Originally, I was just going to keep my mouth shut relative to reports about my comments on the mid-engine platform in general and the challenges the C8 will need to overcome to be the best Vette yet.
I believe those who have listened to both podcasts realize that, in my mind, every generation of corvette was better than the generation before, and the C8 will be no different.
On the Overcrest podcast, I will admit I could have used a better word than “worried”. But in an interview, you can’t cut and paste. Naturally, I listened to the podcast several times and until yesterday had no idea it would generate so much publicity. I’ll try to go through my thought process at the time of the Overcrest Podcast then forever hold my peace.
When I said I was worried about the C8, every example I gave was for every mid-engine car I drove except the C8. I said I told my boss we would have to reinvent the wheel and do it better. I never alluded to the fact we didn’t.
I also mentioned to Tadge when the conception of the C8 was in process, as far as I can recall, the C7 beat most if not all the mid-engine cars with comparable weight and HP it was pitted against. Again, the need to engineer the car better than its competitors, with no reference to the fact we didn’t.
During my 15 years on the Corvette, I’ve attended countless shootouts. One example was the 2017 Road and Track Performance Car of the Year with the C7 Grand Sport. The competition was stiff. It included:
- The Acura NSX
- Audi R8 V10 plus
- BMW M4 GTS
- Jaguar F-type SVR
- Lotus Evora 400
- Mercedes AMG C63 S
- Nissan GT-R Nismo
- Porsche 911 Turbo S
We were at the NCM racetrack. I can’t remember the drivers name, but he chose to drive the Grand Sport first. He did 2 or 3 laps, laid down a time and brought it in. Going first is an unfavorable position, because any driver will go faster the more laps he lays down. Nonetheless the Grand Sport beat every car except for the 911 Turbo S.
The 911 was the final car driven, let me tell you, I can’t remember how many laps he did, but 10 or 15 is not an exaggeration. He would run 1 or 2, then cool down and go back at it. Clearly, he felt the 911 Turbo S should theoretically beat the Grand Sport. Finally it did, by a few hundredths of a second.
I felt compelled to provide this example just to put into context my thought process leading to my opinion of having to engineer the C8 better than its competition. I will say again, never stating that it didn’t.
And…..Relative to the golf clubs, really, that’s just a personal preference for Jim Mero. It’s no different than saying I prefer a Silverado over a Colorado because it has better utility. It was not a dig on the C8, it was simply a statement of what I desire in a sports car for me. Nothing more, nothing less.
I’m not sure if this provided clarity for any of you. I would encourage you to listen to both podcasts, Overcrest episode 110 starting at about 53 minutes and Speed Secrets episode 123 starting at about 43 minutes. I hope then things will become clear.
I will reiterate one more time, each generation of the Corvette has been better than the generation before, and the C8 will be no different.
Thank you for your time,
Last year I purchased a C6 Grand Sport convertible. I bought the car in Texas and drove it back to Michigan. In the fall of 2018, Jim asked if he could upgrade my car to get my thoughts. The transformation is unbelievable! The pleasure of driving the car in either tour or sport can’t be understated. On my drive back from Texas I never put it in sport. Now I do almost all my driving in sport. If I just want a nice cruising car, tour is perfect. In both tour and sport, the car just glides over the bumps that used to beat me up bad. Also, I noticed how much better the steering is, which surprised me. Now I can’t imagine driving the car without the new programs. Read More Testimonials ->
After a total of 10 hours of seat time. In both tour and sport. Mix of freeway 55-90mph with hours rural backroad and small-town slow driving. I like this new cal so much. Both tour and sport absorb the bumps very very nicely and are still stable and composed. Everyone will notice a considerable difference. Read More Testimonials ->
Jim come to my house to put the calibration in my 2010 ZR1. When I bought the car, I had to drive it back from Texas to Michigan. 18 hours on the road was a bit of a headache. The car was a blast except for hitting potholes, railroad tracks, and impacts in general. Since the calibration, my car drives and handles 100x better. The impacts seem to be non-existent. Going over railroad tracks are a breeze and the sport mode is a true sport mode now. I’m amazed every time I take out my car. Love every bit of my new calibration. Read More Testimonials ->
The ride and handling for both modes is a dramatic improvement. As soon as I left Jim’s house in tour mode, I instantly felt a more “modern” feel to the car. Very comfortable now and yet more the handling is more responsive. I do not feel the hard rebound over larger bumps. It doesn’t pound my dash when I go over railroad tracks like it used to. I feel that there is more steering response at lower speeds and of course at high speeds.
When I put it into sport mode, I feel a good difference. Now I feel a nice transition between tour to sport. Before the upgrade, I never put it in sport unless I was showing my friends how harsh it was. I am driving it in sport mode more often now. The ride is so much better as well as the cornering. I want to say it feels like a new stab bars were installed. It’s that much more balanced through the corners. Read More Testimonials ->
Just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the driving improvement. Drove over 250 miles yesterday. I am no expert but would say the car feels much more stable, planted, kind of hard to describe but driving over rough pavement sections has a sense that the suspension is working much more refined. These are really nice cars and your program just adds to the experience. Read More Testimonials ->
On a regular basis, I’m on roads with rough, heavily-worn asphalt, pot holes, sections of cracked and broken-up pavement and fragmented road edges. For around-town driving, I have MR set in the “Tour” mode and with Jim’s MR cal the car gets over all those crappy road surfaces with a bit more comfortable ride. On roads which are in better condition, but with bumps and heaves, the ride seems more controlled.
When hammering my ZO6 through the twisties in the mountains near my home–State Route 33 from Oaji, California over to where joins with SR166 is a favorite of mine–I put MR in “Sport” mode. With the Mero-calibrated “Sport”, when driving over high-frequency, low-amplitude chatter bumps, ripples, cracked pavement and stuff like that, I don’t feel those disturbances quite as much. Also, Sport, with a Mero MR cal, seems more appropriately-damped in that kind of driving than did Sport with the stock MR cal. Lastly, the car’s response to steering input, especially in an autocross movement or an emergency evasive maneuver seems different. The best way I can describe this situation is that steering is more “crisp”–for lack of a better word.
In short, I was impressed with Jim Mero’s C6 MagnaRide calibration, not only because of the improvements discussed above, but because his stuff is for “real world” driving and not specific to track use. Read More Testimonials ->