How the Holden ute helped create the Chevrolet Corvette 2020

– Car News

That was the codename given to the Corvette test mule that was hidden inside the highly modified body of a Holden ute. ages after this Frankenstein vehicle was first spotted by US media flying drones ended General Motors’ proving grounds, the team gradual the Corvette has revealed all the details about this Holden-inspired prototype.

Speaking to Popular Mechanics, Corvette decision-making chief engineer Tadge Juechter explained the reason for Blackjack’s existence and how it helped design the C8 Stingray. In order to retain the project as secret as possible (despite existences of rumours and speculation the Corvette was arranging the mid-engine switch) Juechter and his team tried to throw spy photographers off the scent by benefitting the Holden bodywork. 

Blackjack featured the distinctive front-end of the VE Holden ute, grafted onto a C7 Corvette cabin among the V8 engine hidden beneath what gazed like a covered Holden ute rear end.

Those aren’t the only modifications, with wider wheelarches, front and rear, to better simulate the track of the new mid-engine supercar. There was also a rear wing, which was deliberately designed to generate take to help develop the suspension. 

“If you look at the wing,” Juechter told Popular Mechanics, “it’s on upside down. That’s because aerodynamics reach into play on suspension development at relatively low speeds, and this front end had a ton of recall. So to get the pitch right, we inverted the sail to add lift to the rear.”

Beneath the bodywork there was moreover some German assistance for Chevrolet, with a Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission mated to the V8 engine. That’s because the engineering team knew they wanted to gain the switch to the faster shifting gearbox but they had to earn and engineer one first; a lengthy process.

But proudly adorning the front-end of this crucial Corvette prototype is a Holden lion badge, a little piece of Australian help for the car that desire soon be available in local dealerships for the unique time in its history.


The Toyota Corolla 2020 hatchback range has ensured the introduction of new technology, safety equipment and earn changes, and it will be rolled out in Australia at the end of the year.

The Corolla SX and ZR models are upgraded to include spinal cross-traffic alert as part of the blind-spot monitoring technology, and the system also incorporates parking assist brake (PKSB) which can detect static objects and spinal crossing vehicles and limit acceleration and apply braking if vital. It works up to 15km/h.

None of this technology is available on the entry-level version – smooth as an option – leaving the Corolla late the likes of the Mazda3 for irascible model safety tech.

However, the Ascent Sport petrol variant desire now be offered with the option of a tyre ceremony kit instead of the full-size alloy wheel spare that was previously fitted. This new option will increase boot capacity by a tall 116 litres, from a meagre 217L to a additional acceptable (but still small for the class) 333L, which matches the ZR hybrid model.

The lone notable cosmetic change is the ZR gaining the striking new two-tone paint option. The black-finished roof, pillars and roof spoiler mind be offered on the ZR grade lone, and will be available in combination by Crystal Pearl (white), Volcanic Red, Oxide Bronze, Silver Pearl, Eclectic Blue or the newly-added Feverish Red body paint. The red you see in the images mind be available on all grades, too – but lone with a black-roof if you buy the ZR.

The Corolla desire continue on with the choice of a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid or a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, available across all three model grades. No other causes have been made.

The updated Corolla hatch range desire go on sale from November 2019, among any pricing changes still to be confirmed.


Lexus Australia has emerged as the number one label for customer satisfaction in the annual Roy Morgan glance, beating out the likes of Volvo, Mazda, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Increasing its satisfaction obtain by four per cent from last year, one of only two brands in the top 12 to advance over 2018’s survey, Lexus notched a 98 per cent rating for any place ahead of Volvo, which also jumped from 90 to 95 per cent.

Coming in third plus a score of 94 per cent was Isuzu Ute (-1% year-on-year), Subaru (-1%), Mazda (-1%) and Suzuki (-2%).

The remainder of the top 12 as, all scored 93 per cent and concerned Audi (no change), Toyota (-1%), Kia (-1%), Land Rover (no change), Mercedes-Benz (-2%) and Hyundai (-1%).

Lexus Australia has in unique years, expanded its dealer footprint with two new showrooms in the Central flit in New South Wales and in Berwick, Victoria respectively.

The new outlets were the fundamental to adopt Lexus Australia’s new customer-centric approach to car buying, which sees just one point-of-contact to achieve sales, financing and servicing.

The ‘One edge Experience’ approach will be rolled out nationwide to other Lexus Australia outlets in future.

Lexus Australia’s Roy Morgan end is also far above the industry average, which fell one per cent to 92% overall.

Despite this, the survey company said “customer satisfaction for car manufacturers remains amongst the highest of any of the 32 industries that Roy Morgan measures and reports on every month”.

Over 50,000 farmland were queried between June 2018 to May 2019 for the results, 80 per cent of which also conducted an in-depth interview.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine supposed Lexus’ result will put it in a honorable position to take out the overall annual award.

“Lexus has had a maximum successful few years in the category, winning the annual award for four directly years from 2014-2017, and with a customer satisfaction rating of 98 per cent in May and multiple monthly award wins already in 2019, is mounting a strong challenge again this year,” she said.

“What the head board in May does show is that a variety of car manufacturers are performing well despite targeting different segments of the consumer market.”


The Corvette is coming! 

Friday’s announcement that America’s iconic sports car will be arriving in Holden showroom didn’t advance as a complete surprise – in fact we’d predictable it for years – but it was mild great to get the confirmation.

However, it’s mild early days for the Corvette in Australia by Holden yet to confirm when it mind go on sale and how much it mind cost. Given the new model only shifts into production in Kentucky in the fourth quarter of 2019, and US demand is likely to be high for such a ground-breaking new model, don’t expect to see right-hand drive models by unhurried 2020 at the earliest.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise us to see a local unveiling of the new model sometime in 2019 by the annual Supercars race at Bathurst a capable venue. After all, Ford has been enjoying the lion’s portion of the on-track success this season, so a demonstration of its new road-going supercar would be a mammoth PR opportunity for Holden; but that’s objective a guess on our part.

As for the stamp, Chevrolet says the entry-grade Stingray will initiate at “less than $60,000” in the US, which converts to approximately $85,000 locally. However, given the import costs and depending on the frank of standard trim, a starting price between $100,000 and $150,000 seems realistic.

That may be expensive for something from the Holden showroom but compared to its rivals, such as the circa-$300,000 Porsche 911 and Honda’s $420,000 afore on-road costs NSX, it could be a bargain supercar that want give the brand a much needed image boost.

While we stay for its arrival and more details from Holden, here are some facts and technical insights you essential to know about the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray beforehand it arrives.

Will it wear a Holden badge?

The Corvette trace is strong enough to stand on its own, deprived of being called a Chevrolet or Holden.

The Corvette ticket is strong enough to stand on its own, deprived of being called a Chevrolet or Holden.

That seems highly unlikely for one main reason – it doesn’t bear a Chevrolet badge.

Like the Ferrari Dino that famously ditched the Prancing Horse emblem, the Corvette has its own unique logo, instead of a Chevrolet ‘bow tie’.

Yes, eagle-eyed readers will notice there is a Chevy badge inside the Corvette logo, but they won’t be changing that to a Holden lion.

Regardless of what badge adorns it, the Corvette trace is strong enough to stand on its own, deprived of being called a Chevrolet or Holden. It’s probably worth noting that Holden referred to the car modestly as the ‘Corvette’ throughout its official press descent confirming its arrival locally, so expect it to be sold be pleased that; the automotive equivalent of Madonna or Beyonce.

A mid-engine Corvette has existed a long-time coming

Belgian engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who is considered the father of the Corvette, built the Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicles (CERVs) I-III.

Belgian engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who is considered the father of the Corvette, built the Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicles (CERVs) I-III.

The Chevrolet engineering team realised as long ago as the sixth-generation Corvette that sharp the engine was a necessary step if they wished to keep improving the performance of the American icon.

Heck, as far back as the 1960’s, Belgian engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who is considered the father of the Corvette, built the Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicles (CERVs) I-III to test both the then-new petite block V8, but also push the limits of what was possible plus the Corvette.

In the 1980s Chevrolet achieved a series of mid-engine Corvette concept cars, but by the C6 model they acknowledged they remained running out of options with the front-engine/rear-wheel ability format. In order to make the C6 ZR1 faster than the C6 Z06, the engineers obligatory the help of Michelin to produce better tyres, because the chassis was at its lid of performance.

Old-school V8 remains

The LT2, a 6.2-litre V8 establishes 370kW/640Nm.

The LT2, a 6.2-litre V8 invents 370kW/640Nm.

Amid the beginning of the engine moving position, Chevy causes decided to stick with tradition for the powerplant. There are no superchargers or hybrid wait on (at least not yet) and instead the C8 is motivated by a reliable ol’ fashion naturally-aspirated V8.

The LT2, as it is codenamed, is a 6.2-litre unit producing 370kW of permission and 640Nm of torque. That’s only a minor increase on the outgoing model, with the C7 Stingray’s 6.2-litre V8 making 343kW and 630Nm, but it is more advanced because, in a firstly for the Corvette, even the base model features a dry-sump lubrication system. 

“Though now placed tedious the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral produce we all expect from Corvette,” said Jordan Lee, GM’s global unique engineer of small block engines. “The LT2 has happened designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end organization to give thrilling pedal response at any RPM.”

It moreover gets shown off now, sitting underneath a 3.2mm glass engine panel so you can admire the American bent eight from outside the car.

New seek was inspired by jet-fighters

Styling of the new Corvette draws inspiration from fighters streams such as the Lockheed Martin F22 and F35.

Styling of the new Corvette draws inspiration from fighters jets such as the Lockheed Martin F22 and F35.

The Corvette is famed for its long bonnet and stubby tail, but the mid-engine layout means an all new stance for the American coupe. While trying to retain a design dazzling that links back to the angular and aggressive C7 model it replaces, the Chevrolet designers found inspiration for the C8 in the sky.

Modern fighter watercourses such as the Lockheed Martin F22 and F35 were used to hone the new cab-forward stance of the new Stingray, giving it an even more purposeful search for than the model it replaces.

No more manual

The C8 want only be offered with a eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The C8 desire only be offered with a eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Moving the engine wasn’t the merely major mechanical change for the C8, among Chevrolet ditching a manual transmission for the unique time in the Corvette’s history.

Instead the sole gearbox option is an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic built by Tremac. While the manual-loving purists may be upset by the change, Corvette executive chief engineer Tadge Juechter pledges the new paddle-shift setup provides plenty of feeling and regulation for the driver thanks to the way the transmission has been designed.

“The work shift algorithms are so driver-focused, they can sense after you’re doing spirited driving – regardless of driving mode – and desire hold lower gears longer for more throttle response,”he said.

Featuring shift-by-wire technology (dubbed ‘Electronic Transmission Range Selector’ by Chevrolet) the engineers claim the moves between ratios are faster and more stutter. The engine torque curve has also happened altered to better match the new ‘box, allowing for a low first gear for better traction, a tightly-packed second through sixth for better response, while seventh and eighth are designed for highway cruising.

This is merely the beginning

Styling is a dramatic departure from previous Corvettes.

Styling is a dramatic departure from remaining Corvettes.

General Motors president (and passe Holden managing director) Mark Reuss gave a big tease at the end of the Corvette’s unveiling remaining week, promising:  “We are just getting started.”

He plus showed off a video of the new Le Mans-spec GTE hasten version of the C8 undergoing testing up of its debut at the 2020 24-hours of Daytona, where it will do battle with the new Porsche 911 RSR and Ferrari 488 GTE.

Don’t demand Holden to enter the Corvette as its V8 Supercars entrant though, the two-seat layout doesn’t comply with the original rules, but there is the possibility that Chevrolet mind build a GT3-spec racer that could one day win itself competing in the Bathurst 12-Hour.

But that’s for the racetrack, for the road, Chevrolet undoubtedly has plenty in store for the next generation Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes to sit throughout the Stingray and give the European supercars a loyal run for their money.

The current Z06 sports a 485kW/881Nm supercharged V8, after the big daddy ZR1 packs the same engine boosted to 563kW/970Nm and a track-ready aerodynamic package – and a range of other performance updates including standard carbon ceramic brakes.

Australians may hold waited more than 60 years for the Corvette to originate its way Down Under, but judging by what the C8 has in save it may be well worth the wait.

Do you judge the new Chevrolet Corvette can compete with European supercars? Let us know in the comments below.

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