Every high school classroom has at least one "cool kid" who charms everyone around with their presence only to then lift their leg, fart and run away laughing. The backbencher who promises to take you to the stars only to again fart and run away with their hands up in the air.
For Chevrolet, Corvettes have been that backbencher. Being the showcase model for decades with mesmerising looks and big promises, all Corvettes have under-delivered in the real world. The party piece for Corvettes have been huge V8s fitted in an immature body. Cost cutting techniques like using plastic bodies has given United States a cheap sports car but ruined what could have been a sports car for the world.
Like all muscle cars, Corvettes have been showcased as straight line kings. A huge V8 in front of the driver with the power being sent to the wheels behind has been the traditional recipe for Corvettes. The results around the track however, weren't very pleasing. Lift off oversteer, turn in understeer, uncontrollable wheel spin and clumsy interiors have been this bright backbenchers fart piece.
The toddler Corvettes (C1, C2, C3, C4)
The first bad boy, the Corvette C1 was showcased post WW2. It was meant as a gift for the heroes coming back from war. The cars looked apart. Impressive styling, open roofs and advanced fibreglass technology meant that the car had high expectations at launch.
The next 3 generations followed similar styling for the body and the highest horsepower was 300. They raised many eyebrows and the world was excited to feel the power in these 2 seaters. However, the limited budget and lack of R&D meant the cars failed to impress at the time.
Today, however, the early generation Corvettes are one of the most desired cars. The cars even today mark their presence elegantly and make heads turn as they cruise down the roads.
Teenage Corvettes (C5, C6, C7)
1996 marked the start of this bad boy's teenage. The C5 was the first Corvette to receive over 300 HP with the following generations featuring even bigger engines. It was also the first Corvette to be redesigned completely since the C1. The C5 featured shared almost nothing from its predecessor.
The following generations were attempts to work on the success of the C5. Aggressive styling while keeping their traditional Corvette shape was the challenge GM had to meet. The "cool kid" was maturing fast. Fast enough to leave long skid marks and alot of smoke on his exit.
However, track events were still a bit too much to ask. The 6.2 V8 upfront with a wobbly body meant, track timings were still not up to the mark. The cars were immense fun to be in but, still found it hard to keep up with the muscle competition around.
The mature C8
Earlier this year, the 2020 Corvette was revealed in California. The release was a spectacle. It started with a video of the moon landing on a massive screen with speakers louder the Corvette's engine. As the screen lifted, 3 cars were driven in formation towards the massive crowd who greeted them with screams loud enough to be heard on the west coast.
The first noticeable change on the 8th generation Corvette is the even more aggressive front end. This is the first Corvette to be mid-engined which means that front end can sit lower. The shorter wider frunk with a new set of more aggressive eyes gives this gen an instant appeal. Power is still sent to the rear wheels. Looking through the slanting roof, you can see the skeletal framework of the 6.2L V8 which produces 490 HP and 465 lb-ft of torque, making this the most powerful Corvette ever produced.
The likes of Mustang, Camaro and Charger have made serious strides with their recent generations producing more track focused numbers. Is this the year this bad boy graduates school and starts playing with college goers? How much do you like the C8? Can we expect a hybrid C9? Talk to me in the comments.