Jason Fenske of YouTube channel Engineering Explained is already familiar with the mid-engine Corvette, having done the math to see how GM managed to deliver a relatively affordable mid-engine machine that performs like a supercar. In his latest video, Fenske tackles five oft-criticized aspects of the C8 Corvette for those that are still skeptical.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
Seems like sound reasoning, though I'll admit I don't own own and have never driven one. I'm surprised that some people are freaking out about the electronic brakes, considering how many mid-priced cars for over a decade have come with electronic throttle and/or power steering. Then there's current commercial jet airplanes...
I still want one. There are some people out there that are the "purist" type that are going to nit pick the C-8 to death because it is rear mid engine and not a front mid engine anymore. Get over it, Zora started pushing for a rear mid engine Corvette back around the time I was born, and was till pushing for it when he retired in 75. Do I love my C-3? Yes, and I would love to have a C-8 to park next to it. All I have to do is get rid of my wife.
Why cant everybody just buy the car and drive it I personally think its somebody settin in their cubical wishing they could afford that car. Dollar for Dollar its the best deal out there and when you stand on it it sounds like good old american horsepower not some 4 banger-6 banger eith a hair dryer connected to it and wont cost you a fortune to buy so just back off and let the Corvette do what it does best........ put a smile on your face knowing you still have cahsh in the bank!
I would prefer brake by wire with the pedal still attached to the master than throttle by wire where you might have difficulty convincing the computer to actually go to WOT. As for the understeer, it is safer for the uninitiated and easily balanced with a simple alignment with negative camber up front.
The underpinnings maybe world class...albeit a few missteps...but why did GM wrap the C8 exterior with an odd assortment of design elements that makes one wonder if the rear stylists had a beef with the front stylists...the interior group put an interior sea wall console between the driver and the passenger whom feels claustrophobic and neglected...GM should have included previous Corvette owners on their design teams as advisors...there are "styling traditions" that foreign manufacturers have fine tuned through generations that enhance the loyalty of owners with older models...I don't see the new C8 as "timeless styling"...not matter how proficient the C8 is as a "track rat" the bulk of Corvette pilots use their steed for driving enjoyment which requires comfortable seats and a rear window you can see out of...I do hope it sells well as I have been a Vette fan since 1966...but I would not trade my C2 for a C8...
Yes... that huge center console makes one think the designers were thinking “single position performance car!” That being said, I would gladly trade my C-5 for a new C-8!
Most mid engine cars have huge side bolsters to climb over to get in the car.
The Corvette engineers found a way to move that to the center of the car.
To me, it's a better idea.
Take a 20 year old Lamborghini Diablo (go look) then add some kitsch and lots of visual gimmicks (ala ‘80’s Firebird) and this is the look you get. A perfect car for old guys in Scottsdale that don’t know understeer from a Jersey cow.
I wonder why GM (and magazines) are still promoting sales of the C8 Corvettes? At least here in Canada all 2021(!) are already sold out. Bad production planning or intentional? And if you think GM Is just trying to entice customers into their show room. And then buy what, a truck instead? From now on, I just skip over any articles on the Corvette. For my own sanity. Just unobtaininum.
Mt wife and I are big fans of the new C8 Corvette. When we saw our first C8 Convertible at the January Barrett-Jackson auctions; we decided then and there it was time to sell our C2 Convertible and get something much newer. In torch red - of course!
Having owned three previous Corvettes, I realize lots of the "old school" types will not buy the new C8 and be resistant to change. But it was that way when the "new" C5 and C7 Corvettes were introduced as well. Corvette history is simply repeating itself.
I’m, the C5 and C7 models still had proper MANUAL transmissions, which meant you had to drive them;
this amalgamation from the Camaro parts bin (a model rumoured to be rendered extinct in future) drives you;
it’s not that we’re resistant to change;
we just don’t like being taken for a ride;
I did chuckle a bit when I saw in the first paragraph that "five oft-criticized aspects" would be addressed, but then found that the two most-criticized aspects (the exterior and the interior) weren't.
I'm not sure how many of those things mentioned are flaws. If there was a design element that's deserving of ridicule, it would be the choppy looks of the front and rear. Smooth it out and make it more graceful. Then you would have performance as well as looks. Its probably coming down the road, but they had to start somewhere.
As a Shelby Cobra dealer (ClassicCobra.com), I have to hand it to GM. Their engineers have done an admirable job with the C8. Chassis tuning variables are plentiful. For example, spanner wrench adjustment of coil over suspension (+ or - 20 mm) allows for fine tuning of ride height. This has been a feature of Shelby Cobras since 1965. Over the past 20+ years, we've found that the majority of Cobra owners forget they own a spanner, once the chassis is tuned properly and the car is dialed in.
They had similar problems on the 2013 C6 LS7. Spun bearings, bad valve guides, took a while for GM to get it sorted out. GM never issued a recall, so you had to hope that if it was going to go, it would go under warranty. When I was shopping, I intentionally looked for one that had already had the engine replaced. That was the only way to be sure you wouldn't end up paying for a new engine. Ended up with a 427 Heritage Convertible that had new engine, dry sump, and complete intake/FI, only 6,000 miles. That one was covered under warranty, but there were lawsuits about those not covered.
Funny; I think the only flaw that matters is: NO CLUTCH PEDAL!
This puts it completely off the table as a true enthusiast car. And being a couple of tenths slower doesn’t matter to those that truly understand the joy of driving a manual. It is a skill that makes driving much more rewarding.
What it needs is what the other supercars in the world have -- what Jeremy Clarkson used to call the "flappy paddle gearbox." They shift faster and cleaner than any manual, and still allow gear selection control to be with the driver more than the usual automatic.
The one thing you cannot overcome is it's heritage: Government Motors, taxpayer funded, waste of the taxpayers money. The banks, GM, Chrysler, none of them were worth saving!
Daveott3, that’s pretty close minded. Just think of all the hundred thousand jobs that were saved between GM and ALL their suppliers. You may dislike GM and Chrysler but many of the suppliers families would have had to go on Food Stamps and Unemployment that happened to be Ford people.
Remember: GM PAID BACK THE GOVERNMENT IN FULL PLUS INTEREST! Thank-You, President Obama
None of those issues seem like issues to me. Brake by wire seems like a great thing. I have't had the good luck to have a chance of driving one yet but the people I do know driving them haven't complained about the brake by wire. Braking distance is also a factor of higher car weight. It takes more distance to stop a car that is heavier. Programming in some understeer seems to be a prudent thing that GM decided to do. Most driver's can't handle a tail happy car or drive on as fast as an understeering car. The last thing GM needed was a bunch of inexperienced drivers spinning their cars off the road and getting another unsafe at any speed disaster with their signature car.
The comments about the pushrods are old and have been demonstrated to be wrong time after time over the last 23 years of the C5 through C7 generations. The pushrod engines provide for a small low weight package that produces more HP per unit volume than any other engine in the world. Sure a Dual OHC Cam engine will have more power per unit of measure of the cylinders but in the grand scheme of things that doesn't help much if you can't get the engine in the car because it is too big. I knew several people who swapped LS1s into their Turbo'd 944s. They got twice the HP with an engine that only weighed 40 lbs more (offset by moving it backwards in the car a few inches) and let them run track sessions without spending their off track time working on the engine.
Then of course we have the complaints about the All Season Tires. The truth is this was a very smart move by GM. The vast majority of C7 owners removed the tires the cars were shipped with and installed lower performance, higher mileage tires that worked better when driving on the streets and highways in all sorts of weather conditions. The track dogs will still change the rims to a different size and go their own way when it comes to track tires so it doesn't really matter from their standpoint.
1. It is made by GM. Whoever you are, you probably have a compelling reason not to support GM.
2. After almost 60 years of mid-engined Corvette styling teases, the design is far from compelling. The interior is no better.
3. No available manual transmission.
4. Less practicality than any Corvette since the C3 received a hatchback.
5. Dealers who each bought several unwanted C7s just for the opportunity to gouge C8 buyers.
Any comments about how to get in & out of a C8? As a spry 6' senior citizen that has owned 4 Vettes, several exotics, and now back to German sports cars, I tried to get in a C8, but would have never gotten out. It would have taken a winch to get out. I was at the Carlisle Vette show last year and saw a 6'3" young man get into the spider. His head was sticking above the windshield frame. A C8 just sold at the Indy Mecum auction for $92K+ 10%..
If I had the good fortune to get a C8 with the Z51 package I'd definitely replace the summer only tires with all seasons. Winters in Kentucky are cold, but with very little snow, so it would be a year round driver.
Also glad that standard transmissions are sinking into oblivion.
I have never wanted a Corvette until the C8, it is the first time I ever said, "I really want one of those" And honestly it is the ONLY GM car for me to think that way right now. I do not like the styling of anything else GM makes.
I’ve got a blue Ford oval tattooed on my heart and I’ll say this...good job, GM.
“Flaws”?...You’re all splitting hairs here. They built a car with the street, race track and idiot drivers in mind. Tall order building a streetable race car for dummies. Pretty good compromise for $72K methinks. As for the “All Season Tires”...if you can afford $72k, you can afford better, different tires.
Being a traditionalist, I was disappointed with the outward appearance being too super car-Lambo-ish for my taste. I know, I know...it’s a mid-engine...but still give me some good old styling cues.
These cars have been around forever and I hope they’ll be around for much longer. They’re an American Classic, an icon and a symbol and cornerstone of our automotive history.
Tip o’ the hat
Another poor planning and execution by GM. GM has zero talent reading the market. C8 should not pretend to be a Corvette replacement. it is a nice and capable car and an excellent value. however, a competent OEM would have kept the front engine corvette in addition to C8. it is a different market segment with its own buyers.
Not mentioned in any of the comments, but surprising from Jason, is the boiling brake fluid thing. When Brake fluid boils, it VAPORIZES- turns into brake fluid GAS. After cooling down, the fluid condenses and there are no more bubbles in the system. This means that you do NOT have to bleed the brakes afterwards! (Maybe Jason was just trying to make it simple for non-gearheads?)
anyone who dismissed the new C8 out of hand hasn't been paying attention to the number of wins at LeMans Corvette has in the last 15 years...like our friend CJinSD, who I suspect hasn't driven one...but who knows for sure?
People who have.
should’ve started with the first, biggest and insurmountable flaw...no manual transmission;
that removes it entirely from the realm of sports cars into a four-wheel video game;
no excuse for it;
RIP Corvette, 1953-2019;
The fact that you have to pull out the motor and trans to change accessory belts is a MAJOR SCREW UP not mentioned here leaves me out. I've owned 7 corvettes I'm not interested in this one.