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Official C8 Owners Manual, Build and Price, Visualizer, Pricing, and Ordering Information

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My C8 Drive: Day 1

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  • My C8 Drive: Day 1

    The C8 is terrifically TAME and the C8 is Fiercely FEROCIOUS! It’s all up to the driver.

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    Some of the C8’s we drove today.

    You pick your superlative, and driving the C8 is better than that, whether you just beat your golf handicap by five strokes; finished the most flavorful and tender steak you have ever had; sat on the best beach watching a wonderful sunrise; or just spent the day on a friend’s yacht going close haul in a stiff breeze. Driving the C8 is better than all of those and candidly, a hell of a lot easier than driving my superlative C7 Z06 was.

    I just completed GM’s “C8 FirstDrive” first day program. Thanks to my being a co-founder of the www.MidEngineCorvetteForum.com for that being the basis of my GM invite to this two-day program. We drove the C8‘s in the beautiful splendor of the Valley of Fire and on similar country roads not far from Las Vegas. It was a superlatively fun experience. Here’s one of today’s roads that we “exercised” the C8’s on.

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    Piloting a C8 is both a really friendly experience and a most satisfying one. Yet it is exhilarating — for it is as if your driving skills just got improved. It is so comfortable, yet so capable too. And yet a silver lining of the strike, the cars we are driving now have some improved software/system refinements since six months ago when the first reviewers evaluated them, i.e., some of the DCT, ECU, steering, braking, and suspension software systems have been refined since the C8’s first media tests six months ago. The strike’s extra two months of C8 development had so many downsides, yet had one silver lining!

    I must admit that I have never driven a mid engine before, so I am not capable of making a comparison to driving other ME exotics. I do however, have over 2,000,000 miles of driving all kinds of vehicles, including over 250,000 miles of very spirited, curvy, country cornering front engined Corvettes and other sports cars blasting down scenic, isolated, and mostly-mountainous roads.

    When at last August’s NCM 25th Anniversary Event, I individually approached ten of the top members of the Corvette team and asked them, “what is the ONE thing you enjoy most, surprised you most in a positive way about the C8?” Every single one responded identically, saying “it’s the driving experience.” They were so right!

    Driving a C8 is totally instinctive. It is so much easier to consequently have your driving be much more precise. Coupled with the far better forward visibility, you can carve country corner apex’s close to perfectly (and I am far from a competitive racer). Again, I can’t wait to get onto the track tomorrow at Spring Mountain. Just driving today around in either a calm or a very spirited pace, you get to concentrate on the minutiae of setting up your car for each corner — WITHOUT YOUR EVEN REALIZING YOU ARE DOING THAT for your eyes, brain, hands and feet are all together around the center of gravity all together; thus you and the car are so easily coordinated without your thinking about what you are doing. At the same time, especially for those of us who have always driven a manual trans before (me owning 53 vehicles in a row), you are the furthest from being bored, instead feeling, “so this is how easy driving such a fast sports car can be.” We learned in our first educational session today that Harlan drives his C8’s DCT exclusively in manual Trans mode. Even today my first day, with the exception of returning to rush hour traffic on Las Vegas Blvd, I was 80% in manual mode — and once I really get used to C8 , I will be living in manual trans mode too. I also love that you can easily and on the fly change the “quickness” of the DCT’s shifts through the driving mode control. Want you trans shifts to be butter smooth to the point you do not feel them, you can do that; or if you instead want to be jerked into your seat as you hammer the throttle with the trans set for quickest shifts possible, you can choose that too.

    Steering is easy (love the squircle wheel for its functionality and its looks), braking is progressive and super easy to modulate, and shifting is faster than a speeding bullet if you set it up that way, for full acceleration is almost neck-whiplash-inducing. For those who have never gone faster than 0 to 60 MPH in under 3.0 seconds before, you are in for such a treat!

    Being repetitive with some other previous C8 evaluator’s comments, I am glad I was in the driving position most of the time, not just because I love to drive but because that is THE SEAT that controls the car. You make almost 100% of the decisions! While your passenger does choose their seat heat and cooling settings, fan speed, and their cabin’s temperature, but beyond that, well one is going to need a six foot crow bar to ever again get me into the passenger seat. Today I also spent some time in the passenger seat, and even there are some really nice enhancements over the C7 and all earlier Corvettes. First there is the much better view out the front, and second coupled with the rear camera mirror for 2/3 LT’s, BOTH the driver and the passenger easily see what is DIRECTLY BEHIND THE CAR AND EVEN SOMEWHAT TO ITS SIDE. For those who have read that it takes a while to “get used to” seeing out the rear camera mirror, neither I not CorvetteBlogger took more than a few seconds to LOVE and totally adjust to that view. The only negative is if the sun is low in the sky and directly behind you, you can get a little glare in the camera mirror. When that happened for a short time, I just changed the mirror to its traditional view — but as soon as I changed direction, immediately flipped the small switch and moved back to the rear camera mirror’s view.

    I did not feel cramped in passenger side of the car inthe slightest, but I am not large at 5’11” at 160 pounds. However, as discussed before, if you have some things you wish to bring into the cabin with you, if you have a passenger you are going to be limited to a cell phone, sun glasses, and a pretty smallish purse or camera bag — the latter two if the passenger is willing to share the footwell with that item (though the footwell is larger front-to-back deeper than the C7’s). True if one of the two people in the car is shorter than average, you would have about an additional 5” inches of room for “squishables” (jackets, hats and similar) behind a seat(s).

    There were many different C8 versions for each of us to drive today, but once you started with one, you finished the day in that one. Since I am getting a 3LT Z51, I chose that one; the beautiful Blade Silver I drove came with the competition seats. I am not only medium sized, and with just a 34” waist and commensurate sized hips, even with the Comp seats adjustable seat bolsters as wide as they could go, I felt more than the amount of side pressure on my hips than I wanted, so again please try the comp seats before you order them. Conversely, and this is the first time I sat in a GT1 seat, there are so wonderfully spacious and comfortable. So friendly. The interim GT2 seats are just as comfortable but do have some bigger side bolsters than the GT1’s, to also provide greater and additional cornering stability to hold you in your seat.

    Overall impressions: The C8 that GM created proves that the mid engine Corvette can be both such a comfortable touring car and yet is such an incredibly-capable sports car. The one word I used to describe my driving day was, over and over, its total “stability.” Finally, inside the car was so quiet (except when you wanted your exhaust loud), and for those who had even one once of concern about it being either too noisy with the engine right behind you, or one ounce of concern about of its being to hot inside the car, throw those two concerns completely out the window.

    To be able to track the C8 tomorrow, well is this a world class dream I am having?

    For those who are thinking my review is a whitewash, you sure will not once you drive yours.

    ​​​​Here is my day 2 C8 experience: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...c8-drive-day-2

    Again, I CAN’T WAIT FOR SPRING MOUNTAIN C8 DRIVING DAY TOMORROW!

    Last edited by John; 02-21-2020, 10:03 AM.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards. Separately getting from my dealer RCC Edge Red engine cover, 5JR vis CF mirror caps, and VJR illuminated sill plates.

    Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Thanks John. Great Report on the C8.
    2020 Torch Red 2LT Z51 FE4 - Status 3000 - TPW ?

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    • #3
      Congrats John. Great write up.

      Are the HTCs available to drive?

      Would really interested in comparison to the Coupe.

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      • #4
        Great read, John as I eagerly await my build date. I hope to have my driving experience soon, too.
        Vin # 2539
        Torch Red LT2 Z51

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        • #5
          CONGRATS JOHN!! Your excitement is coming through your post. What a terrific experience!! I have a longer wait than most, but the enthusiasm you have is keeping a BIG smile on my face. Have fun tomorrow!!
          Blade Silver Metallic, Z51, Convertible, 3LT.

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          • #6
            Thank you sir, waiting to hear more from you and the team.
            Mesa, AZ.
            AYM, 3LT, Z51, 5VM (via ACS Composite), 5ZC, FE4, RCC

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            • #7
              Touché, John!

              Bill
              GD0 Accelerate Yellow Metallic; 3LT; HUE Natural Napa Leather; AE4 Competition Sport Seats; FA5 CF Interior Trim; Z51; FE4 Mag Ride Suspension; E60 Front Lift; Q8Q CF Open Spoke Wheels; J6F BR Brembo Calipers; RCC ER Intake Cover; DTH CF Racing Stripes; ZZ3 Engine App Package; VQK Splash Guards; ERI Battery Protection; R8C Museum Delivery

              Proud LTM NCM.

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              • #8
                Thanks John. I enjoyed all your comments about your day today and am looking forward to your comments from tomorrows track day. Also hoping you might be able to get some track video. Thanks for sharing!
                2020 2LT G1E Long Beach Red,HUL Adrenaline Red,TU7 Two -Tone Seats,GT2 Seats,DRG,Q8Q Carbon Flash Whls,RXJ Black Stingray Logo,E60 Front Lift,FE4 Suspension,Z51 Performance Padkage,J6N Edge Red Caliper,ZYC Carbon Flash Outside Mirrors and Spoiler.

                Lifetime Member National Corvette Museum

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                • #9
                  Lucky you John. What a great informative review you past on to us today. We all look forward to hearing more from you soon!

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                  • #10
                    Great read John!

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                    • #11
                      Very insightful! Thanks John! I'm waiting with baited breath for tomorrow's report.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks John, great report! Looking forward to your comments from Spring Mountain!
                        Last edited by DaveM; 02-17-2020, 09:29 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Congrats John and thanks for sharing your initial impressions -- all very helpful. I am so jealous. Enjoy your adventure.

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                          • #14
                            Great report! So, after track day tomorrow, you're going to skip the plane and just drive home? I'm sure they won't mind.

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                            • #15
                              John:

                              You and the Forum have helped me so much with information regarding the unfolding of the C8 program. Without you and the Forum, my C8 on order wouldn’t be what it is!
                              John, I’m glad GM recognized you by giving you this driving opportunity.
                              First Car: 1974 Fiat X1/9 mid-engine.
                              1985 Toyota MR2 first generation mid-engine, 2000 Toyota MR2 third generation mid-engine, 2005 Lotus Elise mid-engine.
                              Currently own 1993 Corvette Convertible. Time to merge mid with Vette.

                              Comment

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