Still a steal: Mid-engine Corvette price rises over $60,000

Posted by Talbot Payne on March 18, 2021

Well, that didn’t take long.

Chevy has raised the mid-engine Corvette C8’s price to over $60,000 for its second, 2021 model year. In keeping with Corvette’s tradition as the world’s most affordable supercar, the badge’s first mid-engine effort debuted in 2020 at $59,995.

“When the 2020 Corvette Stingray goes on sale in the US, it will start at less than $60,000,” said General Motors Co. President Mark Reuss at the July 2019 unveiling of the first ‘Vette with the engine behind the driver. The announcement was met by gasps from an audience of media, customers and Chevy dealers.

The mid-engine, 2020 Chevy Corvette C8

Even with the $1,000 bump, the C8 is a heckuva’ deal. Its closest peers in pricing are the 532-horsepower Audi R8 which starts at $145,895 — more than double the Corvette. The 573-horse Acura NSX boasts a hybrid V-6 powertrain and a starting price tag of $159,300. The cheapest mid-engine Ferrari, the 710-horsepower F8, starts at $275 grand.

Even the cheapest mid-engine European offering — the smaller, $61,250 Porsche Cayman — is priced north of the C8. It’s powered by a 300-horse, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with half the cylinders (and thrills) of the ‘Vette’s ground-shaking V8. Comparably equipped with dual-clutch automatic transmission (the Corvette does not offer a manual), the Cayman starts at $66,130.

The new base, 1LT price includes shipping fees. It offers owners the most powerful base engine (495 horsepower) ever, leather interior, digital instrument and console displays, and a 0-60 mph time of just 2.9 seconds — on par with a $600,000 Lamborghini Aventador. Pound for dollar, the C8 is the best exotic car value on the planet.

“Clearly, GM wanted bragging rights with a super car that delivered on performance and pricing. They got what they wanted,” said ISeeCars executive auto analyst Karl Brauer, who owns a $500,000 Ford GT, the Blue Oval’s mid-engine supercar. “Now that the C8’s established as a car that delivers bang for the buck they can get on with making a tidy profit, which is the goal of every automaker.”

The 2020 model sold out in December, 2019 — before production began in February, 2020. Delayed by a United Auto Workers strike on GM, the C8 still delivered 21,626 units in the US — an increase over 2019 sales of 17,988 unites for the last-gen, front-engine Corvette. The price was a $3,000 hike over the C7.

The C8’s exotic, mid-engine design was meant, in part, to appeal to a new generation of buyers with exotic, European supercars on their walls. Early indications are that plan is working: C8 has more than doubled Corvette’s growth with Gen X buyers (born after 1977), and two-thirds of buyers are new to Chevrolet.

Given the C8’s exotic technology, styling and performance — on par with European supercars costing many times more — the price was expected to climb over the $60k number.

The $1,000 price hike also applies to the hard-top convertible version of the Corvette which now starts at $68,495. The drop-top accounts for about 40% of C8 sales.

Most C8s sold over the past year included the Z51 performance package which adds $5,995 to the bottom line.

The $60,995 base model, The Detroit News has reported, is just the beginning of a slew of expected C8 performance trims. Like past ‘Vettes, expect Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1 models — the latter priced north of $100,000. Also in the wings is an insane, range-topping, 1,000-horspower, hybrid model named Zora after the legendary 1960s Corvette product manager, Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Despite the Vette’s relative affordability, its price today (adjusted for inflation) is nearly double that of the $4,252 1968 model, the first Corvette introduced with the Stingray badge.

“Cars in general are more expensive today due to the increased costs of safety regulations, chassis materials, and electronic technologies,” said Brauer. “In truth the new C8 is more than twice as advanced as the 1963 Stingray.”

The production supercar benefited from Corvette’s racing team that developed the C8.R race car in parallel with the C8. The C8.R won the IMSA Weathertech championship in its maiden, 2020 campaign.

The C8 will be sold on the other side of the pond for the first time this fall. And it won’t be nearly as affordable as in the States. The starting price of the European Stingray will be $117,873 (€99,000 Euro) with cars reportedly available only in a range-topping 3LT trim with Z51 track package.

Comments are closed.