After seeing some of the headlines generated following Jim Mero’s comments about being ‘worried” about the C8 Corvette, we knew a proverbial storm was about to hit the fan. So before publishing our article about Mero’s comments, we dove into the Overcrest Podcast where the comment was made during a nearly one-hour conversation to hear the context surrounding that controversial line.
With the context of listening to the full Overcrest podcast (the C8 conversation starts at 53:53), you get a greater sense of exactly what the now-retired Corvette Ride and Handling Engineer was saying which is basically the same things a lot of you are saying – that the front-engine C7 Corvette is a great sports car and why change a winning formula for the C8?
At no point did Mero put down the C8 mid-engine Corvette and he even suggested the car was going to great in the new configuration.
After the various blog posts about his comments hit the web, Mero has posted a response onto his website to clarify his remarks. We are presenting them in their entirety below:
Originally, I was just going to keep my mouth shut relative to reports about my comments on the mid-engine platform in general and the challenges the C8 will need to overcome to be the best Vette yet.
I believe those who have listened to both podcasts realize that, in my mind, every generation of Corvette was better than the generation before, and the C8 will be no different.
On the Overcrest podcast, I will admit I could have used a better word than “worried”. But in an interview, you can’t cut and paste. Naturally, I listened to the podcast several times and until yesterday had no idea it would generate so much publicity. I’ll try to go through my thought process at the time of the Overcrest Podcast then forever hold my peace.
When I said I was worried about the C8, every example I gave was for every mid-engine car I drove except the C8. I said I told my boss we would have to reinvent the wheel and do it better. I never alluded to the fact we didn’t.
I also mentioned to Tadge when the conception of the C8 was in process, as far as I can recall, the C7 beat most if not all the mid-engine cars with comparable weight and HP it was pitted against. Again, the need to engineer the car better than its competitors, with no reference to the fact we didn’t.
During my 15 years on the Corvette, I’ve attended countless shootouts. One example was the 2017 Road and Track Performance Car of the Year with the C7 Grand Sport. The competition was stiff. It included:
The 911 was the final car driven, let me tell you, I can’t remember how many laps he did, but 10 or 15 is not an exaggeration. He would run 1 or 2, then cool down and go back at it. Clearly, he felt the 911 Turbo S should theoretically beat the Grand Sport. Finally it did, by a few hundredths of a second.
I felt compelled to provide this example just to put into context my thought process leading to my opinion of having to engineer the C8 better than its competition. I will say again, never stating that it didn’t.
And…..Relative to the golf clubs, really, that’s just a personal preference for Jim Mero. It’s no different than saying I prefer a Silverado over a Colorado because it has better utility. It was not a dig on the C8, it was simply a statement of what I desire in a sports car for me. Nothing more, nothing less.
I’m not sure if this provided clarity for any of you. I would encourage you to listen to both podcasts, Overcrest episode 110 starting at about 53 minutes and Speed Secrets episode 123 starting at about 43 minutes. I hope then things will become clear.
I will reiterate one more time, each generation of the Corvette has been better than the generation before, and the C8 will be no different.
Thank you for your time,
We appreciate Jim’s response and again urge anyone to hit the two different podcasts he mentioned to get the full context of his comments.
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