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  • Questions for JasonCammisa

    It seems Jason Cammisa has visited our forum and has graciously offered to answer any questions we may have! Ask away!


    Part of his post from another thread:

    I’m about to jump into a meeting but I know you guys all have a million questions. I’m happy to answer all of them - I’ll check back in a few hours and promise I’ll get to all the questions.

    I know you guys are all excited about the car and you have good reason to be. Happy to indulge all curiosities!

    Be back shortly -
    Jason


    https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...st-drive-test/
    Last edited by Meldoon; 10-16-2019, 10:06 PM.
    Black over Sky Cool Gray.....2LT.....Z51.....FE4.....E60.....

  • #2
    Maybe putting the criticisms of the C8 in perspective overall will help ease people’s minds. The natural tendency is for some people to fixate or freak out on the negatives. “Good but not great” got some people a little worried. 😁

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome Jason. We are so pleased you joined us. A question please.

      For the 90% of us who do not formally track drive our Corvettes, though we attend Spring Mountain, drive very spiritedly on curvy, Corvette country corners, and similar romps with our 8/10’s of our Corvettes capabilities, though with most of our driving being located on the same roads inhabited by mega-millions, please with your time behind the C8’s wheel, what will the car be like on a daily basis for those kinds of driving — with my noting what you already know, that many of us also use and enjoy our Corvettes on long-mileages exciting road trips. Thank you.
      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; 5VM vis CF ground effects pkg; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards.

      Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum.

      Comment


      • #4
        What exactly were all of the settings during testing when the testers experienced the understeer condition? Or, was there any experimentation with the settings to try to remedy the condition?
        Black over Sky Cool Gray.....2LT.....Z51.....FE4.....E60.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you Jason. A few question please:

          1. What difference would be made by the additional of [a] 200 HP , [b] 1400 RPMs, [c] re-tuned suspension and [d] upgraded tires, all things else untouched?

          2. What adjustment would make the C8 Stingray, not a better track performer, but would make it the "perfect" daily driver sports car and best cross country tourer in class? What else/more is needed?

          3. Why is it known that the transmission "deficiencies" can not be addressed by programming? Why is it known to be the hardware? Why necessarilly Structural Design?

          4. Were the suspension and other inadequacies common or uncommon for a similarly brand new car at the same stage? Is the C8 like an NFL team on the 1st game of the season?


          Thanks Jason.
          Last edited by SheepDog; 10-16-2019, 11:12 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Jason,

            Love your work from the old days with Jonny on Youtube with Motortrend and now with your quick reviews on Instagram.

            My question: Is the C8 exciting for normal driving? Or is it too plush, too efficient?

            I love that the C7 shakes at idle and is loud. I fear that in the C8, GM has created its version of the Turbo S. That is, luxurious, effortlessly fast, but a little sterile. When I read the early reviews and see that it is quieter than the C7 and rides like a Rolls, I start to worry....

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Jason,

              It's really great of you to seek out engagement with your audience in this way. My question is whether or not you tinkered with tire pressure during testing, and, if so, would you share what you found?

              Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Jason,

                Huge fan of your previous work. If you ever get to do video reviews like the old days I will run not walk to subscribe, watch, and support. Just sayin'.

                When you reviewed the C7 Grand Sport you said it was the perfect Vette. You felt the C7 Z06 wasn't finished and was too unpredictable at the limit. After getting to push the C8 do you feel optimistic about future Z06 and Grand Sport versions? What do you hope to see change in them?

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just because this response from Jason in another thread covers a lot of ground I wanted to make sure you saw it. So I pasted Jason’s response here:

                  Originally posted by JasonCammisa View Post
                  Hey guys. Okay, to answer the first question: I had two sessions on track with the C8, one was 7 laps at he end of a fairly long morning of abuse; the second was 7 laps on a new set of tires. When I hopped in the car the first time, it was in Track + PTM 5. I left it there. Toward the end of the second session, I turned ESC off fully.

                  As a matter of course, I test cars with their ESC systems both on and off. For cars with advanced track modes (like the Corvette) what I'm looking for is to learn what, if any, bad habits the system is trying to cover up.

                  Some Ferraris, for example, are amazing in Race Mode; neutral and predictable, and they feel 100% natural. It's only once you switch everything off that you realize the car is inherently very unstable at the rear, and the computer is managing everything. It's that well integrated that you mostly can't feel it working.

                  Even PTM 5 (on any GM, not just the C8) isn't really like that. It leaves you alone to do whatever you want, but will step in only to save your bacon if you're really about to lose it. In the case of the C8, I didn't feel a single intervention on track until I booted it gracelessly coming out of a hairpin to induce a slide. All it did was cut power (a TC function, not an ESP function.)

                  The car's behavior in the two modes was the same: easy to manage, incredibly stable, and very fast. My first impression was that it didn't have the oh-my-god levels of lateral grip that the C7 had at launch. The skidpad number (1.03g vs 1.08g) bear that out, so my butt-calibration wasn't off.

                  Understeer is an oft-misunderstood thing. Cars that don't understeer at all are uncontrollable — think of a shopping cart with omnidirectional casters at the rear. The fastest — and incidentally most rewarding — setup is that of very mild understeer to neutral. Basically, you want both ends of the car to reach their limit at the same time. If anything, maybe the front a hair before the rear.

                  This is mild understeer. And if the limits of the two axles are very close, you then have the ability to manage them using throttle, brake, or steering inputs. A mid-engie mild-understeerer can be made to go neutral with a small amount of trail-braking, for example.

                  The reason we (and C/D, and MT, and everyone else who's driven the car) complained about the understeer is for a few reasons. Firstly, it's not mild understeer: it's moderate and then some. This means, as a driver, the repertoire of tricks you have at your disposal to change the car's mid-corner attitude are very limited.

                  And by the way, when I say "we," I'm not talking about "me at Road & Track." I'm talking about the combined editorial staff. I'm sure you don't need or want a speech about the way magazines work, but when I'm writing a piece about a car as important as the C8, you can be sure I shared that story with my colleagues to ensure that we all agreed on those words. The senior R&T staff saw, and edited, that piece to make sure we all agreed with every word.

                  I should say that two other experienced drivers on staff didn't feel that the C8's understeer was an issue; they found ways of driving around it. They said they were able to get the car to rotate using big steering inputs, brake stabs, and massive trail-braking.

                  You've probably all seen my stunt driving — I've done literally thousands of huge slides for the MT videos (and everything else I've done) — but I was NOT going to risk crashing a C8 prototype for the glory of getting the car to rotate. Frankly, the whole point of a mid-engine car is that its low polar moment of inertia eliminates the need for that kind of driving. I got it sideways only under full throttle in 2nd gear on corner exit — and it was progressive and easily controllable. But since those guys found ways to drive around the C8's handling limitation, that line made it into "my" piece in R&T.

                  Fact is, I can get a Camry to oversteer — and quite easily — using those same moves. It shouldn't be necessary in any sports car. And definitely not in a Corvette.

                  I mean it when I say that GM does some of the best chassis tuning in the business. They have a secret sauce on the C7 and Alpha-plaform vehicles that somehow gives steering response at the understeer limit. This violates the laws of physics — you can get those cars to go neutral even after they've started understeering, using the steering alone. It's likely a combination of MR dampers, diff, and really good elastokinematics. The cars are unbelievable. They're some of the most rewarding limit-handling cars ever made.

                  The C8 doesn't do this.

                  I'm not in the business of getting hard-working people fired, so there will be no names ever given. Put it this way: GM confirmed to me the limit-handling magic trick that the Alpha/C7 cars do isn't possible on the C8 for engineering reasons. But they're working on it. I suspect subsequent versions of the C8 will do this trick... but the Stingray will remain a resolute understeerer for production.

                  Let's talk about understeer. Does that mean that the C8 is less rewarding on a track for an advanced driver than it could/should be? Yes. Does it mean it should/could be faster around a track? Absolutely.

                  Does any of that make it a bad car — or a bad Corvette? Of course not. It's one data point!

                  You guys are clearly enthused about the car, and nobody wants to hear bad things about something they're excited about. I get that — but please, let's keep the conspiracy theories under control. There's no plan to sell additional magazines. I don't want, need, or care to re-spark a career that's not dead. (By the way, I didn't suddenly reappear at R&T; I've been working with those guys since Travis took over 6 months ago. I have a tech column in every issue.)

                  And as for "perspective:" the thing is fast as (insert profanity here.) Beats every Corvette ever tested to 60 mph; nearly ties the C7 Z06/Z07pkg through the quarter mile. That's a huge achievement, especially given no substantive power bump over the C7 Stingray. I wrote a big tech piece for R&T's Performance Car of the Year issue on that, explaining how it's possible. It's simple physics, and GM's intelligent guys and gals took advantage of the physics benefits of MR traction and a quick-shifting DCT. They did good.

                  The rest of the car is pretty dang good, too. I seriously cannot express how well it rides — it genuinely redefines what a sports car can ride like. Feels like you're floating on top of the pavement; it's a strange experience. Is that what a Corvette buyer wants? I'll leave that for you to decide. Doesn't matter what I think.

                  It doesn't matter whether like any part of the C8. I get paid to tell you about the facts, not the opinions. Facts are: the C8 will beat every other Corvette ever made to 60 mph. It rides like a dream. The passenger-side space is compromised because of the buttons. C7 had better steering feel. Brake-by-wire's didn't please everyone. Transmission has some programming issues that I expect will be taken care of before production begins; but its shifts (go see my IG acceleration video for an example) are nowhere near as quick as PDK's, etc. And the car has far more rear-axle grip than front grip in corners, meaning it understeers.

                  Any other facts you'd like to know? I'm happy to answer the questions. HeII, I'll give you my feelings too, if you want to know them.

                  Hope this helps!
                  Jason
                  Last edited by lashedup; 10-17-2019, 12:20 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lashedup View Post
                    Maybe putting the criticisms of the C8 in perspective overall will help ease people’s minds. The natural tendency is for some people to fixate or freak out on the negatives. “Good but not great” got some people a little worried. 😁
                    The subhead of that article is just that — a subhead... and it's kinda hard to sum up a car as Big and Important as the C8 in just a few words. The reason I chose that is because those are the words I said to the GM staff that was on-site. Dynamically, it's good; but I expect better from GM. We all sorta felt the same way about its looks (good), the transmission (good, not great; needs some tuning work); interior materials (good, not great), packaging (not great), engine note (good, not great — it's way too quiet), etc.

                    I don't think there's reason to panic. The car's war has already been won — there are entire sites devoted to discussing it; people are excited about it. It's hugely significant in the market, and as such it wouldn't matter if it was terrible. It'd still sell.

                    But luckily it's not. It's good. It's a hell of a straight-line performer, and a really nice car to road-trip in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John View Post
                      Welcome Jason. We are so pleased you joined us. A question please.

                      For the 90% of us who do not formally track drive our Corvettes, though we attend Spring Mountain, drive very spiritedly on curvy, Corvette country corners, and similar romps with our 8/10’s of our Corvettes capabilities, though with most of our driving being located on the same roads inhabited by mega-millions, please with your time behind the C8’s wheel, what will the car be like on a daily basis for those kinds of driving — with my noting what you already know, that many of us also use and enjoy our Corvettes on long-mileages exciting road trips. Thank you.
                      Thanks for the welcome!
                      Okay, so on the open road is where the C8 really shines. The ride quality, as I've said a few places, is sublime. It genuinely rides better than many luxury cars. The cabin is quiet. We had the comp seats, which were a tight fit — I wouldn't recommend those for broader guys or for people who want to do long trips. They killed my back — but I don't ever mention that in a story unless everybody has the same impression. No one else had a problem with them, so it's just my anatomy.

                      It's easy to get in and out of. The LCD-screen mirror is a gimmick IMO and doesn't really help rearward visibility.

                      The optional big stereo is genuinely good. The infotainment stuff is all well thought-out, and I love that Stealth mode at night.

                      I don't like the shifter much — for the same reason that we've panned Honda/Acura's similar design. You'll get used to it, but it isn't as intuitive to use without having to look down at it as, say, a conventional PRNDL or Porsche's 992 shifter.

                      The only real issue I'd have with a C8 as a road-trip machine would come from the passenger seat. That waterfall row of buttons really encroaches on your space over there... I didn't like sitting there. I say, and I hope this isn't interpreted as any kind of sexist statement, that the C8 won't pass the "wife test." Passengers just won't care for it.

                      The other thing is the special factor. To me, sports cars should be exhilarating in normal driving, and it's here that the C8 takes a step back from C7. The ride, the quietness, the fact that it's an automatic, the smoothness of the engine, the lack of communication from the steering... in normal driving, it's not as fizzy and alive as the C7 was. Doesn't make it a bad car at all — in fact, by definition that makes it a BETTER car — but it could stand to be a little more interactive when you're not beating on it, as far as I'm concerned.

                      But all of those things make it a better daily-diver than most mid-engine cars.

                      Hope this helps.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Meldoon View Post
                        What exactly were all of the settings during testing when the testers experienced the understeer condition? Or, was there any experimentation with the settings to try to remedy the condition?
                        Every editor who drove the orange car (R&T) noticed understeer, in any mode. The modes don't change the car's behavior, typically, and they don't here. The car understeered terminally on every corner at Thunderhill West. That same car was shipped across the country to be tested by Car & Driver, and their tester wrote on the sheet "way more understeer than expected." C/D testing is done with all systems off.

                        It seems everyone who's driven any C8 protoype noticed the same dominant understeer trait. The only one who disagreed was Jonny — in an instagram post — but I'll leave that alone and let you all draw your own conclusions.

                        This isn't the first time a mid-engine car has suffered from this. The 981 Cayman GT4 was perfectly neutral and amazing when we drove prototypes in Europe; it was a horrible understeering mess when the US cars arrived. Factory alignment changes helped, but ultimately that car was disappointing, too. Didn't stop it from becoming an instant classic. Same holds true here. Just don't expect any mode-settings will change a fundamental handling characteristic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SheepDog View Post
                          Thank you Jason. A few question please:

                          1. What difference would be made by the additional of [a] 200 HP , [b] 1400 RPMs, [c] re-tuned suspension and [d] upgraded tires, all things else untouched?

                          2. What adjustment would make the C8 Stingray, not a better track performer, but would make it the "perfect" daily driver sports car and best cross country tourer in class? What else/more is needed?

                          3. Why is it known that the transmission "deficiencies" can not be addressed by programming? Why is it known to be the hardware? Why necessarilly Structural Design?

                          4. Were the suspension and other inadequacies common or uncommon for a similarly brand new car at the same stage? Is the C8 like an NFL team on the 1st game of the season?


                          Thanks Jason.
                          1: so 695 hp, 7900 rpm, suspension, and tires: well, I think we all can agree that 700 hp and 8000 rpm sound like a pretty good recipe for fun, but it's just a guess. I wouldn't have predicted that C7 would go from being a nearly perfect handler in Stingray form to an uncontrollable, dangerous nightmare in Z06 form. (Sorry if you own one; please don't ever turn off stability control.) It's far easier to screw up handling with suspension and tires than it is to fix it... so these kinds of mods could go any way.

                          2. To be a better daily driver? I'd say an interior refresh to address a lack of space on the passenger-side and a redo of those gloss-black buttons. They go blank in sunlight (GM is working on that for production; let's see what they manage to do) but even still, a row of the same-sized buttons isn't an ergonomic win. Luckily all controls are redundant in the screens, so I'd just nix the whole row so the passenger has space. As a cross-country cruiser, it's quite good. As a daily, it could use more trunk and interior space. Using the new 992-chassis 911 as a bogey, I'd say C8 crucifies it on NVH, ride quality, infotainment usability. Porsche scores easy win on cabin space, trunk space, transmission, engine, and steering.

                          3. So the bugs I "didn't mention" in the piece were programming glitches. These include the car hitting the limiter before upshifting — and getting stuck there; massive clunks as you come to a stop; big interruptions in power on some upshifts, occasionally mistimed and rough downshifts. Those are all clearly errors in programming and I fully expect most or all of them to never be seen in a production car. That's all typical stuff. The stuff that I *don't* think they'll fix is the speed at which the transmission responds to shift requests and the way they're executed. They're not lightning-fast like PDK, Ferrari DCT, McLaren's, or even Lambo/Audi R8. They're smooth and quick-ish, but if you've used any of those other transmissions, they're just instant. The C8's is not, and I don't think software will fix that in one revision. The transmission also doesn't hold downshift requests for long before discarding them — so if you request a downshift slightly too early on the track, it'll just ignore you, where others will execute that shift if conditions are met shortly after the request. GM's peeps told us this was designed in. It was a problem for every single driver on track. It's those kinds of things that won't be "fixed" for production.

                          4. With the exception of the Porsche Cayman GT4 I mentioned in a previous question, the E90 BMW M3, and Lexus LC500, every one of the dozens of early prepro cars I've driven has been representative of the final production cars. (Cayman GT4 went from neutral to an understeering problem-child; E90 M3 PrePro steering was overboosted beyond belief, production calibration was great; Lexus LC did an emergency gear-ratio swap on the transmission.) I spoke at great length with GM's engineers about the understeer situation and they're well aware of it — at that point, I didn't think that any changes would or could be made before production. Now, given the delay due to the strike, and especially because of the complaints from every single media outlet that drove it, I wouldn't be surprised if GM had time to make a small alignment change before production. Granted, small changes can have dramatic effects on handling, so who knows. But to answer your question: I don't expect production cars to drive differently. I do expect subsequent C8 models to fix this problem. Reading between the lines of what the engineers said, it's clear to me that it's on their to-do list.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sprintcarfan View Post
                            Hi Jason,

                            Love your work from the old days with Jonny on Youtube with Motortrend and now with your quick reviews on Instagram.

                            My question: Is the C8 exciting for normal driving? Or is it too plush, too efficient?

                            I love that the C7 shakes at idle and is loud. I fear that in the C8, GM has created its version of the Turbo S. That is, luxurious, effortlessly fast, but a little sterile. When I read the early reviews and see that it is quieter than the C7 and rides like a Rolls, I start to worry....

                            Thanks!
                            Thanks for those kind words! And that's a really great question. I think it all depends on what the driver's looking for - I've had people look me squarely in the face and tell me their Audi A-whatever is exciting to drive. A colonoscopy would be more fun.

                            But the phenomenon you mention is a problem for a lot of sports cars these days. I also loved that the C7 shook at idle; I loved how rough and gruff it was; how it made sure to let you know that it was American. And different.

                            And the C8 doesn't do that. That likely makes it "a better car," but it also means it's a little less enjoyable when you're not caning on it. The ride quality and noise isolation were genuinely shocking to me — and yeah, that does take away from some of the specialness of the car's experience. So too does the isolated steering. Too much? You'd have to be the judge of that. I'm a tough judge in that department though — just losing the manual transmission is enough for me to walk away, personally. So the fact that it's a mid-engine car and looks the way it does is likely enough for most people.

                            It wouldn't be enough for me. But it may be close enough to a C7 to you that it's fine.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Daffy View Post
                              Hi Jason,

                              It's really great of you to seek out engagement with your audience in this way. My question is whether or not you tinkered with tire pressure during testing, and, if so, would you share what you found?

                              Thanks!
                              Thanks — I appreciate the opportunity to answer your guys' questions. This is what I love to do.

                              We didn't touch tire pressures at all because — and this is an unusual circumstance — GM had chaperones with the car at all times. They were watching tire pressures and adjusting between track runs, and setting it for the street. Typically we run all cars on the street at the pressures on the door sticker; for track we'll start out there and then bleed down as heat builds up.

                              I watched GM's guys do exactly that, but where they wound up with pressures, I honestly wasn't told.

                              Comment

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