, Chairman and Managing Director of Holden. “The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand-drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars.
“With our long history in motor-racing, performance vehicles are an indelible part of the Holden brand. Our team is totally revved up to build on Holden’s performance legacy with the most technologically advanced Corvette ever built.
“We look forward to taking on the European and Japanese performance vehicles with some highly sophisticated American muscle.”
“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout. In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”
The new mid-engine layout gives the Corvette:
- Better weight distribution, with the rear weight bias enhancing performance in a straight line and on the track.
- Better responsiveness and sense of control due to driver positioning closer to the front axle, almost on top of the front wheels.
- The fastest 0-100km/h time of any entry Corvette — approximately three seconds when equipped with Z51 package.
- A race car-like view of the road due to lower positioning of the bonnet, instrument panel and steering wheel. Excellent forward sightlines throughout the vehicle for both driver and passenger.
- An enhancement of the Corvette’s traditional utility strengths with dual boots, ideal for luggage or two sets of golf clubs.
“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design, General Motors. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.”
The new location of the engine is visible through the large rear hatch window. GM says the Corvette’s canopy-forward stance was inspired by F22s, F35s and other modern fighter jets, along with Formula One racing, adding that the Corvette is designed for superior ride comfort on the highway and well-balanced handling on the track.
“Thanks to sophisticated suspension geometry, tailored tyre 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 Corvette is powered by the LT2 ‘small block’ 6.2L V8 engine, producing 369 kW of power and 637 Nm of torque when equipped with performance exhaust. The LT2 is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and features double-paddles on the steering wheel for a ‘different’ shifting experience.
“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.”
New Corvette production begins at GM’s Bowling Green facility in late 2019. Holden said it will share further details about Corvette in Australia at a later date.