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Why 2020 Corvette C8 Has No Manual

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is the first generation in the car's 67-year history to not offer a manual transmission. Don't expect to see such a box on future performance models, either - the C8's Chief Engine Tadge Juechter has said repeatedly that a manual won't come to the C8, specifically calling it "a dying business." This video from Morgan Crosbie on YouTube goes a bit further in explaining that decision, with insight from his perspective as both a new C8 owner and a sales associate at a GM dealership in Canada.

It's likely you already know much of what's mentioned here, but this video goes a bit further by addressing some statistics. It all starts - as do most business decisions - with money. It's no secret that very few people buy cars with manual transmissions in the U.S., and that applies to the Corvette. Specifically, Crosbie says 23 percent of C7 Corvettes were sold with a manual. That's actually well above the U.S. average of just 1.1 percent for all cars in 2019, but it was hard for Corvette engineers to justify adding a manual option when the vast majority of buyers don't want it.

That's especially true when considering the extensive changes brought about by moving the engine behind the driver. Crosbie explains that the C8's center-spine chassis design simply didn't allow space for mechanical linkages without adding significant production costs. Structural rigidity aside, the engine placement also made it hard to run mechanical linkages. Drive-by-wire components could've been substituted, but that's basically what a DCT is anyway.

Crosbie confesses that he didn't go into the DCT world lightly, having previously owned a C7 Corvette with the seven-speed stick. He spends the second half of the video talking about the benefits the dual-clutch setup offers over the traditional manual, focusing primarily on the speed of the shifts. He demonstrates how the transmission operates, with the driver able to shift gears anytime without engaging manual mode. Flipping the full-time manual switch, however, keeps the C8 in manual mode whereas it would otherwise revert back to automatic shifting six seconds after using the paddles. The eight-speed also offers a better range of cogs for acceleration and low-RPM highway cruising.

Read the entire article

Source: Christopher Smith - Motor1.com

Posted 4/1/20

If You Have A C8 - Stock Up On Cleaning Supplies

The 2020 Chevy Corvette flipped the script for the iconic American sports car. No longer would the engine sit ahead of the driver, like some uncouth brute. Chevy moved the engine to its rightful place behind the driver, putting it on full display, too. However, like other mid-engine cars, the engine cover has open vents that not only allow hot air to escape, but can also let in water, dirt, and other unwanted debris. A new YouTube video from Morgan Crosbie shows just how much water can collect around the engine after a wash. It's enough to drive any clean-freak crazy.

Note: interesting video on the first page of this story - use URL below.

Those who compulsively clean their vehicles should stock up on cleaning supplies if the mid-engine Corvette C8 is sitting in the garage. The large vents around the engine cover allow a significant amount of water to drain into the engine bay, with even soap collecting in hard to reach areas. This isn't an uncommon problem in mid-engine cars where automakers and owners are eager to display the often potent powerplants. Putting it front and center means owners will need to give special attention to cleaning the engine bay, too.

Owners have nothing to worry about, though, unless they're on a mission to eradicate every potential water spot from inside the engine bay. Engine bays are designed to get wet - rain and road spray often infiltrate engine bays regardless if they're at the front or rear - and the Corvette is no different. It just creates a bit more work for those who always want their car looking pristine.

The 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 is finally reaching customers after a lengthy delay. While entry-level models under $60,000 may be difficult to find, C8 deliveries are continuing to dealers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The National Corvette Museum is even closed, though those picking up their car from there can still do so. In the grand scheme of things, water spots in the engine bay aren't the end of the world, but that doesn't make them any less annoying either.

Read the entire article

Source: Anthony Alaniz - Motor1.com

Posted 3/27/20

Reality Check

Spring is in sight, temps are warming, longer periods of daylight - typically the moment car enthusiasts wait for all winter long. That itch to dust off your beautiful car and prepare for the annual tradition of cars shows and hanging with fellow car people. Swap some stories, catch up from last year at the same show - good times for sure.

This year we all need to simply delay the start of our car show season. Throughout New Mexico, and nationwide - scheduled car shows are being postponed or canceled in huge numbers. And we all know why. Our cars will still be ready. The summer ahead presents ample time to gather and show off our cars to the public. We just need to exercise patience - so as to avoid becoming patients!

Many car clubs have, or probably will cancel monthly in-person meetings and opt to use email and/or their websites to communicate with members. While meeting in person is fun, most agenda items can still be explored and discussed via our computers and phones.

So until the green flag drops, we'll all need to take a step back and wait out the storm. And we will. Stay safe out there.

Additional information important to everybody concerning Covid-19 and how to act wisely.

Source: Phil Ellison - NMCA

Posted 3/20/20

Tires Cause 1,000 Times More Pollution Than Exhaust Fumes

With returns from tightening tailpipe emissions laws diminishing by the year, it may be time to look elsewhere for ways to reduce transportation-generated air pollution. We may already have some idea of where to look, too, as a Britain-based emissions testing group has identified a previously unsuspected culprit for modern air quality woes: Tires.

Recently, Emissions Analytics released the results of an experiment wherein it tested "a popular family hatchback running on brand new, correctly inflated tires" to see how much "non-exhaust [particulate] emissions," abbreviated NEEs, the car generated. It concluded that wear on the vehicle's tires, brakes, and the road surface produced 5.8 grams of NEE particulates per kilometer driven, which is 1,289 times the 0.0045 grams-per-kilometer limit for passenger vehicle exhaust particulates under current Euro 6d emissions standards. This test's results may yet be conservative compared to real-world driving conditions, as cheap or under-inflated tires, rough road surfaces, and heavy vehicles are thought to increase NEE production.

The British government's Air Quality Expert Group attributes up to 73 percent of PM10 emissions-particles smaller than 10 microns-generated by transportation to NEEs, and that proportion may only increase with the popularity of heavy vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and electric cars. Decaying infrastructure in some parts of the western world, especially the United States, serve only to highlight how severe the presently unregulated NEE pollution problem may be.

"It's time to consider not just what comes out of a car's exhaust pipe but particle pollution from tire and brake wear," declared Richard Lofthouse, a senior researcher at Emissions Analytics. "Our initial tests reveal that there can be a shocking amount of particle pollution from tires-1,000 times worse than emissions from a car's exhaust. What is even more frightening is that while exhaust emissions have been tightly regulated for many years, tire wear is totally unregulated-and with the increasing growth in sales of heavier SUVs and battery-powered electric cars, non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are a very serious problem."

Read the entire article

Source: James Gilboy - The iDrive

Posted 3/13/20

How To Drive A C8 For $300

The National Corvette Museum (NCM) isn't just getting one C8 Corvette, or two, or three. The NCM Motorsports Park currently has seven mid-engined Corvettes on order, and they're already built waiting to ship to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the museum calls home. When they finally do arrive, they won't be prissy showroom-only machines; they'll be put to work as part of the Corvette Touring Laps drive program.

For $299, anybody aged 18 years or older with a driver's license can sign up for a test drive at the NCM's technical track. The road course is 3.2 miles long, and each participant will drive in a lead-follow format for four laps. Passengers are also allowed, but they must be 14 years or older.

Those willing to pay the price will get behind the wheel of a car with a 6.2-liter V8, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, rear-wheel drive, Brembo brakes, and a limited-slip differential. Chevrolet claims the C8 makes 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It is capable of ripping to 60 mph from a standstill in less than three seconds, and it has a top speed of 194 mph, though customers shouldn't expect to get anywhere close to that speed behind an instructor on a track with 23 turns. That shouldn't make it any less fun, as we found in our recent C8 first drive.

If $299 isn't already too expensive of a proposition, the NCM also offers a full-fledge Corvette Experience. In addition to driving a C8 Z51, which has a sports suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, customers get classroom instruction, lunch, and a VIP tour of the museum. That program is more than double the price at $799. The NCM isn't sure exactly when it will take deliveries of the Corvettes, but production started in early February, 2020, so it shouldn't be too long.

Note, this is not the only way to drive a C8 without owning one, and it's not the only location in the country, either. A company called Xtreme Xperience, a traveling drive program company that specializes in supercar track days, is also offering a C8 Z51 program for $299, but it's limited to three laps instead of four. Xtreme Xperience offers track days across the United States in a number of cities.

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Source: Tony Markovich - Auto Blog

Posted 3/6/20

Five Unique Features For The C8

The performance, price and mid-engine layout of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette have been well-documented.

If you need a reminder, the vehicle has Chevrolet's LT2 small-block 6.2-liter V8 engine that's rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It can achieve 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds or 2.9 seconds with an optional performance package. The starting price is just under $60,000 but well-accessorized cars can top $100,000.

In addition to improving the performance of the vehicle and moving the engine from the front to behind the driver, General Motors added or updated several new and unique features for drivers. Here are five of them:

Front lift system
When announced at the unveiling of the 2020 Corvette, this feature received a roaring applause from Corvette owners, many of whom presumably damaged their car on a speed bump or steep driveway.

The $1,495 optional system allows drivers with a touch of a button to lift the car's front end by two inches, helping avoid damage from obstacles. In addition to that, the system asks drivers if they'd like to store that location using the vehicle's GPS system so it lifts automatically when approaching that area again.

"As you approach your driveway, you don't have to hit the button every time," said Ed Piatek, Corvette chief engineer. "It will know based on the geofence that you're approaching that position and it will automatically raise the car."

The system can remember up to 1,000 locations and works up to 24 miles per hour.

'Stealth mode'
The driver cockpit was designed to feel like a fighter jet cockpit, so why not offer a "stealth mode?"

It doesn't make the vehicle quieter, but it does darken allow all ambient light aside from the speedometer in the 12-inch driver information cluster.

"It is really blacked out with the exception of vehicle speed and any kind of warnings you might get," Piatek said. "It's really neat if you're in a place where you don't want a lot of ambient light in your eyes so you can see down the road at night."

Z mode
The 2020 Corvette, like many newer performance vehicles, has different drive modes that can change the ride and handling of the vehicle. They include the traditional Tour, Sport, Weather and Track modes as well as two new settings called MyMode and Z mode.

Both of the new modes are highly-configurable and allow drivers to customize many performance specifications of the vehicles.

Z mode, named after the Z06, ZR1 and Z51 Corvette performance packages, is activated through a "Z" button on the steering wheel. It is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well.

Once set, MyMode, unlike Z mode, remains the standard setting until a driver switches out of it.

Corvette Museum delivery

GM will continue to allow new Corvette owners to take delivery of their vehicle at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, down the road from where the vehicle is assembled.

The package costs $995 and includes a VIP tour of the museum, a drive-off ceremony and personalized interior plaque with the owner's name, car's vehicle identification number and the museum's logo.

About 500 owners a year typically take delivery of their new Corvette at the museum, according to GM.

Recording system

GM increased the capability and functionality of its "Performance Data Recorder" that allows drivers to record their drives.

While designed for the track to record lap videos and diagnostics, it also can be used as a dash cam that automatically starts recording every time the Corvette is running.

The system uses a front-facing high-definition camera as well as an advanced driving analysis system to record on an SD memory card in the car's glove box. It has the ability to overlay miles per hour, lap time and other performance metrics over the video.

Read the entire article

Source: Michael Wayland - CNBC

Posted 2/28/20

When Super Isn't Super

True story and one for the books. I've owned many Corvettes. My last new Corvette was a 2001 C5, which like all C5 Corvettes, came with Goodyear run-flat tires. The ride wasn't great, but wasn't annoying. Now, I was 20 years younger and that may factor in somehow.

This past October I took delivery of a new 2019 Stingray. Purchased online and out-of-sate, so never puts eyes on the car, drove it, etc. Side note: I purchased this C7 from a dealership in California. I had it all planned out - fly to CA, zip around the block a couple times, hand them a check and begin a 3-day road trip (and break-in) back to New Mexico. I had my plane ticket. Wasn't until my credit union was wrapping up their end when they discovered that if I took physical delivery in CA, even though I was going to be out of the state the day I arrived - I would be required to pay CA sales tax. That was over $4,200. No way - so I hired a transporter.

So - transporter shows up, I give the car the once around and head home in my new C7. Home was only 12 miles from the drop area, but by the time I arrived home I was cursing the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires - the standard factory run-flats. My C5 was far smoother, even with the factory run-flats. I inquired with my local Chevy dealer service department, and they told me the tires just had flat spots from sitting. Put on 1,000 miles and those flat spots should work themselves out. By 300 miles I couldn't stand it any longer. Back to the dealer, and they conducted a road force test. Sure enough, flat spots in all 4, and toward the upper measurements, meaning it may take at least 1,000 miles. Keep in mind that this all happened going into winter, which didn't help matters.

So I'm upset, and don't want to wait. The dealer did a price match, so I ordered the softer Michelin Pilot 4S. I had actually printed off the tire information and pricing from another tire outlet, and had that with me. While I had no first hand comparison to go on, the Internet seemed to have two thumbs up from all sorts of Corvette owners who had made this same switch. So I gave them my printout of what I wanted and order the tires. They tell me in could be tomorrow, or a couple of days - so why not just leave your car with us and we can get straight to it. Seemed like a sound idea. Well, a week goes by - finally, December 23rd they call me and say the car is ready to roll. Great. I get to the dealership, they bring the car out, I pay them and off I go. My home is only 10 miles away, and I purposefully drive the same stretch of road where I felt the horrible ride with the original tires. I just about puked. These new tires are absolutely no better than the original tires. Looked like rain approaching so decided to go home. I park it and flop down in the house pissed off that I just spent a good amount of money with zero improvement. How could the Internet be so wrong by so many people.

The next morning I go out to see if maybe they had over inflated the tires. As I am now face-to-face with my tire - it says - Michelin SuperSport! These were the same tires. How in the world. Now it's Christmas Eve, so I need to wait a few days before I can visit the dealership. When I drive into the service bay I ask to see the shop foreman. Nice guy, I explain what has happened and he cannot believe it. He gets down and looks at all 4 tires - yep, these are Super Sports. I inform him he's right, but these aren't the tires I wanted. He pulls my paperwork and luckily my printout was attached, clearing showing the tires I wanted. He apologizes and says he'll order the right tires today. By now I have less than 30 miles on these new tires. I just assumed that he'd pull the tires and return them for credit. I learned that, at least for this dealership, when they buy tires - no returns.

The new Michelin Polit 4S tires took several days to arrive. So now I'm riding on softer tires, but I will be the first to say that these tires are only marginally softer. Too late now to throw more money at my tires, but I know I'll be replacing them at some point - perhaps by then I will have first hand knowledge of the tires that are providing a smoother ride. And as a side note - for anyone looking to purchase new, factory spec Michelin Super Sport tires for their C7 (and maybe C6 as well - I don't really know) - head to Reliable Chevrolet in Albuquerque and ask for the foreman Mark. He told me that he wanted to get rid of these tires and would make a very sweet deal for someone - as in "at cost".

Source: Phil Ellison - NMCA

Posted 2/21/20

C8 Zero To 60 - 2.9 Seconds

There's nothing more American than a red-blooded sports car testing its guts in a flat-out zero-to-60 mile per hour sprint. On Thursday, General Motors used its time at SEMA in Las Vegas to announce the long-awaited official acceleration times for the newest member of the Corvette family, the C8 Stingray, and they're genuinely impressive.

GM says that its base model 2020 Corvette will make the run in three seconds even, a time which shaves more than half a second off its predecessor's best mark. But upgrade the mid-engined sports car with the mildly priced Z51 performance package and you unlock a new achievement: a zero-to-60 MPH time of 2.9 seconds and a quarter-mile run of just 11.2 seconds.

This is possible thanks in part to the C8's impressive naturally aspirated power plant. While GM's SAE-certified rating for the Corvette's LT2 engine is a robust 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, dyno tests suggest that the car is significantly more powerful that the automaker leads on. Some tests have even read as high as 558 horsepower and 515 pound-feet at the wheels.

The optional Z51 package introduces a host of upgrades that add a modest $5,000 to the C8 Corvette's base price of $59,995. Specifically, the improvements include a performance exhaust, tightened suspension, larger Brembo brakes, and an electronic limited-slip differential.

But what potential buyers won't find on the menu, regardless of trim, is the option to equip the car with a manual transmission. While this could simply be due to the increasing take rate on automatic variants in years past, GM suggests that it's really about the driving experience. Terri Schulke, GM global chief engineer of transmissions, even mentions that the goal from the beginning was to make the C8's dual-clutch, eight-speed gearbox mimic the engaging and enjoyable driving experience one might have from a bespoke supercar.

All things considered, the C8 Corvette is a hell of a deal if the biggest factor in the buying process is off-the-line acceleration. Looking back on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 (which is GM's cream-of-the-crop Corvette), it barely outpaced the C8 by making the sprint at 2.8 seconds-a mere tenth of a second faster than the new Stingray with the Z51 package.

Read the entire article

Source: Rob Stumpf - The Idrive

Posted 2/14/20

C8's ZR1 Variant Will Be A 900-HP Hybrid With AWD

The 755-horsepower Chevy Corvette C7 ZR1 pretty much represented the apex of what an unassisted V-8 could do and was always going to be a hard act to follow. For its upcoming mid-engined C8 version, Chevy is said to introduce an electrified hybrid powertrain to boost America's sports car to even higher performance levels, if a new report is to be believed.

According to an anonymous "senior official at GM" speaking exclusively to Motor Trend, the next ZR1 will get a hybrid-assisted, twin-turbo V-8 making a total of 900 hp, not too far off from double the regular Stingray's 495 SAE-certified ponies. The publication claims that the V-8 will be of the flat-plane-crank variety also present in a future Z06 and have its torque gaps filled by electric motors, just like the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder. While all three of those seven-figure hypercars use electricity to produce even more speed, expect the C8 ZR1 to be more in line with the Porsche since Motor Trend's intel also alleges that the top-shelf 'Vette will be all-wheel drive-this would make it the first Corvette ever to send power to all four wheels.

Read the entire article

Source: Chris Tsui - The Idrive

Posted 2/7/20

GM Will Money On All Sub-$80 C-8's

As we know, General Motors had to pull a few strings in order to start pricing the mid-engined 2020 Chevy Corvette at $60,000. The exotic-like sportscar is more advanced than ever and boasts a drastically different layout than any of its ancestors, but it only costs about $4,000 more than the C7 generation it replaces. This comes thanks to smart planning on GM's part, like dropping the beloved but oft-forgotten manual transmission.

That said, it apparently hasn't come cheap for the automaker who reportedly loses money on every Corvette C8 sold under $80,000.

Motor Trend published an article on Friday citing a "senior source" at GM, who explained there's quite the deficit between a base 'Vette and one that makes money for the General. In order to maintain its target market, Chevrolet is said to be absorbing the extra cost it spent developing the new C8 while hoping that customers opt for higher-end examples when they visit showrooms. For reference, a Z51-equipped example quickly climbs up the price ladder, as does one that's fitted with Chevy's upper-tier styling and interior accessories.

Spring for the C8 Stingray Z51 3LT and you're looking at a near-$90,000 domestic supercar.

Chevrolet already said the sub-$60K base Corvette won't last beyond the 2020 model year, and if enthusiasts ever convince the company to build a manual transmission option, there'll be an even steeper hike. As time passes, other high-performance variants will surface and help bring up the model's bottom line, especially if they pack all-wheel-drive and hybrid tech as rumored.

The most expensive previous-gen Corvette, the C7 ZR1, clocked in around $121,000; expect a sharp increase from that price point at the range's top end. In the meantime, GM will continue to be the go-fast-friendly good guy and cut you a deal on the best bang-for-buck player in American performance.

Read the entire article

Source: Caleb Jacobs - The Idrive

Posted 1/31/20

Most Popular Options So Far - C8

Production for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette hasn't started yet, but that hasn't stopped many from placing their orders. The new C8 Corvette is scheduled to begin rolling off the assembly line next month after suffering delays. While you may not be able to get a 2020 Corvette - it's sold out - it is interesting to see which options customers are choosing. A new YouTube video from Rick Corvette Conti dives into some customer orders to see which options they're picking - and there are a few noticeable trends.

The video goes over seven orders, out of the 200 or so placed by Conti - he's a Corvette sales rep. It's a small sampling, though there are a few consistent options that reappear, like the battery protection package and the Z51 package with MagneRide, which makes sense. For $5,000, customers get a revised suspension, performance exhaust, better engine cooling, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, and more power. MagneRide is a $1,895 upcharge.

Many of the orders presented had Corvettes with the 3LT package, the range-topping trim. While the Corvette's starting price is a smidge under $60,000, the 3LT starts at nearly $72,00. However, it adds several nice touches like additional carbon fiber bits, GT2 seats, microfiber inserts throughout the interior, and more. Prices for the ordered models ranged from $69,200-$97,700. Both the colored seat belts and high wing were popular with customers.

A bare-bones Corvette uses a 6.2-liter LT2 V8 making 490 horsepower (365 kilowatts) and 465 pound-feet (630 Newton-meters) of torque. That's a significant amount of performance for the price. However, many are opting for the Z51 pack that bumps those numbers to 495 (369) and 470 (637), respectively.

Buying a 2020 Corvette won't be easy, but we know hotter models are coming, like the Z06. It's always interesting to see what people actually buy as opposed to what the automaker is offering to customers. Production should begin soon, though, with customer deliveries happening after.

Read the entire article

Source: Anthony Alaniz - Motor1.com

Posted 1/24/20

GM Engineers Arrested For 100+ mph In C8

Last week, a Kentucky State Police trooper arrested two GM engineers after spotting them street racing in a pair of new mid-engine C8 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingrays. What was missing at the time was perhaps the most important detail of them all. Just how fast were they going in their quest to test these near-production cars in the dumbest way possible? Thanks to local news outlet WNKY News, we have an answer: 120 mph and 100 mph.

According to a police report obtained by WNKY, the KSP trooper saw a trio of shiny Corvettes turn onto Lover's Lane in Bowling Green just before 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night-one red, one white, and one blue. How fitting. In the driver's seat of the red C8 Stingray sat 27-year-old Alexander Thim, a CAE engineer with seven years of history at GM, including involvement with the launch of the powerful C7 Z06. In the white 'Vette was electrical engineer Mark Derkatz, a 30-year-old Canadian national. The blue car was being driven by someone smart enough to stay out of trouble.

The trooper reportedly watched as Thim and Derkatz dropped the hammer, Thim accelerating all the way to 120 mph while Derkatz topped out at 100. Obviously, they both lost.

After being pulled over, the men reportedly informed police that they were GM employees and had just come from a local billiards lounge prior to the incident. Police impounded the fleet vehicles and arrested both Thim and Derkatz for reckless driving, exceeding the speed limit by 26 or more miles per hour, and racing a vehicle on a public highway. Both were later released on a $1,000 bond.

Read the entire article

Source: Bob Stumpf - The Drive

Posted 1/17/20

One Of A Kind Corvette To Auction

Now, usually, when you hear that someone has taken a Corvette and changed the body panels, your cringe muscles start working overtime, your face cramps up and you look like the Joker inside of a minute.

While that's a totally normal reaction, in this case, it's undeserved. That's because we're talking about the Bertone Mantide -- designed by Jason Castriota, who you may remember as having designed the Ferrari 599, the Maserati GranTurismo and even Jim Glickenhaus' P4/5 -- and it's for sale.

The Mantide is a polarizing design, with all kinds of weird angles and holes, but (and styling is subjective, so YMMV) we think it mostly works. If anything, the odd-looking holes have been vindicated by the recently announced Ferrari Roma, which seems to have taken them as inspiration for its grille.

What's less polarizing about the Mantide is its performance, which, thanks to the legendarily rowdy Chevrolet LS9 V8, will sprint from 0 to 60 in a claimed 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed over 200 miles per hour. The engine is rated at a healthy 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Still, any speed fiend with a credit card can easily juice that further into the stratosphere with the most casual of Google searches.

The car is being offered by Worldwide Auctioneers without an estimated selling price or mileage listing and is slated to cross the block on Jan. 15.

Read the entire article

Source: Kyle Hyatt - Road / Show

Posted 1/10/20

Farewell To A Friend

Robert "Bob" "Bobby" Gabaldon was a charter member of the New Mexico Corvette Association. Bob passed in September and the memorial service was held December 30th at the Newman Center in Albuquerque. Bob's son Rodney reached out to NMCA to inquire about a short memorial cruise in honor of his father, who was quite the Corvette guy. We (NMCA) were happy to grant this request for the family.

Six NMCA members and Corvettes assembled at the conclusion of the service to provide rides for six family members - cruising around areas where Bob would frequent in his own Corvette. While Bob had many Corvettes over the years, his 1967 427 seemed to be a favorite.

Bob had a Corvette in High School, making him one of the most popular kids for sure. His son Rodney learned to drive on his father's 1967 427 monster - back when UNM had plenty of open parking lots (which NMCA also used frequently until developers took over.)

During the short cruise I believe one of us may have accidentally burned a little rubber! Hey - it's a salute, Corvette style.

Farewell Bob - God's Speed.

Source - Phil Ellison, NMCA

Posted 1/3/20

1963 Corvette Specs

New Grace And Elegance Silhouette America's Sports Car
In 1963 Corvette stepped out with a new and exhilarating look, the Corvette Stingray. Two sparkling new models, both positioning the way to a classic new concept in American sports car design, were introduced this year. The Corvette newcomer, the Stingray, the exciting Sports Coupe, boasted graceful body panels and compound-curved side windows that emphasize the miles-ahead aerodynamic design. Power-operated retractable headlamps rotate out of sight to blend into the unobstructed hood line. Doors extend upward into the roof, adding armchair ease and comfort to sliding in and out. The Corvette Stingray Sports Coupe is taut, fresh, and clean in every detail. The convertible is jauntier than ever in the '63 Vette. Uncluttered lines accented front and rear by trim wrap-around bumpers. The subtle contour of the smoothly molded rear deck, a gleaming aluminum grille, retractable headlamps, and a sweeping hood-length wind split, add to the appeal of this bold new Corvette.

More than ever, a polished performer on the open road
The real driving fun of a Corvette begins with imaginative engineering. Beneath those trim lines, Corvette is sporting engineering features that just plain add ginger to any driving. Take the chassis for example, Corvette's new frame is stronger and more rigid than in models of the past. The new four-wheel independent suspension irons out even the rutted trails, keeps handling steady, and maintenance is easier too with a battery saving Delcotron generator, extended-life exhaust system, and hydraulic self-adjusting breaks. Other '63 innovations include Ball-Race steering and an adjustable steering column and wider wheel rims. Overall, the new Corvette's weight is distributed in a different way. More than half the weight now rests on the rear wheels- a first among modern American front-engine cars. That means hare-quick maneuverability when turning and cornering, plus improved traction. The center of gravity was dropped over 2 inches by using a ladder type frame instead of the X-frame that had been used previously. This new frame allowed passengers to sit inside of the frame instead of on top of it. The frame utilizes a ladder with 5 cross-members, and it is approximately 4 inches shorter than the 1962 frame.

Power Teams Tailor-Made For Sports Car Fun
In 1963 each of the four versions of the big V8 had head space 327-cubic-inch displacement, 4? bore and 3.25? stroke. The 250-hp standard engine features a single 4-barrel carb, 10.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic valve lifters and new dual exhaust system. The 300-hp power plant adds a large aluminum 4-barrel carburetor and larger intake valves. Both the 340- and 360-hp engines have cylinder heads with large ports, domed aluminum pistons, 11.25:1 compression, high-speed valve systems with specifically finished exhaust valves, mechanical valve lifters, ribbed aluminum rocker covers, special camshafts and 5-quart oil capacity (4-quart capacity on 250- and 300-hp engines). The 360-hp Fuel Injection engine provides a larger volume aluminum manifold with improved ram pipes and warning buzzer for the tach.

The standard transmission is 3-Speed Synchro-Mesh. Ratios: 2.47:1 first; 1.53:1 second; 1:1 third; and 2.80:1 reverse. For a variety of engine and rear axle combinations, 4-Speed Syncrho-Mesh is the answer. Ratios with 250- and 300-hp V8's: 2.54:1 first; 1.89:1 second; 1.51:1 third; 1:1 fourth; and 2.61:1 reverse. Ratios with 340- and 360-hp V8's: 2.20:1 first; 1.64:1 second; 1.31:1 third; 1:1 fourth; and 2.26:1 reverse. Both 3- and 4-Speed Synchro-Mesh have a 10? semi-centrifugal diaphragm spring clutch with a lighter aluminum 360-degree clutch housing and floor-mounted shift. 4-Speed transmissions also have a mechanism on the shift lever to prevent unintentional reverse engagement. The automatic Powerglide transmission, available with two engines, aims to give effortless driving.

Additional Optional Equipment
Sintered-metallic brake linings. Cast aluminum wheels with 6? rims and knock-off hubs. Special performance equipment package (available only on the Sports Coupe with Fuel Injection engine, 4-Speed transmission and Positraction) includes: power-type heavy-duty brakes including finned drums with built-in fans, vented backing plates and front brake air scoops, special sintered-metallic linings and self-adjusting feature when driving forward; dual-circuit brake master cylinder; heavy-duty stabilizer bar; 36-gallon fuel tank; heavy-duty front and rear springs and shock absorbers; aluminum wheels with 6? rims and knock-off hubs.

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Source - NCM

Posted 12/20/19

World's Only 1983 Corvette

You don't need to be a Corvette fan to visit, and enjoy, the National Corvette Museum outside Bowling Green, Kentucky. It's a frequent destination for automotive fanatics of all stripes, from the Goodguys crowd to the various Midwestern Porsche and BMW regional clubs that use it as a destination for their back-road driving events. I've also personally witnessed a few road-to-Damascus moments at the museum in which people who are indifferent or even personally hostile to the crossed-flags sports car marque find themselves converted by the sheer volume of enthusiasm visible and audible from the moment you walk through the door.

One important aspect of that enthusiasm is that the NCM, unlike similar museums in Stuttgart and elsewhere, is not owned and operated by the manufacturer being honored within. It was the passion project of various people within the National Corvette Restorers Society, pursued on a bootstrap basis for over a decade before the necessary funding and assistance was secured. Most of the cars you'll find inside were donated or loaned by private individuals, although General Motors has also provided vehicles which could not be found anywhere else-like the Corvette Indy concept car and an early C5 crash-test example.

Oh, and they also handed over the world's last surviving 1983 Corvette. It's only been 36 years since the Corvette wearing VIN 1G1AY0783D5110023 left the pilot assembly line and reported for duty at the GM Milford Proving Grounds, but the story of its escape, survival, and restoration has already acquired the misty sheen of a legend or fable. There were just 14 C4 prototypes and 43 "pilot cars" made in 1983, all of which were marked for destruction after the completion of testing. That's standard practice in the industry, and it's why you don't see, for example, pre-production Chevrolet Uplanders taking up space in your local buy-here-pay-here lot.

Corvettes aren't Uplanders, though, so this particular car was either "set aside"(according to some sources) or deliberately hidden (according to others) after the end of testing. About two years later, the plant manager found the car in the parking lot and had it moved into the plant. It was given a stars-and-stripes paint job and a set of directional 16-inch 1984-model wheels, all of which stayed on the car until it was donated to NCM to celebrate the museum's grand opening in 1994. At that point it was restored to plain white with a blue interior and the 15-inch wheels that had originally been designed for base-model C4s, before GM decided to fit all models with 16-inch wheels and Goodyear Gatorback tires.

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Source - Jack Baruth - Road & Track

Posted 12/13/19

1,200 HP From Hennessey C-8?

The C8's LS2 V8 will gain forged internals and two turbochargers to make it happen. If there's one vehicle synonymous with Hennessey, it's the Chevrolet Corvette. That relationship is poised to continue in a big way, with Hennessey announcing today that it will offer modified versions of the new mid-engine Corvette with up to 1,200 horsepower (895 kilowatts). Other less radical options for Corvette buyers will also be offered, but either way you slice it, Hennessey seems ready to rock with the new supercar.

"We expect the new C8 Corvette to be an excellent platform from which our clients can further personalize their cars, which obviously includes adding more power and performance," said company founder John Hennessey. "Over the past several months we have had hundreds of inquiries from C8 buyers wanting to know what we will be offering for the new Corvette. Thus, we created an online questionnaire and have received over 250 completed forms and getting more every day. The customers are telling us what they want and big surprise - they want more power."

To that end, Hennessey will initially offer an exhaust system upgrade that will bring a "slight power increase." An exact number isn't mentioned, but from there a supercharger kit will bump the C8 to 700 hp (522 kW). The big tamale will see the Corvette's current LS2 V8 rebuilt with upgraded internals and crowned with a pair of turbochargers to reach 1,200 hp. An upgraded dual-clutch transmission will shuffle that power exclusively to the rear wheels. Regardless of power, Hennessey will also offer a CarbonAero exterior body kit, upgraded Brembo brakes, adjustable suspension, and special wheel/tire packages.

Reports surfaced prior to the C8's reveal that the Corvette's electronics were designed to be tamper-proof, and hence, untunable. The C7 ZR1 had a similar system in place that Hennessey was eventually able to modify. It's unclear if Hennessey already has the 2020 Corvette's brain figured out, but we suspect the tuner is eager to offer high-horsepower alternatives before Chevy's own monster Corvette hit the streets in the coming years.

Current rumors say the new ZR1 will also boast two turbochargers, but it will run the high-rpm DOHC V8 used in the C8.R race car. It will also be electrically assisted and all-wheel-drive, generating an alleged 900 hp (671 kW). Also unconfirmed is the fabled Corvette Zora, which could see production models going beyond the 1,000-hp (746 kW) mark.

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Source - Christopher Smith - Motor1.com

Posted 12/6/19

Most Expensive 2020 Chevy Corvette Convertible

We've been periodically checking Chevy's website for the Corvette C8 Convertible configurator ever since it went up at the beginning of October to see if there's pricing available. You can finally know how much the desired spec is going to set you back as the configurator now has all the pricing details included. Much like we did with the coupe a few weeks ago, we've decided to max out the online builder in an attempt to find out how much a fully loaded Stingray Convertible costs.

We're not going to go through each and every option as we did in the previous post because most of them are identical. It's worth pointing out the convertible commands a $7,500 premium over the coupe and it starts at $67,495 for the entry-level 1LT. Go for the better-equipped 3LT and the price jumps to $78,945, and then you can add this $995 Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat paint and a dual racing stripe also priced at $995.

The most expensive options available for the C8 Convertible are the $5,000 Z51 Performance Package and the $4,850 Grounds Effect Kit, but on top of these, you can also add the $2,095 grille insert and $1,145 side mirror caps both finished in visible carbon fiber. Another pricey option is the $2,695 wheel set measuring 19 inches up front and 20 inches at the rear, with a five-spoke design and a Performance Pewter-painted finish.

If you truly want to go all out with the configurator, Chevy will be more than happy to provide you with a two-piece leather travel bag set for $1,450 as well as indoor and outdoor car covers each priced at $460. Inside, a carbon fiber trim adds $1,500 to the final bill, while the Competition Sport bucket seats are an additional $500.

With all the boxes ticked, you're going to end up with a 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible that costs $113,955, plus an additional $110 worth of dealer-installed accessories representing four cables for your smartphone.

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Source: Adrian Padeanu - Motor1.com

Posted 11/29/19

C8 MotorTrend Car Of The Year

Sometimes, a car comes along that leaves the automotive landscape different than before. In today's Silicon Valley parlance, we'd be tempted to term such a car a "disrupter." The last car to so radically shift the car world was the Tesla Model S, our 2013 Car of the Year.

This time around, our 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Corvette, fully scrambles the order of things. Simply put, never before has so much four-wheeled exoticism been attainable for so little money. Or I should say, so much good exoticism.

Chevrolet Performance did not phone in the first-ever production mid-engine Corvette. It dialed it, massaged it, honed it, crafted the new 'Vette to the point of the nearly impossible. The eighth-generation car will bring people into dealerships who previously would never have come in. The mid-engine Corvette is a game changer, an inflection point, and a reminder that when Americans truly set our minds to a task, look out. For soon you'll be standing on the moon-or driving the sports car equivalent thereof.

The father of the Chevrolet Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, began working on a mid-engine Corvette back in 1959. Called the 1960 CERV-I (for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle), the single-seater located its 283-cubic-inch pushrod V-8 small-block just aft of the driver's head. Subsequent CERV concepts only stoked the belief among MotorTrend editors that such a vehicle was not only possible but also likely.

Fast-forward to September 2019, and we finally get our greedy, grubby hands on the 10th-ever production mid-engine Corvette, an early-build, production-intent model with a VIN that ends in 000010. From our weeks of testing the Corvette against a field of formidable competitors, we can say Zora was onto something six decades ago.

"We've been waiting so long for this car that, climbing in, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning," Detroit editor Alisa Priddle said. "I didn't care if it was going to be good or bad, I just wanted to unwrap the present and drive it."

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Source: Jonny Liberman - MotorTrend

Posted 11/15/19

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