The Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray has made its official UK debut in right-hand drive form, ahead of the American supercar going on sale in the UK later this year.

The mid-engined model, which will be the first Corvette in the model’s 67-year history to officially be sold in right-hand-drive form, made its first public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It will be sold in coupé and convertible guises, via long-term UK Corvette importers Ian Allan Motors, with prices starting from £81,700 and £87,110 respectively.

The C8 will first reach the UK in Launch Edition trim with 16 different options split equally between the coupé and convertible versions. All models sold here will be equipped with the Z51 performance package and highly specified 2LT trim as standard. 

That means all European cars will gain a number of hardware upgrades over the base-spec US car, including manually adjustable suspension, larger brake discs, an electronic limited-slip differential, a shorter axle ratio, a performance exhaust system, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and an aerodynamically enhancing bodykit. 

Additional standard equipment fitted includes a head-up display, data recorder, sat-nav, 14-speaker Bose sound system, rear camera ‘mirror’ and heated, ventilated seats. 

The Launch Edition cars will also feature the higher 3LT trim and will include additional carbon styling elements on the spoiler, mirror, wheels and roof, along with upgraded seats. They will also benefit from a magnetic ride control system and bespoke design details that set them apart from the standard models. A front suspension lift, which raises the clearance of the car by 50mm, will be offered as an option.

The new C8 features a mid-engine layout – the first time for a Corvette – in a bid to take on European rivals such as Porsche and Ferrari.

Since the original version of the two-seater was launched in 1953, Corvettes have featured a front-engined, rear-drive layout – but the 495bhp 6.2-litre V8 in the new C8 machine is mounted behind the driver for the first time.

Mark Reuss, president of Chevrolet parent firm General Motors, said at last year’s launch: “The traditional front-engined vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout.” He added: “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history.”