Despite being redesigned, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray carries a base price of $59,995 — a relatively small increase over the outgoing model. Given the extent of the changes over the previous-generation Corvette, this price sounded too good to break true. It turns out it was — in a bad way: Motor Trend reports that General Motors will lose money on every base 2020 Corvette sold.
Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Motor Trend reports GM will only make money on cars costing at least $79,995. When the new Corvette — known as the C8 — began development, it was assumed that would be the car’s base price, according to Motor Trend. Considering the amount of work done — including switching from a front-engine to a mid-engine configuration — that seems more reasonable. But that price would have also been such a big step up from the outgoing C7-generation Corvette that Chevy became concerned about upsetting customers.
GM has a plan to cut its losses, according to Motor Trend. The Corvette’s base price will increase for the 2021 model year, the magazine reports. Chevy is also expected to introduce more expensive variants, including replacements for the current Z06 and ZR1 performance models, as well as a convertible. Motor Trend’s source said the sweet spot for profit is between $80,000 and $100,000. Sales volumes reportedly start to drop off once the price crests six figures. For reference, the C7-generation Z06 and ZR1 start at $82,990 and $135,090, respectively.
Even the base C8 Corvette Stingray can surpass $80,000 once options are added. Motor Trend noted that an options-heavy Corvette Stingray it tested with the Z51 and 3LT packages carried an $88,305 sticker price. It’s unclear if dealers will stock Corvettes at the $59,995 base price, or just use that number to lure customers into showrooms to be upsold on more expensive models.
For now, the Corvette is a performance bargain. The standard 6.2-liter V8 makes 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. With the optional Z51 performance package, Chevy claims the 2020 Corvette will do zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph. That makes the C8 Stingray the quickest-accelerating base Corvette ever, according to Chevy. Without the Z51 package, the Corvette will still do zero to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, with an identical quarter-mile time at 123 mph, Chevy claims.