2020 Chevy Corvette went mid-engine for both lap times and driver engagement

The switch from the front-mid-engine to a pure mid-engine design is about both track times and feel behind the wheel. So said both GM President Mark Reuss and Corvette Chief Engineer and Vehicle Line Director Tadge Juechter at the reveal of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette last Thursday.

When I asked if Chevy was chasing lap times or feel with the changeover to the mid-engine design, both men responded with similar answers.

“The track times are the result of doing the car right and the gearing right and the refinement right. So if you get the car control right, the damping, the steering, you know the times come. So that’s what we’re focused on,” said Reuss.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

“We were chasing all-around performance, so both track performance, straight-line performance and the driving experience, all of it, and we got all of it,” enthused Juechter.

So what about those lap times? What tracks and when might we see the results? In his presentation, Reuss shared that the Corvette team had tested at three familiar tracks: the Nürburgring, Virginia International Raceway, and the handling course at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds.

Reuss later also noted that the team had just been at the Nürburgring the week before the car’s reveal for thermal testing and to further refine calibrations. Reuss said the team wasn’t “doing times so much,” but Juechter indicated that a number may be announced by Chevrolet down the road.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

“There will be a long roll out with other info,” Juechter said. Look for lap times at the ‘Ring and VIR to be among them, as well as the car’s top speed.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will face some tough-to-beat times posted by Corvettes of the past. The 755-horsepower 2019 Corvette ZR1 lapped the ’Ring in 7:04, though Chevrolet was disappointed with that time and never put out a press release. The 505-hp 2012 Corvette Z06 attacked the 12.8 miles of the Green Hell in 7:22.68 and the 638-hp 2012 Corvette ZR1 put up a 7:19.63.

The current production-car lap-record holder is the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ with a time of 6:44.97, though it has the benefit of all-wheel drive and 164 extra hp.

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