V8 lovers rejoice: Holden has announced that the all-new Corvette will officially be offered by the GM division, on behalf of Chevrolet, to our shores - to a rather hungry audience of anything quick and American, at that.
Fresh off the unveil in Detroit late last week, it was confirmed that C8 Stingray, the first mid-engine iteration of the famous nameplate and the first to feature a right-hand drive variant, will be including Australia as one of its key export markets.
“Like anyone with a hint of petrol in their veins, we were glued to our screens watching the reveal of the new Corvette. The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand-drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars. - Dave Buttner, Chairman and Managing Director of Holden.
Unlike the only sporty V8 Chevrolet to be offered currently in Australia, HSV will not need to plan and implement a costly conversion once the cars are shipped over from the United States. Rather, the C8 has been designed from the get-go with right-hand drive markets like ours in mind.
That being said, while the new Corvette will be joining the Holden line-up, it’s unlikely that the car will ditch the Chevrolet name. However, what is (mostly) known is that the car will be making landfall in late 2020, roughly a year after the first batch of cars roll off the production line in GM’s manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
By that point, it’s possible that the C8 range would have expanded to include more luxurious touring variants but also sportier and more high performance permutations such as the Grand Sport, Z06, and ZL1.
It’s hard to predict how General Motors wants to carry out their export market onslaught for the new Corvette, but the Stingray that was unveiled last week will surely be the tip of the spear.
Equipped with a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre Small Block V8, the new LT2 engine is a continuation on the strengths of the C7’s LT1 producing up to 369kW and 637Nm. Sending drive to the rear wheels is a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission designed with TREMEC.
Astoundingly, Chevrolet claims the car can sprint to 100km/h in less than 3 seconds if fitted with the Z51 Package, which adds higher performance tyres, uprated brakes, magnetic dampers, an electronic limited slip differential, and a free-breathing exhaust system.
That’s quite a punch for what is currently the entry model to the C8 family. And when you consider that the company affirmed its commitment to the new Corvette being as accessible to buyers as ever with a sub-US$60,000 starting price, it cements the idea that it could be one of the best performance car bargains we’ve seen in a very long time.