Took a few days to read through. Great car and just right year and specs. Would shag.
Thank you for sharing this. Very interesting insight. I love these old motorweek insights, they did truly test their cars inside and out.
Some of my thoughts:
It's interesting that they say the body does have not the rigidity they expect and does make some noise - you can actually feel it a lot with the top down. Aftermarket solutions are available and I'd love to do that one day.
They also complain about the gearbox and differentail noises - the car comes with the so-called and german-made "black tag" ZF6, which is actually super loud. Later years got an american-made "blue tag" ZF6. It's also interesting to see that the shift mechanism looks as clunky and tough to handle as mine now does at 132.000 miles - so it was like this from factory. I still can't wait how a gearbox flush will make the shifts feel.
In terms of gearing, they state that the car should only use gears one to four for sporty driving, and while I have not taken the car to its true top speed yet, I had the car over 200 kph once and I definitely needed the fifth gear, if not the sixth later on. So maybe the have a taller gear ratio than I have (sounds the same in the acceleration test though), or just couldn't really test the true top speed of the car. Sixth gear is a partial overdrive, fifth definitely isn't.
One thing this test car comes with are the sport seats - oh how I'd love to have them, as they make you sit a little more snug and lower aswell. But considering I am not the biggest (and tallest, 175 cm) guy and I already struggle to sit in the standard seats that I have, I wonder how tight these sport seats really are. Anyway, they are a thing I'd like to upgrade one day, preferably in the (very rare) cloth version.
I like how they praise the adjustable suspension, called the FX3 option code. There's quite a big difference in terms of body roll between touring and sport, and it's actually super comfortable in the softest setting, which is what I always use. That does make the car sway around a lot (like the boat it is), but also, as I stated, very, very comfortable indeed. And you'll hear the least amount of creaking from the interior, so that's a bonus.
It's interesting to see how the car does wiggle up and down on the straight of the circuit they are on - I wonder in which setting the suspension was. Then again, it does that even in the hardest setting. Also, look at how that car handles, it does behave really well! I wonder if mine is as loud as theirs is from the outside. To me it feels like the car is much louder on the inside than the outside, and theirs does sound super growly on the outside aswell. I have to do some drive-by shots one day!
I like how they praise the brakes - the only mention the Z51 handling package, but I suspect their car got the upgraded brake package, that I do own, aswell. And apparently they had no troubles in running the car on a track for four days straight? Interesting - most people would argue that the C4 came with brakes which are not strong enough. Then again, that's most likely true for cars on the smaller brakes and with 16 inch instead of 17 inch wheels. Personally, I think the brakes are quite good - not too good, but also not really bad. I never really did consistent super hard brake tests with the car, so I can't really tell any more about this other than some emergency brake tests that I've done.
Anyway, this is all from the top of my head now, I might add some more insights towards that testing video and from my own experience about spordy driving later on.
Now that's some update.
I'm one of the five btw. ?
How do you actually use it? Daily driver, weekend fun, or once a month cruise?
Great post. I think that Porsche has the hardest contenders in street cars, specially 944 Turbo and 928 form. Their strong point is in quality, in feel, build and driving, they usually deliver the speed in away that it doesn't make a number of it self.
Yearn to drive yours (kinda want to own one too) grows great everytime I read this topic.
I thought it was a lovely post. I do have a question: how do Europeans react to it when they see it on the road, in the carpark, when you're filling up at a filling station? Is it like we all image owning a supercar is with lots of stopping for photos, answering questions, people saying "I had a poster of that on my wall when I was growing up?"
Oh, in terms of build quality, I am sure Porsche's are miles away from the Corvette. This is 80s GM plastics we're talking about... it's better than the internet says, but still creeks and rattles. The indicator stalk feels like it's about to break off when you use it, but @thomas told me it feels the same in his 93 (?) Cadillac Fleetwood.
Yes, it's still the cheapest Corvette you can buy, but that doesn't make it bad. I'd rather be seen laughing at the kind of money people are seem to be throwing at C3's now - if you pay twice or thrice the price of a C4 for a C3, just to be able to say you have one of the "real" Corvettes made out of metal rather than plastic and to have a rawer feeling, then this might be a thing for you, but it's certainly not worth the money.
Uhmm, Corvettes have had plastic bodies since the very first C1
Also the only significantly more expensive C3 'Vettes are the early full-chrome-bumper models and convertibles (pre '73 MY, especially manuals and Big Blocks), the emissions-strangled mailaise-era models and the cooler looking, but still weak '80 - '82 cars are priced comparably to decent C4's, at least in Europe.