The new Chevy Corvette is going up against the world’s most expensive and exclusive supercars. Here’s a look at the competition.

by insider@insider.com (Matthew DeBord) | Business Insider

The new Corvette.

Chevrolet

“Mid-engine” and “affordable” aren’t generally two concepts that show up in the same automotive sentence. Mid-engined vehicles are, for the most part, exotic supercars from brands with Italian, and sometimes German, names. Should you crave one, you’d best be prepared to dent even a considerable bank account.

That all changed in dramatic fashion in 2019 when Chevy unveiled its long-awaited mid-engine redesign of the Corvette, a car that has been front-engine since its debut in 1953. (Chevy considered a few mid-engine Vette efforts over the year, but none made it out of the prototype stage.)

The eighth-generation Vette got a lot of attention for moving its V8 motor rearward, positioning it between the driver and the back wheels. But just as many headlines were prompted by the staggering price: the base Stingray trim could be had for just under $60,000.

That’s a near-miraculous bargain for a car with a 6.2-liter, naturally aspirated V8 engine, making 490 horsepower with an option on a few more ponies with some minor performance upgrades. 

In fact, more than a few folks noted after the Vette’s debut that its specs were evocative of the Ferrari 458, the last no-turbo Prancing Stallion mid-engine supercar, which drove off into the sunset a few years back when Ferrari introduced the 488 and a twin-turboed V8 amidships. The 458, of course, would have set you back $230,000.

In fact, nearly all mid-engine supercars come with eye-watering price tags. 

Here’s a rundown (and for the record, some of these cars can no longer be bought new):

The eight-generation Corvette launched with the Stingray name in 2019.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 043
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 043

Chevrolet

We’d seen the new Vette — camouflaged — in the streets of NYC. General Motors CEO Mary Barra even took a ride.

C8 Corvette
C8 Corvette

Chevrolet

As long-rumored, the C8 Vette was a mid-engine design.

An inside look at the 2020 Chevy Corvette's engine design.
An inside look at the 2020 Chevy Corvette’s engine design.

Chevrolet

All previous cars, including the 755-horsepower ZR1, had their motors up front.

Corvette ZR1
Corvette ZR1

Matthew DeBord/BI

It wasn’t as if the design was flawed. A pair of seventh-generation Vettes gave Corvette Racing a 1-2 finish at the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The C7 car also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Corvette 1-2 Rolex 24
Corvette 1-2 Rolex 24

Corvette Racing

And the Vette had done duty as an Indy 500 pace car on more than one occasion.

Corvette Indy Pace Car
Corvette Indy Pace Car

Chevrolet

Business Insider named the old Stingray as its Car of the Year in 2014.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2015
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2015

General Motors

The front-engine Vette’s lineage goes WAAAYYY back, to the first-gen car from 1953.

Corvette Fall Colors
Corvette Fall Colors

GM

The Vette has been on continuous production ever since, with the 1967-83 third-gen model being perhaps the most famous iteration.

1975 Chevrolet Stingray Corvette T Top Coupe_VanDerBrink Auctions
1975 Chevrolet Stingray Corvette T Top Coupe_VanDerBrink Auctions

VanDerBrink Auctions

Corvette has already rolled out the convertible version of the C8.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

Chevy

When the new Corvette arrived, more than a few observers immediately noted that its naturally aspirated V8, bolted to the middle of the car, was reminiscent of the Ferrari 458 — price: $230,000 — sold from 2009-2015.

Ferrari 458 Berlinetta
Ferrari 458 Berlinetta

Ferrari

In fact, the C8 Vette recalled the entire Ferrari mid-engine lineage, going all the way back to the Dino of late 1960s and early 1970s and including the 308 GTB and F430.

Ferrari
Ferrari

Ferrari Facebook

The Ferrari 488 appeared in 2015, replacing the 458 and bringing twin turbochargers to the party. Price? More than $250,000. OK, a lot more horsepower than the new Vette (660). But also … 200 grand steeper on the sticker?

Ferrari 488GTB 40
Ferrari 488GTB 40

Hollis Johnson

The 488 Spider that I drove pushed the price up to almost $400,000.

Ferrari 488 Spider
Ferrari 488 Spider

Matthew DeBord/BI

If you really want to shoot the mid-engine moon, there’s the $1-million-plus Ferrari La Ferrari hypercar.

Ferrari
Ferrari

Ferrari

Lamborghini offers the Huracán, price north of $200,000 and shown here in dashing Performante trim.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante 10
Lamborghini Huracan Performante 10

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Lambo makes a spyder version of the Huracán.

Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Matthew DeBord/BI

And you can always step up to the Huracán’s big brother, the Aventador, here seen in SVJ trim ($610,000).

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Matt DeBord/BI

The Ford GT was a jaw-dropping update to the GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. The price ended up being a cool half a million for a limited-run supercar.

Ford GT 10
Ford GT 10

Hollis Johnson

The racing version won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, repeating history.

Ford GT Le Mans
Ford GT Le Mans

Ford

In this company, the Business Insider 2016 Car of the Year-winning Acura NSX is a relative steal at just under $200,000 for the updated version.

Acura NSX
Acura NSX

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Meanwhile, we have McLarens, such as the 720S — our test car was almost $300,000.

McLaren 720S 13
McLaren 720S 13

Hollis Johnson

The 570S Spyder we sampled was $250,000.

McLaren 570S 1
McLaren 570S 1

Hollis Johnson

The 675LT is track-focused and would have set you back about $350,000.

McLaren 675 LT
McLaren 675 LT

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

And the P1 would compel you to come up with more than a million bucks.

mclaren p1
mclaren p1

McLaren

Back on planet Earth, the Audi R8 stickers at about $180,000.

Audi R8 12 tout
Audi R8 12 tout

Hollis Johnson

Here’s the V10 Plus.

Audi R8 V10+ 1
Audi R8 V10+ 1

Hollis Johnson

And for sure, for sure, Audi offers the R8 as a spyder.

Audi R8 V10 Spyder
Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Back in outer space, say hello to the $2-million-plus Pagani Huayra.

pagani hypercar
pagani hypercar

Pagani

And the Zonda’s pricing is equally rich.

Pagani Zonda R
Pagani Zonda R

AP Photo

The Noble M600 is a barebones, boutique supercar that comes in at about $250,000.

Noble M600
Noble M600

Noble

The Koenigsegg Regera is $2 million.

Koenigsegg Regera 6
Koenigsegg Regera 6

Hollis Johnson

Perhaps the closest to the Vette price-wise is the discontinued Alfa Romeo 4C, stickering at less than $70,000 (but more than $60,000).

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 25
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 25

Hollis Johnson

In truth, the big-name sports cars that match the Vette’s price are the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, together designated 718 and starting under $60,000.

Porsche 718 Boxster S
Porsche 718 Boxster S

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

But the Porsche 918 is closer to a million.

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche

The space-age BMW i8 is roughly $150,000.

BMW I8
BMW I8

BMW

There’s a Roadster version of the i8.

BMW i8 Roadster 1
BMW i8 Roadster 1

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Back in the stratosphere, the Bugatti Veyron is untouchable for less than $2.5 million.

bugatti veyron 16.4 super sport
bugatti veyron 16.4 super sport

Bugatti

The Bugatti Chiron takes that to $3 million.

Bugatti Chiron
Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti

If you don’t want doors, the Ariel Atom is a mid-engine racer that can be had for less than $60,000.

Ariel Atom
Ariel Atom

Ariel Motors

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