Jim Mero Responds to His ‘Worried’ Comments About the C8 Corvette


Jim Mero Responds to His 'Worried' Comments About the C8 Corvette

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:

Hello everyone.

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 Acura NSX
  • Audi R8 V10 plus
  • BMW M4 GTS
  • Jaguar F-type SVR
  • Lotus Evora 400
  • Mercedes AMG C63 S
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S
We were at the NCM racetrack. I can’t remember the drivers name, but he chose to drive the Grand Sport first. He did 2 or 3 laps, laid down a time and brought it in. Going first is an unfavorable position, because any driver will go faster the more laps he lays down. Nonetheless the Grand Sport beat every car except for the 911 Turbo S.

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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  1. Nice try, Jim, but the Internet is certainly nobody’s friend. And as far as for GT racing, all the front-engine cars are dropping out, just recently BMW and Aston Martin, so the writing is on the wall. Not saying anything negative as far as still being great daily drivers/touring cars with more room for “stuff”, but as F1 and Indy car went rear-engine decades ago as the fastest platform for them, the move of GT cars to mid-engine platform is apparently the future. Zora Duntov saw that 60 years ago.

  2. I’m probably the biggest Corvette lover there is! Though I’ve never owned one!
    But why not just Build a Beast? A mid engine Corvette with 1200+ hp. Shut the pretenders up and build the best sports car. Stupid question #2 Why no DOHC engine? Please stick with Supercharger no twin turbo. But in any case Maybe GM could find the generosity to give me a new Corvette C8 ZR1? Well I can still dream! haha.

  3. I’ve had 23 Vettes from 1967 to present. With a few smog years everyone was better. I have no doubt the C8 will be better. Cleary the need to stay ahead in sports car racing around the world is a big factor. The C7R is competitive but not as dominant as previously. The new car will have teething problems but all new cars do…especially radically new versions. I’m waiting for the C8 ZR1 equivalent. The Vette haters can say what they want I’ll pass you at Laguna Seca or Sonoma.

  4. Refreshingly honest, Jim, and I appreciate you as much as I appreciate John Heinricy and Ron Fellows (I know he is a retired Corvette Racing driver, but he drove that car to the meanest limits), but the C8 is in its first generation of its new iteration. Let the kids coming up behind you work on what you have said it needs and go from there.

  5. To me the ultimate C8 Corvette would a car that was equipped with the following. The Engine would be an all forged steel rotating assembly V6, 24 valve double overhead cams, flat plane crank, twin direct fuel injectors one set for economy, second set combined with first for performance, variable valve timing, variable ignition timing and 6 Turbos with separate oil coolers and 1,200 WHP with 1,000 foot pounds of torque. The transmission would be a 10 speed DCT with all wheel drive system utilizing electric motors to drive the front wheels, all wheel steering, computer controlled speed of all wheels rotation. The exterior would have speed controlled aerodynamics with digital activated manual controls, plus speed controlled ride height with digital activated manual override. All LED lighting with a turn activated system.

  6. I’m sure the C8 will be a killer car, but is there a market for 20,000+ mid-engine Corvettes per year? I don’t think so. Also, entering this “exotic” arena puts you in the company of cars that cost $200K-$400K and most of their owners WANT to spend that much. Those folks won’t want a Chevrolet, even if it was the better performer. I think it’s a big mistake to drop the C7 and go only with the M/E platform. It loses so much practicality compared the C7. The M/E should’ve been a high dollar halo car, while still offering the C7 versions.

    Also, I laughed at the earlier NSX comment…You do know that those things aren’t selling! Production numbers are low and dropping daily. Acura basically built a car that nobody asked for. They’ll gain popularity after they end the production run in a year or two. I fear that the C8 might follow that path.

    In the end, none of this affects me. I bought my C7 Z51 with manual…I’m good to go!

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