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C8 Article That Escaped Most People’s Radar

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  • C8 Article That Escaped Most People’s Radar

    Interesting new C8, though no new news.

    Originally posted by ChicagoTribune
    After decades of dreaming, a mid-engine Corvette is reality

    By BY CASEY WILLIAMS
    | TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE |
    JUN 14, 2019 | 2:15 PM On July 18, Chevrolet will launch the eighth generation of its iconic sports car what it calls the "first-ever mid-engine Corvette." Not true.

    While the "C8" Corvette will be the first mid-engine version to reach showrooms, it is not the first to be designed, engineered or even green-lighted for production since the model's 1953 launch. So, why is it happening now?

    "It brings the Vette closer to exotic cars the Ford GT is an easy comparison," said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds. "It's GM's time to shine with a technology showcase. Performance will be extremely impressive, but the price point, expected to be over $100,000, will give Chevrolet more room to put in technology."

    When Tesla sedans out-run your corporate flagship, it's time for revolution, but if base Corvettes rise from today's $55,900, it could make the car prohibitively expensive for enthusiasts.

    "People who aspire to own a Corvette could be slightly left out," Caldwell said. "It gives opportunity to Camaro, but there could also be something between Camaro and the mid-engine Corvette. The new car is definitely going to attract a different audience."

    Almost as long as there have been Corvettes, there have been mid-engine concepts percolating in the shadows. Chevrolet showed the CERV II in 1964 with a 550 horsepower V-8 engine and all-wheel-drive. The curvaceous XP-880 Astro II followed in 1968 with a 390 horsepower V-8. Styling expressed clear lineage to contemporary Corvettes, but GM management rejected it too. Mid-engine cars were deemed too expensive to build, especially when front-engine Corvettes were selling well.

    One of the more notable mid-engine Corvette concepts was the XP-882 that debuted at the 1970 New York Auto Show with a 400 cubic-inch V-8, beefy styling, and positive crowd response. GM then pushed further with the aluminum-bodied 1972 XP-895 and compact 1973 XP-897GT that ran with a two-rotor Wankel engine. Strong sales of the third generation C3 precluded both, but development of the C4 was underway.

    That car was almost a silver gull-wing exotic that looked like a Stingray had relations with a DeLorean. It debuted in 1973 as the "Four-Rotor Corvette" powered by connected Wankel rotary engines, but became the "Aerovette" in 1976 when a traditional V-8 engine was transplanted.

    In an interview with the auto editors of Consumer Guide, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette's first engineering chief, reflected on this period. "In 1974, I had a conversation with the chairman of the board," Duntov said. "He said, 'Let's wait. Right now, we cannot build enough cars to satisfy the demand.' I tried to promulgate the mid-engine car. If I was not forced to retire, (the 1984 model) would probably be a mid-engine car. The mid-engine design in '69 and '73-'74 was in the picture on and off. I think I would have won the fight given time."

    Dreams persisted as Chevrolet rolled out its futuristic Corvette Indy concept in 1986 sporting a 2.65-liter V-8 from GM's racing program, glass canopy, carbon composite body, all-wheel-drive, four-wheel steering and hydraulic suspension. The Indy evolved into the more conservative 1990 CERV III, packing a 650-horsepower twin-turbo 32-valve V-8. It was visually connected to Corvettes but was ultimately passed over for production.

    Front-engine Corvettes persevered because engineers extracted ever greater performance. The 1984-1996 C4 had a "front-mid-engine" design, which placed the engine far beneath the dashboard to balance weight. The ZR-1 edition eventually boasted a 405 horsepower 32-valve V-8, 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and 180 mph top speed. Moving transmissions to the rear in 1997-2004 C5, 2005-2013 C6, and 2014-2019 C7 generations further balanced handling with today's ZR1, delivering 755 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 3.1seconds and over 200 mph top speed.

    Corvette's current architecture has served well but is unable to accommodate all-wheel-drive and electrification both crucial for ultimate performance. If Corvettes are being outrun by Teslas, they're certainly no match for top McLarens, Porsches and Ferraris.

    Noting a mid-engine C7 was green-lighted before his 2010 retirement, former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told Autoline in September: "We wanted to do a mid-engine Corvette before the '07/'08 financial melt-down. We had to cancel that investment-intensive program to do one more iteration of the C6, which turned out to be the C7. We were at the limit of what we can achieve with the lay-out. To achieve superior lap times, the car has to go mid-engine."

    After decades of dreaming, a mid-engine Corvette is reality. The question is, how will enthusiasts respond?

    "I like the design and believe it is overdue," said Steve Riebe, president of the Chicago Corvette Club. "People seem rather excited about this, not like when the C6 and C7 were introduced. Many complained about the taillights which looked like a Camaro's. People also complained about non-retractable headlights. All those negative feelings seemed to clear out in a short time. I have warm and fuzzy feelings this will be the best Corvette ever."

    If handling is a mid-engine car's key advantage, then limited interior space and a higher price are its negatives. Not everybody will be pleased.

    "Every design change requires time for fans to adjust," said Jon Thorn, Corvette Club of America board member and owner of a 2007 Black Corvette Z06. "Every new generation brings out critics. ... We all want Corvette to be successful, and the C7 had pretty much run its course."

    Why is this car such a big deal?

    "They're actually doing it," Caldwell said. "It is such a beloved car with history, a piece of Americana. It's very cool, the pinnacle of GM. It's for people who love cars and is an emotional lift for the brand. The Corvette represents freedom and fun."

    Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...614-story.html
    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.

  • #2
    >$100,000!!
    Last edited by Racer X; 06-24-2019, 10:47 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      The author did a fair job of recalling the Corvettes great heritage but left out Bob Lutz's prediction that the C8 would be $5,000 more than the current model. That is a major omission which is why what you read in the press has to be treated more like fiction than fact. Thanks for sharing John. Can't wait to see their reaction when the so called experts are proven wrong on 7-18-19

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep; $100,000 is crazy for an entry Corvette. As the country of England might say, poppycock. While GM could first year sell 25,000 at that price if it were loaded with Z06-version options and performance, and after that selling another 20,000 the next year, but after that it would be end of a losing Corvette financial basis, e.g., costs annually exceeding revenues, and thus extinction in year three or four.

        GM has spent, between the last three years of plant upgrades and C8 development, $2,000,000,000. In order to make that back and then have profit, the Corvette ME must be accessible (purchasable) at a whole-generation-average-basis of 30,000 units annually (or more), especially when they have decided to double the number of shifts at BGA.

        The entry price of a 911 is $95,000 with the average annual income of a current Porsche 911 buyer being $313,000; however, the average annual income for a Corvette buyer is only about 40% of that, and thus could Corvette price could not be sustained, even with lots of brand conquests, at a $100,000+ entry price.

        Leaving pricing out however, there were some very valid factors and good information in the rest of the article.
        Last edited by John; 06-24-2019, 12:09 AM.
        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


        • #5
          No way GM runs the starting price to 100k. Mabe with every option checked on a 2020 convert. They know it would almost certainly cut out over 60% of their current market demographic to raise the entry level car from 57k to 100k. 43k increase, NOT going to happen!
          Vette's owned: 99 Sebring Silver Convert - 10yrs, 2008 Crystal Red Convert,w/cam, longtubes and Vortech supercharger. C8 VIN 00336 built on 2/10/20 - Delivered 3/18/20 C8 Spec: Torch Red 2LT, Z51, FE4, E60, CF7, FA5, AH2, HUL, J6E, TU7, 3F9, Q8P, 5ZU, R8C

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John View Post
            As the country of England might say, poppycock.
            I'm surprised that this forum didn't partially auto-censor that expression! I mean, it even censored the article you quoted when it used the proper name for a rotary engine, a ****el. Time to add another word to the banned list!

            Comment


            • #7
              I was surprised too, and double checked after using it that it was still there LOL.
              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


              • #8
                Well if nothing else the article along with many others will solve the over abundance of CROWS as they will certainly be on the menu for a lot of prognosticators after 7-18-19 once the base price is announced.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you think GM is going to announce the actual price at the reveal? I thought they tended to leave it as late as possible in case there are fluctuations or some such. Maybe closer to the time when orders can actually be entered into the system?

                  At the reveal I expect confirmation along the lines of that unofficial remark "if you can afford a Vette now, you'll be able to afford a C8" but final pricing sometime later. I would love to be proved wrong though!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If getting your automotive news from the Chicago Tribune is "on your radar" . . . . you need to get better radar. Chances are these days, if you see it in a major metropolitan newspaper, it's not true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      $100.000? As a retiree who hopes to live a long time and not go broke doing it, maybe a mid engine Sonic would be a more realistic aspiration.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When it comes to product pricing, things have changed a lot since the 80's...
                        Before we would build a product based on specs and then sales & marketing would determine the retail price using many variables.

                        Now, the set a price first and then they figure out the best way to produce that product at that price that could generate enough profit for the product to survive. C8 pricing and market evaluation were established long time ago, even before they had decided the specs, the manufacturing costs and etc.

                        Of course, some exotic cars are still done the old fashion way to sell a few every year.
                        Just my two cents.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          $100,000 , It will never happen. If GM wants to shut down the factory , a $100,000 price tag will do that. Who will but them? I won't. I will ask for my refundable pre order deposit back and I feel the majority of people will. The ZR1 is worth every dollar of MSRP but, they are not selling due to cost. Also keep in mind this economy is overdue for a down swing and if that happens even at the $60,400 base base price predicted by a reliable source the Corvette will see a slomp in numbers and at $100,000 the C8 will be the last Corvette ever built. Remember when GM was bailed out in 2008 by the government?? Surprisingly to government auditors the Corvette division was the only Division of GM making money. If GM starts to lose money on Corvettes I am afraid their iconic sports car will no longer be.
                          All GM has to do is pay attention to Porsche., The entry level Cayman and Boxster only sold less than 6,000 units last year in the US. A 100K entry price sticker will be a suicide mission from day one for GM and I highly doubt they could sell even 10,000 units in their first year at that price point.GM is going after European buyers with this car and with the high duty on our cars in europe there will be no European buyers. There will be few american buyers.
                          NO, 100K is out of the question. A base price of even $70,000 will turn off the loyal following Corveteers to a point.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Racer X View Post
                            >$100,000K!!
                            BTW, $100,000K means $100,000,000
                            "K" adds another 3 zeros at the end, which you had already put there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Too funny........****el is banned? Good thing this isn’t a Mazda forum.....😎
                              Black over Sky Cool Gray.....2LT.....Z51.....FE4.....E60.....

                              Comment

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