Can a car built in quantities of 50,000 a year really be a dream car? It could be when it’s one of these.
There’s a good reason the Chevrolet Corvette is being built in such large numbers, more units are sold per year than Porsche makes 911s and Jaguar will make F-Types together, with a few other sports cars probably in that total too. It offers a real sports car driving experience at very old fashioned money.
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And this time, in the eighth generation form, the Corvette has evolved to attract customers all over the world, rather than just in the US home market, where the muscle car roots have always been appealing.
The engine is now in the middle, there’s a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the dampers are adaptive and to top it off, there’s also a right-hand drive version available for markets that do the same as us.
That would all sound pretty nice at the relatively accessible (for a dream car, remember) under £80,000 figure Chevrolet would be willing to pay for the car, even if the only show in town was the drama of the 475 horsepower naturally aspirated 6 .2-litre V8 .
But this time there is more. Much more. You’re much further forward in the chassis than ever before (maybe of course) and the engine is closer to the center of the car, and as sports car makers have known for decades, that gives a pure exotic car driving experience: really sharp turns, agile responses and, when they do it right, a tight and neutral chassis balance.
Chevrolet has really done this well. This Corvette turns like no other, and when it gets into its cornering stance it remains seriously adjustable and very usable while doing so.
In fact, it does this with one of the most charismatic motorcycles still in production. No other car in its area (unless you count front-engine muscle cars, which we don’t really do anymore, not for this car) has a naturally aspirated V8.
It has a nice response, with wide torque and, when it breathes at the top end, it is willing to power well above 6000rpm and make the right noises in the process. The roof also comes off so you can hear it.
The interiors of American-designed and produced sports cars are not always as good in European eyes, but here, with a convincing level of technology and solid levels of fit and finish, the Corvette even does it well.