2020 Chevrolet Corvette: Is the C8 great? That’s up for debate…

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is, on paper, an amazing sports car. It’s very nearly a supercar in fact, based on some of its performance metrics. And with a starting price below $60,000, it’s also a relatively amazing deal.

It should be something that blows me away and for some reason, it doesn’t quite do that.

Maybe we can find out why…

14 Comments

  1. Ironically, I just saw my second C8 ever, after dropping my daughter off at soccer practice. I looked on with interest, but when we parted ways at an intersection, I drove away disappointed. It just doesn’t make a good visual impression, and from some angles it looks downright cheap. I really don’t like the plasticky-black vent surrounds in the bodywork, which remind me of the (very tacky, IMO) Civic Type R. I realize we’re talking about what is essentially a budget-friendly supercar, but $60K shouldn’t ever look cheap, whatever the performance.

    Now 5 minutes later, I check Hooniverse and Jeff is telling me he has doubts after driving one for a week. It’s a Corvette– it shouldn’t just be “good”. “Good” is for mainstream sedans. “Good” in a halo sports car is failure.

    1. I’ve started to see several in the Central MD region. My first sighting was one in white that didn’t impress and another in black that complemented the lines better. I like the front 3/4 view but the back doesn’t compliment the front. (I realize that this is a packaging necessity for potential Corvette buyers based on the previous metrics of fitting gold clubs in the trunk). I’m happy that GM decided to go this route but hoping for a design redo in few years to clean up the lines.

    2. In fairness to the base Stingray, I don’t think GM means for it to be a pure halo car, just to have the bones of what will be the halo version. Not to speak for the guy, but if Jeff didn’t have The Love (that missing in the C8 experience) for the E63S wagon, I’d be interested to hear him explain the difference because he gushed over that car (and I probably would too), but it’s double the price of the C8. Dollars remove compromises, the few that seem to be left in a car like the base C8 seem to be pretty well placed, but it is all a matter of personal preference and budget.

      But I agree that the needlessly tacky black trim bits (and likely other features) seem to be intentionally placed so as to get people to pay more for a “body colored accent package” which is pickup truck trim level overpricing bullshit that companies like GM have written into their DNA because it works too well to squeak out margins.

      1. I don’t doubt that you’re right, but the Stingray is filling the halo role for the moment, and it can’t just be a benchwarmer. I’ve always felt that buying the base model of a better car was wiser than buying a tarted-up higher trim of a lesser car, money being equal. The “bones”, as you say, are in my opinion what determines the love/like/hate/indifference assessment. I expect the Corvette will be tweaked to be better, but the basic car is what it is, right now. No amount of lipstick (or louder exhaust) is going to turn “like” into “love”, and that’s a shame for America’s sportscar.

    3. I agree on the black vent trim. Oddly, the configurator has body colored accents as an option, but none of the press cars I’ve seen have them. In fact I’ve seen no pictures with the body colored accents. Looks much better, IMO.

      I’d post an image, but Disqus says that I need to be logged in and also that I am logged in.

        1. Oh, I completely agree. That changes the look of the car considerably, and for the better. That red one looks almost Italian. The wheels look better in all-silver, too.

  2. The title of the video looked like Clickb8, but I definitely agree with the conclusion.

    It’s kind of weird seeing a review from Jeff that doesn’t have a car seat in the background. When are they going to start offering the Corvette in crew cab configuration?

  3. A friend of mine got himself an Audi e-tron and he loves it so much, he drove 15 000 kms in the first two months (!) and got himself some sort of injury in his knee in the process. After test driving my Centennial for the first time a few months ago, he got awfully quiet. Turns out, he had specced his Audi with sport seats, too, He has more “hips” than you, but preferred the old school sofa seats in my wannabe-S-class. He couldn’t help himself pointing out that he preferred the seats in a car 1/13th the price of his.

    Anyway, your review sounds a bit like the old Top Gear party line on German cars: Perfection stands in the way of emotion. Although I’d be troubled to connect GM and “perfection”, based on prejudice alone.

    1. I’ve never seen the point of “sport” seats for anything less than weekend track duty. I haven’t ever had a problem sliding around when driving aggressively on legal roads, except maybe in my ’66 Comet, which has a vinyl bench. It was more of a straight-line / cruiser kind of a car anyway, and the bench was great when dating as a teen.

      1. My high school government teacher used to pepper his lectures with a handful of recurring rhetorical questions. One of those involves “COB curves”. Those referred to when he was of dating age (before seat belts and bucket seats). He would take a hard right turn, and–Come Over, Baby–his date would slide up next to him. Perhaps no physical attraction, but definitely physics were involved.

  4. I had the NSX thought when I first saw them too, but like Jeff said, that’s not a bad thing, just unoriginal, which doesn’t bother me. Agree also on the wheels, I think they got whoever the wheel manufacturer is to design them in order to drive sales of their own aftermarket offerings. Right or wrong, I tend to give a ton of credence to the “by the numbers” for my own satisfaction in my choices standalone, not in comparison to anyone else in a bragging rights kind of way, so I’m more likely to love something if the fun/value numbers solve, such is my coding from the factory. I could see myself buying one of these if the stars align, but I’m afraid of a Ross type situation with his ill-fated Grand Sport experiment wherein you end up driving it on crap roads stuck behind dump trucks spewing gravel and it’s just not the experience that you hoped for slogging through the rest of your life.

    1. Those wheels are indeed awful, but fortunately easily replaceable. I’m not as forgiving on the generic front end, though. This would have been an opportune moment to boldly re-introduce hidden headlamps– preferably second-gen style, which I think could more easily be designed to comply with pedestrian collision guidelines.

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