Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Company, unveils the new mid-engine C8 Corvette Stingray in California last week. Picture: REUTERS
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Company, unveils the new mid-engine C8 Corvette Stingray in California last week. Picture: REUTERS

The new mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray launched in the US last week will be the first truly international version of the iconic American muscle car.

Built only in left-hand drive in its 66-year history thus far, Chevrolet says the eighth generation of the Corvette will be the first to also be produced in right-hand drive and sold in new markets.

Australia has been confirmed as the first RHD country to receive the new Corvette. Other RHD markets include the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan, and SA, though it hasn’t been confirmed whether the car will be sold in any of them.

Chances are slim that local fans of the American muscle car will get a crack at it, as Chevrolet is no longer represented in SA after General Motors quit the country in 2017. However, an independent importer might be keen to bring in the high-performance car, as Daytona does with brands like McLaren and Aston Martin.

The new C8 Stingray is the first right-hand drive Corvette. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new C8 Stingray is the first right-hand drive Corvette. Picture: SUPPLIED

The C8 Stingray is the first Corvette that has its engine placed behind the passenger cell instead of in the nose, making it a natural rival to cars like the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. It sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The Chev’s 6.2l naturally-aspirated V8 generates 369kW and 637Nm of torque for a quoted 0-100km/h time of under three seconds, making it the quickest standard production Corvette to date.

Top speed’s still a closely guarded secret, but its less powerful predecessor was able to reach 341km/h.

The Corvette, colloquially known as the Vette, is a historically front engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car first introduced by GM in 1953.

The 2019 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray will go into production later this year at a US price of under $60,000 (R833,000)


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