The Gulf livery’s iconic colors make an appearance.
We’re quickly approaching the first anniversary of Chevy’s introduction of the 2020 Corvette C8, which happened on July 18. Now, less than two weeks ahead of that date, the Chevy Corvette’s official Facebook page shared a short, 14-second teaser video that hints at something new for the Corvette for the 2021 model year.
The post says, “It’s time to earn some new racing stripes,” while the quick-hitting teaser hints at what Chevy is “Adding to the [Corvette’s] legacy.” However, we have no idea what that means exactly. The teaser shows off some stylized Corvette footage with colored stripes crisscrossing the video. There are also four overhead shots of striped Corvettes that flash on the screen. Two are black, one with a pair of red stripes while the other has yellow ones. There’s a blue-on-white one, and another that mimics the iconic blue-and-orange Gulf livery.
For as much fanfare as the 2020 Corvette created, the Stingray model the automaker introduced was just the beginning. We expect Chevy to add more high-performance models to the Corvette lineup, like the Z06. But we don’t think Chevy is ready to reveal that top-tier model just yet. Instead, we’d bet that Chevy is planning to introduce a new appearance package, or packages, that help enhance the car’s appearance. It could be similar to the Competition Sport package Chevy introduced for the 2009 Corvette C6.
We know for sure that Chevy still has a ton of Corvette excitement to reveal going forward. Fans are eagerly awaiting the next Z06, and the numerous spy photos and videos don’t help. We know it should pack a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 that’ll leapfrog the Stingray in power, performance, and price. We don’t expect that model to arrive until the 2022 model year, so until then, we can look forward to Chevy’s latest, which the automaker should reveal soon.
Source: Chevrolet Corvette / Facebook
General Motors said Wednesday it will keep the price of its 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray the same as the introductory 2020 model.
The 2021 Corvette, which goes on sale late in the fourth quarter, will start at $59,995, matching this year’s model, which is about a $4,000 increase over the 2019 Corvette. Comparatively, the mid-engine Porsche 718 Cayman starts at $61,250. All prices include destination charges.
There will also be some new content in the 2021 model, GM said.
“Our mission was to develop a new sports car, combining the successful attributes of Corvette with the performance and driving experience of mid-engine supercars,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer. “We are thrilled with the enthusiasm the mid-engine Corvette brought following its launch and are keeping it fresh with new content for the 2021 model.”
Here is what will be new on the 2021 Corvette:
- Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension, which is new for non-Z51 models.
- Standard wireless Apple CarPlay/wireless Android auto
- Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat exterior color
- Silver Flare Metallic exterior color
- Sky Cool Gray/Yellow Strike interior color
- New full-length dual racing stripe package colors: blue, orange, red and yellow
- Stinger Stripes in three colors: Carbon Flash/Edge Red, Carbon Flash/Edge Yellow and Carbon Flash/Midnight Silver
- Driver mode on-screen visualization and new track digital tachometer
- Standard Buckle To Drive, a safety technology that, when active, can prevent the driver from shifting the vehicle out of park if the driver’s seat belt is not buckled for up to 20 seconds
GM will also offer on the next-generation car Chevrolet’s first eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to allow for faster shifting and more power.
Here are some other engine features on the 2021 model:
- Engine: 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 with direct injection, variable valve timing and active fuel management
- Transmission: eight-speed dual-clutch with manual and automatic modes
- Six modes of Driver Mode Selector — Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, and MyMode and Z Mode customizable modes
- Brakes: four-wheel antilock, four-wheel disc, four-piston calipers (12.6-inch front rotors, 13.3-inch rear rotors)
- NEW: Available Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension. It reads the road better, providing more precise data.
- Available Z51 Performance Package: brakes, suspension, exhaust among other features
- Z51 Performance with Magnetic Selective Ride Control, includes Performance Traction Management
- Front lift: adjustable height with memory
Jamie L. LaReau Detroit Free Press
Corvette Racing’s 100th victory in IMSA competition has been coming for more than two years. The last one came in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April 2018.
Tonight, the iconic American sports car team’s drought finally ended, appropriately enough, on the Fourth of July at Daytona International Speedway. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor will go down in the history books as the driver pairing to deliver the milestone victory – also the first for the revolutionary, midengined C8.R race car – in the No. 3 Velocity Yellow machine.
Fuel strategy was the name of the game in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class tonight at Daytona. And while every car in the class led at one point or another throughout the evening, it was the No. 3 team that hit the strategy just right.
Garcia won the high-speed game of musical chairs by 1.977 seconds ahead of defending WeatherTech Championship GTLM champion Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR-19.
“The engineers spotted very early how close we’d have been with fuel and how early we should start working on that,” Garcia said. “Jordan did a great job and saved a lot there and I saved another one. We didn’t know about the 912. We didn’t know if they could make it or if we were fighting them and the 911.
“We were expecting the Porsche to follow the 4 car (Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin), but we realized it was a fight. As soon as I had an opportunity early in the stint when I knew my tires were good, I waited for Earl to make a little mistake, and because I was able to follow very close I took advantage of that position. After that I worked my way through traffic really, really well.”
It was Taylor’s first GTLM win after moving from his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi team to the Corvette factory program this season. The significance of the Independence Day victory wasn’t lost on him either.
“It’s obviously very special,” Taylor said. “I was Antonio’s third driver for so many years and we finished second at Sebring, and Petit and Le Mans, and had so many podiums. It’s great to finally get a win with Antonio. And to get a win on the Fourth of July in an American car and being an American driver is pretty sweet.”
Bamber and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor finished second, matching their result from January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. The same can be said for No. 911 Porsche co-drivers Nick Tandy and Frederic Makowiecki, who claimed their second straight third-place trophies in Daytona’s Victory Lane.
A member of the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com is offering even more proof that Corvette production has returned pretty much back to normal by sharing Saturdays shipping manifests of new 2020 Corvette Stingrays headed to dealerships. Each Jack Cooper Transporter can hold a maximum of 10 new C8 Corvettes and so this batch of 10 transports contains just under 100 cars which is nearly identical to one shift’s production totals.
From the printouts we see the VIN sequence numbers range from #805 to #4126 which was just completed last week. The cars are sorted by destination and the trucks will soon be headed to Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, and Maryland. The NCM is receiving two trucks and one load will be headed north to Canada.
There are going to be some very happy Corvette owners next week! If one of these is yours, let us know in the comments below!
To find the shipping status of your 2020 Corvette, go to https://www.palsapp.com/, then click on the search icon on the top right of the page (looks like a magnifying glass). Enter your VIN and click the search icon to the right of the input field.
General Motors and Honda have announced they will produce around 12,000 gallons of hand sanitizer that will be provided to workers at their respective production facilities.
The hand sanitizer is being produced by both companies through their joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) partnership. The hand sanitizer is being made at the Brownstown, Michigan facility where the GM-Honda FCSM team has been working on to develop fuel-cell fuel stacks for the next generation of hydrogen-powered road cars. Honda says the sanitizer is made using an “apparatus designed to manufacture the electrodes used in the fuel cells,” that was repurposed.
“It is inspiring to see how the automotive industry continues to find new and innovative ways to help society during this crisis,” said Honda North America general counsel Cathy McEvilly. “The commitment shown by Honda associates and their counterparts at GM is a source of pride to us and we are happy to provide something to help the brave health care professionals fighting this pandemic every day.”
Honda also said it will donate 75 percent of the hand sanitizer to healthcare facilities and other places that may be in need of it and will keep 25 percent for Honda North America workers. It has already sent some bottles of the sanitizer to ProMedica Toledo Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, Memorial Health in Marysville, Ohio, and the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, Michigan.
GM and Honda formed the FCSM partnership back in 2013 and, more recently, announced a collaboration on electric vehicles as well. Under the new EV partnership, Honda will use GM’s new BEV3 electric vehicle platform an Ultium battery technology in its future line of EVs and will also incorporate other GM technology such as OnStar and Super Cruise.
“This collaboration will put together the strength of both companies, while combined scale and manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers,” executive vice president of American Honda, Rick Schostek, said in a statement previously.
SAM MCEACHERN for GM Authority
The mid-engine C8 Corvette’s clean-sheet redesign resulted in just a couple of parts carried over from the C7 generation, but there is enough “baseball and apple pie” in the sports car to keep it in the Top 10 of the 2020 American Made Index as compiled by Cars.com.
Chevrolet landed two vehicles on the 2020 List with the Corvette coming in at a very appropriate 8th place and it was joined by the Colorado that landed in 10th place. They were the only two GM vehicles to make the list.
The American Made Index, or AMI, “is an independent annual list that ranks the new vehicles that contribute most to the U.S. economy based on criteria ranging from U.S. factory jobs and manufacturing plants to parts sourcing.” Manufacturers are required by law to annually report the percentage of US and Canadian parts and that information appears on the window sticker of all new vehicles sold in the USA.
The AMI studied 91 vehicles and the ranking looks at four key factors:
- Origins of the engine and transmission
- Origin of parts in the car (as reported by the American Automobile Labeling Act)
- Final assembly location
- U.S. manufacturing workforce relative to production footprint
The were some new additions to the list for 2020 with the Ford Ranger leap-frogging the Jeep Cherokee to #1 while Tesla landed three vehicles on the list.
Cars.com says that 70% of shoppers consider a car’s impact on the US economy a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle choice and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the desire of Americans to “buy local.” The survey found that nearly 40% of consumers report they are more likely to buy an American-made car due to the current health and economic crisis, while just 4% said they were less likely. A whopping 26% said it was “unpatriotic” to buy a non-American-made car, compared to just 18% in 2019.
“This marks the 15th year we have released the American-Made Index, and for the first time, we are ranking a full, comprehensive list of qualifying American-made cars available in the U.S. Of some 350 cars on the market for 2020, 91 models qualified for our index,” said Kelsey Mays, Cars.com’s senior consumer affairs and vehicle evaluations editor. “The auto industry is highly globalized, but these 91 models bring jobs to America and investments to our local communities — a growing concern for Americans in the current climate.”
here and in Part 2 next month.
here and in Part 2 next month.
New engine configuration changes everything
GM engineering went into preliminary design knowing they’d be working on a mid-engine vehicle — the first production Corvette in eight generations to sport that configuration. “We evolved the front-engine architecture as far as we could for performance, so shifting to a mid-engine design was the next logical step to improve an already great car and be the segment leader,” explains GM’s Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer-Global Corvette. Equipped with the Z51 performance package, the 2020 Corvette Stingray can accelerate 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) in 2.9 seconds and reach top speeds of 194 mph (312 kmh). Pushing the engine toward the vehicle’s rear affected many things, including the car’s center of gravity, the relative position of occupants, transmission location and design of underbody panels and trunk storage. The mid-engine design also introduced higher operating temperatures and noise to new areas of the car.
The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette — all eight generations (C1-C8) shown above, left to right respectively — from General Motors Co. started production earlier this year. This mid-engine sports car is not only impressively fast, and the most composites-intensive Corvette yet, but it features an array of genuinely innovative composites applications. Source | General Motors Co.
“Because of the mid-engine, we had to do things differently,” explains Ed Moss, Corvette body structure engineering group manager. “From the start, we had so many discussions about how to lay out the body structure. At one point, everything was on the table as we discussed the best way to design and build each system. For example, we debated metallic versus composite for wheelhouses. If we’d kept the C7’s composite wheelhouses, we’d have to bond to the hinge pillar [A pillar], which is immediately adjacent to the front wheel in a mid-engine vehicle, leaving very little package space. We went with metal there. We even briefly discussed metal versus composite body panels. However, it would’ve been economically infeasible to create the C8’s styling lines in metallics.”
“A real challenge we faced was how to handle air induction,” recalls Chris Basela, Corvette body structure lead engineer, explaining the need for a different method to funnel cooling air into and across the naturally aspirated, 495-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine, which generates 470 foot-pounds (637 Newton-meters) of torque. “We tried all kinds of designs that forced air to take really torturous paths, creating eddies and flows we didn’t want. It took lots of iterative work with the powertrain team to develop the best path for airflow because the car needs to breathe freely with no restriction. We also needed access to the air box and had to work around rear trunk space. Another issue was heat and engine noise in the passenger compartment, because occupants no longer sit behind the engine but are positioned directly in front of it. And we were especially conscious of cabin air quality as laws had changed in Europe and elsewhere since the C7, so we worked really hard to reduce VOCs [volatile organic compounds].”
“Even working out how to assemble the car was a challenge,” adds Moss. “With a front-engine design, you have a long hood and large engine compartment, providing operators plenty of room to build the car from inside the compartment, even with the front bumper beam already welded on. On the mid-engine Corvette, with its very short front clip, we keep the front of the car open as the vehicle is built out, then bolt on the front bumper.”
“It was quite a balancing act to get the proper shapes, while ensuring our suppliers could produce the parts and our team in Bowling Green [GM’s Kentucky-based Corvette assembly plant] could assemble them,” continues Basela. “In the end, there was only one carryover composite from the C7’s body to the C8.” This was tough Class A, 1.2 specific gravity (SG) sheet molding compound (SMC) developed for the 2016 Corvette and used in a variety of exterior closures on the new vehicle.
For four generations (C5-C8), Corvettes have featured a three-layer, multi-material body structure: the frame, usually a mix of aluminum or steel — this time with a carbon fiber-reinforced composite (CFRP) part; the body structure, which is largely bonded composite to capitalize on design and manufacturing flexibility; plus bolt-on closeouts (body panels), which have been composite since Covette’s June 1953 debut. This layered hybrid structure not only provides affordable lightweighting in high production volumes — particularly for cars of this performance class — but also permits multiple vehicle variants to be produced at low tooling investment. In fact, for the current C8, GM managed to produce all Class A composite body panels (bonded inners and outers) on both the base model coupé and convertible using just 20 tools.
GM and its suppliers have already won many awards for innovative composites use on the 2020 Corvette Stingray. Among those standing above are key GM engineering team members at last November’s 49th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, where GM won SPE Automotive Div.’s Vehicle Engineering Team Award. A number of composite parts on the vehicle also were finalists or category winners at the event. Source | SPE Automotive Div.
In addition, Corvettes have always been engineered with an open-roof architecture, regardless of whether they are actually convertibles or coupés with fixed or removable roof panels. Because open-roof vehicles are generally less stiff than those with fixed roofs, an important focus for each Corvette’s engineering is always to create the stiffest foundation possible to improve suspension and steering. Historically, tunnels(housing transmissions and driveshafts on front-engine vehicles) have dominated Corvette body structures and have been key enablers for achieving high torsional rigidity. In the case of the new Corvette, GM achieved even higher rigidity. With the roof removed, the C8 body is 53.78% stiffer than a benchmark high-performance mid-engine competitor, 29.27% stiffer than a second high-performance mid-engine competitor, and 13.79% stiffer than the C7. Two composite parts made important contributions to vehicle stiffness—one directly attached to the frame structure (rear bumper beam) and another attached to the underbody (lower tunnel closeout).
The C8’s frame is largely aluminum alloy with one CFRP part developed to meet GM’s stringent dollar-per-kilogram targets. In contrast, the C7 frame was all-aluminum and the C6 was mostly steel.
The only composite part directly mounted to the frame that travels with the body-in-white (BIW) through the electrophoretic rust-coat process (which GM calls ELPO), is a unique CFRP rear bumper beam. This part helps stiffen the frame and contributes to rear-impact performance. Its curved shape — possible thanks to a novel process called radius pultrusion developed by Thomas GmbH + Co. Technik + Innovation KG (TTI, Bremervörde, Germany) — enables it to match rear styling cues and fit in limited package space while maintaining dimensional integrity close to engine-bay heat. As the auto industry’s first curved pultruded part (see our full feature on this part in the CW May 2020 issue), the hollow, two-chambered beam was produced by Shape Corp. (Grand Haven, Mich., U.S.) on equipment developed and built by TTI. The beam weighs just 1.3 kilograms and features a bonded/bolted tow-hook eye capable of 25 kilonewtons of pull-out force.
An auto industry first, the 2020 Corvette sports a curved rear bumper beam in pultruded carbon fiber composite produced with 87 individual carbon tows and eight carbon fiber non-crimp fabrics (NCFs) impregnated with polyurethane-acrylate resin. The hollow, two-chambered beam is 66% lighter than the outgoing aluminum beam and met GM’s demanding dollar-per-kilogram targets. Source | Shape Corp.
Body Structure: part A
Virtually all of the C8’s body structure components are composite and are bonded and/or bolted to the frame after the latter undergoes ELPO. Notable composite parts at this level include structural underbody closures and the floor — which we’ll cover in this issue — and front and rear trunks, induction ducts and the rear surround and bulkhead — which we’ll cover, along with body panels and trim, next month.
This hybrid-composite, lower-tunnel closeout is produced using a variant of liquid compression molding. It eliminated secondary attachments, lowered mass by 3 kilograms and reduced labor, tooling and capital costs vs. aluminum. Source | SPE Automotive Div.
The removable lower-tunnel structural closeout on the C8, which acts as an access door, contributes more than 10% of the vehicle’s torsional rigidity and acts as a primary load path during a crash. This hybrid-composite panel consists of three layers of glass fiber preform. These consist of continuous/woven and chopped/random fibers at 38% fiber volume fraction (FVF), with veils added to top and bottom face layers on each stack for improved surface finish. Glass preforms are interleaved with two layers of preforms made using Toray (Tokyo, Japan) T700 12K standard-modulus carbon fiber in the form of NCF biaxial fabric at 21% FVF and a vinyl ester (VE) matrix. The closeout is produced by Molded Fiber Glass Co. (MFG, Ashtabula, Ohio, U.S.) using its proprietary PRiME (Prepositioned Reinforcement ensuring Manufacturing Excellence) process, a type of liquid compression molding (LCM).
Aside from a single aluminum closeout near the rear wheels that is part of the engine cradle, the remaining underbody panels consist of either compression molded SMC or injection molded thermoplastics. Among other benefits, these panels reduce underbody turbulence and drag, improve fuel efficiency and keep moisture, dust and stones out of the vehicle’s engine and driveline. Further, they provide the dimensional foundation for multiple exterior and interior interfaces.
The low-density but structural SMC panels feature new formulations (in this case, 40% FVF chopped fiberglass/unsaturated polyester (UP) resin) developed by MFG. The material is called “float” SMC because each panel’s density is less than 1.0 (average SG=0.97) and thus can float in water. MFG produced all structural SMC and LCM’d parts on the car.
An important contributor to vehicle lightweighting on the C8 is the extensive use of “float” SMC. With specific gravity values less than 1.0, this low-density but structural SMC developed by MFG is used in a variety of non-Class A parts, including underbody panels, the dash panel, air-induction ductwork and the front trunk. Source | Molded Fiber Glass Co.
The vehicle also sports a hybrid floor optimized for torsional bending and side-pole impact protection (engaging the rocker panels and tunnel, to which it is joined). Floor panels feature cabin-facing stamped aluminum bonded to sheets of road-facing 1.5-SG composite (60 wt-% continuous and woven glass fiber/VE) produced via the PRiME process. Before heat-bonding both layers with Pliogrip 9100 polyurethane structural adhesive from Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (Wilmington, Del., U.S.), MFG cleans and preps the materials.
All composite parts directly bonded to the C8 frame are first subjected to laser ablation, a process developed by GM, MFG and Adapt Laser Systems LLC (Kansas City, Mo., U.S.) for the 2016 Corvette, and adapted from a composites industry method for mold cleaning. Laser ablation replaces hand sanding and reduces labor, time and cost, eliminates dust and improves repeatability. Laser path, angle of attack and energy level are customizable for each part’s material and geometry. To maximize manufacturing flexibility, the entire underbody, including the floor, is connected to the frame and itself via bonding and screws.
In the August issue of CW, we’ll continue covering composites innovation on the new Corvette, resuming with additional components at the body structures level and finishing with exterior closures (body panels), plus additional trim and upgrades.
Peggy Malnati for Composites World
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent his whole life chasing meaningful rewards.
He waited for a pat on the back from his famous father, worked diligently to generate compliments from crew members and other drivers, and reveled in the roar of his fans — those he inherited from his father and the new ones he brought along for the ride.
NASCAR’s longtime fan favorite received the sport’s biggest honor Tuesday, when he was selected to join his father in the series’ Hall of Fame. Earnhardt will be inducted in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with the late Mike Stefanik and 87-year-old Red Farmer, who is planning to race on Talladega’s dirt track this weekend. Ralph Seagraves was named the Landmark Award winner for his contributions to the sport.
Despite never winning a series championship, Earnhardt received 76% of the votes cast on the modern era ballot.
“Just talking about it, it’s really emotional because I feed off affirmation,” he said wistfully. “It’s such a great feeling to know people think I made an impact. I know what my numbers are, and I feel like I was chosen because of that, but also for the impact I made off the track, being an ambassador for the sport.”
Junior’s grandfather, Ralph, went into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Junior’s father, The Intimidator, also made the list, even before finishing his career with 76 wins and a record-tying seven Cup titles.
The team-owning father gave Dale Jr. his first big break: a full-time ride in the Busch Series in 1998. It didn’t take long for Junior to prove he was a natural — on and off the track.
He won Busch championships in each of his first two seasons and two races as a rookie Cup driver in 2000.
When the elder Earnhardt was killed during the 2001 Daytona 500, Junior suddenly found himself in a place he never imagined.
“I knew when Dad died, I was going to assume most if not all of his fan base, and I feel like I took care of that,” he said. “I didn’t squander that, I didn’t ruin that, and I also introduced myself to a lot of people who never heard of Dale Earnhardt.”
Suddenly, the brash, 26-year-old Earnhardt emerged as the face of the sport and started adding his chapter to the family legacy. He won 26 races — including two Daytona 500s and the 2001 Pepsi 400, the first Cup race held at Daytona after his father’s death — before retiring as a full-time Cup driver following the 2017 season.
Fans watched to see if he could replicate the fearless style that made his father so popular. But Junior never tried to compete with that image.
“There was a point in my career where I started to think I’m not going to win seven championships; I might not even win one. I’m not going to win 100 races; I might not even win 40,” he said. “There were a lot of people that wanted me to be as successful as he was and be as aggressive as he was and spin people out or whatever. So I started to think about what I could do outside of that and what else I could do to help the sport.”
Junior introduced new fans to stock car racing through different news outlets, social media and podcasts. The result: 15 consecutive Most Popular Driver awards.
Stefanik won seven titles in NASCAR’s modified series and two more in the Busch North series. His nine total championships are tied with that of Richie Evans for the most in NASCAR history, and Stefanik was named the second-greatest driver in modified history in 2003.
Stefanik, who died from injuries sustained in a plane crash in September in Connecticut at age 61, edged Ricky Rudd for the second spot on the ballot with 49% of the vote.
“Phenomenal when you think about what he did. Nine championships,” Kyle Petty said during NBCSN’s announcement show. “Phenomenal record, phenomenal amount of wins.”
The 87-year-old Farmer won four Late Model Sportsman season titles and an estimated 700 to 900 races. He was a member of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers and became a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004. This week, with the big series returning to Talladega, he’s scrambling to put together a car for two nights of racing on the dirt track across the street.
“I had a little fender bender in a 40-lapper last weekend,” he said. “They had a three- or four-car pileup right in front of me, and I slid into it and messed up the nose pretty good. So I’m getting my backup car ready.”
An executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Seagraves helped spearhead Winston’s decision to sponsor NASCAR’s premier series from 1971 to 2003. Winston’s financial support allowed many tracks to upgrade their facilities, and the season-long points fund bolstered purses for drivers and teams.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Thanks to our friends at the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com, we’ve got two different confirmations that newly completed 2020 Corvettes are once again shipping from the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green
The shipping confirmation comes from the Jack Cooper Transport website. Owners can post their VIN into the search box and it returns the shipping manifest.
Yesterday, the National Corvette Museum received four new 2020 Corvettes while another shipping manifest shows 2020 Corvettes with VINs ranging from 2814 to 3354 heading to multiple Chevy dealers in the midwest.
Thanks to some of the sleuths on the MECF, we also see a few CTF Convertibles heading up to the Detroit area:
This is great news for customers who have been “patiently” waiting for shipping of the new 2020 C8 Corvettes for the first time since the Corvette Assembly Plant reopened on May 26th after being closed for two months due to the coronavirus.
How to Track Your 2020 Corvette
CorvetteBlogger contributor Jeremy Welborn previously wrote this post on how to Track the Shipping of your C8 Corvette via Jack Cooper. To find the shipping status of your 2020 Corvette, go to https://www.palsapp.com/, then click on the search icon on the top right of the page (looks like a magnifying glass). Enter your VIN and click the search icon to the right of the input field.
The future of the mid-engine Corvette should be long and very fast.
Future variations of the new-generation Chevrolet Corvette have been the cause of much debate over the past year. Hagerty recently claimed that it has the scoop, via an “industry leak” on the roadmap for the Corvette’s’ development in trim and model variations. Between that and a lot of industry chatter and some leaks, we’re sure that the Corvette is not only going to evolve over the coming years but mutate into something incredibly special. Here’s how the future lineup of the Corvette should shape up.
2021 C8 Corvette Stingray
The first iteration of the new Corvette is on the road, although in limited supply due to the pandemic. It comes with an LT2 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8, making 490-495 hp and 465-470 lb-ft depending on trim level. There’s no manual option, and power is controlled and delivered to the rear wheels by a Tremec supplied 8-speed automatic transmission.
Only 2,700 C8 Corvettes were built before the virus struck, then production had to be paused. The years given below are the planned model years. However, development programs throughout GM have been paused, and there could be significant delays.
2022 C8 Corvette Z06
The Z06 badge means added performance, and initial reports claimed the first heated up C8 Corvette would arrive with 650 hp and 600 lb-ft from a 5.5-liter LT6 V8. The race-inspired LT6 engine is set to have a flat-plane crank design that’s rumored to rev past 8,000 rpm. Since then, though, credible sources have reset expectations at 600 hp and 470-500 lb-ft of torque, but will, indeed, rev fast and long. The Z06 will also have a wider body to accommodate larger brakes inside the larger wheels and tires, as well as a more aggressive suspension setup. There’s also reports that an optional aero package will include a unique rear wing.
2023 C8 Corvette E-Ray
Some enthusiasts aren’t going to like this, but the Corvette is going to go hybrid in the 2023 model year. It will use the same 6.2-liter LT2 V8 as the Corvette Stingray, but it’ll be bolstered with an electric motor located between the front wheels. The 1.94-kWh lithium-ion battery pack will be located in the middle of the car, and the electrical system’s peak output will be 85 kW. Total output should sit at around 600 hp and 575 ft-lb of torque – around the same as the Z06 model. Unlike the Z06, the E-Ray isn’t expected to have the widebody setup and will be the first-ever all-wheel-drive Corvette.
2023 C8 Corvette Grand Sport
There are conflicting reports on this one with some claiming the Grand Sport will be the hybrid model, and others suggesting that the Grand Sport will be powered by the Stingray’s 6.2L LT2 V8, but with the chassis and aerodynamic enhancements from the Z06. Using the base model V8 and upgrading the chassis is the traditional recipe for the Grand Sport. We’re trying to verify either way, but we currently suspect the Grand Sport will be the name of the hybrid model.
2024 C8 Corvette ZR1
The ZR1 has traditionally been the flagship Corvette, cranked up then honed to hunt down supercars at the track. The ZR1 will come with a twin-turbo variant of the flat plane crank 5.5L V8 LT6 engine making a fearsome 850 hp and 825 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the C7 generation ZR1 made 755 hp and 715-lb-ft of torque and that was frightening enough for the uninitiated.
The C8 generation Corvette ZR1 promises to be the fastest Corvette yet, and that’s before adding the upgraded chassis with track-oriented suspension, brakes, and active aero. However, in 2025 something even faster should arrive.
2025 C8 Corvette Zora
The Corvette Zora is named after Zora Arkus-Duntov, the man who turned the Corvette into a serious performance car but didn’t live long enough to see his dream of a mid-engined version come true. Fittingly, the fastest Corvette in its history will have his name on it, and use the twin-turbo 5.5L LT7 V8 from the ZR1 paired with a hybrid-electric system. Total power output is set to be astounding at around 1,000 hp and 900-1000 lb-ft of torque. It’ll be all-wheel-drive, wide-bodied, track-ready, and feature active aerodynamics. It will also put to bed any argument of whether the Corvette is a supercar or not.
It seems comfortable at the limit.
The C8 Corvette is Chevrolet’s first stab at building a true mid-engine supercar. While much faster versions will follow, the C8 Stingray in base form can hold its own against more exotic and more powerful machinery. We recently wrote about a C8 Stingray demolishing the quarter-mile, but now we shift our focus to the Laguna Seca Raceway, where a C8 goes up against one of the meanest American performance cars out there: the Dodge Viper ACR.
The C8 is clearly at home on a track as we can see in the video. This Torch Red Corvette gets pushed to its limits and comes out as an unexpected hero.
The 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette is no wimp when it comes to numbers: powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8, this car produces 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to launch it to sixty in only 2.9 seconds when fitted with the Z51 package. This translates into a car that is deceptively fast, especially when compared to big dogs such as the Viper ACR.
In the video, we can see the Vette slowly warming up to the track conditions, with that naturally-aspirated engine filling the cabin with the best noise you could imagine. It is clear that the driver is trying to find his comfort zone.
After a short sprint, the driver and car seem to be clicking, and the pace increases. In the distance, you can see some cars getting closer and closer: it turns out that it’s a Porsche 911 GT3. The action starts at around the 3:15 mark, but you’ll have to wait until the 6:40 mark to see the battle between the Viper and C8.
We have no doubt that in the hands of an experienced driver the Viper would be the faster car, but getting the most out of the downforce capability of this car takes a serious driver and it’ss clear to see that the C8 Corvette is an easier car to drive at the limit. If this is what the Stingray is capable of, we can’t wait to see what faster versions will do.
Michael Butler for CarBuzz
With demand for the C8 outstripping supply, it’s a great time to buy a nearly new C7.
Last year saw the introduction of a mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for the first time when the C8 took over from the front-engined C7. It marked a major departure for any Corvette, but thankfully, the C8 has retained the unmatched bang-for-buck performance and power that made the C7 so impressive.
For customers who still want to purchase a 2019 C7, time is running out. According to a report by Corvette Forum, there are now fewer than 300 examples of the 2019 C7 for sale in the country. That said, it may still be easier to get hold of one than the 2020 C8, of which only a few are on sale at dramatically marked-up prices.
As of June 4, there were 289 C7s listed for sale based on information from a Chevy dealership in Pennsylvania. With zero-percent APR financing over 72 months along with a rebate of $3,250, the incentives are attractive and in stark contrast to the 2020 C8s, with many examples of the new car selling for over $100,000.
The 2019 C7 inventory includes 62 Z06s, 44 of the Z51 variants, and just four examples of the crazy ZR1. Of course, the latter was the ultimate C7 with its 755-horsepower supercharged V8 engine sending it to 60 mph in less than three seconds. State availability of C7s varies significantly, with 28 models in New Hampshire and 22 in Illinois, but nothing at all in Kansas, Maine, Alaska, and South Dakota.Most Extreme Brabus Creations EverMcLaren Special Operations Finest Creations
With the current sky-high demand for the C8, purchasing a nearly new C7 could be the perfect solution until the C8 increases in availability. Plus, you’ll save a lot of money. Around three weeks ago, car rental company Hertz was selling 100th Anniversary Editions of the C7 (based on the Z06) for as little as $57,000. Although that’s close to the base C8’s starting price, it’s just about impossible to find a C8 in this spec at the moment.
Besides, whether the engine is midship or in front, the Corvette offers as much driving enjoyment at the price as anything else out there. The new C8 may have moved the game on, but the C7 is far from disgraced and remains a cracking sports car.
Karl Furlong for Carbuzz
Some states even have more than 20 units up for grabs.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette sold like hotcakes, with some pending orders still underway. In fact, Chevrolet is aiming to hit the 20,000-unit production mark this year, covering both coupe and convertible versions of the C8 Stingray. Now, production of the remaining 2020 Corvette orders has already commenced, but if you’re among those who have ordered, patience should be your virtue.
Alas, Chevrolet is moving on to the production of the 2021 model year Corvette C8 by November, but did you know that there are still a few units of the Corvette C7 left in the dealers?
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 First Drive
According to a report by CorvetteBlogger, Matt Beaver of Whitmoyer Chevrolet in Pennsylvania discloses that there are still 289 units of the 2019 Corvette C7 showing as available in dealerships spread across the country. So, if you aren’t a fan of the new mid-engine layout, there’s a good chance you’ll still be able to buy a brand new unit in a dealership near you.
Among the states that have the most number of C7s still available are New Hampshire, Illinois, and Florida – all with more than 20 units waiting for their rightful owners. There’s no information about their prices, though.
Get Into The ‘Vette Mill:
Also, if you’re looking for a manual Corvette, which is something missing on the C8 generation of the sports car, you’ll be glad to know that there are still a few MT units left within these dealerships. There’s one manual Stingray Convertible, while nine Stingray Z51 coupes still come with a stick shift. Out of the 138 Grand Sport Coupe units left in the U.S., seven of them come with a third pedal.Save Thousands On A New Chevrolet Corvette
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And yes, if you’re in the hunt for a 2019 Corvette ZR1, there are still four units up for grabs – three manual, one automatic – but all of them are dealer demo units, according to Beaver’s list.
The catch? It wasn’t disclosed at which exact dealerships do these MT Corvettes are located at, so you better be asking for assistance from your local dealership if you’re interested.
Its’s not a fair race to begin with, but at least they’re both painted white.
It’s no secret that Hennessey Performance is working on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 by giving it a twin-turbo conversion. We’ve heard it roar in its initial stage before, plus it has hit the dyno in a previous video as well, but we have yet to see it in action again. We’re guessing that Hennessey is still wrapping up its development.
What we see from the Texas-based tuner, however, is its slightly tuned mid-engine ‘Vette. Fitted with stainless steel exhaust, lightweight wheels, and Hoosier race tires, we’ve seen the white C8 drag race several cars before, including a Huracan and a Mustang Shelby GT500.
Gallery: C8 Corvette Dyno At Hennessey
Now, Hennessey pits the altered C8 versus a bone-stock Corvette C7. We’re not really sure what the purpose of this head-to-head comparison is because it has already been decided right before it even started. Plus, the C8 has performance upgrades, albeit not much, on its employ but still, we wouldn’t say that this is an apple-to-apple comparison.
But then again, a stock C8 and C7 comparison isn’t fair either. On paper alone, the C8 has the major advantage in terms of total output, with the latest model producing 490 horsepower (365 kilowatts) – a quite massive update from the former’s 455 hp (339 kW). The C8 also gets a better 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Jacob Oliva for Motor1
With constrained production, these cars are instant modern collectibles.
General Motors has a lot of orders to fulfill for the 2020 C8 Corvette and the Corvette Assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky is finally getting back to production. Originally, the factory was idled and employees furloughed back on March 20, a move that GM painted as lasting for only two weeks. Here we are a little over two months later with few C8 Corvettes made, guaranteeing the 2020 model year is an instant collectible due to small production numbers.
The so-called “COVID Corvettes” are about to increase in number, but don’t expect anything dramatic. This week only 550 of the 1,200 workers for the Corvette Assembly plant have returned to the production line.
Those workers are having to wear protective equipment like masks and deal with revised procedures designed to maximize sanitary conditions on the assembly line. However, all those changes will slow the production process down significantly.
On top of that, reports claim at least 230 C8 current builds were set aside unfinished when the factory was idled. Each car was wrapped tightly in plastic to avoid dust and other debris, so that must be removed, the Corvettes moved to their appropriate places in the production line, and the assembly process finished for each one. Some are speculating this could take several weeks.
Thanks to many suppliers for Corvette Assembly having closed as well, there aren’t enough parts to bring on the rest of the assembly line workers. Those who are going to work have been selected by seniority. They must answer a series of questions about coronavirus symptoms before entering the factory floor. In addition, each worker’s temperature is taken.
GM hasn’t provided any official word on how many 2020 Chevrolet Corvettes will be made. Unofficial estimates peg it at a small fraction of the normal production levels, meaning many who ordered a C8 will have to wait until 2021 to get one. The lucky few who do get a 2020 model are sitting on a rare COVID Corvette that’s a part of history at this point.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 24, 2020 – For more than 60 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been a place for “firsts.” Today, in yet another first, the speedway has become the first professional sports venue in the country to serve the community as a remote testing site during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In partnership with the speedway, Atrium Health has created a Coronavirus Testing Center at zMAX Dragway, part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex. The remote testing site provides a convenient location for residents of northern Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties to have their tests performed when ordered by their physician. Atrium Health has several additional sites throughout the Charlotte region, each in locations designed to provide a secure, private environment for patients to be tested.
Testing for COVID-19 is conducted without patients having to get out of their cars, which reduces the possibility of infecting other patients and healthcare workers. Healthcare providers will make appointments and direct patients to designated testing centers where medical professionals will approach the patients at their cars. These tests involve obtaining swabbed samples, which are then tested at Atrium Health’s in-house lab, and patients are typically notified of the results in approximately 24 hours. Atrium Health can test approximately 1,000 samples each day and is one of the only health systems in the nation to have this capability.
“Having these types of remote locations, away from a hospital or other care locations, yet convenient for people in need of testing, is essential to helping contain the spread of the coronavirus,” said Jim Hunter, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Atrium Health. “It’s important to note that patients still need to meet the established criteria for testing by a healthcare provider, which will keep other patients and healthcare workers safe, as well as protect our testing supplies. We deeply appreciate this partnership opportunity with Charlotte Motor Speedway to make a significant impact on the health of our community.”
“At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we work for the fans, salute our military and serve our community,” said Greg Walter, Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager. “During these unprecedented times, we want to support our neighbors and the region with what we can do to keep people healthy. Atrium Health has been a longtime partner of ours and we’re happy to work with them to provide a well-known, accessible and safe place to host this remote testing site for as long as there is a need.”
Atrium Health continues to work to keep the communities it serves safe and informed. The latest information including prevention tips, frequently asked questions and care options are found at www.AtriumHealth.org/Coronavirus:
• COVID-19 Risk Assessment: Answer a few quick questions using a new automated and interactive digital COVID-19 assessment tool to get immediate recommendations on next steps in care.
• Atrium Health Line (704-468-8888): Talk live with an Atrium Health healthcare professional to answer questions, 24 hours, 7 days a week.
• Symptom Checker Chart: Is it COVID-19, the flu, a cold, or seasonal allergies? Click here to help distinguish between typical symptoms of each.
• Virtual Visits: Secure, face-to-face video chat with a trusted healthcare provider from the comfort of home for a reduced cost of $25.
• eVisits: Care through a secure message for minor illnesses like flu or cold for a reduced cost of $10.
About Atrium Health
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated network not-for- profit healthcare system with over 70,000 teammates at nearly 40 hospitals and more than 900 care locations. With locations throughout the Carolinas as well as Georgia, Atrium Health is a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine. It provides top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care to patients, as well as specialized musculoskeletal programs and organ transplants. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in seven different specialties, it has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize, and the only healthcare system to receive the 2020 CMS Health Equity Award. Its flagship hospital, Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, is the region’s only Level I trauma center and is consistently rated among the nation’s best. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all. Last year alone, Atrium Health provided more than $2.07 billion in free an uncompensated care and other community benefits.
About Charlotte Motor Speedway
Celebrating its 60th anniversary season, Charlotte Motor Speedway has set the standard in motorsports entertainment for fans of all ages. Known as America’s Home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only race vacation destination where fans can immerse themselves in the heart of NASCAR country. Visitors can attend one-of-a-kind race spectacles including the NASCAR All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America ROVALTM 400; take behind-the-scenes speedway and race shop tours; explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame and drive an 800-horsepower stock car. The 1,000 plus acre speedway complex also includes state-of-the-art facilities zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Through every event and every decade, Charlotte Motor Speedway puts FANS FIRST with a never-ending commitment to enhance the fan experience. That tradition continues with unmatched value through affordable tickets, unparalleled pre-race entertainment and opportunities for fans to see their favorite drivers. For all the latest news and information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or download the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.
The mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray aims to deliver an exotic car experience on a budget, but it’s missing one key element: doors.
Oh, the $59,995 coupe has two, but they’re just regular old doors that swing out like the ones on most cars, not the cool “scissors-style” doors originally made famous by Lamborghini.
Well, owners will soon be able to remedy that oversight thanks to Eikon Motorsports, a company that specializes in ‘Lambo Doors’ conversions on a wide variety of vehicles ranging from the Dodge Challenger and Cadillac Escalade to the … the Lamborghini Huracan, which doesn’t have them either.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., outfit is offering a kit for the C8 that attaches to the same bolts as the factory doors and is reversible, in case you tire of making a grand entrance whenever you get out of the car. Pre-orders are currently available for $2,999, or $4,300 installed with lifetime warranty.
You may end up getting the kit before your car, however, as the start of Corvette production was delayed several weeks due to last fall’s UAW strike and has since been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only 2,700 2020 model year Corvettes have been produced so far, according to Motor Authority, and the automaker may not be able to satisfy its current order list before the end of the calendar year.
What We Know So Far
Now that the bubble of anticipation surrounding the mid-engine Corvette has burst, excitement is building for the even-mightier Z06 model. With an exotic flat-plane-crank V-8 engine, the 2022 Chevy Corvette Z06 will sound unlike any Vette that’s come before. It’ll also look meaner than the mainstream C8 thanks to flared fenders, larger air scoops, and aerodynamic addendum that actively adjusts to maximize high-speed downforce and cornering traction. Along with its exclusive powertrain and enhanced appearance, the super Chevy will inherit all the best features and technology from the regular model. Although we still don’t have all the juicy details about the new Z06, here’s what we know so far.
What’s New for 2022?
The first mid-engine Corvette Z06 is expected to go on sale in early 2021 as a 2022 model. As is tradition, it’s a more hardcore, track-focused version of the standard Vette, complete with bolder styling cues and serious performance attributes.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- Z06: $85,000 (est.)
It should make sense that, since Chevy hasn’t officially revealed the new Corvette Z06, we can only speculate on how much it’ll cost. Its front-engine predecessor started at about $25,000 more than the base model, so we think it’s safe to add that number to the starting price of the 2020 Corvette, which starts at $59,995. That means the 2022 Z06 should open at around $85,000 when it eventually goes on sale.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The upcoming Corvette Z06 will receive a special engine that should make it sound similar to the supercars it’s trying to dethrone. The naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 features a flat-plane crank, which means it should rev to between 8500 and 9000 rpm. This engine is expected to make over 600 horsepower, and it’s Ferrari-like howl is all but guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of bystanders. The unconventional V-8 will hook up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Considering that the 495-hp 2020 Corvette Z51 we tested rocketed from zero to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and completed the standing quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 122 mph, the Z06 will be even quicker in a straight line. A set of wider, stickier tires and more powerful brakes will help it corner harder and stop shorter than the regular Vette, too. Chevy will also strengthen the structure and recalibrate the suspension tune on the Z06 to help make sure its performance advantages are most obvious at the racetrack. A host of active aerodynamics that automatically adjust to optimize downforce will join the party for this new generation. We’ll have to wait until we get our hands on one to evaluate how its myriad improvements compare with the outgoing Corvette Z06.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Neither Chevy nor the EPA have indicated how efficient—or inefficient—the 2022 Corvette Z06 will be in the city and on the highway. Since the company’s flat-plane-crank V-8 is currently only found in the Corvette C8.R race car, we don’t have any government ratings for comparison. Once the Z06’s fuel-economy figures are released, and we have the opportunity to test one on our 75-mph highway route, we can evaluate its real-world mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Bow Tie brand went above and beyond to ensure that the mid-engine Corvette’s interior could not be called boring. While the design certainly transcends what’s found on every other Chevy model, the square steering wheel and wall of climate-control buttons on the center console are unusual elements, to say the least. Still, the cabin layout caters to the driver, and the list of standard and optional features is extensive. This includes a 12.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and wireless charging. All of this and more will continue inside the new Z06. We expect its track-worthiness to be made apparent through additional carbon-fiber and microsuede interior accents as well as a set of even more aggressively bolstered seats. The Corvette’s capacious rear trunk should continue to provide a spot for drivers to carry two sets of golf clubs.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Cooked into the Corvette’s multilayered dashboard is an 8.0-inch touchscreen that supports Chevy’s Infotainment 3 Plus system. While we’ve only had minimal exposure to this specific setup, we found it to be mostly intuitive and responsive. We’re confident the Z06 will share the same interface and features, which include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Likewise, two separate Bose stereos are expected to be offered: a standard 10-speaker system and an optional 14-speaker setup. The new Z06 will continue to offer the Performance Data Recorder, which allows you to record video of everything from your track exploits to relaxed country-road cruises. And if you dare leave your Z06 with a valet, there’s a setting that keeps track of any nefarious activities the car-parker might try.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 Corvette Z06 hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the regular C8 Corvette only has a handful a driver-assistance technology, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, we expect those features to be available on the Z06.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy provides all of its models with a middle-of-the-road limited and powertrain warranty. While the company offers more complimentary maintenance than automakers who skip the free service altogether, it’s one of the shortest such plans in the industry.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
Many gearheads have a strange affinity to Hot Wheels. Here is everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the company, but never asked.
Toy cars can be divided into two categories: Hot Wheels and everybody else. For over 50 years, Mattel has dominated with what is now recognized as the best-selling toy in the world. It’s impossible to count how many car buffs, from mechanics to real race stars to TV personalities, grew up playing with these cars. Whether it was just a few models or massive collections, Hot Wheels has been part of car culture for decades and is never going to stop. Whether it’s a simple model or some fancy licensed vehicle, Hot Wheels simply enthralls.
Yet it’s incredible how some people are unaware of the facts of the company and its history. From its unique origins to how these cars are put together, the story behind Hot Wheels is fascinating. There are also touches from how some of these cars are more expensive than real ones to some unique touches on the culture. Here are 20 amazing facts about Hot Wheels to prove they’re more than just “kids toys.”‘
20/20 Real-Life Hot Wheels Jump Was A World Record
Growing up a massive Hot Wheels fan, racer Tanner Foust decided to honor them in a fun way. At the 2011 Indy 500, Foust talked the management into seeing up a massive orange ramp and raced down it in a rally car.
After 90 feet of track, Foust sailed 332 feet, the longest record for such a move. He topped it by driving through a 66-foot loop in 2012 to live out the dreams of every kid.
19 Technology In Car Building Is Amazing…
Making toys has become a very high-tech business today. Just like real car companies, Hot Wheels has adapted to the 21st century nicely. Computers and 3-D technology are utilized to make sure the designs are perfected before the building begins.
It also helps them keep on top of the latest car trends to ensure that today’s Hot Wheels are sleeker and more natural than the ones of the past.
18 But They’re Still Diecast
There are many toy car lines out there, but Hot Wheels is still the king of the bunch. The key reason is that, for all the advances in technology, every car is still diecast and built mostly by hand.
Even when cheaper materials are available, Mattel knows the diecast is what the fans want. It’s also helped in making customized cars at home for popular models. After 50 years, Mattel doesn’t want to mess with success and do away with diecast.
17 They’ve Worked With NASA
Hot Wheels have done a few astronaut-themed toys over the years. But that’s not the only connection they have with NASA. In 1998, they were able to work with the agency to create an exact replica of the Mars Rover, which landed on the Red Planet that very year.
They also worked with them in 2012 for scale models of the Curiosity rover. It’s amazing how the company got access to top-secret plans to make these toys.
16 Collectors Take It Seriously
Some may dismiss Hot Wheels as “just for kids.” But collectors take it more seriously than real automobiles. The 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb (only 16 prototypes were made) is known to go for at least $15,000.
Some rare models can go for a hundred grand, and collectors are always on the lookout for unique mint models. Entire museums are devoted to various cars as some Hot Wheels collections put legit car collectors to shame.
15 Scaling Down The Cars Was Tricky
A key to the company’s success is that they work with scores of real car companies to get looks at plans for their toy models. Yet it’s not so simple as just “make a smaller version.” The biggest challenge is to achieve the proper scale for the toys in a diecast model yet retain the details of the actual car.
That can be complex with some fancy vehicles. That every model has to be sized to fit the same tracks just adds to why it takes as long developing a toy car as a real one.
14 NASCAR Star Has The Record For The Longest Track
Ever since the Hot Wheels tracks were created, fans have been trying to top themselves making the most extended and most complex. A few have achieved great ones, but it’s fitting a NASCAR star holds the record for the longest.
In 2019, Joey Logano unveiled a 1,941-foot long track stretched across his garage. It weaves through his car collection with 1222 boosters before ending in Logano’s own 2018 HW Ford Mustang. Add yet another title to Logano’s list of accolades.
13 They Made A Car Coated In Diamonds
In 2008, Mattel made a big deal of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hot Wheels line. As a special reward, Mattel had Jasons of Beverly Hills craft the most expensive Hot Wheels car on the planet.
Cast in 18-karat gold, it’s covered with 2700 diamonds and gems totaling nearly $150,000 today. It’s become a rotating exhibit at toy museums for the glitziest Hot Wheels you could see.
12 The Darth Car Is A Speed Machine
While they do stick to toys, the company has been busy creating some real-sized cars for collectors. One of the most notable is based on Darth Vader, with the hood looking like his fearsome helmet and in jet black.
This isn’t just for show as it’s based on a C5 Corvette with a GM LS3 V-8 engine capable of 526 hp and 150 mph. The Dark Lord of the Sith would be proud of this powerful craft.
11 Every Car Is Tested To Make Sure It Can Run A Track
Almost from the beginning, Hot Wheels car fans had to have a track with the cars. They’ve gone from straight lines to elaborate roller-coaster-like loop systems to leave kids entertained for hours.
What few realize is that the track determines if a car makes it as Mattel prides itself on “every car can fit every track.” More than once, a prototype has to be altered when it won’t fit as the track decides a car’s final form.
10 There Are More Hot Wheels Cars Than Real Cars
While it’s tricky to figure out for sure, most sources agree there are at least one billion cars on the planet (give or take a few hundred thousand in auto graveyards). In contrast, since 1968, six billion Hot Wheels cars have been created.
True, many have been trashed and/or recycled, and it’s impossible to count how many have been lost in backyards. But given how 16 cars are produced every second, it’s no shock the toys outnumber the real deals.
9 Several Creators Are Legit Car Designers
The one constant of Hot Wheels is that the cars look just as good as the real deal. There’s an excellent reason for that as scores of the manufacturers are legitimate car designers. Larry Wood was a veteran of Ford before becoming one of the first Hot Wheels designers.
He’s not alone as Jack Ryan was a rocket designer who crafted the bearings that made the cars so great. Scores of the car designers were in real automobiles first, so it’s no wonder the vehicles look so good.
8 The Original Camaro Is Worth A Fortune
Mint conditions of the Original 16 Hot Wheels releases are all pretty collectible items. But one dominates from the pack. While versions of a Camaro were produced, a few had white enamel paint.
They had been meant to discover flaws in a prototype but accidentally released. A mint version of one went for a hundred thousand dollars and made this one of the most expensive toys on the planet
7 They Released A Custom Corvette Before GM Did
An early standout for the company at a custom Corvette in 1968. What made it notable was that the toy was released before GM had their actual Corvette in car dealerships.
The fact designer Harry Bradley had worked at GM indicates he may have “borrowed” the designs before he left to allow Mattel to beat GM to releasing a Corvette to the masses.
6 The Red Stripes Are Expensive
If you find what looks like an old Hot Wheels car, take a good look at the wheels. If they have red stripes, then you’ve just found a fantastic collector’s item. From 1968 to 1977, designers hand-painted red lines onto the wheels to make the cars look distinctive.
As a cost-cutting measure, they switched to all-black wheels in 1978. Some mint condition red-striped vehicles have been known to go for thousands online.
5 One Of The Original Cars Was Based On A Car With No Doors
The first wave of Hot Wheels was just 16 cars, and any of them can be valuable today. One is notable, the 1965 Dodge Deora. This car boasted no doors but rather a hatch for folks to crawl into.
It was based on a fun design used by Mike and Larry Alexander but in an irony, no real Dodge Deoras were built, to make this a truly unique model
4 A Tie-In Cartoon Got Pulled By The FCC
Today, cartoons based on toy lines are commonplace. But in 1969, Hot Wheels got in trouble when they put out a cartoon series about some teenage car drivers. Despite good messages, the show was hit by complaints about being a “half-hour commercial.”
The FCC agreed, and it was yanked off the air. The company was just ahead of their time with a cartoon tie-in for a hit toy line.
3 There’s A Fight On Where The Name Came From
Much of Hot Wheels is shrouded in myth, and that includes just where the name comes from. The familiar story is that when Eliot Handler saw the first models from designer Fred Adickes, he remarked: “those are some hot wheels you’ve got there.”
Another version is that Handler just blurted the name out in a meeting with a designer. Regardless, it just stuck to become one of the most popular toys on the planet.
2 They’re Number One…Because They Remain So Cheap
In the ranks of the most popular toys on the planet, Hot Wheels dominates. They’re not just the biggest toy vehicle sellers but also the number one selling toy in the entire world. The reason is that in many markets, the cars can still go for only a dollar each.
True, they can be put out in packs, and some nations charging a few bucks more. But many stores do sell the cars for less than a bottle of water, which is the reason they are so dominant.
1 Its Creator Was Married To Barbie’s Creator
Elliott and Ruth Handler were the First Couple of the toy world. The two had founded Mattel as a picture frame company in 1945. While making a dollhouse, Ruth decided to craft a series of dolls she named Barbie.
It was an instant hit to make Mattel a success. Elliott then realized how a toy car line could be great for boys to craft what would become Hot Wheels. The two remained together until Ruth’s death in 2002 (Elliott passed on nine years later) to be icons of their industry.
Sources: Mentalfloss.com, hotwheels.com, hotwheelsmedia.com, thrillist.com
Both cars retail for about $81,000, but one is a lot more accessible.
SPEED PHENOM ON YOUTUBE
If you’ve got $80,000 to spend and want an American high-performance car, now’s a pretty good time to be in the market. In addition to tire-shredding stalwarts like the Camaro ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat, Ford and Chevy have recently launched high-profile, track-ready sports cars. And thanks to a new video by Speed Phenom, we now know how they directly compare on track.
Naturally, we wanted to do this comparison ourselves. But the GT500 wasn’t ready during our Performance Car of the Year competition when we had an early C8 to test. And now that both cars are on sale, stay-at-home orders and track closures mean we’ll have to wait for an opportunity to do a full R&T comparison.
In the meantime, Speed Phenom does a good job of breaking down how they perform. With the caveat that he’s got a base model GT500 without the optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, he notes that the car struggles for grip more often than the similarly-tired Corvette. It’s also less composed through mid-corner bumps, with slower cornering all around. Thanks to its massive horsepower advantage, though, it jets through straightaways.
The C8, meanwhile, benefits from serious mechanical grip. The better-balanced midship car fires through corners and has no problem putting its power down. That makes it more approachable, not surprising given that it’s the tamest version of the C8 while the GT500 is stretching the limits of the S550 platform. We’re sure to see more track-ready Corvettes soon, but for now the Stingray is a surprisingly capable start.
Mack Hogan- Road&Track
Some fans complain that race cars don’t have much in common with road vehicles, but that wasn’t a priority in the 1970s. Loose regulations in the period allowed teams to erase nearly all road-car DNA as they searched for greater performance. This 1977 Chevrolet Corvette, dubbed the “SuperVette,” is an example of the era’s excesses.
Offered for sale by noted Porsche 959 restorer Canepa, the SuperVette was built to take advantage of a rule change in IMSA road racing. In 1976, the sanctioning body allowed full tube-frame cars to compete in its top-level series. Corvette racer John Greenwood saw this as an opportunity to build a more competitive car, and teamed up with designer Bob Reilly to make a tube-frame Corvette. This Corvette—COV002—is one of two chassis completed in 1977.
This car has almost nothing in common with a stock 1977 Corvette, which is a good thing because Corvettes offered very little performance at the timie. Underneath the swollen bodywork is a chassis and roll cage made from 2.0-inch chrome-moly tubing. Its bulging hood hides an aluminum 500-cubic-inch big-block V-8, making more than 750 horsepower. It was built by Don Nichols, whose Shadow Racing team competed in Formula 1, Can-Am, and F5000. The engine is harnessed to a Jerico 4-speed manual transmission.
COV002 was bought by John Paul, Sr. for the 1978 season. Paul raced with his son, John Paul, Jr., and both were later convicted for running an illegal marijuana trafficking operation. It was a different time, for sure.
It was the elder Paul who specified the Nichols-built engine, rather than one built by Greenwood. In an effort to reduce drag, the car also got a narrower track and more aerodynamic bodywork than its sibling.
Paul raced the ‘Vette during the 1978 IMSA season in the GTX class, primarily competing against Porsche 935s. The car earned two podiums that year. After that, it was sold but continued to race through the 1982 season. After retirement, the car changed hands a few more times before being bought by Canepa.
The Corvette has been restored to its 1978 racing specifications, and is currently eligible for to compete in vintage racing, according to Canepa. The seller didn’t list a price, but we don’t expect a car with this pedigree to sell cheap.
Stephen Edelstein for Motor Authority
Even off the pavement, the new ‘Vette is a rocket ship.
The 2020 C8 Chevy Corvette is a fast car. In base form, it can hit a staggering 194 mph flat-out. Even with the drag-inducing Z51 performance package, the car can still do 184. Hennessey Performance took theirs to 182 mph with ease before they turbocharged it to oblivion. Now, there’s another C8 top-speed run on the internet, and this time, it takes place on a dry lake bed.
Popular YouTube TheStradman took his new Z51-equipped Corvette to a dry lake bed in Utah to test out the top speed of the car. He managed to hit an impressive 173 mph before slowing down—not bad considering the uneven and bumpy surface. It helps that there’s absolutely nothing for miles in either direction. In fact, from inside the cabin, it looks a bit uneventful. Here’s a perspective from outside the car to give you a sense of how fast 173 mph is:
If the base Corvette is this quick right out of the box, we’re curious to see how the upcoming Z06 stacks up. Considering the last-gen car could hit 200 mph, we’re expecting big things.
Source: Brian Silvestro; for RoadandTrack
IMSA Announces Updates to 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Schedules
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced schedule updates for three 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge events.
- The Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 25-27, 2020. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of May 1-3.
- The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has been moved up one weekend to run on Sept. 4-6. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11-13. This date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA competitors planning to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now will run on Sept. 19-20.
- The 23rdannual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has been moved back one week and now will run Oct. 14-17 to provide teams a more balanced schedule as the season comes to its conclusion. The original dates of the event were Oct. 7-10.
These three event date changes are in addition to the previously announced reschedule of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, which now is set for Nov. 11-14. Previously purchased tickets for all four events will be valid on the new dates.
IMSA will provide additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules as they become available.
The Goldilocks zone of Corvette C8 interiors?
By now, you should know that Chevrolet has started deliveries of the mid-engine 2020 Corvette. Lucky owners of the ‘Vette C8 are starting to receive their newest toy and most likely you’ve already seen one on the streets – that’s if the state you’re in is not affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
If you’re among those who are planning to purchase the new Corvette but are undecided with the trim level to choose, this video might be able to help you – especially if you’re particular with a car’s interior.
The Corvette C8 comes with three trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. The differences lie mainly in the features offered on each trim level, which defines that the cabin will look and feel like. That’s pretty important, considering that we spend so much time inside the car rather than staring at our investment from a distance. So, here’s a little guide.
The base 1LT trim isn’t really basic. With the entry-level trim, you already get the GT1 seats wrapped in mulan leather, a customizable 12-inch gauge cluster, push-button ignition and keyless entry, and an 8-inch Chevy MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and 10-speaker Bose sound system. The Corvette 1LT trim is available in three color options: black, gray, or red.
Going up the 2LT trim gives you more interior color options plus features like a rearview camera mirror, a colored head-up display, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, advanced blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic warning. The infotainment gets upgraded as well with a wireless charger and a 14-speaker Boss audio system.
Finally, the 3LT trim dials up the ante by adding a premium Nappa leather with suede microfiber accents – all in combination with the GT2 seats that have more bolsters. These seem not a lot but the range-topping trim adds luxury to the sports coupe.
If you’re still undecided, watch the 2LT interior review on top of this page to check whether you need to take it down a notch to 1LT or go all out on the top-level 3LT.
Source: HorsePower Obsessed