Welcome to another exciting edition of Quick Shifts! Quick Shifts is a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest.
We will kick things off in the UK where Autocar orchestrated a clash between the “USA’s hottest and Germany’s best.” Watch the latest round of 911 vs. Corvette here and prepare yourself for the hilarious pronunciation of “aluminum” that you used to only get on Top Gear!
Fresh off naming the Corvette “the best car you can buy,” Motor Authority has set their minds to making the newest Plastic Fantastic even better and we quite like their list; there is always room for improvement!
The final word, here in the C8 section goes to the YouTube channel, Alpha Shark Pictures who got their hands on the “pinnacle of affordable dream cars” (sorry for all of the quotes in first gear, they were just too good not to overuse!), the base 1LT convertible.
Buckle up folks because this thing really jumps around between second and fourth! The founder and CEO of Tesla (an electric car company that eked out a net profit of $331 million on 139,300 deliveries in the most recently reported quarter of vehicle production), Elon Musk is officially the richest person in the world after TSLA stock grew at an unprecedented rate in 2020. Meanwhile, General Motors, a company that brought in $4.05 billion (with a B!) from the sale of 665,192 vehicles in that same quarter of business, is trying to be excited about their stock price sitting at about $8 per share higher than it was pre-pandemic.
The development is fully interesting but completely baffling to watch unfold.
In their rush to… catch? Elon’s merry band of plug-in car constructors, the General joined KIA in announcing a full rebrand this week. The new, minimalist design and trendy lower-case lettering marks the fifth logo change at General Motors since its inception in 1908 and it comes along with all-new, EV-centric marketing too.
As weird as everything in second gear makes us feel, on the truck front (where GM isn’t just taking stabs in the dark), not only did the Silverado retake the silver from Ram on the Best Selling Cars of 2020 list, they also teamed-up with their high-profit margin Sierra siblings to outsell Ford’s F-Series of pick-ups in 2020.
Over at the Wreathless Crest, the new Escalade is printing money for its parent company. Car and Driver reported that nearly half of the 2021 models leaving dealerships have been doing so for over $100,000 a pop! Unfortunately for a lot of working-class folks out there, we believe that the forthcoming C8 Z06 will be in a similar boat (not going out on much of a limb with that prediction when it is tough to find a Stingray without six-figure asking price these days). But you are right, GM, it is electric “mobility” that the masses are clamoring for!
Lucky for us, there are still some real gearheads at the Ren Cen and they are going to have their day before their leaders are able to steer the company completely into their vision of a future with “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.” That day (along with a few more in the coming years) is February 1st, when Cadillac will finally unveil the hotly anticipated, ultra-high performance V-Blackwing cars. What we know so far is that these Blackwings (the CT4 and CT5) will pick up where the previous V-Series Caddy’s left off. Both will have optional 6-speed manual transmissions, the 4-V will likely receive an updated twin-turbo V6, and the 5-V will get a supercharged 6.2L V8. It seems like a longshot, but we won’t stop believing that Cadillac will pull off a surprise and reveal that the 6.2 in question is the C7 ZR1’s mighty LT5. This car needs the LT5 and the LT5 deserves to get off the bench again! A short teaser, briefly showing the Blackwings in action was released with the announcement of the date, whatever winds up under the hoods, one thing’s for certain; these things sound great!
Another supercharged 6.2L V8 can be found in the first of two interesting auction finds that will close out this week’s forward gears. GM recently shut down their Australian operation but the performance wing Down Under was allowed to go crazy before getting shuttered. The juiciest fruits of this farewell performance were Maloo (Australian for El Camino) GTSR which received the 580 HP heart of the previous-generation Camaro ZL1 and 298 examples of the LS9-powered Commodore W. Little did we know, that they also blessed the world with four ultimate mash-ups of the two, the Maloo GTSR W1. One quarter of that production run is up for grabs at more than half of a million dollars and, if we had Elon Musk’s money, we would win it, no matter the cost!
Our other bit of car investing advice for Mr. Musk would look great in the garage next to his 007, “The Spy Who Loved Me” Lotus! It is the Knight Rider KITT car that was owned by the Hoff, himself! It just hit the block and is also approaching $500,000, that can’t be a coincidence!
We will throw her in R and head back a dozen years with a throwback story from Car and Driver that starts off in a way that is surprisingly relevant in early 2021. This four-way, “$50k” convertible comparison pits a Velocity Yellow ‘08 drop-top (that they had to rent) against a triad of Germans; the Porsche Boxter S, a BMW Z4, and an Audi TTS. While the ‘Vette’s fourth-place finish stings, there is plenty in its description (mostly its LS3) that make it the most desirable of the four. This comparison also highlights what a magnificent job Tadge and Co. have done at addressing their baby’s few shortcomings with the latest incarnation.
If you would like to travel an additional three years back in time, C&D has you covered again with a reminder about the hi-po version of the C6’s luxury hard-top convertible platform-mate. It is worth noting that the gap in price between this first-year XLR-V and the most expensive car (the Porsche) in the ‘Vert comparison above is less than the gap between the test’s supposed price ceiling and the Boxter’s actual MSRP. This begs the question; if you are going to overpay, which way would you go? The tossable Boxter, or the high-end Caddy powerhouse?
PREVIOUS QUICK SHIFTS:
New Years Edition Featuring C8 Corvette Reviews, A Blogger Buys a Camaro, and more!
New Gymkhana, C7 vs C8, 1988 ZR-1 Prototype for Sale, Blackwing News, Remembering General Yeager
C8 Convertible Review, R&T’s PCOTY, RAM 1500 TRX Wins Truck of the Year, and More.