Your guide to that massive strip of buttons in the middle and more
It’s been one of the biggest questions since the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 was revealed: What the heck are all those buttons on the center console? We got inside the car with our cameras to show you.
The answer is simple: That long strip of buttons running down the raised edge of the center console contains all your climate controls. It includes all the standards, such as fan speed, airflow, recirculation, front and rear defrosters, separate driver and passenger temperature controls, and driver and passenger heated and cooled seat controls.
To keep things logical, the strip is divided into three zones. In the center are the general controls: fan speed in the middle, airflow, automatic mode, and driver/passenger temperature sync above, and power, air conditioning, recirculation, and defrosters below. The driver’s controls, including temperature, seat heater, and seat cooler, are farther up the strip and above the general controls, along with a display for the temperature at the top. The same temperature and seat controls for the passenger are at the other end, in the lower zone, in reverse order, with the temperature display screen at the bottom.
Although the layout is unusual, it’s the same number of buttons you’d find on the dashboard of any other car, and they’re real, physical buttons you can find without looking once you’ve owned the car a while. Climate functions will also appear on the infotainment screen when you push one of these buttons, but you don’t have to go digging in the screen to make changes.
While we’re talking buttons, there are a few more you’ll want to know about. The drive mode control knob is just to the left of the strip. This cycles through the various powertrain and suspension modes, and in front of it are three useful hard buttons. On the left, the traction and stability control button, which can turn those systems off or, if double-tapped, activate Chevrolet’s Performance Traction Management and its sophisticated traction and stability modes. In the center, there’s the nose lift button for getting over speed bumps and into steep driveways. Pressing it will also bring up a window on the infotainment screen asking if you’d like to remember this GPS location and have the nose automatically lift in the future when you return to that spot. The button on the right activates the forward-facing cameras in the bumper to help you see if you’re about to run over a parking stop or other obstruction.
Next to the drive mode knob is the Corvette’s first push-button shifter. Park is at the top, with a pull switch for reverse behind it, a button for neutral behind that, and then another pull switch for drive behind that. Below drive is another button for manual shifting mode.
There are two other buttons exclusive to the C8 Corvette you’ll want to become familiar with. First is the Z button on the left spoke of the steering wheel. Pushing it puts the car in a customizable Z mode, which you can configure with your preferred engine, transmission, suspension, and instrument cluster display settings (Z stands for Zora, referring to the father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov). Second, you’ll want to find the hidden button between the air vents on the passenger’s side of the dash; this opens the glove box.
Lastly, you might be wondering how you open up the dual-mode exhaust for that proper Corvette sound. The easiest way is by changing drive modes to something sportier, but if you just want to sound good while you cruise, you can change the exhaust mode manually in the settings menu of the infotainment screen.