Corvette C8’s Driving Experience Doesn’t Hold up to the C7

The name Corvette is synonymous with style, performance, and luxury. Corvette has been in continuous production since 1953. The C7 model hit the market in 2014. Its successor, the C8, is running a close race as far as performance goes. It is a mid-engine design that has been one of the more drastic body styles changes the Corvette has seen in a while. Let’s compare the two models and see which performs better.

A white C8 Corvette Stingray in front of a black background with blue lights.
C8 Corvette Stingray | Getty Images

Corvette C7 specs

The C7 is the seventh generation of the Corvette. The C7 has been the first model to wear the Stingray moniker since 1976. The Stingray coupe features a Tremec TR-6070 7-speed manual or a Hydramatic 6L80 6-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. The convertible version offers a power-operated fabric roof that can be opened at speeds up to 30 MPH.

The Z51 performance package offers larger 19-inch front and 20-inch rear aluminum alloy wheels, dual-compound Michelin tires, an electronic limited-slip differential and differential cooling system, and larger slotted rotors and brake-cooling ducts. 

Corvette C8 specs

The C8 is the first mid-engine Corvette since the model’s introduction in 1953. Indeed, it is GM’s first production mid-engine sports car since the Pontiac Fiero was discontinued in 1988. This is a departure from the traditional front-engine design used in all Corvette’s since. The engine placement gives the car a unique look, making it more akin to Ferrari or Lamborghini than the classic Chevy American-made muscle cars.

The C8 Stingray is only offered with an 8-speed dual-clutch automated transmission made by Tremec with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. No manual transmission option is available, unlike the C7 model. The Corvette C8 was named 2020 Motor Trend Car of the Year, 2020 Car and Driver 10 Best, 2020 North American Car of the Year, and 2020 Detroit Free Press Car. With an impressive list of awards such as this, it’s hard to imagine the C7 can compare to the C8. However, some features make the C8 less impressive than the previous C7.

How does the C8 stack up against the C7

According to GM Authority, the C8 is lacking in a few minor ways. Not that a Corvette would be used as a grocery-getter, but let’s talk about cargo space. The C8 has less usable trunk space than the C7. Also, the phone charger’s placement is awkward. Although it is positioned in the center console between the seats, it is difficult to reach and even harder to insert and remove a phone. 

One of the most significant drawbacks of the C8 is that the passenger seating is an afterthought. If you want to take your friends for a spin, they will feel like a fifth wheel in the cockpit. The design is heavily focused on the driver, with the car essentially wrapping itself around the driver. However, the passenger has little to no access to the instrumentation or any of the controls. There is even a half wall between the passenger and the driver, making it nearly impossible for the passenger to see anything going on in the driver’s seat. This feature makes the passenger seat feel more like a motorcycle sidecar.

Like every other Chevy model, the C8 does not have an auto-dimming passenger side mirror. This option comes standard on many different brands but has never been available on Chevy’s models. 

Corvette has been the quintessential American-made muscle car for many years now, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The differences between the two models come down to the priorities of the owner. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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