- The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is arriving in dealerships as early as next week.
- New or unique features include a lift system to avoid damaging the front end of the car and a "stealth mode."
- GM also added new features and controls to its driving modes and performance data recorder system.
LAS VEGAS – The performance, price and mid-engine layout of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette have been well-documented.
If you need a reminder, the vehicle has Chevrolet's LT2 small-block 6.2-liter V8 engine that's rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It can achieve 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds or 2.9 seconds with an optional performance package. The starting price is just under $60,000 but well-accessorized cars can top $100,000.
In addition to improving the performance of the vehicle and moving the engine from the front to behind the driver, General Motors added or updated several new and unique features for drivers. Here are five of them:
When announced at the unveiling of the 2020 Corvette, this feature received a roaring applause from Corvette owners, many of whom presumably damaged their car on a speed bump or steep driveway.
The $1,495 optional system allows drivers with a touch of a button to lift the car's front end by two inches, helping avoid damage from obstacles. In addition to that, the system asks drivers if they'd like to store that location using the vehicle's GPS system so it lifts automatically when approaching that area again.
"As you approach your driveway, you don't have to hit the button every time," said Ed Piatek, Corvette chief engineer. "It will know based on the geofence that you're approaching that position and it will automatically raise the car."
The system can remember up to 1,000 locations and works up to 24 miles per hour.
The driver cockpit was designed to feel like a fighter jet cockpit, so why not offer a "stealth mode?"
It doesn't make the vehicle quieter, but it does darken allow all ambient light aside from the speedometer in the 12-inch driver information cluster.
"It is really blacked out with the exception of vehicle speed and any kind of warnings you might get," Piatek said. "It's really neat if you're in a place where you don't want a lot of ambient light in your eyes so you can see down the road at night."
The 2020 Corvette, like many newer performance vehicles, has different drive modes that can change the ride and handling of the vehicle. They include the traditional Tour, Sport, Weather and Track modes as well as two new settings called MyMode and Z mode.
Both of the new modes are highly-configurable and allow drivers to customize many performance specifications of the vehicles.
Z mode, named after the Z06, ZR1 and Z51 Corvette performance packages, is activated through a "Z" button on the steering wheel. It is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well.
Once set, MyMode, unlike Z mode, remains the standard setting until a driver switches out of it.
GM will continue to allow new Corvette owners to take delivery of their vehicle at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, down the road from where the vehicle is assembled.
The package costs $995 and includes a VIP tour of the museum, a drive-off ceremony and personalized interior plaque with the owner's name, car's vehicle identification number and the museum's logo.
About 500 owners a year typically take delivery of their new Corvette at the museum, according to GM.
GM increased the capability and functionality of its "Performance Data Recorder" that allows drivers to record their drives.
While designed for the track to record lap videos and diagnostics, it also can be used as a dash cam that automatically starts recording every time the Corvette is running.
The system uses a front-facing high-definition camera as well as an advanced driving analysis system to record on an SD memory card in the car's glove box. It has the ability to overlay miles per hour, lap time and other performance metrics over the video.