Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2021 nominee: Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette has made the leap to a mid-engine layout and miraculously stuck the landing. The change was a smart one, but it was the execution that earned it a finalist spot in Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy 2021 competition.

Before anyone asks, the latest Corvette was supposed to be in last year’s competition, but it didn’t arrive in dealerships in time due to a labor strike.

The eighth-generation (C8) Corvette looks more like a Ferrari than a Chevy, and it can stick its power to the pavement better than ever before. The interior materials are better than ever, too, and they match the $60,000 starting price.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT

2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT

The change to a mid-engine design places the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 behind the cabin. It’s an evolution of GM’s small-block V-8 and output rises to 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The power flows through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the rear 305s and hooks up with efficiency due to the new 40/60 front/rear weight balance. With a quoted 0 to 60 mph sprint of 2.9 seconds, the latest Corvette is lightning quick, and we haven’t even seen the Z06 or ZR1 yet. Thanks, science.

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Unfortunately, Chevy offers no option for a third-pedal so buyers can #GiveAShift. However, the fantastic dual-clutch transmission offers quick shifts and smart programming.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

The change in form factor makes the new Corvette almost unrecognizable. The Ferrari look is most evident in the side view where the cabin moves forward and the rear wheels flare dramatically behind large cooling ducts. The Corvette cues are found up front, with a pointed nose, low-slung headlights, and a sculpted hood with flowing fenders. The rear end is too busy to be pretty and it foregoes traditional round Corvette headlights for a rectangular design cribbed from the current Camaro.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

Inside, the mid-engine Corvette cocoons the driver and passenger in their seats via a handle-like bar that bisects the cabin and acts as a home for the climate controls. The square steering wheel provides an unobstructed view of the 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, while the standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen is severely canted toward the driver. Occupants are surrounded by soft-touch, high-quality materials. This is one of the best screwed together vehicles GM’s ever built.

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The Corvette coupe actually features a Targa top with a center roof panel that can be popped off and stowed in the rear. For those who want even more of an open-air experience, the hardtop convertible does a power-assisted dance to open the cabin, but hide the engine. We like spotting the V-8 under glass in the coupe like it’s part of a museum exhibit.

With a base price of less than $60,000 for the coupe and $67,495 for the convertible, the C8 Corvette is the definition of a sports car bargain.

The mid-engine Corvette is an all-American hero and an every man’s exotic with the goods to take on the world. Will that all be enough to make the new Corvette Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy 2021? Check back on Jan. 4 when we reveal our winner, along with the champs from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports.

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