Perhaps not since the First Sting Ray broke cover for the 1963 model year has there been a more highly anticipated Corvette.
Why? Two reasons. First, the engine is in the back and not the front, immediately making the 2020 Stingray a more exotic machine than any previous Corvette. Second, the base price is $70,000, which isn’t really exotic money.
Certainly some Corvette fans are not happy that their favourite sports car now looks like it was created in Europe and not in America, but their grumbling is drowned out by the praise.
From any angle, the new Corvette is stunning. And yes, it does look European in nature; especially the pointy nose, low hood and massive windshield. Chevrolet says their shapes were inspired by fighter jets, which is easy to see.
Other aspects of the design, however, such as the in-your-face air intakes positioned ahead of the extra-wide rear fenders, add some North American flavoring.
The rear window gives gawkers a peek at the engine bay, while the extended-length rear deck opens to reveal trunk space aft of the engine that Chevrolet says can hold two sets of golf clubs. It’s also where the removable body-coloured roof panel is stowed. Translucent and carbon-fibre panels are optional.
A smaller cargo hold in front — the frunk, as it’s called — is good for an airline-approved carry-on suitcase or a few grocery bags.
For the convertible — which costs about $9,000 more than the base coupe — the power-operated rear deck opens, clamshell-style, then the roof section retracts to rest above the engine before the deck returns to its original position. The process takes 16 seconds and can be done at vehicle speeds up to 50 km/h.
The Corvette’s interior is almost as radical as the body. The unusual steering wheel is flat on the top and the bottom and might take some getting used to. The 30-centimetre configurable instrument display and the 20-centimetre touch-screen (angled toward the driver) appear to have been influenced by hardcore video gamers. Most obvious, though, the driver is separated from the passenger by a wall topped with a lengthy row of buttons and switches almost entirely needed for the climate-control system.
As is the trend these days, switches and pushbuttons have replaced the traditional shift lever, clearly indicating that this Corvette is not available with a manual transmission. Instead, an eight-speed automatic — of the rapid-shift, dual-clutch variety — with paddle shifters handles the gear swapping and hooks to a 6.2-litre V-8 that punches out 490 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The drive system has six modes, with engine and transmission settings ranging from cruising (soft) to sporting (firm), according to driver preference.
Chevrolet says the Corvette can reach 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in less than three seconds, which is about as quick (or quicker) than the most powerful seventh-generation front-engine Corvette (the 755-horse ZR1).
Part of the credit goes to rear weight bias of the new car (which means more traction), but to pull off that time you’ll need the optional launch control. Just keep the throttle floored and the system releases the brakes, immediately dispatching the Stingray with barely a hint of wheelspin.
The extra cost should be no problem considering the Stingray’s shockingly low $70,000 starting price (coupe), which includes destination charges. That gets you plenty of content, but along with launch control, most enthusiasts will likely shell out a bit more for the Z51 Performance Package. It includes bigger brakes with cooling outlets, performance suspension and rear-axle ratio, and a performance exhaust system that adds five horsepower.
Other options include an electronic limited-slip differential, rearview mirror/camera, upgraded interior appointments (including a choice of two front-seat designs) and magnetic ride-control shock absorbers that instantly and constantly adjust to road conditions and driver inputs.
Given its wild styling, hot performance and even hotter price, the 2020 Corvette Stingray is understandably in high demand. Deliveries begin soon, but that’s likely just the beginning as higher performing models will come on stream with more exotic power and looks. And likely at a price that’s still not exotic.
What you should know: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Type: Two-door, rear-wheel-drive midengine sport coupe/convertible
Engine (h.p.): 6.2-litre OHV V-8 (490/495)
Transmission: Eight-speed automated manual
Market position: For the first time in its six-decade-plus history, the Corvette has the engine behind the seats instead of in front, pointing the way to a whole new future for the car as it severs ties to the past.
Points: Stunning design also comes with a dash of practicality. • Ground-breaking interior has an almost singular focus on the driver. • Non-turbo overhead valve V-8 has been a Chevrolet staple for years. • Some enthusiasts will be saddened by the lack of a manual transmission. • Look for future more versions that stretch the performance envelope.
Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (n.a.); emergency braking (n.a.); pedestrian detection (n.a.)
L/100 km (city/hwy): 15.0/9.0 (est.); Base price (incl. destination): $70,000
Porsche 718 Cayman
Base price: $65,200
Midengine coupe (and 718 Boxster) has a base 300- h.p. turbo four-cylinder.
Jaguar F-Type coupe
Base price: $73,200
Coupe and roadster offer four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines with up to 575 h.p.
Toyota GR Supra
Base price: $66,750
2020 coupe is slick and quick. BMW Z4 roadster uses the same platform.
If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!
-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media
Instagram is testing paid subscriptions with a small group of creators – The Verge
US Instagram users will soon be able to subscribe to a small number of creators and influencers to access exclusive content and features. In a blog post, the company says it’s launching a test of subscriptions today, with more creators being added in the coming weeks.
Fans will pay a monthly fee to access subscriber-only content from creators they follow, like exclusive Lives and Stories. Subscribers will also get a purple badge by their username that signals their status to the creator. Price tiers will range from $0.99 to $99.99 per month, and creators can select the price point for their subscriptions. Co-head of product Ashley Yuki told TechCrunch that Instagram will not take a cut of creators’ subscription revenues “until at least 2023.”
Ten creators are part of the early test, including basketball player Sedona Prince, Olympian Jordan Chiles, and astrologer Aliza Kelly.
“I’m excited to keep building tools for creators to make a living doing creative work and to put these tools in more creators’ hands soon,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, which owns Instagram, wrote in a Facebook post. Facebook also has its own version of a subscription program for creators.
In a video today, Instagram head Adam Mosseri says subscriptions are “one of the best ways” for influencers and creators to have a predictable income. Some creators have already been monetizing Instagram features like Close Friends by charging fans a fee off-platform for access to Stories. Instagram and Facebook aren’t the only companies to roll out subscription models to compete with platforms like TikTok; in 2021, Twitter introduced Super Follows, and some creators offer additional subscriber content off-platform on Patreon or Substack.
Xiaomi 11T Pro with Snapdragon 888 and 120W charging launched in India – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
The Xiaomi 11T Pro was unveiled last September and is powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC. It runs Android 11-based MIUI 12.5 out of the box without any ads, and Xiaomi has promised to provide three years of Android and four years of security updates to the smartphone.
The 11T Pro is built around a 6.67″ FullHD+ 120Hz AMOLED screen with Dolby Vision support and Gorilla Glass Victus protection. The display has a punch hole in the center for the 16MP selfie camera but doesn’t have a fingerprint reader underneath. That’s because Xiaomi embedded it to the power button located on the right side of the smartphone.
Around the back, we have a camera system comprising 108MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, and 5MP telemacro units.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro ships with a 5,000 mAh battery with 120W charging, and Xiaomi has bundled the compatible 120W adapter with the smartphone, which is advertised to fill the cell from flat to 100% in 17 minutes.
The rest of the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s highlights include 5G connectivity, USB-C, NFC, stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support, Hi-Res Audio certification, and audio tuning by Harman Kardon.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro comes in Meteorite Black, Moonlight White, and Celestial Blue colors and has three memory options – 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, and 12GB/256GB priced at INR39,999 ($535/€475), INR41,999 ($565/€500), and INR43,999 ($590/€520), respectively. However, those who purchase the smartphone using their Citi Bank credit card are eligible for a discount of INR5,000 ($65/€60).
The 11T Pro is already available for purchase in India through Xiaomi’s official Indian website, Amazon.in, Mi Home, and retail outlets.
You can read our Xiaomi 11T Pro in-depth review here to learn more about it, or watch the video review linked below.
Samsung unveils Exynos 2200 chip with Xclipse graphics based on AMD RDNA 2 – MobileSyrup
Samsung announced its latest mobile processor, the Exynos 2200, sporting a new graphics processing unit (GPU) using AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture dubbed ‘Xclipse.’
Samsung has teased plans to include AMD graphics tech in its mobile chips for a while now, and in June 2021 announced that its upcoming Exynos chip would offer ray-tracing capabilities. The Exynos 2200 delivers on that promise with hardware-accelerated ray tracing in Xclipse.
Ray tracing, for those unfamiliar with the tech, attempts to simulate how light physically behaves. In video games, ray tracing can help produce more realistic-looking lighting effects, including light that can bounce off reflective surfaces. However, so far ray tracing has proven to be difficult for GPUs to handle and often brings a significant performance hit compared to other lighting solutions.
Still, it’s impressive to see the technology come to mobile chips. It’ll be interesting to see how well it works in practice. Moreover, Samsung shared this surprisingly weird video touting the capabilities of the Exynos 2200 GPU:
Aside from the benefits of AMD RDNA 2 and ray tracing in Xclipse, the Exynos 2200 chip sports other benefits. Samsung says the chip uses a 4nm extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) process and is one of the first in the mark to integrate Arm’s latest ARMv9 CPU cores. The ARMv9 cores offer a significant improvement over ARMv8 in both performance and security.
Specifically, the octa-core Exynos 2200 sports a tri-cluster structure with a single ARM Cortex-X2 core, three performance and efficiency balanced Cortex-A710 ‘big cores’ and four power-efficient Cortex-A510 ‘little cores.’
Exynos 2200 also support powerful on-device artificial intelligence (AI) thanks to an upgraded neural processing unit (NPU) and both sub-6 and mmWave 5G through an improved modem.
Finally, Samsung touted the chip’s image signal processor (ISP), which has a redesigned architecture that supports resolutions of up to 200 megapixels. When recording video at 30fps, the ISP supports up to 108 megapixels in single camera mode and 64+36 megapixels in dual camera mode. The ISP can connect up to seven individual image sensors and drive four sensors simultaneously for multi-camera set-ups. The ISP also supports up to 4K HDR or 8K recording.
While the Exynos 2200 certainly sounds impressive, Canadians might not get to try it out. Samsung typically launches its flagship phones in Canada with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips instead of its own Exynos (usually, Exynos chips power Samsung devices outside of North America). Of course, we won’t know for certain until devices rocking the Exynos 2200 release — for now, though, it’s probably safe to assume we won’t get those devices in Canada.
Those interested in learning more about the Exynos 2200 can check out all the details on Samsung’s website.
Image credit: Samsung
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