TUSTIN, Calif. — General Motors President Mark Reuss sees the new midengine Chevrolet Corvette recasting the sports car market: The starting price below $60,000 keeps it attainable to loyalists, while its newfound capabilities — such as reaching 60 mph in three seconds or less — may attract buyers who spend lavishly on high-end imports.
"I think this car is going to change everything. I really do," Reuss said after the 2020 Corvette's global rollout in an old blimp hangar here.
Reuss believes one of the new Corvette's direct competitors will be the Porsche 911. The least expensive 911, the Carrera, starts at $92,350, including shipping, and has a six-cylinder engine with 125 hp less than the Corvette's 495-hp V-8. The Carrera's 0-to-60 mph time is around 4.2 seconds, still very fast, but considerably slower than the new Corvette's.
Other sports cars with the engine behind the driver that could lose customers to the latest Corvette are also more expensive, such as the Acura NSX, which starts at $159,495, including shipping, and the Audi R8, which has a $171,150 starting price, including shipping.
Reuss said the new Corvette has a chance to win those customers.
"I think they will be interested to come and see what it is," he said. "It's a very different car than what it was."
The outgoing Corvette was fast and handled well. But it lacked the sophistication of having the engine behind the driver and the visceral sensations that come with that layout — such as engine sounds and direct-feeling steering — for which sports car buyers pay premium prices.