2022 Chevrolet Corvette review: Australian launch

Finally… After decades of patient enthusiasm, General Motors has decided that a right-hand-drive Chevrolet Corvette is a good idea. Trent Nikolic gets behind the wheel of an American icon – albeit vastly different to all previous iterations – to sample an automotive icon on local roads.





  • Naturally aspirated V8 is a cracker
  • Styling is eye-catching and dramatic
  • Engaging drive experience
  • Availability is a problem immediately
  • I’d go for the coupe not the targa
  • More cabin storage please

It’s been a long wait. So long, in fact, that it feels like decades. You could rightly say, given the original Corvette launched late in the 1953 model year, that Australian enthusiasts have been waiting 69 years for the arrival of a factory right-hand-drive Corvette.

Given the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette is mid-engine, as well as RHD, it’s not the Corvette we might have expected, but it could just be an even better Corvette than we hoped for.

The range starts from a (comparatively affordable) $144,900 before on-road costs. I use the term ‘comparatively affordable’ both deliberately and without any attempt at banal humour. Nor is it a cheap shot. I reckon what you get for the outlay is genuinely impressive.



Look at the styling, look at the numbers and performance ability. The street presence of the C8 Corvette bordered on comical during our week of testing. We couldn’t stop for five minutes without being surrounded.

The only cars I’ve tested that have been photographed more wear either a bull or a prancing horse inside the shield. There is no doubt that the Corvette garners plenty of attention wherever you go. If you value that kind of attention, the Corvette should probably be twice the price.

On that note, a Porsche 911, Lamborghini or Ferrari that will get this much attention costs significantly more money than a Corvette. It’s another reason why I think it presents as such good value for money. When a guy taking his son for a drive in a Ferrari 360 pulls over to tell you that the Corvette looks the way a current Ferrari should look, it’s fair to say GM’s design team has hit the nail on the head.



The sub-$150K starting price is for the entry-grade 2LT Coupe. Here, we’re testing the 3LT Coupe, which has a starting price of $160,500 plus on-road costs. While Coupe models feature a lift-out targa roof, a power-folding hardtop Convertible is also available.

There’s a long list of ways you can customise your Corvette should you decide to place an order, but I’d recommend starting with an eye-searing orange or yellow exterior. Then again, our metallic grey tester – with stripes – looks pretty racy.

The only problem you’re going to have currently is the wait time. Reports vary, but the first allocation is long gone, so get your name on a list quick smart if you want a new ‘Vette.



From the beginning, the Chevrolet Corvette has been known as ‘America’s sports car’, even early on it was marketed as the US take on a classical European/British platform. Rorty engine up front, relatively light weight, two-seat, driver-focused cabin, rear-wheel drive, with sprightly performance.

Initially, a six-cylinder was the only engine available, but a V8 followed not long after. That set the template for all previous variants right up to the C7.

Whether you agree that the Corvette took the established marques on at their own game and won, or not, a legacy was set that remains to this day. How things have changed, though.

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Not only is the C8 Corvette available in RHD from the factory, it’s also mid-engined for the first time. And mid-engined cars are serious about performance.

In other words, mid-engine supercars occupy rare air. Is America’s sports car now more ‘supercar’ than it is either muscle car or sports car? Let’s find out.

Splashes of red, and the driver-focused design of the cabin, leave no doubt that this is very much a sports car. Some Drive reviewers didn’t love the raised line of switchgear that sits next to the passenger, and controls seat heating and cooling as well as HVAC. I tend to agree with the theory that they could all be integrated into the touchscreen, to further tidy up the cabin, but then again, too many hard to decipher touchscreen controls isn’t always the best way to work either.

The seats, their range of adjustment and their positioning within the cabin, are all excellent. Despite being a low slung car by any measure, the Corvette isn’t hard to get into or out of.

Think Audi R8 rather than Lamborghini Huracan, and thats a bonus for anyone with a dodgy back or bad knees. Once you’re in, visibility is surprisingly good everywhere except rear three-quarter, but the clear rear-view camera compensates.

Heated and cooled seats were a bonus for this type of car, and the seats are comfortable, even if you’re in them for a long run on bumpy roads. Once you’re in and comfortable, the cabin doesn’t feel small or cramped either, another mark of the clever design and use of space.



It actually feels quite airy. The tinted roof helps here, which opens the light above your head significantly.

Storage is acceptable for the type of car the Corvette is, but I’d appreciate more comfortable storage for large smartphones. The fact that the C8 is as comfortable and user friendly as it is inside the cabin is something of a surprise. We’ve written it before, but R8 and 911 were, for some time, outliers in terms of being practical cars of that level of performance, but the Corvette is a car you could easily drive daily if you chose to.

Combined front and rear storage space works out to a useful 424 litres, although the boot section behind the engine probably gets quite toasty. The Corvette easily accommodates everything a couple would need for a weekend away though. Get familiar with the location of the nose lift switch, the Corvette isn’t a silly low car, but it’s a feature we used just to be safe whenever we felt the need.

2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Coupe
Seats Two
Boot volume 424L combined
Length 4630mm
Width 1934mm
Height 1234mm
Wheelbase 2723mm

Infotainment and Connectivity

On test, the driver-focused nature of the cabin shines through not just in the controls you’d expect, but also in the way the infotainment works.

First up the 8.0-inch infotainment screen, which is neatly angled toward the driver, always clear, and worked well on test. The Apple CarPlay smartphone link was fault free on test, and it’s quick to respond to inputs too.

The proprietary satellite navigation likewise worked well on test, and the audio system – a Bose 14-speaker Performance Series unit – was impressive at drowning out the bellowing V8 when asked to.



We loved the head-up display, which was clear even in bright light, and displays the information that drivers will want easy access to. The driver display, which measures in at 12 inches, is configurable, and presents a modern, race-inspired design, while not being kitsch or ugly. The flat-bottom (and top for that matter) steering wheel, is an attractive one, with a simple arrangement of controls that never get in the way.

The Chevrolet Corvette doesn’t carry an ANCAP rating, and given its low-volume nature is unlikely to be tested locally.

Standard safety inclusions cover six airbags, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear cameras, and rear park sensors.

2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Coupe
ANCAP rating Untested

I think it’s here, value for money, where the Corvette shines brightest.

There’s nothing at this price point with the street presence or visual drama offered up by the new ‘Vette. It’s really that simple. Therefore, with the starting price where it is, who can argue against its value?

A McLaren, Lamborghini or Ferrari will cost more than twice as much. A basic 911 Carrera for over $70K more doesn’t stand out anywhere near as much. The fact that it’s a traditional US-style V8 that won’t cost much more than an HSV to service is a bonus.



Oh, and there’s the small matter of the power on offer, and the 0–100km/h claim in the 3.0-second range. This is a lot of car.

At a glance 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Coupe
Warranty Three years / 100,000km
Service intervals 12 months or 10,000km

The official US fuel consumption claim averages out to approximately 12.3L/100km on the combined cycle. Around town, driving normally, we saw an average of mid 14s, which is entirely acceptable for this type of car. After a prolonged highway cruise, the average had dropped down to 12.6L/100km.

Go for a, let’s say spirited, drive on a twisty road, and it will creep into the 15s or 16s, but it won’t stay there unless you keep punting the Corvette hard. Bag US engines all you like, but they’ve come a long way from the thirsty old days.

Fuel Usage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 12.3L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 12.6L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 70L

The LT-series V8 is a powerhouse that looks right at home mounted amidships in the broad rear section of the Corvette. It’s a 6.2-litre LT2 V8, to be specific, with variable valve timing and active fuel management.

It sounds nasty through the short-travel pipes afforded by the rear mounting position too. The 369kW and 637Nm outputs are meaty numbers for a car that, in coupe form, weighs just 1527kg. And it’s fast. Somewhere in the sub-4.0-second range, though we haven’t conducted our own testing yet.

Importantly, the Corvette feels fast on any road. You’ve got driving modes to choose from, and if you switch into Sport or Track, the V8 starts to sing then bellow as it approaches redline. It asks for revs in a cavalier ‘Is that all you’ve got?’ fashion. So enjoyable to work it through a series of back-to-back corners.



A few motorcycle riders were tailing us on our video shoot just to get an up-close performance from the exhaust pipes, and they liked what they heard.

The engine sings a threatening song off the sandstone walls as we fire into and out of corners finding the balance and getting a sense for the steering and brakes. The V8 revs smooth, hard, and cleanly to redline – asking for more revs, and loving the work.

As banal and well-behaved as the Corvette is around town, it’s enthusiastic and performance-focused out on the open road. There’s no doubt whatsoever that this is an enjoyable car to drive fast – something you couldn’t level at all previous Corvettes.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven most previous variants in one way or another – a C1 still eludes me – but it’s fair to say that automotive engineering is an evolutionary process. Nowhere is that evolution more evident than in a platform that has stayed on the market for as long as the Corvette has. We see it in vehicles like the Land Rover Defender, Toyota LandCruiser, Nissan Patrol, and Porsche 911 to name a few.

There’s little need to reinvent the wheel when you can tweak and upgrade as each new model arrives. That said, previous Corvettes are very different to the C8. The simple act of moving the engine behind the driver has changed everything.

Our time with the new Corvette was short, and road-focused only, and we were left wanting more time behind the wheel, track time specifically. It feels beautifully balanced on a regular road, the ride is well beyond what a car of this outright ability should be capable of specifically, and its ability to absorb rubbish surfaces is exceptional.



The brakes, the steering, everything about the drive experience feels tight and well engineered. There was nothing unhinged, bad mannered or uncomfortable about driving the Corvette, even on a twisty road.

Key details 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Coupe
Engine 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol
Power 369kW @ 6450rpm
Torque 637Nm @ 5150rpm
Drive type Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power to weight ratio 241.6kW/t
Weight (tare) 1527kg
Turning circle 12.2m

So, should you buy a C8 Corvette? The short answer is an emphatic yes!

Trouble is, securing one won’t be easy. However, if you want scintillating mid-engine performance, supercar looks and road presence, and a smile a mile wide, then you should absolutely find a way to get into Chevrolet’s newest (and best) iteration of its iconic nameplate.

The Corvette is beautiful to look at, well put together, cleverly designed, and fun. It’s more efficient than it ought to be, and undeniable value for money into the bargain.

The fact that it’s effectively quite a simple V8 engine means it won’t cost a mint to keep on the road either. I wanted to get into the C8 Corvette and love it, and I did. Sure, it’s not perfect, but no car is, and I’d argue that vehicles of this type shouldn’t be judged on that almost fruitless goal in any case.

They should be judged on how they make you feel and how engaging they are to drive. And on that score, the Corvette is a winner. American cars cop stick from those fans who love to point out the old grandpa’s axe argument. In the form of the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette, though, General Motors has a real contender. I’d happily park a Corvette in a sea of European supercars without fear or favour.



Ratings Breakdown

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT Coupe

8.6/ 10

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Infotainment & Connectivity

Trent Nikolic

Trent Nikolic has been road testing and writing about cars for almost 20 years. He’s been at CarAdvice/Drive since 2014 and has been a motoring editor at the NRMA, Overlander 4WD Magazine, Hot4s and Auto Salon Magazine.

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