GM Authority / Jonathan Lopez / May 30, 2020
Video courtesy Chevrolet
The 2020 Corvette C8 breaks from tradition in several ways. Not only is it the first-ever production mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette, but it’s also the first Corvette to exclusively come equipped with an automatic transmission. However, the solitary 2020 Corvette transmission option isn’t some run-of-the-mill slushbox – it’s a new dual-clutch unit that offers razor-sharp performance and manual style operation, as outlined in the following Corvette Academy video.
For reference, the 2020 Corvette transmission is also known as the M1L dual-clutch eight-speed, which was sourced from Tremec, and provides quicker shift times when compared to a traditional manual transmission setup.
Operating the 2020 Corvette transmission is easy. Set in the standard “D” (or “Drive”) mode, the transmission operates like a normal automatic, upshifting and downshifting as needed without inputs from the driver.
However, more control is possible in “M” (or “Manual”) mode. When selected from the drive mode button panel on the center console, the 2020 Corvette transmission will respond to gear selections made via the paddles located to the right and left of the steering wheel. The current gear selected is displayed in the digital gauge cluster, as well as on the Head-Up Display for those models equipped with the feature.
Holding the left paddle will execute multiple downshifts at once, which is useful when flying into a corner under braking when driving the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette on a track.
Notably, the 2020 Corvette transmission software will not execute an upshift or downshift if the current vehicle speed is too fast or too slow. What’s more, Manual mode will not automatically execute an upshift, which means drivers can hit the engine rev limiter under acceleration.
Furthermore, drivers who want to free-rev the engine can do so by holding the upshift paddle and downshift paddle at the same time, which decouples the 2020 Corvette transmission from the 6.2L V8 LT2, as we covered previously.