The 2020 Corvette was revealed last night. It’s a midengine V8 and will retail for less than $60,000 for the base model. It’s captured my imagination. Anyone else have thoughts on it?
Yeah, I’m looking at the car I will buy in 10 years…
Corvette reached the performance limits of a front engine, rear wheel drive car. This is progress and I am amazed they kept in under $60K.
Like the big changes in 1963 - independent rear suspension, 1984 - aluminum suspension and composite frame structure and 1997 with the rear trans-axle on the C5
Like all of those cars, avoid the first year cars like they are Ebola unless you just HAVE to own one. There WILL be problems. Maybe serious buy-back problems. This coming from insiders with first-hand knowledge.
But, are you old enough to own one?
Based on observations in my area, one has to be at least 75 to buy one, and then these owners apparently decide to drive their high-performance car under the speed limit most of the time.
The article mentions they are treating the R&D as sunk costs rather than attempting to amortize them through production revenue. Admirable. Where I work, we tend to want those costs recouped within 3 years…
Heck, that thing would look good as a lawn ornament!
Yes it would!
And it might have to be one! A friend with direct Corvette connections had two, yes two, Corvette C7’s bought back by GM because they could not fix them under warranty. He still owns a C6 with 135,000 miles. About 50K on the racetracks (he is an instructor) with virtually no problems.
Naaah, that ain’t right, but you do need to show your Medicare card before they’ll even talk to you at the dealership. On that score I make it, just barely. Since Chevy is just taking orders now, that gives me time to cut the buttons off my shirts and buy lots more gold chains.
I can get a lot of landscaping done for 60 grand.
I like mid-engined layouts, but buyers, especially 2nd/3rd buyers, should be aware that everything is harder with them. Even my old 90’s mid-engined car, which is simple and uses a Camry motor so you don’t need much more than a socket wrench and a screwdriver to work on it… Everything is harder.
Clearances suck, access sucks because you’re getting at it via an engine lid that’s between the cabin and the trunk, rather than a hood that you can stand in front of. There are a lot of services that are easy on normal cars, but that I farm out because without either a lift or pulling the engine, getting to where I need to be is overly involved.
And then there’s the annoying issues involving cooling. Front radiator, rear engine, long pipes connecting the two. It has two bleed points, and it’s usually easier to bleed it if you bleed the engine point and then find the right angle hill to park it on to bleed the front. Same thing for the AC plumbing - the fill port’s in the usual place, the AC radiator is in the usual place, and the compressor is in the usual place, which in this case is all the way on the other end of the cabin.
That’s not a deterrant for people buying new Vettes because they can afford to have the work done, but once they show up on the used market where people who do their own wrenching might buy them, I suspect there will be some hair pulling.
I wonder if that’s the case here. Them’s some pretty big scoops on the side, maybe they have the heat exchanger located back by the engine?
There was speculation that the switch to a mid-engine platform would cause the price to balloon to at least $80k to start. I’m impressed they were able to keep the costs down. Makes me wonder how long this project has been in the works, the rumors of a mid-engine Corvette go back to the late C5/early C6 days. It’s possible that a good chunk of the R&D was done quite a while ago, shelved when GM had it’s financial problem and once GM came out of bankruptcy, they picked it up again, that way the costs would’ve been spread out over a long period of time. Meanwhile development costs on the C6 and C7 that they produced in the interim probably were not all that high given that the C6 and C7 were very similar cars.
I would never buy a first year anything because the motoring public is essentially a bunch of lab rats for testing. The Air Force base here pretty much guarantees the Chevy dealer will sell them all as the Corvette is pretty popular among the jet jockey crowd.
Three or four years in; maybe. I’m surprised at the base 60k dollar figure though as I figured it would be more along the lines of 80 or 90.
I’m not sure what article you’re referencing, but if I remember correctly, decisions about how to amortize sunk costs are (internal) matters of managerial accounting, not (external) matters of financial accounting that affect compliance or stock value, so I’m not sure why that decision is admirable. What am I missing here, other than the article?
To me, this seems like a practical decision. Moving the engine from front to mid is a major change with effects that will last as long as they keep building and selling mid-engine Corvettes, so from that perspective, it makes logical sense.
Didn’t Honda and Toyota decide to delay the introduction of new models to the US market for this reason? I seem to remember they introduced new models overseas for a couple years, and then to the US market, for this very reason.
I’d feel confident buying one of those cars in its first year being offered in the US.
I agree. It’s not like they didn’t have the head room as this puts them into another class where the competition is quite a bit more expensive. The article I read said they didn’t want to alienate their existing customer base. I wonder if they have the same profitability (GM%) or are taking it on the chin…
If you think you are going to buy one for $60k in its first year of production, you are in for a shock. If the demand is there, then only the high end, loaded models will be produced so I’m guessing you’ll need at least $100k to buy one in the first year, maybe a lot more.
This is not the first time GM considered a mid engine layout. I don’t remember exactly when but at one time, the replacement for the Mako Shark body was going to be mid engine. At the time the market value for a new Corvette was around $20k, but the manufacturing costs for the mid engine was also $20k where the front engine was only around $10k, so it was cancelled.
Maybe. I’ve got big side-scoops on mine too, but if you look behind them there’s nothing there. The turbo cars had an intercooler behind one, but the NA guys like me, they’re just for show.
ok, ok. Fine. I’ll let you buy me one. But only one, ok???
I’m waiting on permission from my wife. However I’m not hanging on the hope she’ll give me permission.
It’s one beautiful vehicle.
Starts at around $60,000 but with the “market pricing” you’d have to pay up to get even a base model at first in most markets. Depends on how many bail out because of the lack of a manual transmission option.
Yes indeedy! They’ve been kicking it around for a long while. As a replacement for the C3, C4 and C5.
This model, per Road and Track interviews with the team has been seriously in the works for 5 years and considered before GM’s bankruptcy.
While the packaging is all new, not every sub-system needs a completely new design except the transmission. Tremec designed an automatic dual-clutch transmission (the only one offered - no manual) with the differential between the engine and transmission. The C5’s thru C7’s had the diff at the rear of the transmission.
The engine is a dry-sumped 6.2 pushrod V8 revised from previous units to have 3 scavange oil pumps and one pressure pump but it is an evolution of the LS engine, not a clean-sheet.
Suspension is all new but to be expected on a new platform. Not nearly as high R&D cost. I understand local network and ECU’s in the car have been totally re-designed to make them more hack-proof (or hack resistant!). I heard that caused quite few issues.