2020 Corvette Stingray, My Take
|Photo by Chevrolet|
Well Chevrolet had their big reveal in Tustin, California. I wasn't invited. Not that I would have gone if I was. Tustin is in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area, about 360 miles from my home. So even if I had received an invitation the expense of the trip wouldn't have been justified.
Okay let me get this out of the way first. Although there have been rumors of a mid-engine Corvette for decades I don't like the idea of calling the 2020 a Corvette. A Corvette to me, and to plenty of others, is a V8 up front driving the rear wheels. As it has almost always been (heck even when it was a 6-cylinder it was up front).
I understand Chevrolet's desire to trade on the Corvette name but I don't like it. It isn't just Chevrolet. Let's face it the Mustang II was not Mustang. It could be debated whether it was a decent car or not but it sure wasn't a Mustang; maybe that's why Ford added the II on the end.
Now on to other problems I have with the 2020 Sting Ray and other performance cars. First let's look at price.
When I was young muscle cars were king. And they were affordable, even brand spanking new. I never owned a brand new car but I did buy a used, one-year old Ford Fairlane GT (390/4-speed). I paid about $1,500 for it. Now I'm not saying new Corvettes were cheap because they were not. But they were obtainable for someone who worked a decent job full-time.
Fifty years ago a brand new Corvette, the base model, listed for $5,192. That was a huge jump from the 1969 (about a $500-$600 increase) but still within reach for guys (and most purchasers were men) in the 25-40 year old range. Corvette buyers weren't poseurs either; for the most part they bought their cars to drive and drive hard. The same could be said for the buyers of other performance cars.
Chevy says the 2020 Sting Ray will start for around $60,000. Good luck finding one for that price. Either the dealers will demand a premium (unless Chevy steps in and bans premiums) or there will be few base models. But even $60,000 is out of line in my opinion.
Let's take a look at that price compared to the inflationary price of a '70 'Vette. Not the current value of a 50-year old Corvette but what the original price would be when adjusted for inflation. Using the US Inflation Calculator that 1970 Corvette would be $34,275.63 in today's dollars. That's a far cry from the $60,000 alleged to be the price of the 2020.
Based on photos I've seen I don't find the styling wows me. It seems derivative of so many other 'supercars'. Maybe it will look different in the flesh. Maybe I'll actually get to drive one.
Over the years it seems the average age of a Corvette owner has crept up. I couldn't find any up to date data but in an article published in 2015 it was stated that the average age of a Corvette owner was 59. I would venture a guess that that has gone up some since.
Again Corvette isn't alone in this. Guys and gals in my age range now have the funds to buy cars we lusted after since, well since we were young.
Chevrolet garnered a lot of publicity for the "reveal" of the C8 Corvette. In at least one way that may end up helping the C7. With all the publicity, and the drop in sales of the C7 (2018 was off by over 6,000 units and 2019 will be even lower most likely) dealers may have to discount C7s.
The problem, at least in my opinion, is that many of these people don't DRIVE their performance cars, they are seen in them.
So what is the point of a owning a car that will out perform so many other cars? Is it to show off in? Or is it to have fun in?
I am not saying the 2020 Corvette Sting Ray is a bad car, I like most have not driven one. I'm sure the magazines will tell us of its astronomical speed, acceleration, and handling. I'm willing to bet that Chevrolet has already build some race versions and will see it in major races soon.
I'm 70 but I still get the urge to smoke the tires, go out and see what it will do, or engage in a little stop light grand prix. Besides if all I wanted to do was impress people with my new sports car it wouldn't work - they'd laugh when the saw me try and get out of it.