Mid-engined chassis brings handling smarts that the Corvette has never known the likes of
Production of the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette got off to quite a slow start at the end of 2019. Much of 2020 was also understandably problematic. Other than for mask makers and home-office suppliers, of course, last year can’t have been good for anyone.Now, however, Chevrolet’s production lines at the Bowling Green plant in Kentucky are cranked up and running apace, building C8s at a rate of some 50,000 a year, most currently being gobbled up by the North American market. Wherever they’re headed, that’s a lot of sports cars: very likely more than all the 911s built by Porsche and all the F-Types built by Jaguar this year put together.But sales volume hasn’t been enough, thus far at least, to make the Corvette a globally respected player within its strategically important market niche. That, you suspect, is what the car’s new mechanical layout and technical configuration – its mid-mounted engine, dual-clutch gearbox, adaptively damped, manually adjustable coilover suspension, and new availability in right-hand-drive form – is really all about. Not just making the Corvette handle like its pedigree European rivals, but making it a much closer notional rival for them as well, and therefore so much harder for the badge snobs to dismiss.As of now, European deliveries of this car are under way. UK sales agent Ian Allan Motors of Virginia Water, Surrey, is expecting its first right-hand-drive customer car in November and currently has an order bank running well into 2023. Yes, you did read that correctly (they’re the only UK dealer). You might still be able to get a car quicker if you import one yourself or through a third party, but the official route gets you a right-hand-drive car, a proper dealer warranty, service backup and more besides.