Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend


Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend

If you’re a fanboy of the Corvette, don’t get too upset with this video just posted by MotorTrend comparing the previous generation with the new mid-engine version on the race track.

Watch to the very end.

The video is basically a discussion between the magazine’s testing director, Kim Reynolds, and pro racer Randy Pobst about the differences between the C7 and the C8.

Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend

Pobst admits that he’s always been concerned with the way the C7 drives at the limit “or more accurately, the way it drives over the limit of grip so suddenly.”

“There’s that monkey-motion in the back, Mike, that’s always been there, and the more power you bolt into this chassis, the worse it gets,” Pobst says to Corvette lead development engineer Mike Petrucci, who was along for the ride as MotorTrend recently tested the cars at Virginia International Raceway.

Pobst’s first impression of the C8 in what they described as “street” alignment settings, however, was “joyous.”

Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend

He says: “The monkey-motion was gone at last—hooyah! Second was the deliciously instant steering response. It was quick and stable as I carved into a corner, and revealed snappy trailing-throttle oversteer when I released the brake. Both are clearly influences of the mid-engine low polar moment. The next thing I noticed was the C8’s ground-gripping traction as I accelerated off a slow corner, like VIR’s Oak Tree. Wow! It rockets ahead and remains well balanced, even though it feels like it may wheelie!”

Pobst did notice this street version had more power oversteer at 80 mph than at 40 mph, which he termed “unusual.” He also praised the braking as strong and stable with moderate nose dive and said there was no more float and better suspension damping, but not harsh. Switching to another C8 provided by Chevy in the “track” alignment that featured much more negative camber, front and rear, Pobst says there was much-improved grip everywhere, “reducing yet not eliminating traits of midcorner understeer and drop-throttle oversteer, and raising speeds with better manners.”

Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend

While Reynolds and Pobst’s comments in the video might be seen as nit-picking by some, they stressed that the new C8 Corvette is a game-changer.

“Something that is very, very important for us to understand,” Reynolds says, “is that this really is a terrific car. The very first time I drove it, the first time I accelerated and braked and turned doing that test, my brain was lighting up with goodness. This is wonderful, it’s pure, it’s honest, it’s linear. This is a transformed Corvette. This is what it should have been all along, quite frankly.”

Pobst agreed, saying, “This C8 Corvette is a giant leap forward for the nameplate. And what I did when I drove the car is a lot like what I do when I’m racing a car. I focus on what’s wrong because I want to make the racecar faster. And we’re kind of looking at a minor tuning point.”

Both men are eager to see where Chevy takes the C8 in the coming years, with the expected Z06 and ZR1 versions. They believe it will just get better and better and better, as Reynolds says, and “it’ll be fun to watch that progress.”

Watch the full video at MotorTrend.


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