This is what Corvette VIN no. 001 and the start of regular C8 production looks like.
A lengthy United Auto Workers strike delayed the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8’s official series-production start date late last year. So, after much waiting, Corvette fans can look forward to the sports car’s assembly finally kicking into gear today, when the first full-blown production mid-engine ’Vette rolled off the line at General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
It has been months since the 2020 Corvette’s unveiling in July, and in the meantime, Bowling Green has been retooled in preparation for the next-generation model to begin series production. The cars you’ve seen on this site and others were pre-production builds, meaning they were likely assembled at least in part by hand in order to get journalists time behind their wheels and start hyping driving impressions to the ’Vette-hungry masses. Yes, that means the GM-owned Corvette that had its wheels stolen in Detroit recently was pre-production, as were the cars Bowling Green workers were caught street-racing in and the one that crashed on a mountain road during development testing.
Indeed, Corvettes have been busy sports cars even while the GM worker strike held up their transition to normal production. The first production example is all black, and looks the business. It has already been purchased at a charity auction for $3 million USD and will no doubt make its new owner very happy when it’s delivered. But zooming out for a moment, let’s all keep in mind why the Corvette’s production start is such a big deal. After more than 40 years of rumors and stillborn prototypes, mid-engine Corvettes for paying customers are finally a reality. They’ll be arriving in dealerships by the end of February, possibly in early March; expect to wait a little while longer for the new Corvette convertible.
The C8 Corvette is everything it’s supposed to be, everything fans were hoping it would be: revolutionary, exciting, and genuinely rapid. In our testing, the new Corvette sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. That makes it the quickest ’Vette ever, and this only the “base” model. We were so impressed with it, we named it our 2020 Car of the Year.