These "flaws" actually make the Chevrolet Corvette C8 better

Recent reports from the NHTSA revealed that the Chevrolet Corvette C8 has a big issue with the front trunk lid, which can open unexpectedly and with no warning. Owners also reported uneven panel gaps, so the new C8 is struggling with a few quality issues. Some have also complained that the Corvette C8 comes with features and tech that aren’t exactly suitable for a modern sports car, such as brake by wire, a pushrod engine, and all-season tires as standard. But the folks over at Engineering Explain claim that these "flaws" are actually impressive features to have. Here’s how they explain it.

Brake by Wire

Engineering Explained Exposes the C8 Corvette's 5 Big Flaws and Why They Are Actually Impressive
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A break by wire system is unusual in a modern sports car, but the C8's is actually more useful than you think.

Because this Corvette was also design with track driving in mind, Chevrolet took measure to ensure than you can still bring the car to a stop when the brake fluid boils and turns into gas. Regular braking may be done via wire, but the system also includes an electric pump. It creates enough pressure to compress the air that remains in the brakes, thus bringing the car to a stop when the system is overheated under aggressive driving.

Stopping distance

Engineering Explained Exposes the C8 Corvette's 5 Big Flaws and Why They Are Actually Impressive
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Independent tests have revealed that the Corvette C8 takes longer to brake from 60 to 0 mph compared to its predecessor.

The C7 needs around 90 feet, which was among the shortest stopping distances of any production model back in the day. The C8 comes to a halt from 60 mph in 97 feet, which is seven feet more than the C7. Okay, this doesn’t look good on paper, but there’s a few good reasons why the C8 takes a bit longer to stop.

First, because it’s a mid-engine design, weight distribution is 60/40 percent toward the rear instead of the C7’s perfect 50/50. This means that most braking load falls on the front tires, which is harder on the ABS system. Second, Chevrolet actually limited the maximum braking force on the rear tires. That’s because any input from the steering wheel while braking causes the rear wheels to twitch, and that’s something you don’t want to happen will driving the C8 hard on the race track. So it’s all in the interest of track performance.

Understeer

Engineering Explained Exposes the C8 Corvette's 5 Big Flaws and Why They Are Actually Impressive
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The C8 Corvette understeers. It's not something you want in a fast sports car, but Engineering Explained says the C8 understeers only slightly

. And it also says it’s a good thing, because unlike oversteer, understeer is safer to predict if you don’t have much experience behind the wheel of powerful sports car. And Chevy is well aware of the C8’s understeer and recommends that you adjust the camber and lower tire pressure at all four corners before taking the car to the track.

Pushrod engine

Engineering Explained Exposes the C8 Corvette's 5 Big Flaws and Why They Are Actually Impressive
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Pushrod engines are generally labeled as outdated, something that the guy doing this video used to think as well. But he now realized that these engines are simpler, have fewer moving parts, they provide great low-end torque, and are more compact that other designs. It might not be true for all sports cars out there, but the pushrod V-8 is the perfect choice for the Corvette C8.

All season tires

Engineering Explained Exposes the C8 Corvette's 5 Big Flaws and Why They Are Actually Impressive
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With all high-performance sports cars usually fitted with performance summer tires, it's a bit ridiculous that the Corvette C8 comes with all-season tires as standard.

However, these Michelin-made tires are better than the usual all-season rubber and Engineering Explained says that they help make the car more predictable. Also, during a comparison test with a Mazda MX-5 fitted with Bridgestone summer performance tires, the braking distance of the Corvette C8 was only one foot longer. Impressive!

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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