Most who’ve driven the new C8 Corvette have been blown away, even if they didn’t like it at first.
General Motors asked a lot of their die-hard fans when they came out with the C8 Chevrolet Corvette. It was a complete departure from every other Corvette that preceded it. Two of the main changes were engine placement, now behind the driver, and lack of a manual gearbox. The last time General Motors built a performance vehicle with the engine behind the driver, was the Pontiac Fiero.
I’m still a bit ticked that the manual is completely gone, but that’s how it is in the auto industry. Only a handful of cars still offer a manual transmission, and most car nerds know that modern automatics and DCTs are faster. Still, with its looks, power architecture and personality, the new C8 feels a lot more European. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Even at over a mile above sea level, on a rough track – the C8 Chevrolet Corvette is remarkably fast. Packing a 495 horsepower, 6.2-liter V8, it’s connected to a Tremec TR-9080 DCT 8-speed dual clutch transmission. In the right environment, this “base model” Corvette can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 3-seconds.
Think of the C5 generation as a proper 90’s grand touring machine
The C5 Corvette is nowhere near as advanced, nor powerful as the C8. We knew going in that the C5 would be beaten in every contest, but we wondered how much of a beatdown would it be? The C5 has a 345 hp, 5.7-liter V8 that’s hooked up to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Yes, it’s an auto… which is kind of sad for purists – but senior citizen drivers often prefer someone else rowing the gears.
Besides, it’s a mighty comfortable ride. Roman enjoys listening to his Lawrence Welk while wafting down the highway. It will be a hoot to see him pound the Geritol before he jumps into the upcoming Corvette E-Ray!
In this video, we put both the C5 and the C8 Chevrolet to the test. While the outcome is a forgone conclusion, you might be surprised about how different the two ‘Vettes actually are.