Vellum Venom Vignette: Ridin' Spinners (Part II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
vellum venom vignette ridin spinners part ii

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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4 of 51 comments
  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Apr 05, 2013

    I was looking at the specs for the Mk7 GTI on the VW-UK site and noticed the standard 18" wheels, which are an updated version of the "Detroit" wheel but with a spin, are not L/R directional. I might not have noticed (right away) but for this article. Now I'm irritated!!! Do you suppose you can get snow tires for the 18s...???

  • Racingmaniac Racingmaniac on Apr 05, 2013

    As pointed out the new MK7 GTI wheel are not directionally matched. Neither were the VW "Interlago" wheels on the CC. And from the cited competition, the 911, we had the 996 Turbo wheels which were not directionally matched also. I am sure you would be glad to know though the Pagani Huayra's CNC wheels that takes 2 days to machine are. But at that price point, and with their manufacturing method(machined from billet) that is the correct way of doing things...unlike where you are trying to cast tens of thousands of wheel and to save P/N variation and cost....

    • See 1 previous
    • Racingmaniac Racingmaniac on Apr 06, 2013

      @Sajeev Mehta The new Audi "RS" wheels too, the ones on the TT-RS/RS3/RS5 with the 5 thin-ish spoke and a twist bladed look has the same issue.... Money and cents makes more sense than styling sense these days....the amount of "quality issues" that can arise for a car rolling down the line with the wrong wheel for a "defect" just makes no sense from a design for manufacturing perspective.... Personally I am not a fan of those styling thing one way or another...

  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.