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Automobile Magazine Article 3/01/19 ME Corvette

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  • Automobile Magazine Article 3/01/19 ME Corvette

    Adios, C7: The Mid-Engine Corvette Can’t Come Fast Enough

    It’s time for the current-gen Corvette to be put to rest.

    By: Marc Noordeloos March 1, 2019


    The stench of fiberglass resin brought to mind being in a bass boat, and the C7 Corvette Grand Sport I was driving was tramlining so aggressively on the rutted roads outside Grand Rapids, Michigan, that I thought I might get punted into the trees before I ever made it to Grattan Raceway. Sure, I was enjoying the sounds coming from the 6.2-liter V-8, but as I looked around the Corvette’s ergonomically funky and cheap-feeling cabin, all I could think was that the upcoming mid-engine C8 model can’t come soon enough.

    I was heading to a track day organized by a friend, and when I arrived at the 2.0-mile winding circuit, the paddock was packed with cars and enthusiastic drivers. As seems to be the norm at most track days—at least around here—Corvettes and various Porsches dominated the field. Several Corvette owners asked me how I liked the GS, and, well, I cannot tell a lie. They looked at me like I’d just kicked their firstborn, and most couldn’t begin to understand where I was coming from. They loved their Corvettes and couldn’t figure out why anyone would buy anything but a Corvette.

    And you know what? Running the wheels off the GS at Grattan reminded me they may have a point, and the Corvette is certainly not all doom and gloom. The 460-hp Chevy performed brilliantly around the challenging Grattan road course, and that’s without the track-focused Z07 and aero package. As such, it wasn’t wearing carbon-ceramic brakes or sticky, barely street-legal tires. But the standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber held up extremely well to hard use and the steel brakes did fine as long as you respected them (this particular GS was running racing brake fluid, as recommended by Chevy). Even in the least-inhibiting Performance Traction Management (PTM) mode 5—or one notch further, with all stability systems off—the Corvette was a completely controllable and docile. Yet it was still very fast and totally rewarding to push hard lap after lap. Clearly, GM knows what they’re doing when it comes to setting a car up for the track. It’s impressive.

    <img class="size-content-width wp-image-816845 aligncenter" src="https://st.automobilemag.com/uploads/sites/11/2015/12/2016-Chevrolet-Corvette-Z06-C7R-Edition-front-three-quarter.jpg?interpolation=lanczos-none&amp;fit=around%7C660:438" alt="" width="660" height="438">

    But that positive experience at the track doesn’t make the outgoing C7 Corvette a car I’d recommend unless price-to-performance ratio is your number-one focus. We can’t live at the track each and every day, and my time in the more powerful Corvette ZR1 late last year reminded me that the Stingray Z51 or the Grand Sport are the Goldilocks models of the range. The extra power in the Z06 and ZR1 simply overwhelms and dilutes the goodness in the rest of the package and shows the limitations of the aging chassis. Contrary to the views of many car enthusiasts, more power doesn’t always make a car better. The top-spec Corvette only proves that truth. As in the GS, all I thought about as I drove the ZR1 was the mid-engine Corvette.

    So what do I want that clean-sheet C8 Corvette to be? First and foremost, it needs to have the same fantastically friendly on-track personality. And hopefully GM engineers have spent a boatload of time in cars like the Porsche Cayman to get an idea of what the best mid-engine sports cars feel like and how they fundamentally handle. (Hopefully they ignored the four-cylinder engine, though.)

    But I don’t want Chevy to simply copy Porsche. A Corvette must be properly American—more aggressive and extroverted than the Cayman. I want it to have a raw, muscular feel, with a loud, brash engine that features gobs of low-end torque. Smoky burnouts should be easy and approachable. And I’m hopeful for major advancements in rolling refinement and ride characteristics—not to mention interior design and quality—compared to the current Corvette.

    <img class="size-content-width wp-image-1280624 aligncenter" src="https://st.automobilemag.com/uploads/sites/11/2018/08/Chevrolet-Corvette-ZR1-vs-McLaren-702S-vs-Porsche-911-GT2-RS-48.jpg?interpolation=lanczos-none&amp;fit=around%7C660:371" alt="" width="660" height="371">

    It’s no secret that traditional Corvette buyers are aging. GM needs to use the C8 to wave goodbye to the Russian doll repetitiveness of the past several Corvette generations of the long-serving two-seater. Sure, some changes with the C8 will **** off certain loyal customers—hello, engine placement!—but it probably makes sense for them to keep building the current C7 for that buyer, as is rumored. I want a proper world-class sports car from GM. We’ve waited far too long for that Corvette, despite what overexcited and overly positive cover stories from certain corners of the automotive media have been saying for decades. It’s important for American sports-car fans to judge and celebrate the home team without bias. And while the Corvette engineers are putting the final touches on the new model, let’s hope they’ve made sure to eliminate that foul fiberglass smell.
    Rocket City Florida- 2001 ZO6 - 2013 427 Vert - 2020 Stingray

  • #2
    Don't understand the "fiberglass smell" thing.

    Firstly I didn't think the car has used it for a while.

    And secondly, and there's nothing wrong with my sense of smell, how come I can walk into a showroom with 30 or so new cars, and not smell a thing?

    And then there's "tramlining". I was sort of expecting some when I bought my GS, but never a problem. I wonder if someone had pumped up the tires a little high?
    Last edited by Bikerjulio; 03-01-2019, 03:28 PM.
    2020 C8 Corvette.D.O.B 2/03/2020
    Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
    2LT, Z51 + MRC. GT1 seats.
    Spectra Grey Tridents.
    Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bikerjulio View Post
      Don't understand the "fiberglass smell" thing.

      Firstly I didn't think the car has used it for a while.

      And secondly, and there's nothing wrong with my sense of smell, how come I can walk into a showroom with 30 or so new cars, and not smell a thing?
      I usually smell the rubber tires for sure. But I get what he means The different parts do have that new smell.
      Rocket City Florida- 2001 ZO6 - 2013 427 Vert - 2020 Stingray

      Comment


      • #4
        Some people are happiest exaggerating the negatives (understatement). Driving a 755 HP ZR1 while thinking 100% about another car, is not smart driving either.
        GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 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; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by John View Post
          Some people are happiest exaggerating the negatives (understatement). Driving a 755 HP ZR1 while thinking 100% about another car, is not smart driving either.
          He's just mad because it looks much better than His Porsche.
          Rocket City Florida- 2001 ZO6 - 2013 427 Vert - 2020 Stingray

          Comment


          • #6
            When I think of a car that's done this for almost ever, I think of the 911
            GM needs to use the C8 to wave goodbye to the Russian doll repetitiveness of the past several Corvette generations of the long-serving two-seater.
            2020 C8 Corvette.D.O.B 2/03/2020
            Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
            2LT, Z51 + MRC. GT1 seats.
            Spectra Grey Tridents.
            Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler.

            Comment


            • #7
              ^^^ Well said John.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re the wrtier’s prejorative comment he made about the Corvette’s alleged Russian doll repetitiveness of the past several generations of Corvettes...

                Originally posted by Bikerjulio View Post
                When I think of a car that's done this for almost ever, I think of the 911
                Bikerjulio, your comment is perfection. Even when we look at the “new,” coming this summer Porsche 992, it is more of the same that we have seen in Porsches for decades, yet in comparison the changes In each of the last generations of Corvettes to the next are far, far bigger than the Porsche’s minuscule twiddling.

                GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 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; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Journalists have done this tyoe of story on the last year of an exiting corvette generation forever...

                  he is smelling fiberglass? Thats a ridiculous statement...

                  right then and there you knew it was going to the usual last article on an exiting generation corvette...

                  i didnt hear any of his comments from any auto journalist at the introduction of the c7 or throughout the years...now the c8 is about to hit...these hacks bash the hell out of the corvette..

                  any numbnuts who thinks 460 hp is all a sports car needs is more tree hugger than car enthusiast..

                  sure 460 hpis awesome ...but sorry 650 hp definitely is more fun...

                  no insult intended to those with stingrays or grandsports...

                  well to garner attention these days ....in this age of interwebs...bashing a great priduct is the fastest way to garner more hits...

                  good or bad...thats just the way it goes..

                  for example if it was one more article extrolling how great the c7 was...nobody would pay attention...

                  thats a song thats been sung for too many years already...

                  controversy sells...

                  thats the **** we hear at the end of every generation and just about when an introduction of a new one...is to begin..

                  jmo..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks JB. I had not thought about the many of the truths in your post, most primarily that it is easy to take a cheap shot at a great product.
                    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 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; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frenzy36 View Post
                      Adios, C7. It’s time for the current-gen Corvette to be put to rest.
                      Auto mag:

                      Thats not nice. Its a great Corvette. Love my C7.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would love to share my opinion of journalists but I know if I did I may be banned from the forum and I learn so much here regarding Corvettes from the members (non journalists) I would not want to risk it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is complete buffoonery. No doubt he drives a Porsche Cayman. Sorry, but I just have to vent after reading that nonsense.

                          Thanks John
                          Last edited by Skank; 03-01-2019, 08:34 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            John, this article is almost offensive! Certainly not accurate on many fronts!! One might think his Porsche is a Boxster and he's sporting a man bun. Porsche love child style.

                            I do not take light punches well. Knock me down or be quiet. This article simply isn't great. I will spell it out:
                            1. The interior is beautiful and well thought out! The seats are created, as most of us know, by the same company (Lear) that makes seats for Porsche, Ferrari and many others.
                            2. Be careful what you call a "Goldilocks!!" A Grand Sport is probably the most for the least of all the models and bests cars like the Lamborghini Aventador around a track and almost matched his beloved Porsche GT3RS with the same driver.
                            3. A Corvette doesn't handle as well as a Porsche Cayman??? This man is brainwashed and only the lack of speed could possibly render it with better handling.
                            4. Russian Doll repetiveness???? This man believes that Corvette is more design predictable then a Porsche?? No other car company has clinged to the same beetle design since their inception then Porsche.
                            5. Fiberglass smell?? There hasn't been fiberglass in a Corvette since the C5 generation, if my memory serves me well. Only SMC, carbon fiber, magnesium and high strength aluminum come to mind.
                            Needless to say, this man attempted to make a colorful statement and went overboard with assumptions and un-substantiated assertions.
                            Last edited by ltomn; 03-01-2019, 09:28 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Marc (with a c)......The Rock sums up my feelings about your article......https://youtu.be/UJpnYg4Lrrs
                              Black over Sky Cool Gray.....2LT.....Z51.....FE4.....E60.....

                              Comment

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