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Is The New C7 Corvette
the Most Boring Car on the Road?

January 11, 2013 by Matt

Chevy Chevrolet C7 Corvette Vette 2014 New

So the 2013 Detroit Auto Show is coming up, and the introduction overshadowing all other activity is that of Chevy’s 7th generation (C7) Corvette. It’s automaker’s halo car and bonafide proof that in spite of the general lack of quality of American cars compared to most of our rivals around the globe, we can create a world-beater when we put our minds to it. The C7 will undoubtedly exhibit pavement-buckling power from its signature pushrod V8, and astonishing capability around a circuit.

Chevy has announced a figure of 450 hp for the C7’s heavily revised LT1 6.2l mill. The new engine’s output complements updated suspension (still sporting transverse leaf springs at the rear) and a thoroughly reworked interior to address longstanding criticism of that aspect of the Corvette. The trip from a standstill to 60 mph is expected to take less than 4 seconds, while the car’s price is likely to comfortably undercut just about anything with remotely the C7’s level of capability.

Chevy Chevrolet C7 Corvette Vette 2014 New Engine Motor LT1 SBC Pushrod OHV V8

So, completely void of sarcasm, it’ll be a fantastic car. The automotive press will burst into spontaneous applause when the veil is lifted Sunday night as scheduled, and wax lyrical over its specifications and abilities, amply hyped by the GM press machine.

And I couldn’t be less interested.

Let’s look at the formula: Front pushrod V8, rear drive, shark-y looks. That’s the Corvette template, and it hasn’t changed in the past 50 years even as Chevy has refined, perfected and polished it to its current state of brilliance. Again, I’m not arguing the car’s capability, or even how exciting it is to drive—I’ve no doubt it would utterly blow me away—but the concept of the car is beyond uninteresting at this point. The execution is near-flawless, but I (and many other enthusiasts) place a premium on creativity, and engineering adventurousness—and those two qualities are completely absent the C7’s specification.

So the idea of the Corvette bores me. But the most boring car on the road? Really? More so than, say, an Accord or a Camry? Well, yes. Consider: The Accord or the Camry’s laundry list of technological features is probably equally as uninteresting as the Corvette’s—but the Accord and Camry aren’t created to be exciting. There’s little contrast between the creativity invested in either their concept or execution; they’re thoroughly competent, full stop. The Corvette, on the other hand, was designed with driving excitement and excellence as an end goal, and as such the dramatic difference between the lack of originality in its layout or details and the dominant nature of its performance is front and center. I really can’t think of an less interesting car that does what it does so well.

But that’s the Corvette way. I really don’t expect anything to change when the curtain is drawn Sunday night.

Filed under: Auto Shows, Chevrolet, News

12 Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    I hear what you’re saying Matt but my response would be if you’ve found something that works, and works well, why mess with success? And I say this as a person who doesn’t even find the new C7 all that exciting either. All my Chevy friends are ready to sell their first born child to get one though, lol. Give me a CTS-V wagon and call it a day. :)

    • Matt says:

      Point taken. Again, I can’t argue the fact that it’s a successful formula. By my own metric, I should be uninterested in a car like, say, the Porsche 911, which has persisted with the same mechanical arrangement for almost as long as the Vette. Two things keep the 911 interesting, though: The fact it’s a more unconventional configuration to begin with, and the fact that Porsche has improved their car in more substantial ways than Chevy has with the Vette, adding turbocharging (eventually with VGT), DCT, AWD and finally ditching air cooling when the time was right. For the Corvette, regardless of its capability (which is immense), it’s just its familiarity, coupled with the lack of technological innovation outside details here and there, added to the fact that it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill sports car mechanical setup to begin with that solidifies my lack of interest.

      I share your love for the CTS-V wagon—that’s something new and interesting for GM. I actually think I’d take an ATS first, though, if only they would attach a manual gearbox to the V6… :(

  2. Phillip says:

    Other less interesting cars… Morris Marina and Austin Princess

    • Matt says:

      Haha

      Well we all know the Marina can withstand repeated blows from a piano and the Princess can hold a prodigious amount of water—I’d like to see the C7 accomplish either of those!

  3. John D says:

    I am so uninterested in this car that I can’t even be bothered to comment. Oh wait…

  4. geo says:

    Uninteresting, huh? You are so gay it is not even funny. If the Corvette is a dinosaur, how come it has been winning some of the most prestigous and enduring races in the world? Beating Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and the like. Jay Leno said it best,” Go buy a living room set if you want to complain about the Corvette interior.” No car is perfect and all of them have issues, but the Vette boring? No it’s you who is boring because technology does not equal excitement. Oh and by the way, who drives station wagons even if they have a powerful motor besides soccer moms?

    • Matt says:

      It’s an excellent car, and there’s no way I can argue with its success in motorsport and against pretty much anything you’d line up next to it short of Veyron. But the formula, the concept, the idea of the C7 is just boring. Same old, same old. Yet another big pushrod V8. Yawn.

      Not to mention the fact that the styling is completely overdone. Now that it’s been unveiled I can certainly criticize it on those grounds. :)

  5. geo says:

    Matt, you must understand that most sports cars that have been around for any length of time have evolved. Revolutionary is great , but a winning formula is a winning formula. Porsche is a prime example of evolution; rear engine, but constantly improving and evolving into what it is today. Corvette has been steadily evolving and every one that I have owned has been exciting and different. What is exactly boring about the C7? Every piece has been designed to improve performance and quality. Same old what? I believe they only carried over 2 things, so what are you talking about? The styling is subjective, however functional for aerodynamic effiency. Eye of the beholder and facts must be spoken not fiction.

    • Matt says:

      Agree about evolution. By all rights I should be bored by the 911’s formula as well, and while it’s not atop my list of interesting sports cars, it bores me less than the Vette for a few reasons: It’s fundamentally at odds with the “big V8” American tuning philosophy, it’s a more interesting concept to begin with, and Porsche has introduced more innovation into the 911 (turbocharging, AWD, PDK, VGT, etc) than Chevy has with the Vette. So it still maintains a level of interest. As for the Vette, yes they may have only carried over 2 parts, as you say, but the overall concept is still the same as it’s always been, and I’m bored by it. I can’t knock it’s performance or even the fun-to-drive factor (I’m sure it would blow me away), but the idea of the car, to me, is profoundly uninteresting.

  6. geo says:

    Understood.

  7. AL says:

    As you’ve already admitted, the 911 should also be boring. Yes, they’ve made some massive improvements to the 911 over the years but one could argue that they had a lot more work to do since they started with a fundamentally…I won’t say “flawed” but let’s say “less-than-ideal” architecture. I’m speaking of hanging the engine behind the rear axle as opposed to the Corvette’s front mid-engine layout. A significant portion of the 911’s development over the years has been to compensate for the car’s oversteer. Plus, not only have the basic mechanicals of the 911 stayed the same, even the general shape of the car hasn’t broken the mold in 50 years. Contrast that with what the early Corvettes looked like vs. the new Stingray. I personally love the fact that the latest Stingray design has pissed off so many so-called “purists”. I don’t know where it is written that Corvettes have to have 4 round tail lights (even though there were many that didn’t…over 20 model years by my count…many were oval or quasi-square). It was probably written in the same book as the one that defines the basic shape and layout of the 911.

    One other thing that is pet peeve of mine is the generic sentiment that “big old pushrod American V8s are crude obsolete dinosaurs”. Many people have this misconception that the number of valves and camshafts is somehow proportional to the engine’s worth. Overhead cams are not new or exotic technology. They’ve been used in automotive applications since the (very) early 1900s. There are advantages to them but there are also downsides (as with most everything). In general, the size, cost, WEIGHT, and complexity of the engine for a given displacement are higher with OHC. I’m not arguing better or worse here but I think having *different* engines is interesting. I’ve never owned or driven one but I think rotary engines are interesting as hell. I know they have their share of downsides too but the world is a more interesting place with them in it. Chrysler turbine car? Hell yes! Too bad that didn’t last.

    Full disclosure, I’m a Corvette fan and I do own one (a 1987…I too am a big fan of the 80s). BUT, I am a realist and am not blind to the car’s flaws. I am not a fanboy to the point of disliking all else. I am a CAR fan above any given marque and love German, Italian, and Japanese cars too (I daily drive a WRX). I hope I live long enough and eventually have the means to sample a good number of fun cars. Until then, I’m just happy there are so many to choose from.

  8. ronss says:

    agree , the corvettes and Camaro are cars that don,t get much second looks….the new mustang is trending on the edge of a exciting looking car

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