Welcome to another fun-filled edition of Quick Shifts! Quick Shifts is a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest. In this edition, pros and cons of the C8 ‘Vert, more C8 reviews, the style of the C7 ZR1, New top-speed and Nürburgring records, the new Hummer, and more!
As has become tradition, first gear is C8 gear and the ‘net gave us some exciting and varied content to work with this go-around. It all starts over on Cars.com where Joe Bruzek had a fun debate with himself. In it, he poises reasons to “pick” and reasons to “skip” the hard-top convertible C8. Corvette Coupe vs. Convertible has never been as difficult of a choice as it has become (or will become once production hiccups cease) this generation. Which one would you rather have?
Batting second (and third) is a dual threat written and video review from the folks at Car Buzz who are so high on the gorgeous Rapid Blue C8 from their test that it earns them the second word in their site’s title. The phrases ‘game changer’ and ‘It’s no longer good “for the price.” It’s just, excellent’ appear before the article even begins! Just like last week’s first gear, this one is getting a content warning: don’t read (or watch) if you are trying not to buy a C8!
Finally, in the clean-up spot is Business Insider’s Kristen Lee; a recent, and brilliant, acquisition from Jalopnik. Her writing and photography are very reminiscent of the R&T review that we shared last week (also by a former Jalop), excellent stuff! See it for yourself here.
In the most recent edition of his automotive design assessment column, Vellum Venom, Sajeev Mehta goes in-depth on each of the many creases of a C7 ZR1. This, always entertaining teardown of a car’s visual strategy begins with a nod to the significance of this incredible, yet somehow, underrated monster ‘Vette, “(The ZR1 is already) on the verge of becoming a classic; the pinnacle of front-engine Corvette performance has an instant following among Corvette collectors of all ages… ZR1s with seven-speed manuals and that massive rear wing (RPO ZTK) are likely the most desirable of the bunch.” This is an extremely true account of “the great winged one” as rare examples that come up for sale with both M7s and the ZTK package haven’t shed a dime from their original MSRPs, and we suspect to see them appreciate quicker than any Corvette that we’ve ever seen! This piece is all about how Chevrolet styled the thing though, see what Mehta has to say about the king of the front-engine hill on Hagerty.com.
If you are in the mood for further reading on automobile design, Sam Smith’s column this week was quite insightful!
Outside of the land of the crossed flags, it was an exciting week! It all started on Monday when American hypercar maker, SSC announced that they set a new production car world record for top speed over the weekend. Their Tuatara took down the mighty Bugatti Chiron with a 331 MPH top speed (two-way averaged to 316) on a closed section of Nevada highway. Road & Track posted a great behind-the-scenes story that details SSC founder, Jerod Shelby (no relation to Carol) and his skepticism about Bugatti’s record claim that he built a 1,750 HP car to beat anyway. This story gets us feeling all patriotic, U S A, U S A, U S A!
Another significant automotive record may have been broken this past week as well. Just as the Corvette finally moved its engine to the middle of the chassis, a front-engine car may have unseated the Aventador SVJ as the King of the ‘Ring. A YouTube channel run by Nürburgring regular, Misha Charoudin claims that the 720 HP Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series and its wicked aero kit turned in a sub 6:43 at the “Green Hell.” There has been no confirmation from Mercedes but either way, the GT Black Series is shaping up to be one serious track machine (and it had better be for what they are charging for the privilege of owning one)!
GM had the big reveal of the week and while it wasn’t the C8 Z06 or CT5-V Blackwing that keep your author up at night with anticipation, it is probably the coolest thing to come out of the Ren Cen since the Stingray broke cover fifteen long months ago.
We are of course talking about the Hummer which has been reborn by way of GMC and electrification. Coverage of this thing was rampant this week, but we are going to send you in the direction of Motor Trend because they got an exclusive photoshoot with the electric supertruck while nearly everyone else had to use official GM renderings.
Some other enjoyable content came from Jason of Engineering Explained who was at the unveiling and got up close and personal for a walk-around where he points out all of the neat Easter eggs on the H-ev and R&T’s explainer on the truck’s nifty “crab mode” that is worth a look for the .gif alone!
Just as they did with the release of the 392 Wrangler the week of the Bronco reveal (the latter can now be configured online), the Mopar guys tried to crash the new Hummer’s coming out party by greenlighting the first round of reviews for their Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX. It kind of worked, too. It would be an interesting poll to set up; would you rather: TRX or Hummer?
For now, a Car and Driver comparison test has made it pretty clear which of the current, internal-combustion “dune-runners” is superior. Sorry, Raptor, your decade-long monopoly in this segment has officially ended. We can’t wait to see if Ford’s rumored V8 update comes to fruition and if the Silverado continues to languish on the sidelines!
While everyone has Hummer on the brain, we’ve decided to do a special edition of Reverse gear that will take us back to the last time you could go to a GM dealership and leave with a military/Schwarzenegger-themed vehicle. In a two-part series, Autoblog’s Jonathon Ramsey used the Chevy-based “little” Hummers to challenge the staples of the off-road community. The first installment pitted the hulking H2 against the Toyota Land Cruiser. During that surprising test, some Jeep fans apparently ran their mouths and a second comparison was hatched. This time, Ramsey brought along an H3T to see if it was up to the challenge of crawling with a Rubicon. See how both got along by following the links above and have yourselves an outstanding weekend, Corvette Nation!
Previous Quick Shifts:
C8 at Watkins Glen, Special Editions, 8,500 RPM LS7, Van Halen Tribute, and More!
C8 vs 911 vs GT500, Daily Driver C8, BMW M3, Tesla Goes Plaid, C4 vs Nissan 300ZX, and More!
Corvette Racing at Le Mans, C8 Reviews, New Nissan Z-Car, Super Comparo, Edmunds C8, and More!