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:
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.
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.
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...
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.
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’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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I saw my first one in person. Didn't love it. They should have used more Ferrari influences and less Camaro influences, and it sounded anemic? I dunno. I was slowly passing him in my 4runner, speed limit 45, he kept gunning it? Made me chuckle.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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%..