Quickies: A Whole New Corvette Experience
They offered me a brief drive in one of the vehicles in their fleet. What I had in mind was...a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
One of perks of doing this type of work is the access we get to some of the finest automobiles ever made. Sometimes, it takes some negotiation. The end result is what you read on this website – and on our YouTube channel.
As I was working on a story about the rental car company Driveify, the company’s partners Jacob and Ben did offer me a brief drive in one of the vehicles in their fleet. What I had in mind was one of their performance fleet members – a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Not just any Corvette. This one is a special edition commemorating the success of Corvette Racing – the C8.R. The example Driveify has in their fleet is in Hypersonic Gray with yellow accents and the Corvette Racing mascot “Jake” logo on the roof and the rear end. This represents the Number 4 GTLM race car, for those looking at the grid at any given IMSA race. Chevrolet also added a larger rear spoiler, black side rockers, special black-finished alloy wheels, and so forth.
Interior-wise, this special edition is treated to a Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray interior combination. The GT2 seats are standard on this special edition.
In reality, the C8.R – also known as the IMSA GTLM Championship Edition – starts out life as a Corvette Stingray in the 3LT trim level. Add the desirable Z51 Performance Package for some additional seasoning. This example is the coupe, where the roof panels are removed manually.
While it is a special edition, the fact that I had the chance to briefly sample an eighth generation Corvette has been quite an anticipatory moment. It comes down to the curiosity that yields many questions about whether the mid-engine platform is more suitable for the Corvette this time around.
The quick answer to that question is “yes.” The overall dynamic of the C8 Corvette is better in my opinion. Having the 495-horsepower LT2 6.2-liter V8 behind you creates a getter balance than the C7 with the engine up front. It feels more like the sports car the world needed out of a Corvette.
Granted, the conditions and test loop did limit a full test of the Corvette. However, my brief drive did yield something more important from the experience. It is a very well-mannered car in town. Most cars of ilk want to send it at idle. Not the Corvette. It is a civilized vehicle, despite the dual-clutch transmission and the sometimes soft-feeling brakes.
While it is civilized, the Corvette felt precise. That is because the steering is well controlled and responsive at the same time. It does not require any effort to get to the next turn perfectly. That I appreciate in a sports car.
One could complain about the ride quality. Yes, it is firm by engineering. However, there is a compliancy and absorbency that you did not feel it coming in a Corvette. Don’t expect this car to ride like a luxury cruiser. However, you will not have to make regular visits with your chiropractor after each stint behind the wheel of one.
As far as the cockpit goes, the GT2 seats do ease up a bit for that balance of comfort, support, and heavy bolstering. My driving position was fine – no complaints. There is a lot to love behind the racing-inspired steering wheel, such as the comprehensive digital instrument cluster. Luckily, the infotainment screen can be seen easily behind the Corvette’s steering wheel.
That steering wheel is extremely cool to rudder with its thick rim and cool shape. Just had to throw it out there.
The downside parts of the cabin start with the buttons for the dual clutch transmission. I wished they were closer to me than in their position up the center console. Plus, the bank of buttons along the passenger side of the console reminded of me of older Porsches. There’s just too many buttons, folks!
I wish I could tell you how much this special Corvette was stickered at. I am not even going to guess. There were around 1,000 of these made. However, a 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT coupe with the Z51 Performance Package will set you back over $86,000.
Yes, the Chevrolet Corvette is America’s sports car. The C8 is now more global in approach, but it remains something to be enjoyed by their loyal customers. However, it has attracted a new generation of fans – and potential owners – seeing the value of the mid-engine reboot of an American icon.
Personally, I am glad to get the experience of the new mid-engine Corvette. This is exactly what it needed – balance, precision, and focus.
If you happen to be in the Twin Cities, log on to Driveify’s website and book this special C8 the next time you’re in town. You might get some company from other Corvette owners and enthusiasts while you’re running through town. You might even have it meet you at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Driveify
All photos by Randy Stern