Leno starts off by saying what most of us think about the switch from front- to the mid-engined design. Porsche and Harley-Davidson are two companies unwilling to change the recipe too much because that would upset purists, let alone alienate their most faithful customers. On the other hand, what Chevrolet did to the C7 in ZR1 flavor was reach a zenith the GM engineers couldn’t improve anymore.
For better balance, handling dynamics, and traction off the line, Chevy had to transition to a mid-engined layout without modifying the rest of the vehicle to such an extent that it wouldn’t be recognizable as a Corvette. Another big change over the seventh generation is the transmission, an eight-speed DCT developed in collaboration with Tremec exclusively for the C8. From the get-go, the engineers were told to focus on this transmission instead of a good ol’ stick shift.
Leno also highlights the weight difference over the C7 and the targa-top coupe body style. While it may be plumper than its predecessor, the C8 Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package and electric-folding roof still is a blast to drive on public roads and racetrack. It’s also worth mentioning that the all-new Stingray is so quick to 60 miles per hour that even the C7 Corvette ZR1 would blush in awe.
There’s a lot to talk about the ‘Vette in this configuration, but we’ll let Jay and Tadge take it over from here. After all, an in-depth segment with a running time of 55 minutes is somewhat uncommon even by Jay Leno’s Garage standards.