First Impressions: The New C7 Corvette (finally…) Revealed
By Zack Klapman
The new Corvette, the C7, is finally here. I don’t mean “finally” the same way a kid arriving at Disneyland after a 12 hour car ride does. I mean it the way you would if you were a bridesmaid at the end of a wedding. For two years you were forced to hear about, discuss, plan, and hypothesize over “the big day”, and now it’s finally over. No more renderings, theories, speculation, sensationalism or stupid forum arm wrestling. This is the car. It’s not mid-engined. It does have that one thing you wanted. It also might not have that other thing you wanted. Such is life.
People have asked us what we think about the new car, so I posted my thoughts below. I would like to preface what follows by saying that, to me, no highly-photo shopped photo, no Detroit Auto Show iPhone shot, no picture taken on a stage with 3,000 lights, can accurately portray what a car will look like in person. It won’t have the same impact to my gut, heart, soul as cars do in person. Some cars leap off the page and I love them instantly. Others, like the Venom GT, have to be seen in person to truly appreciate (it looks really god damn good in person). The pictures from GM look like they are from GT5, and the ones from the auto show are so brightly spotted it looks a water balloon filled with White Out burst on the stage.
So, I reserve my final judgement until I see it in person. I have no doubt it will be incredible to drive, uphold it’s name’s performance legacy, and kick fucking ass. Right now, I can merely (and barely) judge how it looks. What follows below is a short comic-book-ish barrage of gut reactions to various angles or pieces of the car; Like flipping through Polaroids that I’ve written comments on. These are simply the things that stood out in my mind today, looking over this new Corvette.
The Stingray name is back (as is the poetic “LT1″ engine code). I can see the influences in the design: the tapering rear and peaked fenders. But I feel the original Stingray had a simpler design. The new car looks very busy, with the vents here, creases there, more vents, slashes, etc. There’s a lot for the eye to take in. But, being a fan of older cars, and my top design favorites being smoothies like the 550 Maranello and 8C, it’s no surprise I’m not immediately in love.
Again, it may be that these pictures highlight too much at once; more than in real life. I love the edges of the CTS-V, so perhaps in real life, I’ll get it. I do like that tapered rear… and the fenders….
But gills and vents? I’ll probably stand in strong opposition. I don’t care for these on the GTR, or here. I think it’s that they’re so thick, making them more noticeable, and breaking that painted flank. I know I’m not a design student, and these things are done for a reason. This is also probably (hopefully) functional, reducing drag, brake heat, etc. But I would have like to see one without them, just to see what it would have been like. “Slippery” comes to mind.
Same with these, which I dislike even more. Cooling the brakes or diff? Sure, but there didn’t seem to be a problem with either before. I like pronounced hips on a car, or on anything, really. One of my favorite things about the ZL1 was looking in the side mirror and seeing that big, peaked metal sitting over the tire. Wide, bold, tough. And it was unbroken metal. To me this is like making a bronze sculpture of a seal, smooth, soft, and beautiful. And then bolting a TV to its side and calling it “modern art commentary”.
The word that comes to mind from the back is “tough.”
Well, I want it to be, except I read a comment online that said it looked like a robot with a uni-brow, smoking 4 cigarettes. Clever. Valid. Burned in my memory forever.
I actually see a little bit of 3rd gen Trans Am, like a Trans Am sent back from the future. Only problem is the front looks like it’s from the present.
But the profile is good. The F/R fenders have great shape,. They remind me of a 599, kind of a surgical athleticism. Sexy but lethal, like James Bond.
Perhaps it’s the color that’s thrown me. Color can change everything…
Let’s move on to the interior before I’m completely crucified:
“Wow, Ralph Gilles and the rest of the Viper guys must be pissed someone traced their- oh shit, is this thing on?”
Jokes aside, it’s a marked improvement from that last two generations, which-in my opinion-saw negligible changes between C5 and C6, especially when compared to the evolution of the performance.
Updated? Yes. Better looking? Absolutely. Less black plastic is a great thing, as are buttons from this decade. I like the contrasting colors, and the placement of them. In the past, Corvette interiors looked like endless mesas of black and grey plastic. This has some style, some flavor, some character going on. There’s more shapes and panels, and that is a good thing.
NEWWWWWW SEEEEEEEEEEEATSSSSS!!! YESSSSSSSSSS. OHHHH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
If they feel as good as they look, we should be very, very happy.
The front: I’ve seen some jokes made about it being a wee bit too close to the Viper. Well, I understand: the headlights sweep up along the fender, like the Viper, rather than spreading across the nose like the C6. The mouth is also much taller than the past Vettes, a trait the Viper also possesses. I do see what they’re talking about. But Ferrari also did that a while ago with the 430 (the headlights taken-in my opinion- to the extreme with the 458), the 599, and the 612. In fact, the Corvette is more similar to the new Ferrari F70 than the Viper. Swept-back lights are the just current trend.
Looking at the two of them head-on, there’s a lot of similarities. But step one foot in either direction, and you’ll see the Corvette’s lights sweep farther back. Side by side, the two don’t look as related. Less Alec/Steven Baldwin, more Jake/Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Corvette and Viper look just as similar now as they did in 2008.
Dunno whose idea it was to render it with blue fire and eating blue ghosts, but I like it.
That’s it. My reaction to the new C7 Corvette. Matt’s opinion will likely differ, and I know we’ll all discuss it on the podcast later this week. For now, flame me here, or take it to the forum.
Source: General Motors