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Grace
Hagerty Employee

Vellum Venom: 2020 Corvette Stingray (C8)

My time on the road with the C8 Corvette had moments of thrilling acceleration, fantastic dynamics, impressive ride quality, and a sense of engineering superiority wrapped in an appealing asking price. There's no doubt the mid-engine Corvette honors Zora’s engineering legacy, but the new blueprint also inspired a change in style that represents an even stronger break from tradition than the change in engine placement. A dose of the unconventional is a good thing—if executed correctly. After we run the vellum over the 2020 Corvette, give us your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/vellum-venom/vellum-venom-2020-corvette-stingray-c8/

14 REPLIES 14
Germanicus
Intermediate Driver

Thank you Sajeev for providing your expertise to help me understand why the C8's styling is such a mess. I had felt that the C8's design was fine, if fussy, until the B-pillar where things fell apart. Yet I couldn't quite put my finger on why it provoked that reaction from me. Then I read your article, saw the biggest DLO FAIL of all time, and it all clicked.

 

Another big problem in my eyes is that design couldn't rise to the challenge of integrating the C8's cooling. The C8 doesn't wear its ducts proudly like a 911 GT3 RS does, nor is it gracefully integrated like it is on a McLaren 720S.

 

I wish that the Corvette team had looked to the C3, or the widebody C6 for inspiration here. The design of those cars projected grace and power whereas the C8 recalls the phrase "design by committee."

 

Have you and Hagerty considered making Vellum Venom a video series? I feel like this content would translate well to video, and it would get your great perspective to a wider audience. And the economics make sense too. All the people that would've been bloggers 10-20 years ago are now on YouTube because ad revenue for the written word is in the gutter. For example, Gamers Nexus, a PC hardware site I support, has said that they are a YouTube-first outlet because of the money whereas their predecessor for the best in the business, AnandTech, was a text-only outlet. If Hagerty can get Jay Leno and Chip Foose, surely they can pay for a video producer to work with you.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Thanks for your reply and your kind words, Germanicus.  I have occasionally thought about this, it is doable but would require me to have these cars for a lot longer (these aren't press cars) as I'd need to polish my thoughts beforehand, instead of at the computer as I story board the photographs.  I will discuss internally with the Hagerty Media team. 

Germanicus
Intermediate Driver

I understand where you're coming from there. Video requires a lot of investment, both in resources and knowledge, even if Hagerty has people you can lean on to make that happen. While I get the sense that Hagerty is very willing to support its sparkling new Media arm through their primary business - much like how AWS pays the bills for Amazon's e-commerce strategy - I would like to help make life a little easier for y'all with the money people. The world is a different place today than it was during the heyday of a certain truth-telling car site. One last suggestion for the Vellum Venom series: the Lexus LC500. I still turn my head every time I see an LC500, even after having seen a few around in Florida because it's a Corvette alternative for the older gentleman who thinks a Corvette is a little too "bad cologne and Golden Corral" for him. What a gorgeous car.
Sajeev
Community Manager

I am having the conversation now and am trying to wrap my head around how I come up with things to say "on the fly" when a camera is in my face.  I do appreciate you kick starting this for us, that's for sure. 


I kinda love the LC, that's a good suggestion.  

Grace
Hagerty Employee

I'm with you on wishing for potential C3 and C6 widebody influences, but I have to admire how the C7 paved the way for the C8. I don't think the C8 would have generated nearly as much positive feedback if we hadn't had the more angular (vs. previous gens) C7 to help us transition, visually.
Mitchb65
Passenger

Sanjeev, one thing you apparently did not learn in design school is relativity. Most of us realize and give the C8 designers credit for taking on such a monumental task. Do I like some of the current Ferrari and Italian Super cars design lines better? Yes. Would I rather have a one? Realistically, No since they cost multiples of the C8. Although there are some used ones that are only twice as much or so as a C8, there is usually no warranty remaining and the maintenance costs are also overwhelming (thousands of dollars for oil changes and 5 figures for spark plug replacement). Those cars are for a different market. Apples to Caviar. I have no problem with foreign cars as I have and currently own several, but the practical ones, not the impractical exotics.

Could the designers have made the C8 look more like a Ferrari? Yes. Should they have? No. It had to be a difficult job for them to have it not look like an Italian car to lose the unique Corvette character and therefore customer and fan base. I love the unique and bold edges and creases. I loved them on past generation Cadillacs and am disappointed to see them soften so much on the latest models. 
The Corvette is for red blooded Americans that grew up loving American muscle and sport cars and their unique styles that scream Proud to be an American! Correction: Many in the rest of the world, including the younger 911 crowd, have also voted the C8 a winner. Many changing teams and placing orders site unseen. When I went to the dealership to preview the C8 on tour, I chatted with one of the hundreds of fans there in line for hours that was an owner of many high end Porsche and European sports cars who had already placed his C8 order.

Speaking of 911, I love the design, but they chose to conservatively not change it very much in over 6 decades - I respect that, but it’s also a much easier design path. The Corvettes bold change to mid engine obviously required total redesign with many challenges, of which was to keep weekend trip luggage space for two in a super car like body - none of the Italians have ever had. 

The world thinks Chevy knocked it out of the park with the C8 design, and you try to justify your existence and job by nit-picking every little thing you can possibly identify. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, just overwhelmingly outvoted. I tried to google your design experience, but had no results. Sorry if mistaken, but apparently not any, or of enough significance to be published or have an article written about. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you have designed some nice cars or at least details of, and have taught design theory, but have you had anything actually produced and driving on the road today? Made of anything more substantial than clay? You come across like one of those college professors that are highly educated but with no practical, real world experience -  pompously overstating your microscopic views in a form of mental masturbation. Those that can, do. Those that can’t, like you, criticize those that do. There is definitely room for improvement with the C8, and most of us are greatly looking forward to its evolution as we admire or even drive this internationally award winning first version.

Have a nice day,

Mitch
Sajeev
Community Manager

Mitch, 

 

Thanks for your comments and feedback, but I don't want the C8 to look like a foreign sports car. I want them to clean up the number of lines used, remove the fake side glass (DLO FAIL) and eventually shrink the rear end so it doesn't have to carry a targa roof and/or golf clubs. Those traits may be inherent in foreign sports cars, but that doesn't make anything "look" like a Ferrari or any other European sports car.  That said, let's also keep in mind that the Corvette's history is deeply rooted in being an American take on European sports cars (originally British roadsters), so there's nothing wrong with any influences. 

 

I do apologize for the miscommunications in my intentions for the design, and do note my name is Sajeev and not Sanjeev. Thanks! 

DoctorV8
New Driver

Mitch, Sajeev is hardly alone in his design criticism of the C8. It's a fantastic driving machine ( I own one) and is equal in many ways to the Europeans that it destroys in the bang/buck comparison. But it is possible to have luggage space without the hideous rear end of the C8. You're right, the Italians haven't built a mid engined car with luggage for two, but the Brits have...just look at the McLaren 720s (or their new GT model if you don't pack light.)

 

Arisalena
Passenger

I really love the design of the new C8. A lot. Are there some things that could have been done better? Maybe. 
However, I feel like this article only focuses on the negatives. So many small negatives. Chevrolet did an AMAZING job with this car, all while keeping this car at 60k.

 

I also agree with Mitch. This car is amazing for the price tag because so many people can not fathom spending hundreds of thousands on a super car. Well, Chevy went and did it and kept the price down. 
I have read article after article that referred to this car as competing with some of the best, Ferrari, Porsche, and many others. 

This is Chevrolet’s first “super car.” As many have said they stuck the landing and it’s an absolute powerful one at that. They’ve shown that super cars don’t have to cost 200k+. 
For their first super car, it’s a really good one. 

Thanks for the interesting perspective. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Thank you for reading it.  All I really wanted was to give that perspective.  

Bswanny
New Driver

Is this sponsored content by GM? Couldnt find the disclaimer 

OldRoad
Advanced Driver

Does the C8 perform on track competition? 24hrs Daytona says "NO"

Jake
Pit Crew

I disagree.  The 24 hour race was the first time competing on a track for the C8.  The second race at Daytona in July suggests otherwise, after the Corvette got a fair shake on the BOP.  Let's see how it goes this weekend at Sebring.

iamwho2k
Pit Crew

Two things come to mind.

1. Designers really need to know when to put down the pencil. Especially since this is the base model; add the exterior nonsense for higher-end models. 

2. Not a fan of the C8's design, not a fan of black, either, but black would hide a lot of the fussy details.