Not many people have ever had the privilege of driving a Ferrari 488 Spider, McLaren 720S, and a C8 Corvette.
The closest I will ever come was back in the “Magnum PI” days of the mid-’80s when I test drove a used Ferrari 308GTS, knowing the whole time I was behind the wheel that I could never afford the maintenance, much less the monthly payments.
In a recent post on Reddit, a guy who has indeed driven those three supercars listed at the top of this story offers great news for us Corvette enthusiasts – he would pick the new mid-engine Stingray over the other two. (Total disclosure: if money were no object, he says he would pick the Ferrari.)
We’re not really surprised with his feelings about the new C8 Corvette. Sure, virtually every enthusiast would love to own a Ferrari or McLaren if he could afford it, but the reality for most of us ordinary folks is that the C8 is the closest we will ever come to knowing the feeling of climbing behind the wheel of a supercar.
That’s why we’re so glad to hear that this “amateur enthusiast,” as he describes himself, walked away very impressed with his 400 miles of driving a base 1LT 2020 Corvette with an MSRP of just $65,000.
“Now thinking about it, for $65K what other sports car is competitive?” he asks. “A low mileage 981 Cayman GTS is right at that price, and I absolutely loved driving it.”
But now with the C8 on the map, he reasons, the Corvette is “much faster, handles almost as good on the streets, has a much better interior and totally modern tech, more comfortable/daily drivable, and comes with a warranty.”
That is high praise coming from a man who confesses he “never liked American muscle cars” and always found them “crude.”
That opinion changed with the C8 Corvette, he says.
“This car had the ability to turn grown men into excited little boys,” he said. “In the Ferrari and McLaren I just got a few ‘nice car buddy’ type of comments from people while fueling up. With the Corvette, holy s—t people were so excited and friendly and they bombarded me with different questions. Obviously, the hype would go down once we see more on the road, but I still think it’s a good looking car.”
He also described the C8’s powertrain performance as “perfect for public roads,” with its superlinear power delivery and quick throttle response like the C7 “but now (it) puts down power much, much better due to the mid-engine layout and a DCT transmission that’s so good that I would have believed you if you told me it was based off the Porsche PDK.”
The Corvette, he admits, may not be as fast as the Ferrari 488, but nearly 100 percent of the power in the ‘Vette is usable on public roads. As for handling, the Corvette doesn’t have as much grip at higher speed as the Ferrari and McLaren, but it didn’t bother him. He says his risk tolerance wouldn’t let him push the C8 to its limits on public roads, but he didn’t experience any understeer “even though I was driving quite spiritedly.” In fact, he says the C8 “honestly felt comparable” to a 992 Carrera S that he drove at the Porsche Experience Center in LA.
He also came away impressed with the quietness and smoothness of the new Stingray when “just cruising around,” noting that the interior was “truly a nice place to be” with the quality of the materials “comparable if not better” than most modern mid-range BMWs. He also believes the cabin tech to be better than the Ferrari and McLaren, noting that the Corvette’s infotainment system was “butter smooth” with pixel quality of the screens as good as the newest Mercedes system.
He did suggest upgrading to the 2LT package, if only for the rearview mirror camera and blind-spot assist because “the cabin visibility was laughably bad and you literally cannot check your blind spot the usual way” with the 1LT package that doesn’t include those options.
In short, he says, “the whole package just felt ‘premium’ and (the C8) really is a step up from the C7 in every way.”
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