Corvette Interior Designer Tristen Murphy Discusses the C8’s Interior Design


Corvette Interior Designer Tristen Murphy Discusses the C8's Interior Design

One of the most controversial aspects of the new mid-engine Corvette is the long vertical line of buttons on the center console.

But before you get too critical of the interior designers for their latest effort on the 2020 Stingray, take a listen to design manager Tristan Murphy who spoke with because there is definitely sound logic behind the new look.

“The whole point of [getting] that engine behind you is it allows you to have a much lower cowl…you no longer have to sit above the engine, and you can get these really great sightlines,” Murphy said. “And that’s what a mid-engine car does. The last thing we want to do was have this amazing downvision, then have this typical tall instrument panel. It was about, how do we change the game and how do we reconstruct a dashboard here to be as low and as thin as possible? That was the mission statement of the whole car.”

Designers didn’t just pull the new look out of their hats one day.

Corvette Interior Designer Tristen Murphy Discusses the C8's Interior Design

Murphy says they discussed the interior for months among each other and used design reviews and clay models to help them come up with the final look, not to mention sitting in impressive competitors like LaFerraris, Porsche 918s, and McLarens to get a feel for what it’s like to be in the cockpit of a million-dollar vehicle.

“Obviously, these are million-dollar hypercars,” Murphy said. “But you just get in and it feels special, right? So that was the whole thing: how do we make [the C8] feel special?”

Personally, we think they nailed it with the whole interior, including the debut of the thinnest air vents in the world.

“We’re 19 millimeters tall, and we had to invent that. Then we had to do a brand new HVAC system that controls that velocity [at that vent height]. Normal vents are usually about 36 to 40 millimeters tall, but every single millimeter that goes up the instrument panel, the dash has to go along, right?”

Designers could have just moved the row of HVAC buttons to the touchscreen, but Murphy says they quickly nixed that idea because it would be “really annoying” to have to search through these controls buried beneath layers of other information.

The whole idea was to make the C8 make the driver feel like he or she was in a fighter jet cockpit.

Corvette Interior Designer Tristen Murphy Discusses the C8's Interior Design

“[Corvette designers] discussed very early, “Okay, how do we remove off the center line and still have some hard controls?” Murphy said. “And that’s when we went to looking back at jet cockpits. These guys literally have controls wrapping around them.”

The final result, in the opinion of Murphy and his team, is a success.

“I never felt confined [by other departments],” he said. “If anything, we felt very intimidated…we need to still come in and surprise people. They need to get inside this thing and be like, ‘Holy —-.’


[VIDEO] Watch the West Coast Reveal of the 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible
[VIDEO] French Company Faurecia Makes the Interiors For Bugatti, Ferrari and Now the C8 Corvette
[VIDEO] The C7 Corvette Interior Design Seminar at the 2013 NCM Bash



  1. The interior was a deal breaker because it isolated the passenger too much. The passenger felt like they were in a side car. A total miss……Glad there’s a lot of single drivers that don’t require passenger approval.

  2. …only if the passenger literally has a painful ride would I consider not purchasing. I said consider.
    I’ve been on so many boat rides as a passenger where it appears that the driver has no clue just how painful the ride is for passengers.

  3. The comment I made is is a legitimate concern that I’m sure Chevrolet has heard from more than
    one person and perhaps the Hellcat
    is a better experience to be shared comfortably by both driver and passenger at present.

  4. When we saw the new C-8 in person, my wife commented when she sat down in the passenger seat that they had eliminated the second handle (left side, in the center console area of our C-7). So I guess she’ll be hanging on for dear life with both hands on the right side handle……LOLOL!!!!!!!!

  5. I don’t know what I hate more the silly buttons or that ridiculous looking steering wheel.

  6. After the nightmare equinox and rattle steering column Malibu, last thing I want is a $80000 chevy

  7. I like it but they could have done better, a lot of the concept vettes look better, a billion dollar company not like they haven’t had the time or money

  8. @Dan Yes. There is an aux port (cig lighter) in the front trunk for the battery maintainer, and one inside under the dash on the passenger side for other things such as a radar detector, etc.
    I really liked the inside of the C-8 when I saw it. I was very impressed. It was like other exotics I had driven and had in the past. Well done GM.

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