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Presentation by Ed Piatek & Doug Fehan Thanks to “George”

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  • Presentation by Ed Piatek & Doug Fehan Thanks to “George”

    This is now in a separate thread as George requested.

    If you are not yet familiar with the name Ed Piatek, he is the Corvette Chief Engineer (driving a Rapid Blue MVB one now. Confused? Tadge’s exact title is “Executive Chief Corvette Engineer.”

    [Quote=George]Not sure how to start a new thread...thought this might be of interest to some...

    Visit with Doug Fehan and the lead C8 Engineer at Road of American Today!

    I'll try to keep this brief as possible. I've just returned from an inspiring trip to Road of American this morning, where I luckily stumbled onto an unplanned talk with two of the most important people involved with Corvette. I won't post a bunch of redundant photos here as docprego included some nice ones above, as did another member yesterday from Road America in our Forum photos section. With the C7R's in the paddock beside us and the new C8 with the actual lead engineer fielding questions, Followed by C7R qualifying at one of the finest tracks in the world. Well, lets just say this long time Corvette guy was feeling giddy to say the least.

    Short background, not to brag or say my views are any better than the next person, but rather just so you know I do have some experience with wonderful cars. Fifty years of loving and working on high performance cars. Owning seven great Corvettes and doing a fair bit of non-professional track racing years ago. Just recently sold my 60th 427 Roadster ( a favorite of mine) and my beautifully modified '15 Z51 Coupe. Also, you should know that I am now 72 years young and no longer interested in machines that I believe belong on the track rather than our highways, and my current interest is for a smooth and beautiful grand touring Corvette, which you can keep in mind regarding some of my thoughts. So...I'll give you my impressions and some of the comments from the Corvette brass. My comments are just my opinion (sometimes strong opinion like most of us) and in no way are meant to slight those who share a different view.

    - I went primarily to confirm my interest in the new Zeus Bronze, because I was struggling with color choice for my new 'grand tourer'. Well, struggle no more, it is an absolute knock out and a slam dunk as my choice. You have to see it in person. And by the way, if you think you know it from the Cadillac with the same paint code, think again. I'm not sure if it's slightly different or, more probably, it's just all of the wonderful sculpting of the C8, but it hardly looks the same as the Caddy...WAY nicer!

    - And while we're on color the new Tan leather interior is also the perfect combo for this color. However be very sure if you choose the full 'dipped' version which makes for a very, very light interior that will be a big challenge to keep looking nice.

    Questions from the crowd to the brass resulted in these answers:

    - When asked if there was a way to turn off the start/stop feature, a huge round of applause broke out when he answered "there is none"!

    - When asked about cooling..."the two radiators in the lower front facia are primary for the Stingray. If it's a Z51 they add a third one in one of the side scoops. If it's being shipped to the Middle East they add a forth one in the other side scoop". Adding that "we hope to sell lots of cars into foreign markets with right hand drive". When asked how the crazy trade twists and turns will affect that, he smiled and said "I'm not touching that one".

    - When asked why no manual, he said " the entire car has literally been sculpted around every mechanical part under it's skin; none more important than the DCT, which by the way is an engineering marvel in it's own right, and we believe that even if we could have developed a way to offer the Manuel, the take rate would surely have fallen from around 17% to maybe, and I mean maybe 5%...which is a number that made no financial sense." Then he added, "trust me, you are going to love this transmission"

    -When asked how they can claim the Stingray Z51 performance is superior to the current Z06; he gave a fascinating mini course on the performance advantages of the new C8 design and confirmed that "yes, it will outperform the current 2019 C7 Stingray in every way.” Our forum has already many threads discussion the details.

    - Of course a follow-up question was directed to Doug Fehan, and that was, "so how will the C8R perform"...Doug smiled quietly, the crown laughed loudly, and he said: "Patience my friends, and looking at the engineer who was also grinning and had already said they're keeping their long term partners in the development process...."I'm quite confident it'll be
    amazing!

    Briefly back to my personal views, that were shared by lots of folks at the presentation.

    - While certainly subjective, I feel, for a road car that the spoiler literally ruins the line of the car, not to mention the high wing. Many folks that wanted the Z51 option were planning to remove the splitter and spoiler, but not happy that they couldn't delete them from the original order. That obviously does not apply to those who are tracking the car. It's just a beautiful, high end looking grand touring machine, without the spoiler.

    - Contrary to what someone on our forum wrote, the trunk definitely does accommodate even a large golf bag easily. For two it's pretty tight, but possible depending on the size bag and how much they can be squished down a bit. And the 'frunk' is quite large and useful I would say.

    - Paint quality was significantly better than my C7 and about as nice as any production care...maybe not quite up to Lexus, but close.

    - Important to me was the engineers confirmation that "the cockpit is substantially quieter than the C7", for many detailed reasons that he covered. Also the NPP exhaust, on 'stealth' combined with the All Season Tires makes the whole package a much more pleasant environment than the C7 coupe for highway trips. He added "unless your thing is to make noise, it can do that to": as they demonstrated the exhaust in Track.

    So, I hope this is useful to some of you, and that not too much of it has been covered excessively already. It's really cool to hear the details from the man who design much of it. He said when asked if it was fun over the last 6 years he's been on this project, he actually got emotional and said, "it's my life professional dream job...I'm amazed and thrilled I was in
    this position!

    That's enough for now...I left feeling super proud to be associated (in a small way as a dedicated Corvette owner) with all of the wonderful, dedicated professionals that have developed this game changing car. The world of Corvette just went hyper!! Can't wait for mine!!!




    Last edited by George; Yesterday, 03:20 PM.
    Last edited by John; 08-12-2019, 12:41 PM. Reason: Corrected one sentence with updated information.
    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
    Excellent post George, thanks for helping us feel like we were there too! :thumbsup:

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    • #3
      Thank you George, it means a LOT to me knowing how much effort and personal passion the Corvette team put into this car. This is the greatest country on earth and we should all be very thankful we get to be part of it.

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      • #4
        George, one outstanding write up. It made use all smile while reading it. We all thank you very much.
        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
          Very informative and well written post George, thanks! I too am on the fence regarding Zeus Bronze and I’m pleased to learn that having seen it in person sealed the deal for you. Enjoy your touring when you get your Bronze Vette!

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          • #6
            Outstanding summation!

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            • #7
              Thank you - very nice write up and pics! They let you touch it and breath on it - WTH! Agree with just about everything you state. I LOVE the misinformation HAHA - TOO funny!

              I so agree on number 2 - back is so looooong.

              I really wanted them to drop the "golf club" storage but I understand why they have it (targa storage. DD issues). It would look even more exotic, not to mention lighter without that trunk. Perhaps the Zora will not have it. MMM??

              I watched the dealer plug that battery back in to whomever asked - it's not a big deal, looked really easy.
              NCM Life Member

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NCMlifer View Post
                Thank you - very nice write up and pics! They let you touch it and breath on it - WTH! Agree with just about everything you state. I LOVE the misinformation HAHA - TOO funny!

                I so agree on number 2 - back is so looooong.

                I really wanted them to drop the "golf club" storage but I understand why they have it (targa storage. DD issues). It would look even more exotic, not to mention lighter without that trunk. Perhaps the Zora will not have it. MMM??

                I watched the dealer plug that battery back in to whomever asked - it's not a big deal, looked really easy.
                Thanks!

                The back being long has been and still is my only reservation about this car. Interestingly I don't find it as noticeable when the rear spoiler is absent. The car looks even more exotic without it and I think the entire shape benefits, it seems to help in a positive way with how I perceive the length.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by docprego View Post

                  Thanks!

                  The back being long has been and still is my only reservation about this car. Interestingly I don't find it as noticeable when the rear spoiler is absent. The car looks even more exotic without it and I think the entire shape benefits, it seems to help in a positive way with how I perceive the length.
                  Oh yeah - at "Concorse of America" you really notice it on the white one. Always surprised me about the c8 (contrary to every other vette gen) - the base looks better inmo. I SO want to see the high wing on the c8 in person however before making the choice, sadly I won't have that option before order. I bet one could do the high wing later, so I'll probably order base, 1LT with a few other must have options - engine dress up, led etc.
                  NCM Life Member

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                  • #10
                    The answer Ed gave on the C8 Z51 vs the C7 Z06 performance was the dirty little secret that the Z06 is traction-limited until you hit 90 mph. The C8 is NOT traction limited to near the same extent because of the ME weight bias, the new suspension and a new tire compound from Michelin done expressly for the C8. The DCT and a new launch control helps too. Above 90-100 mph the Z06 is probably faster due its HP advantages, but for most driving, thats immaterial.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you for that. Very insightful. Nice to hear the Z51 outperforms the Z06, at least until triple digits. . I agonized over letting my Z06 go but love the mid engine. Should be fast, comfortable and a great touring car. Nice to see the passion among the people responsible for it's development. They are enthusiasts with the talent to make this mid engine dream become a reality.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, its kind of sobering to realize that the traction control eats most of the power the supercharger produces for most driving !

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                        • #13
                          Additionally for those who live in cooler, northern climates (right now at 9:00 AM is is still in the lower 60’s at my house), getting a Z06 to hook up most of the time just due to pavement temperatures is problematic. Quite different when we were driving through Arizona in the summer time when it hooked up so much better. Again as noted above, having the 59% of the ME’s weight over its driving axle will be one major change.
                          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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