The National Corvette Museum (NCM) isn’t just getting one C8 Corvette, or two, or three. The NCM Motorsports Park currently has seven mid-engined Corvettes on order, and they’re already built waiting to ship to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the museum calls home. When they finally do arrive, they won’t be prissy showroom-only machines; they’ll be put to work as part of the Corvette Touring Laps drive program.
For $299, anybody aged 18 years or older with a driver’s license can sign up for a test drive at the NCM’s technical track. The road course is 3.2 miles long, and each participant will drive in a lead-follow format for four laps. Passengers are also allowed, but they must be 14 years or older.
Those willing to pay the price will get behind the wheel of a car with a 6.2-liter V8, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, rear-wheel drive, Brembo brakes, and a limited-slip differential. Chevrolet claims the C8 makes 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It is capable of ripping to 60 mph from a standstill in less than three seconds, and it has a top speed of 194 mph, though customers shouldn’t expect to get anywhere close to that speed behind an instructor on a track with 23 turns. That shouldn’t make it any less fun, as we found in our recent C8 first drive.
If $299 isn’t already too expensive of a proposition, the NCM also offers a full-fledge Corvette Experience. In addition to driving a C8 Z51, which has a sports suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, customers get classroom instruction, lunch, and a VIP tour of the museum. That program is more than double the price at $799. The NCM isn’t sure exactly when it will take deliveries of the Corvettes, but production started in early February, 2020, so it shouldn’t be too long.
Note, this is not the only way to drive a C8 without owning one, and it’s not the only location in the country, either. A company called Xtreme Xperience, a traveling drive program company that specializes in supercar track days, is also offering a C8 Z51 program for $299, but it’s limited to three laps instead of four. Xtreme Xperience offers track days across the United States in a number of cities.