QUICK SHIFTS: C8 Corvette Rated, Caddy’s Blackwings, BMW M5 CS, Wagon Wars, SSC Tuatara’s Top Speed Run, and More


QUICK SHIFTS: C8 Corvette Rated, Caddy's Blackwings, BMW M5 CS, Wagon Wars, SSC Tuatara's Top Speed Run, and More

Video Screenshot Credit: Hagerty

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 got some great links for you this week so buckle up and let’s go for a ride!


Our friends at Hagerty have a new video review show, which they have dubbed Rated. The first page of the entertainment playbook reads, “come out swinging with your best content in to best establish yourself and build an audience.” In automotive circles, there is no better way to put your best foot forward than getting your hands on a camera and a C8 Corvette. They executed all of the above to a T; enjoy the clip for yourself; we guarantee that you’ll be hooked within 9-seconds!

Meanwhile, over at Top Speed, they’ve been busy putting together one of the most comprehensive C8 reviews that we have seen to date! It includes a video walkaround of a stunning Rapid Blue Stingray Z51, nifty interactive graphs, and it will even read to you podcast-style (which will fill up 19-minutes of your day!). Give it a look!

To wrap-up first gear, we will send you across the pond to our favorite English publication, EVO. They put together a list of the best naturally aspirated engines “from 4-pots to V12s” that starts with a quote that we couldn’t agree more with, “The naturally aspirated engine is capable of stirring emotions a turbocharged motor can only dream of. We celebrate the best of the breed.” Here is what they came up with; we think you’ll enjoy at least one of the V8s that made the list!


We have a big week of reveals ahead of us! On Monday, at 7 PM EST, Cadillac will finally pull the camo off of their ultra-high-performance “Blackwing” models! We have been eating up every little morsel of information on these two cars (especially the Corvette-powered 5-V) and can’t stress what a big deal this reveal is! It is very possible that this will be the last internal combustion hi-po vehicle ever unveiled by General Motors that doesn’t have a Crossed Flags badge on its nose. A bittersweet moment, to be sure, and one that brings lofty expectations. Recent leaks point to LT4 power and even an AWD option to help put the power down (a first for GM Performance since the GMC Syclone). Ceramic brakes also appear on the screenshots from GM Global Connect; this thing is going to mean business! The piece of info that your author is particularly thrilled to see is the inclusion of an Orange paint on the order sheet. Info on how to watch the reveal can be found here, and I’m thrilled to watch so that I can dedicate the majority of my week to coming up with an ideal CT5-V Blackwing spec once everything is official.

Two days after our eyes are treated to the General’s super sedan for all-time, we will get to watch Episode V(8): Dearborn Strikes Back! The original factory trophy truck, Ford’s F150 Raptor, has been emasculated by RAM’s Hellcat-powered TRX 1500. The Blue Oval takes the truck wars seriously, and they won’t tolerate this insolence from some upstarts that unironically call themselves Stellantis.

The new Raptor breaks cover on the 3rd, and it is expected to harbor a version of the Shelby GT500’s 760-HP “Predator” V8. Prepare for a flood of lightly-used EcoBoost models to hit dealer lots!

Cadillac 2020 CT5-V

Photo Credit: Cadillac


While we are on the topic of Shelby-branded Mustangs and fast four-doors, the two flagship Hearst publications offered up some great content for our shift to third that nicely complements the previous gear; we do love it when that happens!

First, Road&Track said their goodbyes to what is widely considered to be the greatest driver’s ‘Stang in history, the 2015-20 GT350R. This isn’t your typical puff-piece either; it brings an interesting story and historical context to the dearly departed icon’s signature stripes that make it a must-read, even if you aren’t a fan of pony cars. Learn something new about Americans competing at LeMans while you say good-bye to a worthy foe, right here.

Car and Driver adds to third’s mirror effect by showing off BMW’s preemptive strike at the Blackwing Caddy, the M5 CS. The new pinnacle of the 5-Series line-up has been turned up to 627 HP while also losing 230 pounds. As promising as that combination sounds, the reveal car’s Frozen Deep Green and bronze motif is the real stunner here! Unfortunately, the CS’s modifications come at a rather staggering base price; $142,995, or around $30k more than the M5 Competition that only has ten fewer ponies under its less-bulged hood.


Photo Credit: BMW


Sadly, BMW was left out of one of the best comparison tests that we have seen in some time. Their refusal to make the world a better place by building a long-roof version of the M5 caused Motor Trend to go on with a German Über-Wagon throw-down without a Roundel in sight. The excessively-named but beastly family-haulers that did make the cut are the Audi RS6 Avant (pictured in lovely, Nardo Gray), the Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo, and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic+ Wagon. I don’t want to spoil the finishing order, but for some reason, I found myself cheering on the Benz (that somehow left the word “Benz” out of its official designation). While perusing Cars.com later that day, I found one in a color that almost warrants its own “Colors We Would Like to See on the C8” post. Isn’t China Blue fantastic?

2020 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG 4MATIC

Photo Credit:RMB of Atlanta


American hypercar manufacturer, SSC came under fire last year when online observers noticed some irregularities with their 1,750 HP Tuatara’s claimed world record top-speed run. Now, SSC has taken to the Kennedy Space Center to set the record straight. A dentist(!) was able to achieve a two-way average of 282.9 MPH, besting the official mark held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS since 2017.

In other “cars for the stratospherically rich” news, there is another new (extremely limited) addition to McLaren’s top-tier “Ultimate Series” of automobiles. It is called Elva, and it combines 804 horses with the complete lack of a windshield for an unrivaled driving experience that the blokes at Top Gear magazine were fortunate enough to add to their résumés.


Car and Driver was kind enough to take care of Reverse for us again this week! Their latest Corvette-related throwback pits a 2007 Z06 against five other track-focused “extreme sports cars.” This trip down memory lane will be a welcome one for some who miss the days when a Corvette variant wouldn’t be out of place in a motley crue of road-course rascals like these. Here’s to hoping that a revival is just around the corner as the C8 Z06 returns to its naturally aspirated roots!

Corvette Z06

Photo Credit: CorvetteImages.com

Now, get out there and enjoy those cars, Corvette Nation!

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