There’s no engine under that hood. The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette’s big V8 is midship. (Mary Lowry)

There’s no engine under that hood. The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette’s big V8 is midship. (Mary Lowry)

That Ferrari you saw might have been the new Chevy Corvette

The latest version of America’s classic two-seater sports car rivals the exotics at half the price.

I read somewhere that Jackie Stewart, the famous race driver, once said he could tell everything he needed to know about a car without driving it any faster than 45 miles an hour.

I thought about that while driving on Snohomish County public roads in the stupendously powerful 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

With the optional Z51 Performance Package ($5,995) included on my test car, Corvette’s 6.2-liter V8 engine delivers 495 horsepower (a boost of 5 hp over the standard form) and 470 pound-feet of torque. It rockets from zero to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and has a top speed of 194 mph.

All models have an eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission with push-button gear selectors on the center console and paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined.

For 2020, the American classic two-seater Corvette sports car was redesigned so thoroughly you could mistake it for a Ferrari. The familiar front-engine positioning was dropped in favor of the mid-engine layout of Ferraris and other exotics.

Corvette now challenges many supercars in performance, but they get lost in the heat when it comes to pricing. The Corvette Stingray is available in coupe and convertible models, and in 1LT, 2LT, and 3 LT trim levels. Pricing for the coupe starts at $59,995 including a $1,095 destination charge, and the convertible is another $7,500. That’s about half as expensive as many supercars.

A squared-off steering wheel, GT bucket seats, and 8-inch infotainment display highlight the 2021 Corvette cabin. The 2LT interior is shown here. (Mary Lowry)

A squared-off steering wheel, GT bucket seats, and 8-inch infotainment display highlight the 2021 Corvette cabin. The 2LT interior is shown here. (Mary Lowry)

The coupe’s hard top is removable, so it comes close to being a convertible too. The removing is not a breeze, however. Guidance in the owner’s manual says it’s best done using two people. After removal, the roof panel fits inside the trunk.

Corvette’s trunk is popularly described as being large enough to accommodate two golf bags. I wouldn’t know. Using the units of measure in my golfless lifestyle, I can say the Corvette trunk accommodates a 50-pound bag of cracked corn and a 40-pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds, with enough leftover room for a 10-pack box of suet cakes. There is also a smaller stowage compartment at the front of the car, under the hood.

Corvette’s interior styling is highly functional and also wonderfully creative. It’s a small space, of course, but doesn’t feel cramped at all. Seats provide the ultimate in comfort and support, a great complement to the car’s civilized ride, which is nothing like the Corvettes of yore whose rides felt like being inside a rock polisher.

Changes for the 2021 model year include some new colors for the interior and exterior including the racing stripes package, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and the availability of magnetic ride control apart from the Z51 package.

Staying within the confines of the law like a good citizen motivated by fear of traffic citations, I kept the Corvette’s speedometer reading in the double-digit range. I haven’t outgrown the need for speed but the miles per hour necessary to meet it might have gotten lower.

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is available in coupe and convertible versions. The coupe has a removable roof panel for open-air driving. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is available in coupe and convertible versions. The coupe has a removable roof panel for open-air driving. (Manufacturer photo)

2021 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY COUPE 2LT

Base price, including destination charge: $67,295

Price as driven: $78,765

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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