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The opinions of Wallace Wyss on the new C8's Impact

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  • The opinions of Wallace Wyss on the new C8's Impact

    Welcome To World Class: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

    MAY 1, 2019 BY


    The 2020 Corvette will, I predict, hand Ferrari it’s head.


    by Wallace Wyss –

    It is apparent now that the 2020 Corvette, to be announced in mid-July, will be mid-engine. That is significant on several accounts but the principle reason it is important, in my view, (and I used to write Corvette ads) is that it sends a message to the world that we, as Americans, can build a world class sports car.

    Andrew Wendler, in Car and Driver, in April 2019 summed it up:
    Since its inception, the Chevrolet Corvette—in production form, at least—has never deviated from three core attributes: front engine, rear-wheel drive, fiberglass bodywork. From its 1953 debut with the Blue Flame inline six-cylinder to the thundering 755-hp 2019 Corvette ZR1, the basic formula has been set in stone.

    That all changes now. Chevy is officially moving the engine to the middle, behind the passenger seats.
    Corvette Mid-engineSave
    GM execs drove this through New York City

    But in every comparison against mid-engined cars, such as the Ferrari 288, Lamborghini Huracan and Audi R8, it always came down to the fact that the front engine car can’t compete with a mid-engined car in terms of cornering, aerodynamics and handling.

    I know you’re asking “What difference does it make where the engine is?” Well, setting the engine between the front and rear axles makes the car less nose heavy. You can go for 50/50 weight distribution. By not offering the engine in front you can have a lower profile hood, more air penetrating, high top speed and less drag.

    Even if you have the weight more on the tail than the nose, you get more weight on the driving wheels, which means more traction and the ability to put the power down to the pavement.

    In cornering, a mid-engine car has lower polar moment of inertia, which makes it possible for the car to change direction more easily and therefore more rapidly. Now truth is this has been done wrong in many a mid-engined car like the Mangusta, but that was 50 years ago, now they should be able to control it from spinning out. THE AUDIENCE IS READY


    How long have we been waiting for a mid-engine Corvette? Seemingly forever, but GM has been building prototypes for over 50 years. I’ve driven at least one of them (Two Rotor Corvette).
    Corvette Mid-engineSave
    Chevy King says this is it

    But to me it builds the image of GM that they are finally delivering what they promised. And with the specter of internal combustion cars being outlawed by the Greens in 2030 this car could be the last great swan song of internal combustion.

    Wait a minute, what about Ford? They have the Ford GT. But alas, that’s a V6, and we are also celebrating the swan song of the V8, and the Ford Motor Co., ignored the strong pull of a V8. The Ford GT is $300,000 plus and you have to be “approved” before you can buy it. The Corvette mid engine car is rumored to be about $70,000 and I predict anybody with good credit can buy it. FERRARI, FORGET IT


    I tried to count how many Ferrari dealers there were in the U.S., I ran out of names when I got over 50, and even that list was “not pure” including a Brazilian dealer and a Puerto Rican dealer (since when is Brazil part of the US?). But you look up the numbers it comes out to 2,528 for all models in the US. In 2017 Lamborghini sold less than that of their cars, 1044.

    The point is that Chevrolet has many many more dealers, and the ability to take trade ins of ordinary family cars, where say trying to trade in a Chevy at a Ferrari or Lamborghini dealership is not a natural “fit.”

    Plus there are Chevrolet dealerships at far corners of the US., say Jackson Hole, Wy, where the summer is extremely short, where it wouldn’t pay to have a dealership that is snowbound 6 months of the year.
    Corvette mid-engineSave
    From Car & Driver

    I even think the impact will be so strong on Lamborghini and Ferrari that they will close out some dealers and that will be a news story in itself, the failure of Italian marques to recognize that a lower tier car could be made for a broader market; or the mistaken belief that Americans will never be able to build a competitor. A CHANGEOVER IN CUSTOMERS


    I used to write for Corvette News, a Chevy sponsored publication. I went to many a Corvette convention. They were a fun loving group (chasing each other with water balloons was one of their things). They had autocrosses, and informal car shows. But I would say technically, they weren’t that world class sophisticated. Oh, they could build a big block that would crank out 550 hp., but ask them today to compare a Lamborghini with an Audi R8 with a Ferrari to a new Corvette and they weren’t up on the specs.

    There is a new audience for a mid-engine Corvette. These are the computer –generation, raised with a laptop in one hand, a smart phone in the other. They embrace technology. I had one of these guys, a software writer, age 27, as a room-mate. He made $1,000 a week until I took him to an interview where his salary went from $100,000 a year to $140,000 in one day. That is the kind of money this new generation makes. Forget water balloons.

    Even if Chevy loses the “old’ audience for Corvettes it doesn’t matter anymore, because the new generation will make up for it with higher profit cars, even if overall sales numbers are smaller. And the older-but-goodies crowd can vie for the last front engine ones and go down with that ship, just as, say in cameras, I still meet zealots who shoot film. It’s useless to show them the superiority of digital. That will buoy up used Corvette prices. RECOMMENDING A MONTEREY ROLL OUT


    I know it’s rumored the new Corvette will come out in July 2019 but I am recommending, even if they haven’t asked me, to postpone it to Monterey during Car Week for more impact. What they should do is have about 20 of them on the Peninsula, one in every color, parked around every event.
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    And beautiful spokes ladies to hand out small pocket size brochures. It would be good if they could book space at Pebble Beach (the AFAS tent might be available) or Concorso Italiano or The Quail. But even if they weren’t there officially, they could still be all over the Peninsula, everywhere, the drivers meeting and greeting.

    I am sure the die-hard Ferrari fans will say they aren’t buying it, how could they turn their back on the prancing horse but at one third the price, how can you still not look at it; look at the specs, the performance figures, and above all the price. COMMERCIALS


    Then I would have some TV commercials filmed, to be inserted in action films on Netflix, whatever, that show the new Corvette in a variety of settings, like Lake Como, Amelia Island, buy footage of the already existing concours and insert the Corvette in venues already identified with the best of the best. Something like Lincoln is trying to do with the Continental but done better (those are too mopey…).

    IN SUM… At the risk of sounding jingoistic, it’s about time we cheered for the home team. I am hoping the days of the “fake stuff” like the ’63 Corvette with fake hood vents, fake side vents, fake knock-offs, etc. are long behind us. That we–Americans–are building a high technology car that will perform with the best Europe can build. Ford had a chance but they blew it in ’05-’06 by building a car without a trunk (ah, I think the engineers forgot “grand touring” as in “GT car” meant you brought your luggage on your tour). And only building 4,038 of them. This time there will be enough cars made for everyone that can afford it. And luggage room. And hopefully a targa removable roof version which Ford failed to have in the ’05-’06 and in the new present GT.



    Let us know what you think in the Comments.

    Wallace WyssSave



    THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books. At least three on the Corvette. As a fine artist, he will be painting commissioned portraits in oil of the 2020 Corvette. For particulars and photos of sample paintings, write [email protected]
    Summary

    Article Name
    Welcome To World Class: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
    Description
    How long have we been waiting for a mid-engine Corvette? Seemingly forever, but GM has been building prototypes for over 50 years and now maybe it is here - the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette.
    Author
    Wallace Wyss
    Last edited by ABorC; 05-04-2019, 09:48 PM.

  • #2
    Above article credit to: http://mycarquest.com/2019/05/welcom...-corvette.html

    Thanks SheepDog for posting this article.
    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


    • #3
      I would imagine that most of this membership has a friend or 2 that owns a Ferrari or other exotic. Most of these owners are car lovers first who also like the exclustivety of thier very expensive cars performance but also the "status" that these cars give the owners. Case in point are the dreamers who line the curbs of the cars and coffee events to watch exotics drive by and maybe do something stupid glows of the exotic owner who loves the "Ha look at me in my $400,000 car". The exotic car manufacturers just received a shot over their ships bow with the soon to be C8. What they are going to be worried about is not the base C8 but the Z06 and Zora/ZR1 cars which will hopefully give them a real race on the track some day soon. I can only imagine the smile on Zora's face watching his dream car smoke a Ferrari or GT at the ring... Thanks GM for giving us that dream soon!

      Comment


      • #4

        The coming of a true American made MidEngine vehicle available to the ordinary consumer has been a long time coming. GM struggled with and against the ME. Also Ford never really delivered on the ME. The 2005 Ford GT was incomplete, high priced and low number and the 2017 is essentially a myth. Feiro and Corsair, Right. But C8 is a supercar ME. Not just car.

        Ford may have toyed with the idea of a ME Mach 2 Mustang:

        This makes the case that the 2020 MidEngine C8 Covette is truly an achievement of unprecedented proportion.











        Ford Mustang Mach 2 Was A Mid-Engine Pony Car

        0
        On April Fool’s day, Ford Authority joked that Ford was going to make a mid-engine Mustang SUV. Fans of the Mustang might not know that the Pony car almost went mid-engine back in the ’60s. In 1967 Ford built a mid-engine concept car called the Ford Mustang Mach 2 and took the concept to the Chicago Auto Show that year where it wowed the crowds.

        The Ford Mustang Mach 2 was designed by Ford’s then chief designer Eugene Bordinat using the original Mustang design language translated into a mid-engine GT model. Bordinat went through several sketches, and a clay model before the work to build the running show car was farmed out to Kar-Kraft.



        The base for the Mustang Mach 2 show car was a convertible Mustang. The ragtop was chosen because it had reinforcements in the chassis in crucial areas that were helpful to the mid-engine concept car. Power for the Mustang Mach 2 was from the standard Mustang’s 289 cubic inch V8 crammed where the back seats usually lived.

        The show car saved money by using the standard Mustang front suspension. At the 1967 Chicago Auto Show, the car was met with enthusiasm and hailed as an American car as stylish as European cars of the era. It featured pop-up headlights and a wedge nose rather than the traditional blunt nose of a Mustang.



        Ford built a pair of Mustang Mach 2 cars including the red show car that was entirely road legal and a white development car. Some journalists of the era were invited to drive the red car at the Ford Dearborn Proving Grounds. Despite the popularity of the road car Ford executives killed the project due to the complexity and overall cost.

        Sadder still is that both of the prototype cars built were destroyed to keep them out of competitor’s hands. Ford’s Mustang Mach 2 goes to show that the Ford GT and coming mid-engine C8 Corvette weren’t first to the mid-engine American sports car wars.

        Last edited by SheepDog; 05-03-2019, 12:28 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm sorry, but that's one of the sloppiest examples of professional writing I've read in quite a while. He mixes up the number of Ferrari dealers and the number of Ferrari sales in the same sentence. He talks about there being Chevy dealers everywhere, without realizing that little dealer in Jackson Hole will likely never get a C8 to sell, or have anyone trained to service them.

          He says achieving 50/50 weight distribution is an advantage of ME, but in the next breath implies the ME will have more weight on the tail, (which is also an advantage - so which is more advantageous?) rather than 50/50 balance, and doesn't realize the C7 already has 50/50 weight distribution.

          And I'm still trying to figure out how his roommate, who made $1,000 a week earned $100,000 a year.

          But most importantly, he doesn't understand that lots of people buy Ferraris and Lambos because they're so expensive, and because there are so few of them on the road. The guy parading down the road in his Murcielago doesn't want to see 8 more of them on his way to the cars and coffee. These owners want exclusivity and attention. It might be true that they'll buy a C8 in addition to their exotic, but not instead of. And once C8s become fairly common, they're not going to attract the same level of attention and envy at that cars and coffee that the Ferraris, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis do.

          I expect the C8 to be a world beater in many respects, but I don't think anyone at Ferrari is worried about their sales volume taking a hit.
          Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

          Gone but not forgotten: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

          Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

          Never grow up - It's a trap.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am not a journalist. What do I know. But.

            The base New C8s may get in a marketability brawl or two with the "used" Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mclarens, whatever. Depending on just how well or unwell used. The C8 might impact the used Euro supercar market. Might? Of course , I do not know. But "They" say, that the strength of the "New Supercar sales" market is supported by the "resale" market. Some of the resale is flipping brand new cars without really using them. Some of the resale market is the resale of Supercars with some miles on the odometer. 5K. 10K. 20K, the number makes a difference. 25K. 30K. 40K. The number starts to makes a substantial difference. 50,60,70? Like in Boxing. Weaken the legs and the body is vulnerable. Weaken the body and the head becomes available.

            So. What really is the relationship between the marketability of use 'Ferraris" and the strength of the market for new Ferraris. And not all Ferraris are equal. The top tier Ferraris will remain untouchable. But what about the 488. The 488 may be impacted by the C8s. If not the base, then what about the Z06 or Zora. It's a so called nonlinear function. So those interested can contemplate it until it plays out in the real world. I am using Ferrari as a stand in of all supercars.

            It is dynamic. Ferrari may respond by taking the 488 higher upscale, somewhere Chevy can't reach. They know how to fight. Lots of options for all.

            The Ford GT informs that an American car can stand shoulder to shoulder with Ferrari on the exclusivity scale.

            That does not say what the C8 Corvette will amount to. The base car is a start. What will the ultimate be. No one wants European supercars to go away and the suggestion is just roughhouse tease. Who does not love Ferrari, Lambo etc.

            But I predict: That a special Vette. A run of 200 cars. 3000lbs. 9000RPM. carbon fiber tub. DOHC. Flat crank. 800HP. 750 TQ. RELIABLE. Repairable. Would be taken seriously as an exclusive vehicle.

            But it will take GM 60 more years to do it.
            Just kidding. just roughhouse tease. What ever C8 Vette we get will be a blessing.
            Last edited by SheepDog; 05-03-2019, 03:47 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              There was recently a story about Ferrari's business plans, which apparently include significantly raising the price of new Ferraris. The demand greatly outstrips supply. As far as used, I still think the image / status / exclusivity plays a bigger role than price. A C8 may be functionally superior to, say, a Ferrari 360 or 430 in every way, but the Ferrari still has a rarity the the C8 will never have.
              Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

              Gone but not forgotten: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

              Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

              Never grow up - It's a trap.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am inclined to remember the advice my father gave me back in 1966, when I was 19 and wanted to buy a used Jaguar XK-E. He advised me to buy a used Corvette instead. He told me that if I were somewhere and broke down, a Chevy dealer, or even a good parts store, would have the parts to get me going again. Not so with the Jaguar.

                If you want a garage queen that gets driven on rare occasions, those funny foreign cars may be fine. But if you are looking for something you can reliably drive, get the Chevy. I think that is still true.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes. Even an age an declined Ferrari looks pretty cool and "no" one knows the year or maintance/repair history. Antique Vettes are also hard to ignore. Ferrari is Ferrari. Corvette is Corvette. Today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. The only constant is change. Corvette or anyone else needs to make the best to be the best. Ferrari has history. V12s and whatever on the edge. The C8 must come with a cutting edge engine, not just a torque brute. A.s a starter. And win with the C8R.

                  in those few areas of the country where you tend to trip over all the supercars, they too tend to become a little trite after a few days. Scarcity make special. Once its gone its gone. There will be a lot of C8s. They need to be great performers.

                  Whats to be made of the 720s seeming temporary superiority to the 488s. In performance, structure and looks[?. Make the best be he best? How long can it go on before the new guy is the perceptual top dog.]
                  And, the anticipated New ME Aston Martin, designed by hijacked Ferrari engineers, to create an English 488 that is better than Caesar's. The Italians have inspired the dreams of others.

                  Is the original always the best even when it is no longer the very best. The most prestigous need not be the best?.

                  Corvette has been in free fall compared to some. . The C7 was a bounce back.See to what extent Corvette can raise its social stock.

                  The Ford GT is the jaw dropper to me, not the Euro MEe. When the GT is present the others are pretenders. IMO.
                  Last edited by SheepDog; 05-03-2019, 07:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry but I have to be honest and say this is one of the worst articles I have ever read....
                    for many reasons but mainly because this guy marginalizes prior-generation Corvette performance as if they handled like pintos relative to the competition.

                    This isn't the first article to do it. I am a little annoyed by what seems to be a smear campaign against the performance capabilities of front engine Corvettes. I understand the benefits of a rear mid-engine design but way too many journalists/writers now want to pretend that GM decided to make this change because front engine Corvette performance capabilities were not competitive against the competition. Ah...total BS. Major BS. BS x1000.

                    Have they all forgotten how much butt the C5, C6 and C7 generations kicked? Those cars also outperformed many cars costing two or three times more. Now everyone wants to pretend like we need a mid-engine c8 to BECOME competitive. Will there be performance gaines with the rear mid engine layout? Yes. However, the automotive world needs to get it straight.... NEWSFLASH, this isn't about making the Corvette competitive.... It already is..... It's about making the car even better.

                    Please stop marginalizing 7 generations of Corvette performance. Thank you.
                    Last edited by C8UR911; 05-06-2019, 05:14 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You raise extremely valid points C8UR911. The C7 won more awards in his first year than any vehicle before 2013 nor any vehicle since, and for sure the C5/C6/C7.R’s have been doing terrifically on the track too. The C7 is not just a great performer, but as we know, outstanding looking, and a great all around car.

                      At this same time the below statistic says that moving to a mid engine Corvette platform is now necessary in view of a) declining sports cars sales, and b) better competitors arising all the time.

                      The stat is:

                      To improve the Z06’s 0-60 time by 3% (2.95 seconds to 2.85 seconds) GM’s answer was increase to create a new model (the ZR1), which sold for an approximately 50% greater MSRP. This is not a sustainable path forward.

                      No business can survive on a model that improves performance by 3% but to accomplish that, requires the customer to pay a 50% greater list price for that improved item.




                      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


                      • #12
                        The Corvette's been around since 1953 and the idea of a ME Corvette has been since 1969. It's finally here. In the interim Corvette worked with affordability and the pushrods to provide America its only year after year sports car. It was a great run and the C7 is one of the worlds greatest performance car. At any cost. Corvette and Porsche are the only sport cars that are regularly used up to 200/300K miles. Corvette and Porsche are th only continuously produced sports cars to do it. A few may have come and gone. That is an exclusive class that money can not buy its way into.


                        Last edited by SheepDog; 05-04-2019, 10:45 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Was in a parade with some of my fellow club members yesterday, and while waiting for it to start the conversation drifted to the C8. A couple of members didn't like the idea at all (C5/C6 owners, a it happens). They think it's not what a Corvette is supposed to be, violates tradition, etc. A couple of us (C7 owners), think it's going to be really impressive, and the next logical step in Corvette evolution. And a few with a wait and see attitude, which probably makes sense.
                          Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                          Gone but not forgotten: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                          Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                          Never grow up - It's a trap.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Once Corvette traditionalist actually sit in the ME and drive, it will no longer be an idea. It will be "the" Covettte. Instantly recognizable. The engine in the back. Same Engine for starters. Some folks will not know were the engine is unless told. Will notice that we can see where we are going like never before. There will be no desire to go back.

                            Anyway. I have not experienced it. But. That is the message that is written on the faces of those who created the New C8, and those who have seen it. Bliss. It is in their voices. Without exception. So. The super traditionalist will not be an exception either. The people who designed the New C8 are the Ultimate Super Traditionalist. The doubters will ultimately lead the charge to the DOHC . Once they experience the base. It will cascade like a sand pile to a new and irreversible stability.

                            IMO.
                            Last edited by SheepDog; 05-05-2019, 11:28 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If 20% of Corvette lovers never like it, even after a few years of the rest getting eventually excited by it, that will be just fine. We all know some who never made the emotional nor purchasing change to previous recent new Corvette generations.

                              What will happen is that sports brand conquests will be more for this generation than ever before. As I shared months ago, at a Cars-and-Coffee, three Porsche owners I first met there, who had brought their beauties to the event, and I were talking for about 15 minutes; to a person every one said that while they had never before considered a Corvette, they “cannot wait until its reveal.” They each added that there was a good possibility the Corvette ME would be their next sports car purchase. They also noted that Porsche pricing was “getting out of control” (a statement they made before Porsche announced a minimum $7,000 price increase for its model they are debuting this year.

                              When 74 more days elapse, with the Corvette ME’s price and specs and looks become reality, bring on the mega thousands of brand conquests!
                              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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