I was searching the internet furiously this morning looking for the oldest images I could find of Chevy MR test mules, when I stumbled on this article where Bob Lutz is asked about a MR Corvette. And I was shocked and appalled by a normally respectable automotive icon.
Well, neither Chevrolet nor Cadillac “needs” a mid-engine car. A mid-engine Corvette would likely coexist with the regular model but be priced at least $30,000 to $40,000 higher, my guess, about $130,000 to $150,000. A logical assumption would be 700 to 750 hp, massive torque, and decent fuel economy. GM won’t do it unless it’s a world-beater, so we should expect it to suck the doors off all the Europeans (Veyron excluded) and the Ford GT, which, while a nice car, would soon seem poor value.
Yikes. Let’s break it down to see just how wrong he was.
First, he said they don’t need a mid-engine car. WRONG. Everybody needs a mid-engine car.
Second, he said it would likely co-exist with the regular model. Wrong again, unless we hear otherwise. But GM said repeatedly this is the C8 Corvette and that the FMR flatform has reached its limit. And that’s awesome, because this car completely shifts the market for Corvette buyers now.
Next, Bob went on to say it would have a monstrous 6-figure price tag. Incorrect, Bob. It’s actually relatively affordable, which makes it relevant and desirable as opposed to some low-production halo gimmick that I’ll never even see more than twice in my life, most likely not even on the street but in a convention hall (*cough* Ford GT *cough*).
Then he predicted it would have an outrageous amount of horsepower. It’s got less than the NSX! It doesn’t even have 100 more horsepower than the Mustang GT. And I’d say that’s terrific.
I’ve never driven a 700 horsepower car. I’ve only driven a handful of 300 horsepower cars, and one 430 horsepower car, and they’re incredibly fun. But do you ever use that power? VERY rarely. I think this new car has just the right amount of power with the base engine. I’m glad there will be higher power options available, but I think I’d make it through life just fine with 495 horses. That’s still AN OUTRAGEOUS AMOUNT of horses. If they were actual horses, that would be enough to run every Kentucky Derby since Bill Clinton was president. (In fact, that should be a unit of measurement, if it isn’t already.)
After that, Bob predicted it would be a world-beater. He said it would “Suck the doors off” (odd word choice, but it still turned me on) the Europeans. Well, it’s a world-beater in terms of price, which is definitely not what he meant, but the price is the thing that matters more than anything. The new C8 has the Lotus Evora beat in pricing, and with a much cooler engine. I think this car has the world beat in terms of relevance, which is in my opinion the best kind of world beating. Cars are less attainable than ever for Americans, with wages stagnating and new car prices soaring, GM realized they need to make a car that acknowledges this.
Although Bob did say it would make the Ford GT seem like a poor value... DING DING DING! CORRECT! Judging by his earlier prediction of 700 horses, I think he was saying “This car will be as good as the Ford GT but cost only $130,000.” Thankfully he was wrong about the intended market, and the base C8 will be shooting way below the Ford GT’s price.
The Ford GT’s price and production number combine to become one giant insult to most people. And even celebrities are getting screwed out of owning them. I’m one of the rare Americans who doesn’t own a private jet, so cars like that mean nothing to me.
Chevrolet beat the world on value, and on flat out price here, and I hope that shocks the market. Bob might end up being right about a Z06/ZR1 being a total world beater that goes around “sucking the doors off” of Ferraris on the track (*wipes off forehead*) but for now it’s just good old American value. Thank God Bob Lutz didn’t know what he was talking about, otherwise the new Corvette would just be some other irrelevant supercar we only see on some asshole’s Instagram.