We don’t want a half-century’s wait to end in disappointment

July 18, 2019: Remember the date? If you are a car fanatic, you sure will. After all, people have been expecting this for almost five decades now. Finally, the mid-engined Corvette C8 will be making its official debut in less than three weeks, and we have been keeping an eye out for every little bit of information there is surrounding it. And, here we are with another scoop. But, this time, it’s more of a revelation from a veteran who has shared some serious concerns regarding the C8 right before its launch. Could this launch get any more interesting?

Is The Corvette C8 Being Tamed and Humbled?

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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The concerns are raised by Jim Mero, a former ride and handling engineer the Corvette. As reported by GM Authority, he was a guest on the Overcrest Podcast where he said, "I worry about the mid-engine (Corvette),." Mero has questioned the mid-engined layout because it limits the current Corvette’s performance capabilities. Mind you; these are the words of a retired professional who has served the Corvette for 34 years. Mero has lapped the Nurburgring in the C7 Corvette Z06 as well as ZR1 for lap times.

He has seven lap times to his name, with the slowest being in the C7 Corvette Stingray Z51 at 7:33, and the fastest being in the 2019 Corvette ZR1 at 7:04.

In fact, he has even worked on the Corvette C8 as part of the development team. Mero also stated that the development team rented out some of the best mid-engined cars at that time to use for benchmark and comparisons. This fleet included the Audi R8, the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Acura NSX, and a few rear-engined Porsche 911s. Mero added that the current Corvette Z06 "smoked" these cars and got the people working on the C8 thinking why they move from the front-engined layout. As it turns out, the executives sitting in their air-conditioned offices were hell-bent on making the next Corvette a mid-engined one, and they have the final authority on it.

Apparently, the executives also liked the way the mid-engine Corvette C8 drove at speeds well below the car’s capabilities.

They also preferred the view from the driver’s seat on the C8 better than that of the front-engined Corvette C7.

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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Mero’s concerns include the facts that even though the C8’s frunk could hold a golf bag, it does not offer much utility otherwise. What’s a frunk, you ask? It’s a front trunk. He also added that Corvette will have to "reinvent the wheel" to make this a flawless car. Despite being a mid-engined car, the engineers at Corvette have not been able to achieve the perfect 50:50 weight distribution, which will make understeering a major issue.

The Official Teaser Went Off-Track

Chevy has been actively hyping the Corvette C8. It launched a teaser clip a couple of months back where the reveal date was announced.

The video clip did not do much to promote the C8 per se, but it built the hype and curiosity about Corvette and its legacy amongst the enthusiasts.

The video paid homage to the Russian engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, who made Corvette what it is today. A timer is running in the hindsight stops at 07.18.19, which is basically the launch date. Some theories at the time suggested that this could also be the official Nurburgring lap timing, but that would be a huge coincidence, and I’m sure Mero would have confirmed the same if it actually was. Mero has run 15,000 laps for Corvette over his illustrious career of 34 years.

It Was Spotted In Real-World With Camouflage

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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In another instance, the car was spotted in heavy clothing driving around the busy streets, but after carefully analyzing it, it did not look a 100-percent production-spec. The video was shot and uploaded by ’marceldemario’ on his YouTube channel.

The body of this prototype seems to be a little rounded-off, which will surely mess with the aerodynamics.

Maybe it’s the closing that makes it look chubbier, but a sharper and crisper version could most likely make a debut on July 18. The other details revealed the C8’s front turn indicators in action. We’re not quite sure if they are sequential, but they are thin, long, and will match the C8’s overall personality. At the rear, the spoiler can be spotted, meaning the car driving around was Corvette’s top-spec offering. The spoiler will be one of the most prominent differentiating aspects, so Chevy will not offer it on the lower trims.

It Is Going To Be Mighty Powerful

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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Speaking of its engine specs, the Corvette C8 will most likely be offered with a choice of two engine options.

The first one will be an entry-level 6.2-liter, V-8 engine makes 460 horses. The second mill will be a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine that churns out 755 horsepower.

It will bolt to an automatic transmission only (You have my sympathies, third-pedal lovers). A leaked options list also suggested that the mid-engine Corvette comes with an independent suspension setup with magnetic selective ride control. This suspension setup, coupled with the mid-engine setup that a creates a lower center of gravity, the Corvette C8 will stick to tarmac like a leach, thus providing impeccable grip levels even on high speeds and corners. With such powerful specs, the top-spec C8 might be able to breach the 2.5-second mark to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill.

Another New Car, Another New Logo

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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The Corvette C8 will also come with a redesigned logo; which is the tradition with Corvette.

The changes are quite subtle this time around. The elements within the logo remain the same, such as the checkered flag on the left, and the Bowtie logo and fleur-de-lis on the right. The two arms have been brought together and now connect completely instead of just their bases. These changes make the logo look much more aligned now and, even though the change barely make a difference, I still like it better than the previous iterations. Chevy has big plans for this Corvette and is expecting the C8 to be a runaway success. Chevrolet recently added 400 hourly jobs to its factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to add an extra production shift at the facility. This could be to add more manpower in developing a hybrid engine that is in the works, and it could touch the four-digit power figure mark. However, this is at least a couple of years away.

Final Thoughts

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? Exterior Spyshots
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Nevertheless, Mero believes the C8 will be a major hit. If we go by Jim Mero’s words, why did the automaker go ahead with the car if it is deemed to be slightly inferior to the current C7? Did the executives not drop the mid-engined layout because of the aforementioned points, or because of the public pressure? We will know that perhaps in a few weeks when the car will be launched.

There is no word on the pricing yet, but expect it to touch the six-digit figure.

Although the C8 is set to be a blockbuster hit, let’s not forget about the C7. In fact, the last-production car fetched $2.7 million at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Connecticut. People sure love the ’Vettes, and this is an excellent way to bid farewell to the last front-engined model from the Corvette stable.

The Corvette C8 will be unveiled at a standalone event in Orange County, California, and will be live-streamed as well.

Further Reading

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!

Is GM Creating the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette For All the Wrong Reasons? 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

Source: GM Authority

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