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Reflections on the 2015 Corvette C7

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On: Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 2:00PM | By: Jon Summers

Reflections on the 2015 Corvette C7

2015 is the second year of the seventh generation of America’s only home-grown sportscar, the Chevrolet Corvette. The opportunity to design a new Corvette is akin to singling the National Anthem—a wonderful opportunity, and a lot to live up to. Before launch, there was speculation the C7 would be mid-engined; it turned out not to be. Similarly, many feel styling too is iterative: bluntly, C7 looks too much like C6. However, standing beside the cars, C7 looks nothing like C6; it is full of unusual angles and fresh ideas. C7 seems sleeker, larger than C6. Go look at a C7 for yourself; the pictures don’t do the shape justice. 

I drove a C6 and, while I loved the LS V8, I was appalled by the second-hand rental car ambience and quality, especially of the interior. I’ve not driven a C7 1200 miles, but my limited recent experience suggests a dramatic improvement, at least to industry standard.

I recently spoke to some owners, asking about their experiences and opinions of their cars. One of my sample had just done a Ron Fellows Track Day as part of the purchase process. Another had driven Route 66. I asked,“Would you have bought it if it were mid-engined?”

“Not the first year!”one owner replied, summing up a feeling of interest in the idea of a mid-engined Corvette, tempered with trepidation. Many Corvette buyers remember the fraught introduction of the Mako Shark C3 in 1968, and since GM needs people to buy Corvettes now, and not to wait, the decision to be remain front-engined probably made sense commercially.

For a single year, 1961, the Corvette had the new Kamm tail of the C2, but the outgoing model's quad headlight treatment. It is easy to imagine the C7’s cabin slightly further forwards, the rear canopy slightly longer to accommodate the shift of the motor behind the cabin; in its styling, then, the C7 is ready to transition to a mid-engine. The question perhaps should be does Chevrolet want comparison with the Ford GT and Honda's technological tour de force, the NSX?

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