In the roll-out of reviews and features this week on the 2020 Corvette Stingray came this article from Car and Driver that makes the claim that the C8 Corvette’s forward visibility is actually worse than the front-engine C7s.
The magazine employs a specialized “50-year old contrivance” known as an H-Point Machine (HPM) that measures such information. The HPM is manufactured and sold by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Car and Driver shared this article about how the H-Point Machine tests were conducted.
In their tests with the C8 Corvette, the front visibility on the C8 increases to 15 feet vs the 12 feet in the C7 Corvette. Things improve for the C8 Corvette when looking out the back, however, it’s not stated whether the rear vision camera was employed (which we believe it was) or if they measured with the regular rearview mirror. When looking rearward, the C8 Corvette’s rear visibility is 97 feet vs the 253 feet in the C7 Corvette.
Supporting their tests in the article are these two graphics:
But that’s counter to what we’ve been told by the Corvette Team that moving the seats forward of the car’s center of gravity automatically improves the forward visibility, and anecdotal evidence suggests that’s the case (however I have only sat in the car and haven’t driven it).
In this presentation from the NCM’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in August, a portion of it discusses just this topic. Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter doesn’t use these same measurements as Car and Driver, but he discusses visibility with this graphic which features a driver’s sight-lines and what he calls the angle of down vision.
So two different opinions both based on scientific measurements and in the end, it will come down to the perception of the drivers and whether or not they see more or less of the road behind the wheel of 2020 Corvette.
The Car and Driver article does mention that one reason why Chevy’s designers didn’t take more advantage of shrinking the front end down could be due to the rumored hybrid set-up coming later which features electric motors on the front of the car.
Car and Driver
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