That’s how it has come to pass that you can, for the first time, buy an official, factory-built, right-hand-drive Corvette sports car from GM Europe’s one and only nominated UK dealer: Ian Allan Motors of Virginia Water, Surrey.
This is a sports car unlike any other in the Corvette’s long back catalogue. Critically, it’s a Corvette without the front-mounted engine and transverse composite leaf spring suspension that have defined so much about so many previous generations.
It is a Corvette, mind you, that retains a removable Targa-style roof, a relatively affordable entry price and a big-hitting, big-hearted atmo V8 – albeit one mounted behind the cabin rather than in front of it.
And so, finally, for our biggest and most exhaustive road and track assessment, to find out exactly what this enigmatic American has gained, how it compares with established European rivals and what it has sacrificed on its way to becoming a truly global mid-engined sports car.
Range at a glance
All European-market C8s get the Z51 pack (uprated suspension, brakes and exhaust; electronic limited-slip differential and shortened axle ratio), which Chevrolet charges extra for elsewhere, as standard. 3LT models get a sportier sports seat, plus the option of more leather and microfibre suede in the cabin.
There are plenty of cost options even on upper-spec cars, among them machined-finish alloy wheels, carbonfibre body trim and a nose-lifter. There’s no word yet on a UK price for the forthcoming Corvette Z06 high-performance derivative.