The C8 Corvette is a mid-engined monster that the world has been waiting for. At a mere $60K, it's essentially even more of a performance bargain than the C7 was. Supercar performance for far less than the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche, et al, makes the new C8 a serious draw for driving enthusiasts. We've seen photos, but we just got a look in person at the Chicago Auto Show, and we have to say it's not nearly as attractive as we thought it would be.
We walked up to the display with the blue 'Vette sitting atop, and frankly there really weren't many journalists surrounding it. A spokesmodel was talking to a single journalist (rather than to a small crowd), and the display was tucked away in the back of the Chevrolet showcase area. I took a look and though, "It's okay. I'm not blown away by it."
And that's really the point of making a mid-engined high-performance 'Vette. I mean, other than the sheer speed and handling. It's a halo car, for goodness' sake. The mid-mounted V8 LT2 engine is a monster with up to 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, the new Corvette blows away the previous C7's LT1 V8 engine, but we'd have to say the C7 Grand Sport has more presence. there, we said it.
Granted, it can't just be an artful car design. There's a lot of aero and cooling that has to happen for a mid-mounted high-performance sports car. Chevy designers and engineers had to incorporate heat exchangers the front and rear while maintaining a high degree of aerodynamics. Airflow is key, as is drag co-efficient and downforce. But there are too many compromises in terms of the overall look. Rather than looking like a Corvette, it looks more like a cheap Ferrari, especially from the front and from the side views.
We are glad the center-mounted quad exhaust pipes are gone because those just looked like overkill. We hated the C7's taillights (which departed from the excellent round ones from the C6), and these aren't much better. We hope we're proven wrong when we see the 2020 Corvette Stingray on the street, but for now, we give the design a 6.5/10.