Why the C8 Corvette is the Best Bang-for-Buck Performance Car on the Market
.....And why you should buy it
Paul J. Stanglin
The point of this report is to determine the impact of the C8 corvette on the rest of the sports car and supercar market. It offers an experience that no other automobile can compete with for the price point. This report will explain what the C8 Corvette can already do, what it will soon be able to do, and which cars it competes with in a few different categories so that the way it will affect the market can be determined. I predict that the C8 Corvette, the first mid engine Corvette, will cause other automakers to change either their cars or their prices to reflect what the C8 brings to the table.
With a base price of almost 59,000 dollars, the C8 Corvette is not exactly a cheap car, even for a Corvette. The C7 (previous generation) Corvette, which was first produced in 2014, started at 52,000 dollars above. The C6 started even lower at only 44,000 dollars. The C8 has a record high starting price for a Corvette. This raises a question: is the C8 really worth the price? There are other sports cars that are similarly priced, and just as hyped up as the C8. For example, the 5th generation Toyota Supra started just below 50,0001 dollars. When the Dodge Challenger Hellcat was first produced, the MSRP was 60,000 dollars, only 2,000 dollars more for a car with 212 more horsepower. The Ford Shelby GT350 is 59,000 dollars. The point of all those numbers is to show which cars are the direct competitors to the C8 as far as price is concerned. Of these cars, the C8 is easily the champion. It handles around a corner better than all of the aforementioned cars, while doing the 0-60mph sprint more quickly than all of them (even the more powerful ones). So, even though these cars are the closest in this segment to the price of the C8, it is clear that they do not compete with its performance. Therefore, the C8 Corvette can be declared the best car for the value between these options. Now, how does it compare to other cars?
^ A CHART THAT I MADE COMPARING THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE C8 AND ITS COMPETITION
Since the C8 Corvette clearly is the best in the sports car market, how it compares to other cars, like exotic sports cars and supercars, is the next test. There is no questioning that a Lamborghini logo on a car is cooler than a Chevy logo, and there is no disputing the fact that the C8 is not as beautiful as a Ferrari. However, the new Corvette’s styling has combined elements from past Corvette designs and combined them with more Italian styling than the Corvette has ever seen; creating a car that has angles and lights like a Lamborghini, front fascia like an F430 Ferrari, and can still be recognized as a Corvette. First, it will be compared to the Lamborghini Huracan; both the 2WD and AWD variants. The raging bull that is the Lamborghini Huracan charges with a naturally aspirated V10 engine that will push it from 0-60mph in either 3.2 seconds (2WD) or 2.8 seconds (AWD). The reported and tested 0-60mph times on the C8 match the 2.8 second time of the AWD Huracan…but the C8 is still only 2WD, has less horsepower, fewer cylinders, and it starts at less than a quarter of the price. Next, it will be compared to the latest track weapon from Ferrari: the 488 Pista. Unlike the Huracan, the 488 Pista is not the entry level Ferrari. It is a faster, lighter, track focused version adapted for the speed demons of the world. Ferrari boasts a 0-60mph time of 2.8 seconds for this monster…the same time that has been recorded for the C8, which has 2 fewer turbochargers (for a total number of 0) than the twin-turbo 488 Pista. Furthermore, the 488 Pista starts at nearly 6 times the cost of the C8. The Ferrari looks better, and probably has better lap times than the C8 does (none have been released to date), but based on the acceleration and the price, the Corvette wins again. Lastly, it will be compared to the British brother of the Ferrari and the Lamborghini; the McLaren Automotive 570s. The 570s does 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds--slower than all the cars in this list except for the 2WD Huracan. It is less expensive than all of them, starting at just over 4 times the cost of the C8. And, just like the 488 Pista, the McLaren is twin-turbocharged. The C8 , again, is not. It seems like the winner of this group is the same as the first group. American muscle has done it again.
Besides performance, another thing that must be considered in a car purchase is the reliability and maintenance of the car. The cost of an oil change for the Lamborghini is up to 1,000 dollars. For the Ferrari and the McLaren, it is closer to 1,500 dollars. Now, how much is it to change the oil on a Corvette? For previous generations of the Corvette, it has been around 160 dollars to change the oil, and there is no reason to expect that it will change much for the C8. Another thing to consider is the cost of new parts. Parts for Lamborghinis and Ferraris come from Italy, and as a result they take weeks to arrive and are quite costly. Owners who need something replaced could be without their car for 3 weeks, even for something simple. That assumes you have a Lamborghini or Ferrari dealership in town. There is one of each here in Austin, TX. There is no McLaren dealer though. For people in Austin, along with the trouble of getting expensive parts from England, the car will somehow have to be transported to Houston and back too. Even that is fairly convenient compared with other parts of the country. For the C8, parts are made domestically and ship domestically. They are less expensive and more common, and nearly every town has a Chevy dealer. That is just one more way that the C8 Corvette is better than the cars it competes with. As far as reliability is concerned, the C8 is a safe bet as well. It is a similar engine to the 6.2L V8 that was used in the last generation Corvette, which was incredibly reliable. The other three cars listed will not last as long as easily. Now, it is true that the Huracan has been known to hit 150,000 miles without any serious issues, and it is the first Lamborghini to do so, but the Corvette has been known to have far more miles on the odometer than that with no major issues and less expensive repairs. There are no high mileage examples of the 488 Pista to mention here. The McLaren 570s, though it is their model that is least prone to break suddenly and repeatedly, has been known for having quality control problems, like any high production unit from a new manufacturer.
^ SECOND CHART WITH MORE FIGURES FOR COMPARISON
So, the numbers show what the C8 Corvette is capable of. Numbers are good, but numbers are incapable of expressing what a car feels like to drive. For the analysis on this, I am relying on a YouTube car review personality known as StreetSpeed717 who has driven and owned quite a few of the cars mentioned in this report and is a Corvette aficionado. In a recent upload, he picks up the first privately owned C8 Corvette from the first shipment of them that left the factory in Kentucky. He compares the driving experience to the McLaren 600lt, which is the ultimate performance version of the previously discussed 570s. The 600lt is supposed to be a champion track car and it comes with a $400,000 price tag and high quality performance engineering. It is lighter and more powerful than a C8 Corvette…yet the C8 can easily compare with one, and it comes with a price tag of under $60,000. This is beginning to look like a bargain.
Having never driven a C8 Corvette myself at the time this is written, I cannot confirm that the car handles the way that StreetSpeed717 and others claim it does. However, I consider them to be reliable sources, especially StreetSpeed717, because the only car on these lists that he has not driven or owned is the 488 Pista. I have driven some of the cars on the lists, and I have also driven older Corvettes. If what they say is true, and the C8 really does drive like a McLaren, then there is no car that will get you more bang for your buck than the C8. American muscle combined with supercar speed and handling is the perfect package all wrapped up in the beautiful new Corvette. I have high expectations for my first drive in one.
PHOTO: @p_stang_ (me)
All of the numbers, charts, and comparisons say great things about the 8th generation Corvette. It already beats the cars in its own segment, and it can beat or keep up with cars that past Corvettes could never touch. The best part of all of this, though? This is only the beginning for the C8. Corvette generations always begin with a base model Corvette, and this is what we see here with the C8. This is called the Stingray; the slowest Corvette. A year or two later, the fast version is introduced, and it has been called the Z06. Then, near the end of the production run of the generation of Corvette, the ZR1 is put into production. Each one is faster and more extreme than the last. What this means for the C8 is that it has only just begun. The C8 Z06 has already been spotted being tested by General Motors on the racetrack, along with sound clips of a much more powerful engine (flat plane crank). To conclude, the Corvette hat I have been discussing the throughout the entirety of this report is ‘the slow one’. The best is yet to come. If the slow one can destroy a Lamborghini, what will the fast one do? What will the extreme one do?
The power of the C8 is ready to be unleashed on the road and on the track, and more is coming soon. This is going to have serious impacts on the sports car and supercar market. GM is going to see a massive boost in sales on the Corvette from here on out. This assumption is based on the vast number of preorders they received, and the amount of press and media coverage that has followed it since its official release in the Summer of 2019. The other effect that it will have is on other companies like Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche. Their cars are far more expensive than the Corvette is, but the Corvette can keep up with all of their entry level models and it can beat a lot of them. I predict that the number of units that they sell will decline now that the C8 has entered the room. Or, rather, it has entered the racetrack and left the others far behind. Well done, Corvette. The other manufacturers will have to step up their game, lower their prices, or both, in order not to lose sales numbers. There will still be people who buy new Lamborghinis because they want to flex, or they just want the logo on the front. But the people who save up to buy the best sports car for the money, the true car enthusiasts, are going to be excited when they get a better car for less money. When they pass the Lamborghinis on the highway, the Lamborghini drivers probably will not feel as cool as they did before. The C8 drivers will be confident in their decision, and their bank accounts will be less empty than otherwise possible. The roads are about to be flooded with new Corvettes and (potentially) fewer Ferraris, because the C8 Corvette is absolutely the best car for the money, and it is absolutely better than a some cars that are far more expensive than it is.