Chevrolet upped the stakes in the battle of high-performance sports cars with the first mid-engine Corvette design in nearly 66 years of history. The base 2020 C8 Corvette was also offered with a $67,898 (CAN) MSRP—something that generated waves throughout the auto industry. Right now, finding a C8 in Canada for anywhere near that price is impossible: Only 2,700 units were built for North America and the vast majority are spoken for.
“It would be accurate to describe them as sold out,” says Philippe-Andre Bisson, a spokesperson for GM Canada, “We are no longer taking orders for 2020 Corvette.”
The C8 Corvette is powered by a 6.2L V-8 LT2 engine and produces 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque (with a performance exhaust, numbers are 496 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque). According to Chevrolet’s website, this is the most horsepower and torque that has ever been offered for an entry-level Corvette. The Corvette Stingray’s top speed is 296 kph (184 mph).
The C8 also has intangibles that have eluded other carmakers like Toyota or Acura within the same niche: The new Supra raised ire because it was built in conjunction with BMW; the NC1 NSX arrived without the groundbreaking ingenuity of the original, sporting added weight and complexity that failed to tantalize enthusiasts. The C8, by comparison, is gaining appeal for its jet-fighter-inspired design paired with excellent performance.
There are some nitpicks: rear visibility is difficult. The digital rearview mirror is hard to get used to. Seating space could feel cramped for some customers. And the mid-engine design means that objects placed in the trunk can get quite toasty. But overall, the verdict is that Chevrolet has succeeded in producing a vehicle that is attracting young people to the Corvette’s storied history. The 2020 Corvette interior is set up so every button is easily accessible for intuitive driving, and the seating on some models features carbon fibre trim, wrapped in Napa leather, for full comfort and support.
With the disruption to manufacturing caused by coronavirus, production was halted in March. The end result? The C8 has become a rare commodity, with as few models for sale as you would find for good-condition Acura Integra Type R’s.
Current listings for optioned Stingrays are asking well over six-figures: a 1LT with the Z51 package is listed for $115,000 on Kijiji; a 2LT with the Z51 package is asking $135,000 on Autotrader.ca. There may certainly be other C8’s for sale in Canada, but buyers will not have an easy time finding them.
Production was slated to resume last month, but any new models built—if any new C8’s can be built—will be 2021’s. As it stands, options like a high wing spoiler and Visible Carbon Flash Ground Effects Kit will be unavailable on vehicles produced in the third quarter of this year due to supplier disruptions.
The good news? According to Bisson, customers will be able to order 2021 C8’s in late July. Furthermore, buyers will be looking forward to the Z06 performance-orientated version that is rumored to have 600+ horsepower and a 5.5-liter V-8 engine.
So for now, current C8 owners can continue to enjoy the adulation that their vehicles draw from onlookers for sometime—before the game changes again.