In 2020, Chevy took the Corvette from mid-life crisis purchase to mid-engine masterpiece. Unveiling not only its first hardtop convertible model but also the fastest and most powerful Corvette in sixty-six years, Chevy had a monumental year. This year, the 2021 Chevy Corvette offers just the right amount of exciting additions while maintaining the look, performance, and pricing that led to its predecessor’s massive success.
New Features for 2021
Following last year’s impressive overhaul, the Chevy team had no plans to fix what wasn’t broken. The 2020 ‘Vette boasted supercar performance at an attainable price tag. It won the 2020 North American Car of the Year Award as well as Motortrend’s 2020 Car of the Year Award. Raising the bar for affordable performance cars any higher would’ve been unfair, but Chevy refused to cruise by this year.
The 2021 Chevy Corvette’s new features are focused on improving the aesthetic appeal, connectivity, and intuitive driving experience of your ‘Vette. You’ll have the choice between two new tint-coat exterior colors: silver flare metallic or red mist metallic. A sky cool gray and strike yellow color combination joins the lineup of interior colors this year. You now have four more dual racing stripe colors to choose from, with blue, orange, red, and yellow becoming available. And to round out the new aesthetic features, you can add sharp “stinger” stripes to the hood of your Corvette with three color combo options: carbon flash and edge red, carbon flash and edge yellow, or carbon flash and midnight silver.
Magnetic Selective Ride Control is now optional for all trim levels without the Z51 package. This high-tech suspension feature reacts to the road as you drive with instantaneous precision, giving you traction when you need it most. Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto capabilities come standard on each model, as does a digital track tachometer and the ability to see what drive mode you’re in on-screen. And finally, the new Buckle to Drive safety feature prevents you from putting your car in drive for twenty seconds if you haven’t buckled up yet. Don’t worry, though; you can turn this feature off whenever you want.
Techs and Specs
The 2021 Chevy Corvette inherited its record-breaking 6.2L V8 engine and smooth-shifting 8-speed dual-clutch transmission from the previous model year. While Chevy made sure to carry over its unrivaled performance specs, one of the potential downsides to this year’s model – depending on how you like to drive – is the continued lack of a manual option. If you prefer a stick shift, unfortunately, you’re going to have to keep waiting. Since the engine hasn’t changed from last year, fuel economy remained steady, giving you 15 MPG city, 27 MPG highway, and 19 MPG combined.
The 2021 Corvette’s mid-engine powertrain is capable of producing 490 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque – unless you opt for the Z51 Performance Package. Along with five more horsepower and five more pound-feet, this package is ready for track use and features a suite of high-performance upgrades such as:
- Brembo brakes
- Performance suspension
- Performance exhaust
- Electronic Limited Slip Differential
- Z51 front splitter and rear spoiler
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4S high-performance summer tires
- Heavy-duty cooling system
Add this package to your ‘Vette and strap in. It won’t even take a full three seconds to reach sixty miles per hour, and your top track speed will reach up to 194 mph. With performance like this, the staff at your local track are bound to know you on a first-name basis.
Looks and Interior
There’s also an available Engine Appearance Package if you want to turn even more heads on your daily drive. This upgrade is only available on the 2LT and 3LT trims and comes with LEDs to light up the engine compartment and carbon fiber closeout panels on either side of the engine. Thanks to the mid-engine layout, dual trunks allow up to 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
When you see the interior of the 2021 Chevy Corvette, it’s not surprising that the engineers at Chevy took their inspiration from fighter jets. Everything from the squared-off racing steering wheel to the 8-inch diagonal touchscreen to the vertical climate control center puts you in the cockpit of your own fighter jet on wheels. Painstaking effort was put into placing every button and knob in precisely the right spot. Every aspect of the cabin is designed to make your driving experience as intuitive as possible.
Behind the steering wheel, you’ll find a customizable 12-inch digital instrument cluster screen with three different themes and a full library of driver specs. The diagonal 8-inch touchscreen in the center console comes with Chevy’s Infotainment 3 system with navigation available in the higher trims. Also included in the 2LT and 3LT models are HD front and rear vision cameras, a head-up display, a rear cross-traffic alert system, and a rear camera mirror. Rear park assist is yours to keep whatever trim you choose.
The available Performance Data Recorder (PDR) puts you more in tune with your 2021 Corvette than ever before. You could track your acceleration, 0-60 times, g-forces, brake usage, sound, and other specs in last year’s model. This year, the PDR also functions as a dashcam that automatically turns on when you start the car. Record your drives, create your own courses, and track your completion times. Oh, and if you’re worried about handing your keys to the valet, don’t be. The PDR will record everything, so if they decide to go for a little joyride, you’ll know.
Trims and Pricing
Avid fans of the Corvette may have experienced trepidation over the new direction Chevy went with the look of its legendary model. However, there is still a lot about the new exterior design that harkens back to its ancestral heritage. And it’s hard to argue that Chevy smashed its goal of creating a mid-engine supercar driving experience. If you’re into the new supercar look and feel, the 2021 Chevy Corvette comes in three trims: the 1LT, the 2LT, and the 3LT.
The 1LT starts at a surprisingly affordable $58,900. The 2LT’s starting price is $66,200, with the 3LT not too far off at $70,850. Prefer driving with the top down? You can opt for a hardtop convertible version of each trim. This upgrade goes for $7,500 on the 1LT and $7,000 on the 2LT and 3LT.
The aforementioned 6.2L V8 engine with RWD and an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission comes standard with all three trim levels. This powertrain rests behind the seating area and is designed to sit lower to the ground for improved straight-line and track performance. You can swap the original 19-inch front and 20-inch rear 5-spoke silver-painted aluminum wheels out for a carbon flash painted option or trident-spoked wheels with two color options to choose from.
You can customize the look of your 2021 Corvette with various accents, including custom brake caliper colors, carbon fiber trims for the interior and exterior, seat and seatbelt colors, and more. The cabin features Mulan leather-wrapped GT1 racing seats if you go with the 1LT model. Built for comfort, these seats are perfect for everyday driving and will still hold you in place when you push the car. Nappa leather-wrapped GT2 seats with carbon fiber are optional on the 2LT and come standard on the 3LT. But if you’re planning on hitting the track regularly, the Competition Sport seats are reinforced for high-speed action and feature stronger materials in places more susceptible to wear and tear.
A Reward Worth the Risk
Chevy’s overhaul of the Corvette in 2020 wasn’t exactly a safe move, but by all accounts, it paid off. Seeing one of the older models on the street was no big deal. Now, you’re sure to do a double-take and wonder if you just saw an exotic supercar. Chevy managed to elevate its already world-famous model to new heights, and the 2021 Chevy Corvette continues that legacy.