Originally Posted by Hutnicks
If I ever run across it again I'll drop you a note.
No worries, there's enough on my plate as it is right now.
What was I saying earlier about US cars? Oh yeah. The new Corvette C7 is awesomely, amazingly good. Not just as an American car, or as a sports car, but as a car, in general. Ignoring some of the testosterone-fueled exterior styling, which I rather like, if any maker had developed this car, including the European marques, I'd be impressed. The fact that it's a GM, and sold for a comparatively paltry $56k (with Z51 package), leaves me entirely gob-smacked.
We were given a tester to play with Saturday morning, the guy from GM came by, handed over the keys to us, and then told us he had a meeting at a local dealership, "have fun with it, but if you can get it back to us in one piece it would be great".
So we did. After a cursory check, and a good looking over, we took it out and wrung its neck. It was a manual, of course, in that lovely Laguna Blue that's been all over the place.
I personally drove it like I'd stolen it, and it was good, very good. The chassis is extremely rigid, allowing proper road placement and steering response, but the suspension does an exceptional job soaking up bumps. The magneto suspension is similar to what you find in the McLaren MP4-12C and responds in a like manner, if not quite so seamlessly. It's easy to get it sideways, but only if that's what you're trying to do, otherwise it's almost entirely neutral, which is an achievement for a front-engined car (it's still mid-engined because the motor is completely behind the front axle). During that time I was thinking about how astonishing it was and also how similar it felt. I was like, "I've driven this before", then it occurred to me, if I ignored the badging, body, and sound, and focused on the feel, the damned thing was a near carbon copy of the Ferrari 599GTB... with the exception of the 599's amazing power surge near the top of its rev band, of course. Yeah the Ferrari is more luxurious inside, but the `vette isn't bad at all, in fact it's worlds better than any other US car I've driven, although the CTS-V isn't terrible. It really does punt the C6 into next week, in that way. The overall fit and finish are outstanding, absolutely not what you'd expect in a sub-$60k sports car (easily on-par with the Cayman). There's no mistake that the Cayman is one of the C7's competitors, BTW, and in many ways it surpasses it. It's faster, more comfortable, and has more amenities. While the handling isn't quite as fluid, after a little time behind the wheel it makes a case for itself and definitely deserves to be included in the conversation of "what's the best sub-$100k driver's car". Something that GM, or really any American car, has never been able to do before. Despite brand perception, or how it sounds (it makes a thunderous noise), this is not a muscle car
The guy handed out a scorecard, asking for us to rate areas of the car on a scale of 1-10. Mine:
Handling: 8 (really an 8.5)
Appearance: 7 (really 7.5), looks better with the top off and I don't like the chrome wheels
I handed it back and he seemed a little concerned. "You feel it's lacking in power?" I thought about it. "I wouldn't say it's lacking
, as much as it seems that the chassis wants more. Once the torque runs out, there's not enough horsepower at the top to keep going to the redline, so it makes you want to shift to get back into the lower end torque, instead of enjoying the higher rev range." He told me that was nearly word for word what Randy Pobst had said about it.
He asked if I'm considering buying one, and I honestly told him that despite how much I like it, I don't feel that it differentiates itself enough for me to run out and immediately get one. "I'll really be interested in a Z07, that's where I feel this car will truly shine." He rubbed his jaw. "Tell you what, let me give you a card, you should speak with some people." So he did, and I read it. Callaway Motorsports
"I know they're working on a C7 derivative." He shook his head. "No, they're done with testing and are quietly taking pre-orders. 670hp, 615ft/lbs of torque, 0-60 in 2.6s, and 200lbs lighter than the standard Stingray. It's faster than the Z07." So Monday I called them and we talked about it, and it looks like we're going to be doing some business.
The Shelby Super Snake arrived too, and I'm not impressed. Compared to the new `vette it feels cheap and clumsy, despite having almost twice as much power there really is no question which one I'd rather drive.(to be continued...)Edited by Magick Man - 10/1/13 at 4:42am