In the past five to seven years, pastel grays have proliferated across car paint palettes industry-wide. These concrete hues, ranging from barely darker than white to nearly black, have carved out niche popularity in the sports and supercar markets because they look outstanding on everything.
This range of car colors first entered your author’s consciousness with Audi’s Nardo Gray, seen here on the four-ring’s best car, the twin-turbo RS6 Avant (finally coming to the US this year!), courtesy of Roman’s International.
Since discovering Nardo, I’ve been hunting down similar colors from other manufacturers in an attempt to hone in on the perfect non-metallic grey in case Paint to Sample ever comes to my favorite cars.
Exotic car makers have clued into the cool-factor of these greys. Ferrari has the stunning Grigio Medio, Lamborghini has Grigio Telesto, at Aston Martin it is China Grey, and McLaren’s version is called Chicane Grey. Each is among the best-looking paints I’ve seen on any of the cars that it has graced. It really highlights the lines of any vehicle while also allowing black and/or carbon fiber accents to actually, well, accent, instead of blending in like they do on a black car.
The Corvette’s main competitors over at Porsche have an embarrassment of riches in their color rotation, including more Nardo-esque shades of gray than most of the rest of the industry combined. They have light shades like Dolphin Grey and Chalk and run the gamut all the way to the excellent Grey Black with a personal sweet-spot in Sport Classic Grey somewhere in the middle.
Stateside, versions of this color have graced the Shelby GT350 (Avalanche and Lead Foot Gray), the Dodge muscle cars (Destroyer Gray), and even their big brother, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (Rhino).
The Corvette Team tried to get in on the action in 2018 when they introduced Ceramic Matrix Gray (still available for your 2020 Stingray!). I can’t help but feel like they missed the mark a bit with CMG (even though it is still one of my top four favorite recent ‘Vette paints) by going too light. The first one that I saw was in the shade and I really thought it was just another Arctic White C7.
It is time for Kirk Bennion and his crew to take Nardo as seriously as they take metallic grays. This is a hot color with the demographic that they are desperately going after with the mid-engine Corvette. It is subtle, awesome, and makes everything else about a car really pop. Mixed with a bright red caliper and the Adrenaline Red interior, you’d have one stunning C8!
The “boring” grayscale side of our ideal mix of Corvette color choices would include Arctic White, Pearl White, a Silver, Black, Metallic Black/Carbon Flash, a Metallic Gray (I think they peaked with Cyber Gray and should bring it back), and some kind of take on Nardo Gray.
So, Corvette Nation, what do you think of Nardo Gray, which of the examples from other manufacturers do you like the most, and what Corvette metallic gray and silver would you like to see resurrected and offered in the option book next to our two proposed whites, blacks, and Nardo gray? Let us know your thoughts on these questions or anything else that comes to your mind, like how you would rather see us spell gray with an “e” in the comments!
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