No. 1006
July 24, 2019
 

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Memo to GM's True Believers: Well done!

I was nearly as anxious to hear your review of the C8 as the reveal itself and neither disappointed. While a I agree some elements wiggle the ‘too busy’ meter, and the rear is too familiar (in a 'looks too much like the ass of the ugly/plasticky Camaro'), the final product is nothing short of spectacular. Some of my faith in GM design is restored (still can't hide that hideous full size truck line) and this Blue Oval fan would happily plunk down $60K for this over a Shelby. Well done!

Tony W. 
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania 

 

Well done, Part II.

I totally agree with your assessment of the new Corvette. Having worked at a Corvette-exclusive body shop in college and after owning a multitude of early Corvettes, including three split windows, this is the first new one I will purchase. My reservation is in and I’ve already spoken with my concierge. Well done GM.

Mark Furrer
Sunset Hills, Missouri

 

The End of the Dream.

I was born in mid-40s Detroit and grew up totally immersed in the 50s and 60s halcyon days that are often recounted in AE Rants. The majority of my life saw no domestic automobile more rumored, speculated, fantasized, anticipated and predicted than a mid-engine Corvette. At sixty years and counting, a mid-engine Corvette was still the wet dream of at least three generations of Chevy and Corvette cognoscenti… the object of a blind lust.

Now it’s here, and there’s nothing to dream about anymore. There’s a sadness. We were in love with the dream.

Mid-engine itself in 2020 is no longer standout, separate from the crowd or awe inspiring. Mid-engine two passenger is simply lost in the crowd with a pricey ticket to sit in the bleachers. For the aging Corvette-affording legacy demographic, GM has been dangling a mid-engine platform fantasy for so long that this day is almost akin to an attempt at resurrecting Dinah Shore or PowerGlide. (Remember, the original ‘53 Corvette was exclusively PowerGlide equipped!) Too much competing techno razzle dazzle and social engineering compels today’s target demographc: powertrain electrification, ride sharing, satellite enabled autonomous navigation and piloting, lifesaving collision avoidance and crashworthiness, muscular off roadedness, etc.. Interestingly, none other than Bob Lutz offered nearly this same observation in a recent Automotive News interview. He went on to expound views similar to yours for expanding the Corvette brand. Frankly, I was amazed at the level of millennial punditry at the reveal anticipating near future hybrid and/or pure electric versions of the C8.

Will the True Believers’ mid -engine halo product turn into a fiscal crown of thorns to be worn by GM finance staffers? No. There’s too much priceless engineering and development investment that is transferable to most future GM product. Are there enough legacy prospects left to buy C8s in sufficient numbers to satisfy the finance staff? No. This is where Brand Wrangling is critical.

Let’s give some credit where it might be due. Hopefully the Brand Wranglers passed on a cable TV promo mini series featuring a pair of Buzz and Tod millennials traveling coast to coast on Historic Route 66 in a C8 prototype fuel cell Corvolt. They cross The Land That Time Forgot conjuring up green Dystopian fantasies, their hydrogen charging station adventures broadcast in real time by OnStar.

The triumph of a 2020 mid-engine ICE Corvette has to be the four year stealth take down of many veteran holdover Chapter 11 mindset bean counters by Tadge and the Chevrolet True Believers. As a fitting tribute, I hope their private memorial service was held in a quiet wind swept cemetery Somewhere West of Laramie.

In the broad context of our jaded society’s woke accusations against automobiles and their makers, the optics of an ICE mid-engine Corvette are problematic for today’s GM. Sadly, the merits of this heroically evolved and magnificently engineered automobile may stand or fall more on how it fits into a Green New Deal than how it fits in your garage. It might even be banned simply for warming your heart. That would not be what what we waited for.


Dr. John 
Phoenix, Arizona

 

From the "Big Ass V8" File.

Is that a picture with two Chaparral 2Es? Jim Hall and Phil Hill driving their 2Es (in Fumes). OMG, THAT is one hell of a great picture… all those drivers, all those legends and… hehehe… those WINGS! When my parents redid my bedroom they put up wallpaper with race cars... yep… Chaparrals and Lotuses.. you got it.

Jim Clark… sad. Clark, Eddy Merckx, Phil Hill; the heroes of my boyhood.

The new Vette is awesome but it will always be tagged as “too cheap” by the “cognoscenti” who are elitist assholes anyhow. Ferrari can sell a POS for a million bucks, something that won't run more than 2000 miles a year without a zillion lira to maintain, but Chevy, Toyota, Honda, can not sell a reliable, faster car for $100K. Such is life.

It is a nice car, a bit “too many lines” but I'm sure it will be a hoot to drive with that big ass V8.

TonyE Your
The OC