- The eighth-generation Chevy Corvette debuted with a much-anticipated mid-engine design.
- But the new Corvette Stingray also arrived with a stunning price tag, just under $US60,000.
- Most of the world’s mid-engine supercars cost much, much more.
- Here’s a rundown of the Vette’s competition, from Ferrari to Lamborghini to McLaren to Porsche.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Mid-engine” and “affordable” aren’t generally two concepts that show up in the same automotive sentence. Mid-engined vehicles are, for the most part, exotic supercars from brands with Italian, and sometimes German, names. Should you crave one, you’d best be prepared to dent even a considerable bank account.
That all changed in dramatic fashion earlier in 2019 when Chevy unveiled its long-awaited mid-engine redesign of the Corvette, a car that has been front-engine since its debut in 1953. (Chevy considered a few mid-engine Vette efforts over the year, but none made it out of the prototype stage.)
The eighth-generation Vette got a lot of attention for moving its V8 motor rearward, positioning it between the driver and the back wheels. But just as many headlines were prompted by the staggering price: the base Stingray trim could be had for just under $US60,000.
That’s a near-miraculous bargain for a car with a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine, making 490 horsepower with an option on a few more ponies with some minor performance upgrades.
In fact, more than a few folks noted after the Vette’s debut that its specs were evocative of the Ferrari 458, the last no-turbo Prancing Stallion mid-engine supercar, which drove off into the sunset a few years back when Ferrari introduced the 488 and a twin-turboed V8 amidships. The 458, of course, would have set you back $US230,000.
In fact, nearly all mid-engine supercars come with eye-watering price tags.
Here’s a rundown (and for the record, some of these cars can no longer be bought new):
The eight-generation Corvette launched with the Stingray name earlier in 2019.
We’d already seen the new Vette — camouflaged — in the streets of NYC. General Motors CEO Mary Barra even took a ride.
As long-rumoured, the C8 Vette was a mid-engine design.
All previous cars, including the 755-horsepower ZR1, had their motors up front.
It wasn’t as if the design was flawed. A pair of seventh-generation Vettes gave Corvette Racing a 1-2 finish at the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The C7 car also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
And the Vette had done duty as an Indy 500 pace car on more than one occasion.
Business Insider named the old Stingray as its Car of the Year in 2014.
The front-engine Vette’s lineage goes WAAAYYY back, to the first-gen car from 1953.
The Vette has been on continuous production ever since, with the 1967-83 third-gen model being perhaps the most famous iteration.
Corvette has already rolled out the convertible version of the C8.
When the new Corvette arrived, more than a few observers immediately noted that its naturally aspirated V8, bolted to the middle of the car, was reminiscent of the Ferrari 458 — price: $US230,000 — sold from 2009-2015.
In fact, the C8 Vette recalled the entire Ferrari mid-engine lineage, going all the way back to the Dino of late 1960s and early 1970s and including the 308 GTB and F430.
The Ferrari 488 appeared in 2015, replacing the 458 and bringing twin turbochargers to the party. Price? More than $US250,000. OK, a lot more horsepower than the new Vette (660). But also … 200 grand steeper on the sticker?
The 488 Spider that I drove pushed the price up to almost $US400,000.
If you really want to shoot the mid-engine moon, there’s the $US1-million-plus Ferrari La Ferrari hypercar.
Lamborghini offers the Huracán, price north of $US200,000 and shown here in dashing Performante trim.
Lambo makes a spyder version of the Huracán.
And you can always step up to the Huracán’s big brother, the Aventador, here seen in SVJ trim ($US610,000).
The Ford GT was a jaw-dropping update to the GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. The price ended up being a cool half a million for a limited-run supercar.
The racing version won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, repeating history.
In this company, the Business Insider 2016 Car of the Year-winning Acura NSX is a relative steal at just under $US200,000 for the updated version.
Meanwhile, we have McLarens, such as the 720S — our test car was almost $US300,000.
The 570S Spyder we sampled was $US250,000.
The 675LT is track-focused and would have set you back about $US350,000.
And the P1 would compel you to come up with more than a million bucks.
Back on planet Earth, the Audi R8 stickers at about $US180,000.
Here’s the V10 Plus.
And for sure, for sure, Audi offers the R8 as a spyder.
Back in outer space, say hello to the $US2-million-plus Pagani Huayra.
And the Zonda’s pricing is equally rich.
The Noble M600 is a barebones, boutique supercar that comes in at about $US250,000.
The Koenigsegg Regera is $US2 million.
Perhaps the closest to the Vette price-wise is the discontinued Alfa Romeo 4C, stickering at less than $US70,000 (but more than $US60,000).
In truth, the big-name sports cars that match the Vette’s price are the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, together designated 718 and starting under $US60,000.
But the Porsche 918 is closer to a million.
The space-age BMW i8 is roughly $US150,000.
There’s a Roadster version of the i8.
Back in the stratosphere, the Bugatti Veyron is untouchable for less than $US2.5 million.
The Bugatti Chiron takes that to $US3 million.
If you don’t want doors, the Ariel Atom is a mid-engine racer that can be had for less than $US60,000.
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