My Car Quest

November 27, 2021

Design: The 2020 Corvette

Can I take it all back?

by Wallace Wyss –

It seems inconceivable I’d have an about-face on the new 2020 Corvette after only a year or two but, hey, seeing them out on the road is not the same as going by pictures.

First of all I’ve seen damn few of the convertibles with the top down. I don’t know if they have a problem. But secondly, depending on the color, they can look terribly inept.

2020 Corvette Convertible

I had a rethink about the Corvette after driving the Lexus LC500h, a sports GT which starts at close to $90,000 USD. And after hearing that demand for the 2020 -21 Corvette is so high (partly due to shortages from, first a strike, then a pandemic and finally a shortage of semiconductor chips) I realize they are now regarded as precious commodities, some going for $80,000.

I think it was priced too low originally. It should be $80,000 base and then have premium models with carbon fiber bodywork, and a hybrid, $20,000 more for each of those options. Not a plug-in but a full hybrid that’s got regenerative braking (every time you use the brakes hard, it helps recharge the battery).

But most of all, it needs a simplification of the styling. No more pointless creases in the body or scoops with a screen that looks like a cheap plastic kitchen strainer, or floor grate. Everything added from the frill-free clay onwards was a mistake.

Maybe ship five clays from the first go-round to outside design consultants and see what they can do. I fear its original sales boom was mis-read due to it being the first mid-engine Corvette on the market. Pent-up demand. But you look back on it, there’s no reason to be enthusiastic about its stylistic design.

Corvette Clay Model

Mechanically, it will have to be a hybrid to make the grade in 2030 legally, and it will help if it has a refined exterior. I have yet to drive one yet but feel the driving is meeting expectations. What is needed now is styling simplification and a mechanical upgrade to where it’s half way to being full electric, the sooner the better.

2020-corvette-design-clay-prototype

Full electric can come when internal combustion cars are outlawed. I doubt Ford will or Stellantis will get it together (though a one off concept done in 2005, the Firepower, using a Viper frame would have been a sophisticated response to the Corvette).

In sum, if GM redesigns the present Corvette stylistically and electronically, they can count on no domestic competition from the others composing The Big Three. So my take is: GM, be happy with what you did for 2020, but there’s no resting on your laurels–the Corvette has to evolve…and the clock is ticking…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss has been an invited design lecturer to the Art Center College. He is a co-host on Autotalk, broadcast from KUCR FM Riverside.
 
 
 

 

 

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Summary
Design: The 2020 Corvette
Article Name
Design: The 2020 Corvette
Description
The new mid-engine Corvette needs a simplification of the styling. No more pointless creases in the body or scoops with a screen that looks like a cheap plastic kitchen strainer, or floor grate.
Author

Comments

  1. Richard Flasck says

    In my 80 years I have owned mostly Porsches BMWs and jaguars and Mercedes. Almost every one has been a convertible. Love them all especially my F type that I have had for seven years. But my 2020 C8 stingray Corvette is by far the ultimate. The comfort and performance ,the total joy in driving it is beyond my expectations. I have the HTC -Better known as the convertible and I have never received as many accolades as I do with this automobile. Half the people are not sure what it is the other half Are blown away by how beautiful and stylish it is. I agree that many C8’s I see are a little too outrageous in colors and add-ons. Mine is a body colored blade silver With natural interior.Plain and simple. I think I have the only one with this color combination. With the top or down it is a stunning look. GM hit a home run with this car.After 50 years of driving foreign sports cars I have gone American and proud of it.
    Richard Flasck
    Indian Wells ca.
    Photo attach.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/E63CRj845EbMyztf6

  2. If the Government continues in the direction it is going, by 2030 you will drive only the Government pod that it gives you to drive.
    Market demand be damned.

  3. I totally agree. There is no purity to this design, no design integrity. There is too much going on in terms of surface detailing and overall shape. The car is overwrought with superfluous curves and creases, and is lacking in proportion. To me, these deficiencies are indicative of a lack of design confidence. It seems like the designers were saying, “Hmmm, not sure what works, so lets just add another one of those openings, or another crease or another wing.” Perhaps the best indication of this is that the rear diffuser looks like an add-on, an afterthought – even they started with a blank piece of paper! To that end, whether or not one personally likes the Lamborghini design aesthetic, most would acknowledge that it is well executed; the creases and openings don’t seem to be fighting with each other for supremacy. At best, the Corvette design is trendy, but even granting the designers that, it is, in my opinion, poorly executed trendiness. Moreover, trends change. Good design, on the other hand, does not. Rather, good design evolves. To wit, the Porsche 911 – 56 years later, it still has the same basic shape as the original 1965 car. Design intergrity is timeless; the new Corvette is not.

  4. Richard Flasck’s comments are a real testament to GM’s success with the new C8. I tend to fall into his camp of many foreign cars owned over the years but find the new C8 impressive though have never driven one. Interesting they are the only US car in this segment. A candy apple red one with open top showed up at our cars and coffee on Saturday and it was stunning but seems quite large.

  5. Glenn Krasner says

    Wallace;

    Why would you want the base price of the Corvette increased by $20,000? This is an American supercar at a bargain price that puts it within reach of normal, working class Americans. It gives all of us a chance to own an American “Lambogharri” at an affordable price, with all the speed and technology of both exotic cars. Please let us keep our obtainable dreams within reach. Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

  6. Robb Northrup says

    The C8: Technically excellent, aesthetically challenged. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the C 8 appears to have been styled by high school students during lunch hour! A lot of angles., too many gimmicks. Chevy designers have lost the touch. The original Sting Ray and the C3 shark were bold and beautiful (I don’t think it’s far fetched to suggest that the ’63 Vette — in the Fall of ’62 — influenced Franco Scaglione and his design of the first Lamborghini 350 with pop up headlamps).

    Perhaps if Corvette were a separate division, the car would be treated differently. And they could offer some limited-run concepts (i.e. Ford GT) as well as an entry level sports car.

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