There’s a few names in the car game that scream U.S.A aren’t there? Mustang, Camaro, Corvette – you name it, people know what we’re talking about, and now, finally the Corvette is in Australia with a top dollar asking price but the looks, style and performance to suit.
The reaction to my videos about the C8 Corvette have been pretty much “Wow” for 60-70%, while the other 30% are just haters at life, complaining about price, picking apart the cars looks or its status in the market.
But leave all that aside, with a starting price of $140,000 and models and options that could easily kick you close to $200k when on-roads come into it, this isn’t your average mid-life crisis vehicle.
A mid-life crisis is an MX-5, or a Mustang. A Corvette is a vehicle for a motoring fanatic, and a wealthy one at that. Or someone wedded to the GM brand.
Now there is a small air of distrust in GM, given the sad departure of the Holden brand from Australia. But seriously, it’s time to move on, and GMSV is taking things to a new level.
Now, to be clear, this isn’t “General Motors” just coming in and starting a new brand, GMSV is the old HSV, now a Partnership between General Motors and Walkinshaw who are offering the Silverado conversions but this is a very different prospect – this is a General Motors factory right-hand drive vehicle.
The big difference is, General Motors is building the Corvette for GMSV in Right-Hand drive on the production line. That’s a huge deal. While conversions are popular in the “truck” or Ute market, in a sports car like this, I’d be wanting factory from the get-go thanks!
And it shows.
Sit inside and the first thing that strikes me is the quality of the interior. I’ve driven plenty of American cars as rentals, and tests both here and there, and the USA let’s be honest isn’t known for it’s interior quality. They do a much harder plastic, and sometimes the layout just leaves a bit to be desired.
Here, first and foremost is a leather trimmed dash, stitching for days and a drivers cockpit that is unlike any other. Every part of the cabin is dedicated to the driver, any passenger is a mere afterthought. And I love it. The infotainment points fair and square at the driver on a stark angle – I’ve not experienced that so focussed before.
The instrument cluster is fully digital, and the startup screen is a skeletal look at the C8 Corvette to tempt you from the get-go.
Tech wise, we have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – along with a well placed Wireless charger in between the two seats level with the back of the seats – so you aren’t ever tempted to glance or grab your phone.
The rear-view is heavily obstructed by the fact you have a small window, and a long swooping back sides of the car. Fortunately, there is a screen-based rear-view option on the mirror, so you can use a camera to view behind you.
Without it, you see very little.
With it, it’s light night and day.
Press that “Engine Start” button and you get the most important feeling and sound of the day, the throbbing V8.
The 6.2 litre LT2 V8 sounds delightful, and makes any electric car owner turn at the memory of the good days of motoring. This is the sound I want in my driveway for life, no matter how many EVs I own in the future, I always want to be able to hear that sound.
Out on the road, the many drive modes unleash the many personalities of the C8 Corvette from GMSV. Tour is a simple, easy day, no bumps and bruises from a harsh suspension, a soft touch steering. A real grand tourer style.
Throw it into Weather and you’re ready for the coldest wettest days on the road.
Sport mode offers a better sound and feel to the ride, while Track Mode starts to unleash even more of the sound, a harder brake feel and tighter steering.
If you just want the smooth ride with the awesome sound, no drama, edit “My Mode” and keep it all dialled down except for the engine. Perfect.
For those keen on some real track time, there’s Z mode and it’s variations which really unleash the full capabilities and put the whole experience in your hands.
Bottom line, for the sound is sensational, but the ride doesn’t have to put you off.
This could easily be a daily driver, if you’re ok with the getting in and out part. And the 4cm lift at the front means less scratches on lower or angled driveways.
Outside, this model features a removable targa roof, unlocked by three clamps inside, and quite light to remove. It fits in the rear storage compartment right behind the throbbing V8 Engine.
Oh, and don’t put your groceries back there, they’ll get nice and warm on the drive home.
Instead, put them in the frunk.
I love the design, others hate it, but welcome to the world of subjective opinion. I think the Bugatti Veyron is one of the ugliest cars ever made, but others like it – that’s life!
It has Ferrari style striking looks, bold lines, and nice detailed like the jagged edge to the bonnet – I like it.
Honestly, I’ve not enjoyed a stunner of a sports car like this for a long time. I’d still probably opt for a Taycan as my first choice, but this would be my current choice for something that has the sound I always want to hear. Oh, heck, it’s going to be a toss up with the Jaguar F-Type.
The quandaries we face in the days after a Lotto win:)
GMSV’s stock of C8 Corvettes has had dibs placed on it for the whole year, with dealers taking deposits on the almost 300 of them, but hey, money talks so maybe you can find one. Or wait for the 2023 variant. There could be more power there folks:)