Refined. Spine-tingling. Brilliant. These are all words used by critics to describe the C8 Corvette now that it’s been engineered with a new mid-engine design. It’s being praised as incredibly responsive with a dual-clutch transmission that smoothly transitions gearing, and the primal whine of the engine is more than just a hair-raising exhaust note. The LT2 V8 delivers power for both speed and agility on par with luxury sports cars like Lamborghini and Porsche. If you’re still deciding how to build yourself the perfect Corvette before you go to your C8 Corvette dealer, you can read about the recommendations for how to rig out your C8 so it can be the best version of itself.
Choosing the Right Trim
Three trim levels are available for the 2022 Corvette as 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. Though many might scoff at the entry-level trim, it does have a fairly good set of features that come as standard. Amongst its many attributes, the C8 can be either a coupe or convertible, with the coupe being the standard option. While a convertible can be an amazing way to drive in the open air, the coupe has a removable roof that can be stored in the rear trunk.
It’s less expensive to go with the coupe body style, and you still get a similar feel of open-air driving. Then again, if you live in a locale where the sunny days outnumber rainy weather and money is no object, the convertible opens up with the press of a button. Just be aware that the convertible top takes up more of the trunk space, which you can keep for valuables if you stick with the coupe.
Once you choose the right body style, it helps to consider how you plan to drive your C8. Is this going to be your daily driver? A fun car you drive for weekend excursions? Will you take it to the track? The 1LT trim comes with a lot of technology for infotainment and connectivity, including a ten-speaker Bose sound system and an HD touchscreen in the center stack.
Interior comfort in the 1LT could be improved upon the standard GT1 seats, though this isn’t an option for the entry-level trim. For the better seats, the LT2 trim is where the more comfortable and more attractive GT2 seats become available. Seats won’t matter as much if you only plan to drive your C8 occasionally, but if you plan to drive it daily or on long cruises, the GT2 seats are worth bumping up to at least the LT2 trim.
Another feature most drivers will appreciate is the Rear Camera Mirror, which vastly improves visibility behind the car. Because the rear window is so small and the engine is now behind the seats, it’s not easy to see with the standard rearview mirror. Having the digital display makes it much safer to drive in traffic with improved visibility, and the LT2 gets this feature as standard.
A feature that becomes available as an option with the LT2 and LT3 trims is also worth considering, as the C8 rides so low to the ground it invariably will scrape the front end on obstacles in the road. The front lift with memory feature lifts the front end up to two inches to be able to safely negotiate inclines to avoid damage to the front end, and once you manually engage it for any obstacle, it will remember it every time you encounter it. This system has memory for up to 1,000 locations, and it automatically engages when the C8 comes to that same point again. Worth the upgrade if the C8 will be your daily driver.
Most buyers opt for the LT2 trim, and the reasoning for going with this trim is sound. Options for technology and electronic features open up, with standard features like wireless charging and improved sound quality for the Bose system being worth the money, and the choice of more comfortable seating is available. The LT3 does offer a few more options that mostly affect the interior, with leather treatment for the full dashboard and the choice of Napa leather for the seats, but the features that add the most important aspects of drivability are included in the LT2 trim. Of course, any trim can add the Z51 Performance Package and the Magnetic Ride Control. The Performance Data Recorder is available for the LT1 and then becomes standard in the upper two trims.
Z51 Performance Package
A majority of buyers are trending toward the purchase of the Z51 Performance Package, which adds a lot of value for the money. It makes sense to add the extra features that come with this package if you plan to drive your C8 on the track. Most buyers are unlikely to drive their Corvette as a true performance car in this way, and the extra features in the Z51 package really aren’t necessary for most C8 drivers. For instance, the higher-performing Brembo brakes aren’t needed for street driving, especially since Chevy already builds the C8 with standard Brembo brakes that offer plenty of stopping power for the high-speed capability at any trim level. The electronic limited slip differential is certainly an appreciative part of cornering at high speeds, but the limited slip differential that comes standard with the C8 is likely to be enough for street driving.
Other features found in the Z51 package, like the cooling system, performance suspension, and performance exhaust, are all there for high-speed maneuvers and demands on the engine that are very unlikely to be necessary anywhere except on a track. Performance tires, the rear spoiler, front splitter, and performance exhaust are all available as standalone options that can be added to any trim level. For that matter, the Magnetic Ride Control can be added to any trim level as well, though once again, it’s more of a feature directed at track performance rather than driving on public roads. Ride quality is already quite good without the extra expense.
For the money, a driver who plans to head to the track will want the Z51 package, and a driver who plans to keep their C8 on the streets can forego the expense and add the spoiler, front splitter, and performance exhaust to get the look, sound, and driving dynamics you want for everyday fun. As an aside, it bears mentioning that the Z51 package will remove the addition of FNC to the brake rotors, a coating that prevents corrosion. Without this coating, the brake rotors will be exposed to the elements and are likely to rust, even from the rain. The wheels will stay in a nicer condition if the coating remains, which is yet one more reason to stay away from the Z51 package if you’re not racing at the track.
Customizing the 2022 Corvette is part of the thrill of purchasing such a beautifully engineered vehicle, and it’s easy to let the figures add up with additions like stripes, spoilers, and even seat belt colors. You can’t find a performance car of this magnitude anywhere else on the market for the incredibly low price, and adding your own personal style is part of the experience of owning the C8. Just keep in mind the purpose of the car when you start running through the available features to avoid overspending.
Ask yourself if you really need the performance options before adding to the price tag, and save your money for the appearance features or more comfortable seats. As you decide on trim levels, one more reason to consider the LT2 arises not from performance but from a security standpoint: it gains internal motion sensors as a standard feature. Part of buying such a gorgeous car deserves some thought about keeping it in your possession and avoiding theft. Either way, the Corvette C8 is a car to enjoy no matter how it’s equipped, and it will probably give you goosebumps when you drive it for the first time.