The C8 Corvette will probably be just fine

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette has a lot of ground to cover if it’s going to actually be successful. Sure, it wears a Corvette badge, so it automatically has clout, but it’s such a huge departure from the standard philosophy Corvette fanboys and purists are used to. And, that in itself could be a big downfall and could, in all honesty, really affect just how well this generation of the Corvette sells in the long run. Regardless of its price, performance, comfort, or luxury, the fact of the matter is that the largest portion of Corvette owners and buyers are of the older persuasion and, in all honesty, can be stuck in the ways. That means the Corvette could lose at least part of its primary fan base with the introduction of this all-new model and it’s the C8’s job to counter this by attracting fresh blood to the Corvette and the Chevy brand as a whole. To explain what I mean by all of this, I need to elaborate a little more, the first step of which is addressing what the C8’s customer base will likely become.

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette: Out With the Old and In With the New

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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I spent around 5 hours at the Tustin Blimp Hangars before and after the C8 Corvette’s debut. I really loved the way, so many owners were invited and showed up. The parking lot was, I kid you not, one of the coolest displays of Corvettes from all generations and that even includes some tuned models tuners like Callaway. Just the scene itself was like a wet dream for any Corvette enthusiast.

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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Chevy had arranged for snacks and meals to be provided for people who attended the event, and I was stoked to try In and Out Burger for the first time but, as I sat there feasting on this succulent burger, I noticed something. If you were to take and remove all of the media professionals, security, and representatives, the primary base of people there were much older than the rest of the crowd.

And, it’s a fact that a significant portion of Corvette owners are advanced in age, so this isn’t surprising.
Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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I didn’t realize how detrimental the age gap between owners and media would affect the overall ambiance of the event until the C8 Corvette showed up on stage. Of course, everyone was thrilled but, once we got to the stage, elbow to elbow with what felt like half the country, I started to overhear real thoughts and opinions. They weren’t all great opinions either, folks. Some people didn’t like the overall design or felt like moving to a mid-engine configuration was a blatant violation of Corvette tradition. The latter part is true, no doubt, but at some point, the Corvette had to evolve – the only thing constant is change. Younger members of the media seemed to love the new C8 for the most part, myself included with my not-so-advanced age of 36, but the older crowd wasn’t so keen on a number of things.

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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The main complaints were that the engine was in the rear and that it won’t drive like a Corvette should, the weird panel of buttons on the center console, there’s not enough storage space, and I even heard a few complaints that the design was just too far off from the C7.

The whole scene on stage was like a bubble of polarizing opinions that flew at me from each and every direction. I have to admit, though, that the input was amazing from so many people. One gentleman I talked to said that “he likes the new Corvette but would probably stick with his C7 because he’s not into the whole modern supercar idea.” Another said, “I think it looks good, but it’s certainly not for me.” I even heard a woman tell what I presume to be her husband that he “better not even think about buying one.” My guess is that he may have slept on the couch that night because he seemed really into the car.

All of that said, it became obviously clear at this point that the C8 Corvette probably won’t appeal to a lot of current owners or prospective buyers that have earned their badges in life. If the C8 Corvette loses even half of the current fan base, Chevy could be in a lot of trouble, but it’s not that cut and dry, which brings me to my next point.

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Needs to Attract New Clientele

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery
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If a large percentage of current owners don’t like the new C8 Corvette, Chevy could have a big problem on its hands. All this time, effort, and money put into a car that costs the company business could be a very bad thing. But, Chevy isn’t just relying on its current customer base to order up the C8 like hotcakes. No, no, no.

The new C8 will attract all kinds of new business from younger, successful professionals all the way to fans of exotic cars because, in all reality, the C8 can compete with some of the best exotic cars out there at a fraction of the cost. It even has the performance credentials to support that claim too.

The truth is that the Corvette has evolved into an American supercar. It’s not just a sports car anymore and, while that will shun some of the current customer base, anyone not interested will be replaced by several that are. It’s entirely possible that fans of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, among others, will give the new C8 a shot. All it will take is for them to sit in one and test drive it, and they will be sold. I can’t vouch for driving it….yet…. but I did sit in the driver’s seat, and I have to admit it’s not only comfortable, but the driving position is amazing, and you feel like you’re in complete command and control. There’s no doubt in my mind that the driving experience will only reinforce that feeling and will probably improve on it tenfold.

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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And, to top this off, I have a feeling that the C8 will start to grow on those that didn’t exactly have the best initial impression of it. I felt the same way when I started seeing spy shots over a year ago, and now I’m more impressed with it than I have been with any car in recent memory. If Chevy can convince current owners to at least give it a test drive, then there’s a good chance that at least some opinions will change. But, even if they do, it’s absolutely imperative that younger buyers and those that usually shop other high-end models come to the Chevy brand as well. If Chevy can’t attract the younger base and other supercar enthusiasts, then things could go south very fast.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery
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I don’t think this will be the case because Chevy did the C8 Corvette right from a supercar standpoint.

It’s designed to be strong and light (only for its size, as it’s not really all that light), and it’s designed to be fast.

Maybe not in terms of top speed but there aren’t a lot of people that actually push Vettes to their top speed anyway. The Vette is more about getting up to speed quickly, and that’s more than okay. With the starting price of less than $60,000, the sheer performance of its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8, and the ability to customize it to the extent of your wishes will go a long way. Plus, purists can’t be too upset when it comes to the Stingray – that LT2 is as traditional as it gets. It’s still naturally aspirated, the valvetrain still features a single cam and pushrods, and when you hear it start and rev up, it proudly says, “I’m an American-built V-8.”

The 2020 Chevy C8 is an American Supercar for the Masses

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery
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I can’t stress this point enough: The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette will lay waste to a lot of other cars that we can now officially call the competition. Think about this for a minute. The Lamborghini Aventador will set you back more than $417,000 and hits 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera comes at a divorce-inducing $305,000 and needs a gas hog of a V-12 to get to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The Ferrari 488 runs around $257,000 and will probably match the C8 with a 2.8-second sprint to 60 mph. Even the Ford GT starts out at around $400,000, and its turbocharged V-6 is only good enough for a 3.0-second sprint to 60 mph. And, at that, the Ford GT is a limited production model that Ford was very picky about who it sold too. Seriously – Ford was as bad as Ferrari when it came to customer selection, and those who did buy it even had to have very active social media accounts and jump through more hoops than I care to count.

Chevy knows better than to alienate the world from its new supercar, and that’s why anyone with the money and the patience to deal with a waiting list, will be able to own one.

There aren’t any crazy stipulations that say you need to have thousands of Instagram followers or anything of this nature. In that regard, the C8 is no different than any other generation of the Corvette. If you want one, you go to a dealer and buy one. It’s that simple (as long as your wife approves, of course.) When you factor in its low price point and all the other unignorable selling points, the C8 Corvette will be, I believe, a huge success for the brand. The younger crowd will come and so will consumers of other popular exotics. Someone who spent $400,000 on a Lamborghini last year considers the $60,000 entry price of the Corvette laughable and, I’m assuming, irresistible for what you get. The design, interior, and performance are all on point, and this is why Chevy is able to Evolve the Corvette into a modern-day, American supercar.

What’s Next for the Chevy Corvette?

Chevy Has Yet to Confirm a 2020 C8.R Race Car - Here's Why You Should Still Expect One!
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There are still a lot of unanswered questions and crazy rumors floating around. The rumor the gets my attention the most is that the Corvette name will spin off into its own standalone brand – much like Dodge did with Ram Trucks. That rumor also says that the Corvette name will be slapped on high-performance SUVs, sedans, and even trucks, but if I were a betting man, I’d run away from that poker table screaming. That’s just not going to happen.

The Corvette is Chevy’s halo car. It always has been and always will be.

Moving the Corvette away from Chevy would be a bad move, and diluting the Corvette name by plastering it on an SUV or truck would just make matters worse. That would be the first step to losing most of the Vette’s current fan base.

Chevy Has Yet to Confirm a 2020 C8.R Race Car - Here's Why You Should Still Expect One!
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As far as trim levels go, Chevy still has its work cut out for it. In the next few years, we’ll see debuts of the Chevy Corvette C8.R track monster, the Corvette Grand Sport, Corvette ZR1, and maybe even a super-hybrid of sorts known as the Corvette Zora. The Zora name, by the way, was just recently trademarked again by GM, so we know it will be used for some version of the Corvette. We hope it’s some range-topping hybrid model with some 1,000 horsepower as most rumors up to this point have suggested, but it’s quite possible the Corvette Zora could be a special edition model to pay homage to Zora Arkus Dontov – the man behind the mid-engined XP-819 Corvette concept that was introduced way back in 1964. It’s only fitting that his name ends up on some variation of the new C8, there’s just no telling what variation it will be.

Going forward, there’s no telling what Chevy will do next. It’s way too early to start discussing the next-generation but, unless the C8 is a complete flop, which isn’t likely, don’t expect to see another front-engined Corvette again.

The C8 generation will likely soldier on until sometime in the late 2020s, being updated every few years with either a new model to the range or a careful refresh of the exterior design and new technology.

If you want to learn more about when to expect future trim levels beyond the 2020 C8 Stingray, check out our timeline for the C8 Corvette.

Final Thoughts

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Attract the Younger Buyers It Needs to Survive?
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There are two big reasons why the Chevy Corvette had to go through such a radical transition for its eighth generation. The first reason being that the current front-engine, RWD design was essentially at the ceiling of what it’s capable of. There was very little room for improvement in design, style, or performance. Secondly, and I say this as nicely as possible, the current crop of Corvette enthusiasts and owners aren’t exactly getting any younger. In order to preserve the continuation as successfulness of the Corvette name and at the same time provide an improvement across all fronts from design to performance, Chevy had to make radical changes. The mid-engine design was necessary to keep the Corvette alive. Perhaps some of you don’t like to hear that, but I promise you that it’s the truth. The new C8 will attract new buyers from all walks of life and, because of this, it has the potential to be the best-selling Corvette of all time – even if the purists and current owners aren’t too keen on it.

Further reading

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery
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Wait, the All-New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is Priced How Much?!

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

1953 - 1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1 High Resolution Exterior
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Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette

1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2 High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 Exterior
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Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3

2001 - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
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Read up on our review of the 1997-2004 Chevy C5 Corvette

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Read up on the 2005-2013 Chevy C6 Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Check out our full review of the 2014-2019 Chevy C7 Corvette

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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The 9 concepts that led to the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8

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