All the same Corvette C8
All the same.Evans wonders what the future will bring, given the homogenised state of the new-vehicle market…
When I was a kid, cars always seemed to be more than just four-wheeled conveyances. Even the most mundane family four-door seemed to have style and substance. By the time I was eight I could identify almost every car on the road. Today, barring a few exceptions, I’m hard pressed to tell one from another and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a run-of-the mill crossover utility, or even a performance car.
I might get flack for saying this, but to me, the new Corvette C8 seems to look like another generic mid-engine 21st century Supercar. Granted, it’s tremendously fast, highly capable and from a statistical point of view the best Corvette ever made.
But it seems, like a lot of vehicles these days, it just doesn’t have the same soul as earlier versions. It doesn’t have any truly signature styling touches; no true manual gearbox and even the Z06 version now sports dual overhead cam cylinder heads! Maybe I’m missing the point, and perhaps somebody in the market for a car like this will be considering rival European exotica with the same kind of features, but to me, there was always something special about the Corvette that made it stand out as America’s original sports car. It was front-engined, had the option of a manual gearbox or automatic transmission and stood out from just about everything on the road thanks to its signature styling and four circular tail-lights. Even Ford’s Mustang, with its dual-overhead cam V8 engine and independent rear suspension, isn’t the same as old. I was back in the UK recently for a few weeks visiting family and I even saw right-hand-drive versions that somehow just seemed like another premium grand tourer that could have been from any European brand. And as for the all-electric Mach-E, it just isn’t a Mustang, no matter what the name on it says. It also makes me think that, as an enthusiast, when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle I’m not even going to be that excited at the prospect. I recently had the opportunity to listen to a Stateside podcast about enthusiasts and new cars and the general consensus was, if the participants had to choose a brand-new vehicle to buy, there was hardly anything that actually got their pulse racing. And considering my daily driver is now getting on a little bit, when the time comes to trade it in, I’m not sure what options I’d even want to consider. Perhaps there will come a point where daily transportation becomes simply a utilitarian tool to get from A to B – bland, autonomous and supplied by your municipality in conjunction with the manufacturer that produces it. If that proves to be the case, I think it will only accentuate interest and passion for classic vehicles which, even today, provide an ownership and driving experience that is involving and rewarding compared with your typical modern offering.
Which is why I think it is more important than ever for us to share our love of classic American iron, go to events, get involved with charities and introduce the next generation to all the benefits and pleasures driving and maintaining our 20th century icons brings. There’s the old saying, “you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” but turned on its head there’s no reason why we can’t appreciate what we have now and ensure that the same factors that drew us towards classic car ownership are instilled in successive generations to come. And maybe, just maybe, this celebration and preservation of classic iron may one day trickle back to the OEMs and inspire them to offer us more than some bland, milquetoast crossover with a heritage nameplate – because I believe that new car buyers do, and will continue to, deserve something better.