With each new Chevrolet Corvette, America’s sports car of record, the enthusiast’s imagination is stirred afresh. But the latest iteration, the C8—that’s eight as in eighth generation, the first Corvette, the C1, having been released in 1953—is easily the most thought-provoking yet.

The headline news is that, last year, after spending the better part of six decades as an unabashed exemplar of the old school—genus front-engine brute-icus—the ’Vette finally saw its potent V-8 tucked behind its driver and ahead of its large rear wheels, making it, as they say in car world, mid-engine.