2021 Chevrolet Corvette

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2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
December 8, 2020

Buying tip

The Z51 Performance Package is worth it for track days, but the standalone Magnetic Ride Control softens the ride for long-distance cruising.

features & specs

2-Door Stingray Conv w/1LT
2-Door Stingray Conv w/2LT
2-Door Stingray Conv w/3LT
MPG
15 city / 27 hwy
MPG
15 city / 27 hwy
MPG
15 city / 27 hwy
MSRP
$66,400
MSRP
$73,200
MSRP
$77,850

Dollar for dollar, the $59,995 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is the best performance value around.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Chevy Corvette is a mid-engine sports car, available as a coupe or convertible. ‘Vette-heads would say it compares to nothing else, with its V-8 heartbeat, a 0-60 mph time under 3.0 seconds, and a starting price under $60,000. We compare it to the Porsche 911, Audi R8, and Chevy Camaro

Is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette a good car? 

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Supremely. Its performance to price ratio can’t be matched, and the C8 is quicker, grippier, and better equipped than its predecessors. It lacks the standard safety features found on most new cars, though. It earns a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette?

After last year’s radical redesign, not much changes. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard. Magnetic Ride Control ($1,895) is a standalone option. A new digital track tachometer display and seat belt safety device complete the tech upgrades. 

Corvette designers swapped out its long hood for a mid-engine design that’s short on nose, big on rear, and long on looks from those passed by. The Corvette’s more creased and flared than before, and gaping side air intakes and a clear window over the engine suggest the drama contained within.

The LT2 6.2-liter small-block V-8 can generate a whopping 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Aided by a smooth 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and abetted by loads of low-end torque, the rear-wheel-drive supercar launches to 60 mph in under three seconds. Cylinder deactivation helps the Corvette attain an impressive 27 mpg highway from the EPA. 

Leather lines the interior, and attractive trim pieces settle the cabin into a congested but comfy place. Snug power-adjustable seats provide comfort but that’s it—there only are two seats, and trunk space is limited.

Standard features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker Bose sound, and remote start. Options include GM’s clever Performance Data Recorder for track days, and a power front lift system to automatically raise the front of the car. 

The 2021 Vette’s shortcomings show up in safety. Automatic emergency braking isn’t available at all and a rear camera mirror and blind-spot monitors are options.

How much does the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette cost?

Starting at $59,995 including destination, or $67,495 for the convertible, the Corvette can top out above $80,000, before options. 

Where is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette made?

In Bowling Green, Kentucky.

8

2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Styling

Creased and cut like a European supercar, but bulging at the rear with American muscle, the 2021 Corvette commands attention.

Is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette a good-looking car?

The kinks and creases as well as the short nose could be derived from a European supercar a la Ferrari, but the muscular rear end with dual twin exhaust pipes and dual twin taillights are as Corvette as the checkered flag logo on the hood. It might be polarizing, but it demands to be looked at.  

We give it an 8.

Five inches longer and 2 inches wider than the C7, the C8 Corvette lacks the long nose that’s been a nameplate hallmark for nearly 70 years. 

The lower grille bulges with air intakes that pass down the body to the doors, where side intakes pass air through the engine to the rear. The tail flattens into a rear spoiler that might be the only part of the design that doesn’t appear to be cut from the same metal. 

The roof panels can be removed to store in the pseudo-trunk, and the convertible features flying buttresses that further express the European element. 

The interior centers on the driver, but both occupants get treated to leather upholstery with contrast stitching, and aluminum and carbon fiber trim accents. A rising wall of climate controls separates driver from passenger.

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10

2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Performance

The change to mid-engine design improves the Corvette’s quickness and agility.

The performance engineering baked into its $60,000 price makes the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette the best sports car value. The acceleration from the rumbling V-8 takes the breath away, and its assured handling instills confidence in the driver. 

It’s a perfect 10. 

How fast is the Chevrolet Corvette?

It can rip from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds, thanks to a 6.2-liter V-8 that sends 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque to the rear. Add the $5,995 Z51 Performance Package that primarily justifies itself on the track, and the output bumps up to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, and the 0-60 time drops to 2.9 seconds. 

The gut-dropping acceleration provides all the feels, from the roaring rumble over your shoulder to the sensation of lift off. The only problem is how quickly the most powerful production Stingray hits triple digits in the watchful eyes of the law, surpassing a quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at a speed of 123 mph, on its way to a top speed of 194 mph. 

Braking in the Corvette is unflappable. Up front, 19-inch wheels cover four-piston Brembo brakes sized 12.6 inches, and 20-inch rear wheels house the same Brembo brakes but at 13.6 inches. The Z51 adds Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, instead of the standard Pilot Sport ALS tires, and wears larger brakes at 13.3 inches front and 13.8 inches rear.     

Optimizing that power delivery is an excellent 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The low-ratio first gear enables ample torque at launch, and the close ratio subsequent gears provide smooth direct shifts. In lieu of a manual transmission, paddle shifters give the driver some added control but the electronically-controlled DCT does it better on its own. 

The Z51 Package electrifies the limited-slip differential for even quicker adjustments when coming out of turns or from a dead stop.  

Is the Chevrolet Corvette 4WD?

It’s rear-wheel drive. The mid-engine design shifted the perfect 50/50 weight balance to a more 40/60 distribution that puts more weight over the rear axle and makes for more grip at launch. The low center of gravity as well as double-wishbone suspensions with coil-over dampers on all four corners, provide excellent grip and stability, even in wet conditions. Too much torque to the rear in anything but a straight line can cause the tail to wag, of course, but it’s easy to correct. 

Magnetic shocks constantly adjust damper stiffness to firm up the ride during performance driving and soften it while cruising. They can be had independently of the Z51 Performance Package.

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6

2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Comfort & Quality

The driver comes first in the 2021 Corvette and the passenger comes along on the other side of a wall.

The 2021 Corvette doubles as a track star and a grand tourer with a snug cockpit that buttons down for track days but also relaxes on long stretches of the open road. That’s worth a point, as are the form-fitting power-seats, as long as you avoid the monster bolstering on the GT3 seats. But our scale deducts a point for two-seaters, so it’s a 6. 

Once nestled inside with the touchscreen canted to the driver, a wall of single-file climate buttons rising from the console to the dash feels congested at first. Over time, the cabin’s snugness becomes comfortable, as long as you’re less than 6-foot-3. 

The seating position closer to the front axle commands a view of the road unobstructed by the hood. From the side, however, vision is as bad as it gets, and the small rear window suffers from a glare reflecting from the transparent engine cover. 

The front trunk can fit two carry-on bags. Two sets of golf clubs have trouble fitting in the space behind the engine. The removable T-tops fit perfectly into the trunk with less than a half inch to spare. 

The two areas combine for 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space, down from 15 cubic feet in the C7. The convertible gets the same rating, which is a significant improvement over the 10 cubic feet in the outgoing model.

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2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Safety

The lack of active safety features and crash-test ratings don’t bode well for the 2021 Corvette.

How safe is the Chevy Corvette?

We can’t rate the Corvette’s safety without crash-test results from the IIHS or the NHTSA, but if we did, it would rank at the bottom for its lack of standard or optional driver assist features such as automatic emergency braking. 

A seat-belt reminder comes standard for 2021, but it can be turned off. When it’s on, the driver can’t shift the car out of park if unbuckled. Available blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert and a rear camera mirror address the poor side and rear vision.

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2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Features

The 2021 Corvette plies a bargain as well as it does a thrill.

The 2021 Corvette’s standard content, easy-to-use infotainment system, and options for both performance and comfort earn it a point each for an 8 total. 

Which Corvette should I buy?

The $59,995 Corvette comes in 1LT, 2LT, or 3LT, and with a $5,995 Z51 Performance Package. 

The base 1LT comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

Other standard features include LED headlights, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, leather upholstery, remote start, 10-speaker Bose audio, satellite radio, and a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster.

We’d step up to the 2LT for about $74,000. It upgrades to 14-speaker Bose sound, an excellent head-up display, heated and cooled seats with power lumbar adjustments, and a rear camera mirror.

The convertible adds $7,500 and a hard top that collapses in 16 seconds while driving at speeds up to 30 mph, all with the push of a button on the driver’s side armrest. A power rear window between the two headrests reduces wind buffeting.  

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Chevrolet Corvette?

The 3LT convertible costs $78,945. Add some full-length dual stripes and a premium color such as Sebring Orange for $1,500, make it a Z51, slap on the $1,495 trident wheels, the $1,995 front lift to ward off curb scrape, carbon fiber trim...and the 2021 Corvette can exceed $100,000.

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3

2021 Chevrolet Corvette

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is not the priority on the Corvette, but it’s no gas hog.

Is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette good on gas?

As far as high-performance sports cars with a V-8, yes. 

The coupe and convertible get an EPA-rated 15 mpg city, 27 highway, 19 combined. That’s a 3 in our book.

The outgoing front-engine model with the same 6.2-liter V-8 that shuts down half of the cylinders at cruising speeds had a 15/25/18 mpg rating. The 2020 Porsche 911 gets 20 mpg combined in most of its iterations, whereas the 2020 Nissan GT-R gets 18 mpg combined.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$58,900
MSRP based on 2-Door Stingray Coupe w/1LT
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7.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 10
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 3
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette against the competition
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