2020 Corvette C8 Unveiled

Spectre

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I suppose it depends on what the manufacturer was aiming for. I mean, if their average buyer age is like 70, and it drops to 68, is that what they were hoping for?
Cadillac with the Art and Science cars is your answer, then. They got their average buyer age down from the 60s into the 40s.
 

TC

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Cadillac with the Art and Science cars is your answer, then. They got their average buyer age down from the 60s into the 40s.
Good ol' Cadillac. Are you sure they're attracting younger buyers? Or are their oldest buyers dying off and no one is replacing them? I hear their sales numbers aren't doing great nowadays... :p
 

Spectre

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Good ol' Cadillac. Are you sure they're attracting younger buyers? Or are their oldest buyers dying off and no one is replacing them? I hear their sales numbers aren't doing great nowadays... :p
No, they actually got their average buyer age well down, starting with the first CTS and the RWD STS. This continued for a number of years. Then they hired that French guy away from Infiniti after he ruined them for a while and now they're boned again under that guy's leadership but at least they're boned with a much lower median buyer age.
 

CrzRsn

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If only I didn't think that Bitcoin would just be an untraceable currency for people to buy drugs with in 2011...
I remember one of the guys in our house trying to convince me to buy into Bitcoin around late 2013. I thought it was dumb and didn't pay any attention. He dropped about $3,000 into it at around $200. I remember him running down the hallway to my room screaming on that first spike to $1,000 but then came the instant drop to $500. He ended up getting out entirely around $600 so he still made some really good money out of thin air in about 2 months time..... and then came that $20,000 spike in December 2017..... and he was real sore.....
 
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Nabster

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I remember one of the guys in our house trying to convince me to buy into Bitcoin around late 2013. I thought it was dumb and didn't pay any attention. He dropped about $3,000 into it at around $200. I remember him running down the hallway to my room screaming on that first spike to $1,000 but then came the instant drop to $500. He ended up getting out entirely around $600 so he still made some really good money out of thin air in about 2 months time..... and then came that $20,000 spike in December 2017..... and he was real sore.....
He'd be real sore after that ~$45k capital gains tax due on that if he held it too, I bet.

I still have something like .31 BTC I mined many years ago. My plan during that run up was to cash out if it ever hit $30k so I'd land about $7k after taxes. Never quite got there obviously, but I'm still sitting on them. If it goes back up over the next couple years it may very well turn into a supercharger for me :mrgreen:
 

argatoga

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Powerful American V8 in a mid-engined platform that undercuts the Italians, this is the spiritual successor to the de Tomaso Pantera. I like it, and I'd like it even more with a proper manual, but everyone who isn't currently in the market for one is saying that.
A friend of mine has been buying Corvettes for a number of years. Bought a C5, upgraded to a C6, and now owns a C7. He's been looking at Porsches since hearing the C8 would only be offered in an auto. Admittedly, he is just one case and most Corvettes sold are automatics.

Personally, I don't have an issue with this. It's an affordable supercar and it still has a V8. The only problem I see with this is that in a pinch you can't as "easily" throw someone in the back like you can with previous 'vettes.
 

thevictor390

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He'd be real sore after that ~$45k capital gains tax due on that if he held it too, I bet.

I still have something like .31 BTC I mined many years ago. My plan during that run up was to cash out if it ever hit $30k so I'd land about $7k after taxes. Never quite got there obviously, but I'm still sitting on them. If it goes back up over the next couple years it may very well turn into a supercharger for me :mrgreen:
I experimented with mining super early on an old (even at the time) PC. I left it running for a few days and did the math and realized it would have taken me a whole month to mine just 1 bitcoin. What a waste of time, right? I shut it off and reformatted the thing a while later.
 

argatoga

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I experimented with mining super early on an old (even at the time) PC. I left it running for a few days and did the math and realized it would have taken me a whole month to mine just 1 bitcoin. What a waste of time, right? I shut it off and reformatted the thing a while later.
Probably for the best, imagine if you left that on for a year and were now ripping your house apart looking for it.
 

prizrak

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CrzRsn

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Interesting article claiming that actual manual take rate on the C7 was twice what GM actually said.
Also makes an interesting point that we don’t know the age demo breakdown of auto vs manual buyers and it’s very possible that it was the younger crowd getting stick cars, if for no other reason than old people would have harder time driving three pedals.
http://sons-of-speed.com/blog1/2019/08/03/chevys-huge-mistake-on-the-c8-manual-and-its-misleading-stats-on-c7-take-rates/
I posted the exact statistics for the take rates of literally every option, transmission included, in this thread. The company uses those statistics to make huge business decisions. If they’re falsifying them, they would be defrauding investors. Furthermore, if the manual trans take rate was higher, don’t you think they’d actually offer it since it would be a profitable option? Nah, we got a narrative to run here amiright? That link is certified 100% Grade A bullshit.

What sort of bizarro world is this that I’m defending GM/Corvette yet again.

EDIT: I didn’t actually click the link, but based on the URL keywords and the conclusion you came to, I’m standing by my assessment.
 
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Spectre

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While it wouldn't be the first time GM fucked around with and defrauded investors and others (it routinely did this during the Obamaruptcy), there's no other reason to question the take rate stats. Looking at the 2015 stats, about 32% of buyers wanted a manual for that model year but that basically drops off 10% pretty much immediately. The take rate is 22.73% in 2016, 22.04% for 2017 and 21.92% for 2018.

Considering that every additional powertrain configuration (changing from auto to manual means you have a new configuration) means that the manufacturer must pay millions of dollars to get that specific configuration emissions and fuel economy certified (at a minimum) - and that the lesser fuel economy of a manual versus a modern auto will count against the CAFE numbers for the entire fleet - there's more than a little momentum against the manual option to start with when you've got a take rate in the ~10K range. Even if you charge $1000 per manual, you're still only getting back $10M on a program that can cost $30-40 million or more.

To bring in a comparison with similar defenders, one of the last two door SUVs left on the US market is the 2 door Wrangler, which has a sub 25% take rate and dropping. Fiatsler has been publicly considering dropping the 2 door Wrangler for several years because the take rate is falling to the point where development and certification costs will soon be more than the company will get for selling two door Wranglers. Despite that, there's still a very vocal minority that scream and holler about the two door still being popular and how they want one and how they can't see why the two door is in danger of cancellation - but yet the overall trend is downwards for the two door, so these people are complaining without putting their money where their mouth is by buying new ones. Just as CrzRsn alluded to above - if you want a company to keep making a particular option, YOU MUST BUY A NEW ONE and you must buy them regularly. Buying one used several years down the road does not help the maker nor does it tell them to make more.
 
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TC

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I posted the exact statistics for the take rates of literally every option, transmission included, in this thread. The company uses those statistics to make huge business decisions. If they’re falsifying them, they would be defrauding investors. Furthermore, if the manual trans take rate was higher, don’t you think they’d actually offer it since it would be a profitable option? Nah, we got a narrative to run here amiright? That link is certified 100% Grade A bullshit.

What sort of bizarro world is this that I’m defending GM/Corvette yet again.

EDIT: I didn’t actually click the link, but based on the URL keywords and the conclusion you came to, I’m standing by my assessment.
You may want to read the article. It cites the same data you posted from the national Corvette museum.

The point is that a decent percentage of Corvettes were manual, and they were probably bought by the youngest demo of Corvette buyers. Whether or not GM can turn a profit off that is a different story, but this is supposed to be GM's halo car. There is absolutely nothing "cool" about profit margins and other bean counter priorities. If manual transmissions were in any significant way profitable, damn near every car would offer one. That has never been the point of advocating more car companies to offer them. The same general idea applies to performance cars in general. Why build anything except cross-overs?
 

LeVeL

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I still haven't forgotten that my tax dollars kept GM open so I would really hope that they would be chasing profits.
 

Spectre

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You may want to read the article. It cites the same data you posted from the national Corvette museum.

The point is that a decent percentage of Corvettes were manual, and they were probably bought by the youngest demo of Corvette buyers. Whether or not GM can turn a profit off that is a different story, but this is supposed to be GM's halo car. There is absolutely nothing "cool" about profit margins and other bean counter priorities. If manual transmissions were in any significant way profitable, damn near every car would offer one. That has never been the point of advocating more car companies to offer them. The same general idea applies to performance cars in general. Why build anything except cross-overs?
Because if you have a halo car, it helps sell cross-overs. :p But in the age of tightened CAFE and emissions regs, even your halo car must bow to financial and regulatory realities.

An interesting case for this is Nissan - the only reason the Z hasn't been taken out back and shot for poor sales is because 1. It sells a lot of Altimas, Rogues, Jukes, etc. and 2. Pretty much the entire darn thing is amortized by the hordes of its relatives on the FM platform running around with Infiniti badges. While not actually a "free" car in terms of development costs, it's the closest thing to it I can think of in the current market. But if it was on its own platform, it would be so screwed.
 

prizrak

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Because if you have a halo car, it helps sell cross-overs. :p But in the age of tightened CAFE and emissions regs, even your halo car must bow to financial and regulatory realities.

An interesting case for this is Nissan - the only reason the Z hasn't been taken out back and shot for poor sales is because 1. It sells a lot of Altimas, Rogues, Jukes, etc. and 2. Pretty much the entire darn thing is amortized by the hordes of its relatives on the FM platform running around with Infiniti badges. While not actually a "free" car in terms of development costs, it's the closest thing to it I can think of in the current market. But if it was on its own platform, it would be so screwed.
Yet Ford still makes a completely bespoke sports car that’s nowhere near halo status. By your guys’ logic they should stop selling everything that’s not the F150

@CrzRsn can you really have an opinion on an article you didn’t bother reading?

Also @Spectre do they have to also test the convertible? Because take rate for those is only slightly above that of manuals.
 

Spectre

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Yet Ford still makes a completely bespoke sports car that’s nowhere near halo status. By your guys’ logic they should stop selling everything that’s not the F150
Except it isn't completely bespoke, there's more corporate parts in the Mustang than in the Corvette. Also, the Mustang is further partially amortized by the endless flood of F-150s, especially in the drivetrain area. And the Mustang does indeed serve as a halo vehicle, just as the Miata does for Mazda.

Ford not building other things on the S550 Mustang platform is something that has long puzzled people. Every prior Mustang to the S550 has been on a shared platform; Falcon, Pinto, Fox, DEW98. (Albeit that the S197 was developed only in part from the DEW98 platform, though they ended up tossing a lot of it and doing a DEW Lite sort of thing.) At least the Mustang sells well enough for now that this isn't an issue - even 'low' take rates for an option can bring in gigantic bucks.
 

prizrak

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the Mustang does indeed serve as a halo vehicle,
I thought that was the Ford GT’s job

The point still stands on manual vs convertible vette. Take rate for both is low and IMO the latter isn’t even necessary considering all “hardtop” models are actually targa
 

Spectre

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I thought that was the Ford GT’s job
You can have two halo cars - but at least one of them has to bring people into the showrooms. The Ford GT isn't all that effective at that - it's more a corporate bragging vehicle, honestly. It would be more effective as a customer draw if they'd made enough to put one in every Ford dealer in America plus satisfy all the other demand. They didn't, so it's not the kind of halo car that will draw in the married person who dreams of getting one, but ends up driving out in an Edge or Explorer because they have three kids and have to get a practical car for that reason.

Nissan has a similar situation - the 'unobtainable' halo car is the GT-R, the one that's on every dealership floor is the 370 (soon to be 400) Z. The GT-R gets the customers interested in the brand, the Z brings them in to the showroom - and then they (statistically) drive out in a Rogue or something.

Similar reason is why Sir William insisted on there being the ungainly 2+2 E-Types - guy would come in to drool at the 2 seater E, but couldn't get the wife to agree to anything less than a four seater. He'd drive out with a compromise, the 2+2 - an E-Type for him, but four seats with room for the shopping and kids to make the wife happy. Some of the circumstances have changed with society in the intervening half century, but the basic mechanism still works.

The point still stands on manual vs convertible vette. Take rate for both is low and IMO the latter isn’t even necessary considering all “hardtop” models are actually targa
Take a look at the price differential of automatic vs manual vice hardtop vs convertible. People are not willing to pay a lot of money to get a manual version (in fact supposedly they complain if it's not zero cost or just a token amount) but they will pay stupid amounts of money to get a folding roof. $30M out to just make a manual option that will get you $10M back at best doesn't really make a lot of sense. Consider that the Mustang sold more copies in just the first two months of this year than the entire MY2018 production run of the Vette and you might begin to see the difference that volume makes. Assuming a similar 20% take rate and a nominal $1000 upcharge for the manual Mustang (not based in reality, just making math easy) the Mustang will have completely paid off its $30M manual trans development in just two years.

Also, keep in mind that the Mustang is a conventional RWD car - the $30M is assuming you can just call up a bunch of vendors and have them send over their most appropriate off the shelf offerings; you can still do that for conventional front engine, mid trans RWD. For the C8, they said they couldn't get any off the shelf manual mid engine gearboxes from suppliers and would have to have designed a new one from scratch, greatly increasing the cost - which could not have been shared by anything else - and consequently making the break-even for a gearbox even more difficult.

GM wasn't kidding about not being able to get MR manual gearbox/transaxle setups for longitudinal engines. This has long been a problem for MR kit car builders (and even outfits like Lotus and Noble); the last I looked (which admittedly was at least five or so years ago), most of the kit car solutions were things like "adapt a 928 transaxle" or "adapt a Porsche 911 transaxle". There were a couple of custom makers but they wanted $25K or more per copy and clearly weren't going to be able to really mass produce their designs as there was far too much hand fitting required. And of course, Porsche isn't about to sell or license their transaxle designs to GM.

You may also want to look at how much it costs just to tool up to make an all new transmission design: https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/22/why-ford-and-general-motors-teamed-up-on-transmiss.aspx
 
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prizrak

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Similar reason is why Sir William insisted on there being the ungainly 2+2 E-Types - guy would come in to drool at the 2 seater E, but couldn't get the wife to agree to anything less than a four seater. He'd drive out with a compromise, the 2+2 - an E-Type for him, but four seats with room for the shopping and kids
I can see that, one of the reasons I got the Mustang is that in a pinch it does work as child transportation, if I wanna be cramped, even wife and both children.
For the C8, they said they couldn't get any off the shelf manual mid engine gearboxes from suppliers and would have to have designed a new one from scratch, greatly increasing the cost - which could not have been shared by anything else - and consequently making the break-even for a gearbox even more difficult.
I was actually thinking about that. Since the C7 was already a rear transaxle would it really be that much work modifying it for the MR layout? I’m assuming it would be considering that they didn’t bother.
 

TC

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I was actually thinking about that. Since the C7 was already a rear transaxle would it really be that much work modifying it for the MR layout? I’m assuming it would be considering that they didn’t bother.
I'm sure engineers know all sorts of ways of adapting all sorts of things, but just from looking at the transmission in the C7 and comparing it to the C8, it seems pretty clear that the current gearbox would not work in a mid-engine configuration.

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