The Truth About Cars » stingray The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » stingray “Official” Performance Figures For The C7 Stingray Are Here… And They’re Grand Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Picture courtesy GM

The first source of performance numbers for the new C7 Corvette is, not surprisingly in this day and age, GM itself. Some of the numbers are extremely useful, others less so.

First, the basics. The C7 Stingray, when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, turns a quarter-mile of 12.0@119. If you’re interested in comparing the C7 to the Dodge Omni Miser or something like that, the completely irrelevant 0-60 number is 3.8 seconds. Slightly more interesting, the 60-0 is 107 feet.

So far, so good. This is a properly quick car that appears to have a slight edge on the C5 Z06 and base C6. And to show what great guys they are, the GM Performance crew ran the car around VIR. But, as has been the case with some of their other Corvette testing, they ran the “Grand Course”. To understand what the “Grand Course” is, check the VIR website.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Grand Course times are chickenshit stuff. The number of open-lapping days that use the Grand Course can be counted on a single hand in any given year. Races rarely occur on the Grand Course, because putting a race on the Grand Course requires one zillion flaggers and it increases the length of the lap by almost a minute. Thousands of driver/car combinations set VIR Full Course times every year, as I did with the Shelby GT500. By using a Grand Course time, Chevrolet’s insulated the car from any comparisons other than with Car and Driver’s “Lightning Lap”. I could also go on at length about the increasing difficulties in consistency you get when you add something like twisty the VIR Patriot Course to any laptime (the “Grand” is “Full” plus “Patriot”), but I won’t bother to do it.

So Chevrolet’s given us a meaningless laptime. I suppose we should be grateful for whatever we get. On the day when the first C7 is available, perhaps they’ll let me run it around VIR Full, maybe in conjunction with a tuned-up C5 Z06 or something, and we can get a number that every bench racer in America can properly pick apart, right?

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Ridin’ Spinners (Part II) Thu, 04 Apr 2013 16:01:54 +0000 I’d be a day late and a dollar short if I cared about being professional automotive journalist. To wit, we recently discussed how the digitally rendered C7 Stingray droptop Vette’s 5-spoke wheels look like a last-minute “virtual” hackjob for a looming deadline. The nice folks at Corvetteblogger show otherwise during their visit to the New York Auto Show: these hoops made production spinning the wrong way.

This is a new Corvette from the New GM, son. But this ain’t right.

We assume that the new, invigorated, not-beancounted General Motors does everything possible to make the C7 a credible threat to “le package totale” of sports cars, the Porsche 911. We know the stunning chassis and brutally elegant power train gets the job done. LT1-FTW? Obviously. And the styling might be beautiful in the real world. Hard to know on this thing called the Internet.


Except when the wheels are spinning the wrong frickin’ way on the passenger side!

I suspect that computer assisted rendering makes left/right directional wheels an easier cost to stomach, but The General still forks over big cash for extra work on the production/inventory management side.  But these (according to Corvetteblogger) are optional, not part of the appealing, easy-to-market base price.

So what is the incremental cost for two different castings? An extra $50 per car, MSRP? Even if it was quadruple, don’t you think Corvette buyers–folks that gladly pay extra for Museum delivery–would fork that cheddar over in…wait for it…a heartbeat?

The Corvette is a halo car; a Flagship for the entire company.  And it’s the real damn deal: the quintessential Vulgar Ass-kicking American ever since the uber-wedge, Z51-equipped 1984 Corvette put down Porsche stomping numbers.  Ferrari scaring numbers, at the least.  All for a fraction of the price. But cheap for a reason.

Instead of being (maybe) 20% cheaper than a baseline Porsche 911, why can’t the C7 be (maybe) 15% cheaper with better design and superior attention to detail? Flagships deserve better, even if the numbers aren’t ideal for a balance sheet.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Ridin’ Spinners Tue, 05 Mar 2013 11:36:14 +0000

Here’s the funny thing about being a failed designer-turned-blogger in today’s world of information overload: designers make mistakes and we get to discuss them.  The autoblogosphere is buzzing about the upcoming C7 Stingray softtop, but as my mangled merging of GM’s PR photos show, someone forgot to sweat the details before hitting the news wires. 

Perhaps you’ve never considered the Left-to-Right concerns of designing a directional wheel, a fad that really took off in the late 1980s ’till the mid-1990s.  If so, the above photo of Honda (Prelude?) wheels proves the point. You always want directional wheels that visually move to emulate the forward momentum of the vehicle…unless you’re a Porsche 928 owner that drives in reverse all the time.

Ahem! So looking at GM’s original photos:

That’s pretty cool.  With all the thrusting planes in the C7 Corvette, directional wheels keep the flow going for all the right reasons.  If anything, the dynamic hoops help explain the rest of the body.

Forget about DLO FAIL, how about DW FAIL?

Since it’s a safe bet this problem stops at a computer rendering error,  let’s assume GM made a set of right-hand directional wheels for production. Because these might be the coolest wheels seen on the C7 to date. And while this, combined with directional tires, makes tire rotation no fun (possibly impossible considering staggered sizes front-to-back) it is totally worth it to the ADHD among us…or design fans in general. This body is made for directional wheels.

And while the C7 Stingray is leaps and bounds ahead of the C4 Corvette, I can’t resist showing off the masterpieces from one of my favorite vehicles.  But let’s slap them on one of my other favorite vehicles; the MK IV Jetta…previously studied here.

Damn son…who cares if that’s the wrong emblem!  Just add another inch or two to the stance –since most of us live in the world outside of the Stance Nationand we have proof of why directional wheels are so cool when done right.

Your thoughts on directional wheels is greatly appreciated.

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