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First batch of 250 mid-engined supercars all spoken for; no ETA for further shipments

GM Specialty Vehicles has confirmed its initial allocation of Chevrolet Corvette vehicles is already sold out before the first example even arrives, but won’t say when more supplies of the mid-engined supercar – or the ballistic new circa-450kW Z06 version – will come to Australia.

GMSV opened the official order book for the five-variant MY22 Chevrolet Corvette coupe and convertible in early June, and all 250 vehicles in Australia’s first batch have now been spoken for – without a single test drive taking place and despite at least one dealer charging an additional $43,000 in delivery fees.

List prices (excluding on-road costs) for the new Corvette were announced by GMSV in March, with prices starting at $144,990 plus ORCs for the 2LT Coupe and $159,990 for the 2LT Convertible, and higher-spec 3LT variants costing $15,510 extra.

In addition, each GMSV dealer was allocated one example of a 3LT Coupe-based Carbon Edition variant fitted with a host of options available in the US, created exclusively for Australia and New Zealand and priced at $189,990 plus ORCs.

carsales understands each of GMSV’s 54 dealers were allocated fewer than five Corvettes from the initial batch, with a limited range of paint colours.

The first example of Chevrolet’s first global Corvette made its Australian debut in the hands of Craig Lowndes at The Bend circuit in early May, but that was a left-hand drive vehicle.

And the first right-hand drive Chevrolet Corvette made its global public dynamic debut at Fuji Speedway in Japan early last month, but no Aussie-spec RHD versions have so far landed Down Under.

GMSV told carsales this week that US production of Australia’s MY22 Corvette models in Kentucky won’t take place until the fourth quarter of this year, ahead of first local deliveries by the end of this year.

“Shipment of the first RHD C8 Corvette from Bowling Green is to start in Q4, with the balance of the first allocation to follow shortly after,” said GMSV spokesman Ed Finn via email.

But when asked when subsequent shipments of Corvettes will arrive in Australia, Finn said: “TBA – let’s get the first allocation landed and into customer hands!”

The GMSV website continues to invite registrations of interest for the Corvette and, given the demand, more examples of the MY22 Corvette are expected to arrive in Australia once they’re produced in RHD, followed by updated MY23 vehicles.

As for the Corvette Z06, which will soon be revealed in the US ahead of a 2022 launch as an MY23 model, Finn told carsales last week: “The Z06 is a high-performance version of the C8 Corvette, but nothing has been officially announced regarding a possible launch date – and no right-hand drive markets have been confirmed as part of the program.”

Australia’s standard Z51-spec Corvette Stingray is powered by a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre LT2 pushrod V8 (369kW/637Nm) matched with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

The first global mid-engined and auto-only Corvette accelerates to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 312km/h.

But the more powerful Z06 will pack the first road-going application of the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 5.5-litre LT6 V8 seen in the Corvette C8.R race car, featuring a flat-plane crank, 32-valve DOHC cylinder-heads and a redline north of 8000rpm.

And it will be followed by an even more potent new Corvette ZR1, almost certainly blessed with a 500kW-plus turbo V8 – and hopefully right-hand drive.