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/
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.
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.
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.
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,