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C6 Corvette: Reality or Restraint?

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Its always interesting to sit back and read all the love/hate mail thats published in car magazines after a new generation of Corvette is unveiled. As soon as the fake body panels, plastic shrouding, duct tape, and plastick chincks are remeoved from the prototypes and the final production version is shown to the public, the Corvette community mutates into a frenzy of blood thirsty sharks nipping and tearing at the newest Corvettes tucked and tightened body.

The lines are immediately drawn and the camps develop. On one side you have the enthusiasts who love the car. On the other, you have the enthuisasts who now consider themeselves ex enthusiasts, taking every chance to bemoan, belittle, and incinerate the car, engineers, Chevrolet and all of GM.

Did Corvette engineers fail with the new C6? Did they do a poor job of designing the next generation of our pride and joy? Couthe they have gone much further with it? Should they have? Lets take a look at the history of Corvette Design .

In the 53 -62 Corvettes we saw some significant Changes in design. The 62 model looked nothing like the 53. The 63 -67 models were once again a drastic change in design from the first gerneration models. In 1968, the third generation of Corvette hit the streets and featured a radical design change from the previous generation..

In 1983/1984, the fourth genreation Corvette was unveiled, and yet again we saw another extreme change in design. Not as radical as the C2 to C4 production , but it was a significant redesign in Corvette history.

In 1997, the firth gernation of Corvette was unveiled to the public and as expected, response was mixed. It featured an obvious redesign compared to the C4 generation, but could it truly be considered radical? In some ways , Yes, and in some , NO...From an engineering perspective, it was a radical change, but from a design perspective, you could still see the evolutionary changes in the skin from the C4. The "visiual " redesign was not as radical as from tthe C2 to the C3 , Is it possbible we could be seeing a slow down in the Corvettes Evolutinary design?

Now that the sixth genration of Corvette is prancing around in its birthday suit, a large group of enthuisasts are stark raving mad. Why? Because even though its a new generation, visually it doesn't look much different from the previous generation. Regardless of what it may look like, as Corvette engineers have stated, 80 percent of the parts used in the car are new. They basically stated all along it would not be revolutionary , but evolutionary in design. For all intents and purposes, the redesign isn't radical at all, and nowhere near the degree of change we've seen from previous generations.

In my opinion, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lets face it: the C5 is a dam good Corvette and until the C6, its the best Corvette yet. It does a tremendous job meeting the needs and demands of a finicky segment of the market, and you can't deny its the best bang for the buck out there. Thats's one thing the Corvette has always been known for. From the hydroformed steel frame rails to the chassis/suspension setup, Chevrolet has one hell of a winner on its hands and they know it.

If you have a winning product, why look a gift horse in teh mouth? Why invest an astronomical amount of money into developiniong a complete and radical redesign when alll thats really needed is a makeover that will greatly improve upon what has already been established.?

A couple of the main goals of the Corvette engineers for the C6 were to continue getting the weight out and increase quality, features and potential wihtout adding more weight. From the preproduction prototypes we've seen so fari, its fair to assume they're not too far off the mark.

Sow what if there is a apparent similiarity between the look of the C5 and the C6? Is this really a bad thing? For 40 years, Porsche has been building incredible sports cars capable of attracting many differnt customers from all types of income levels. From the Boxster to the $400,000 plus Carrera GT, one thing remains visually apparent design. You cna't mistake the obvious look of a Porsche.

In looking at the design changes of the Porsche 911 over the years. I think its fair to say the model has never really seen a radical redisgn like the Corvette has during its lifetime. Yet the Porsche continues to win on the street, the track and in the hearts of its owners and enthusiasts. You could say Porsche has a winning and accomplished design theme on its hands.

So isn't it possible that maybe , just maybe, Corvette Engineers have a winning and accomplished design theme for the first time in Corvette history! I think so!
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Rob Loszewski! Site administrator of Corvette Action Center.(he wrote this excellent letter to Corvette fever and I wanted to share it with you guys)

Excellent... and very well said imo!

How about you?

Do you agree or disagree?
 

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I have to agree with him. For 40 years the Porsche has
had the same lines, so why not several generations of Vettes.
 

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Another well written article. I have to agree. One thing for sure. It still looks like a Corvette, period! :usa:
 

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Agree with Rob said, however the new C6 leaves me cold. I have been unable to find out from anyone whether the new C6 is selling well. My suspicion is that they are not flying out of the dealers showrooms. On the other hand the new Z06 with a 427 is looking awfully good. Horsepower is my cure. :lol:

.
 

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I agree with the story, but I see too many design cues from the car they are most willing to try and outshine. The Viper. Having had 2 of them, an RT-10 and a GTS/ACR, of which I sold, the skin and interior of the C6 have too much in common in their quest to beat Dodge. I think the C6 could have taken some more C5 and earlier generation design cues, rather than the Viper smiley face and the hacked off GTS style rear fascia, and exposed headlights. Albeit, the C6 is an evolutionary design, I believe it has changed a lot of enthusiasts opinions, because it appears GM didn't have a real design of their own in mind. Kind of like stealing an idea, which is what happened in the 60's, always borrowing someone elses design cues. The Corvette crowd will always love their cars no matter what, but it takes a lot of time to get used to a new design, especially one that is a true radical change, and when it looks like the competitor, it gives you a slight feeling of betrayal and sellout. Park it next to a new SRT-10 and tell me what you think. My opinion only, but I personally think it's ugly, and I don't see many on the street, when I'm out driving. Matter of fact, I have only seen three of them. I sold my 98 Coupe to buy my Z06, because of the FRC Bodied Z06. Now I'd have to sell my FRC Body to buy a hyped up Coupe, that, with a few Photoshop enhancements, looks like the easter bunny.
 

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I think the article misses the point (at least from my perspective). This statement:
"The lines are immediately drawn and the camps develop. On one side you have the enthusiasts who love the car. On the other, you have the enthuisasts who now consider themeselves ex enthusiasts, taking every chance to bemoan, belittle, and incinerate the car, engineers, Chevrolet and all of GM." Illustrates my point.
I don't consider myself an "ex enthusiast" just because I don't much care for the looks of the C6. I didn't really like the C4 that much either, but I appreciated it for what it was/is - a Corvette, with American bang-for-the-buck engineering under the skin. Everyone has different reactions to a new car design. I don't think any less of someone because they like or love the C6 styling - it's their opinion, and I am fine with that. It's like the differences of opinions in music or art. If everyone liked the same thing, what a bland world we would live in.
I also don't care how much the C6 looks like the C5. I don't judge a design by how much it does - or does not look like the previous generation - again that misses the point.
So stop all the whining about how some of us don't care for the C6 design. That's just the fact - get over it.
 

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After selling my '01 Z, I had mixed feelings about the look of the C6. Then I saw this Pic:

With the addition of painting black the inside of the headlight buckets and a REALLY DARK WINDOW TINT, I've pretty much got my new Corvette picked out. :cool:
 

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Starting to be liken it.

Looking at the black with the new red/black interior at the Chicago Vettefest -- starting to grow on me. The black softens up the design issues to a point. You be the judge. :eek::





The "red" seems to be toned down a bit but really adds to the interior. :cool:
 

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2MchFun said:
I think the article misses the point...

I also don't care how much the C6 looks like the C5. I don't judge a design by how much it does - or does not look like the previous generation - again that misses the point.
I agree wholeheartedly as the article completely misses the point. Sure, the C6 looks somewhat like a C5, but not in a good way. GM took a beautiful styling design in the C5, and de-evolved it.

The 'natural' evolution of the body styles are reversed in my opinion. To me, it looks like the C6 styling should been released first, with the C5 styling released now as it's more modern looking than the C6. It looks like that out of sheer desperation, GM took the C5 and the boxey C4, and melded them together with the worst results imaginable. GM had so much to build upon with the beautifully styled C5, but they flat-out squandered a golden opportunity.

And what really makes me '*STARK RAVING MAD*' is the obvious attempt to implement the shitty Cadillac styling cues in the Corvette! If I wanted a Cadillac, I would have bought one; instead, GM is forcing that crappy 'edgey' styling down our throats in the form of the C6. I hope the C6's sit on the lots and ROT!!! Go sell them at the Cadillac dealerships!

Since GM was apparently so intent in appealing to Cadillac, they should have gone all the way and built the Cien instead, which is one beautiful car and looks INFINITELY better than the C6, whose styling is devoid of any imagination with all it's borrowed/stolen design cues. Let's see, we have the(..beautiful) C5 and the (..butt ugly) C4, with the slab-sided-edgey Cadillac thrown into the mix. The bottom line is, the C6 is one bastardized styling DISASTER, and there is NO getting around that fact!

The C6Z chassis and powertrain is world-class, no doubt. Unfortunately, its wrapped up in one UGLY, compromised exterior.

So stop all the whining about how some of us don't care for the C6 design. That's just the fact - get over it.
:cheers:

Fade out to Led Zepplin's 'Rock and Roll'... :rofl: :roll:
 

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I appreciate the C6 for the engineering, but not so much for the body design. Just the fact the guy felt compelled to send in a letter defending it speaks volumes. A great design doesn't require apologies.

Consider the new Mustang: It pays homage to the past, looks fresh, and it is selling like hotcakes. No letters of apology needed. Corvette, on the other hand, relinquishes its' historic role as a styling leader, and looks like a conglomeration of ordinary styling cues. GM's styling department would be better suited working for Kenmore.
 

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reproman said:
Looking at the black with the new red/black interior at the Chicago Vettefest -- starting to grow on me. The black softens up the design issues to a point. You be the judge. :eek::





The "red" seems to be toned down a bit but really adds to the interior. :cool:

I was out cruising today and happened to meet up with a black C6. I've had mixed emotions ever since the car hit the streets, but by far I think black is the sharpest.
 

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I started out totally hating the C6. It grew on me a bit after I saw in person, and in colors more to my liking than the ones Chevy first showed up. I still think certain colors (white, yellow) are horrid with the headlights, and I STILL think it would have looked better with pop-ups. The Z06 I really like, as the extra fender flaring and the scoop in the nose, along with bigger wheels and tires, give the car some extra depth that was missing. Whether or not I buy one depends on how much GM wants for it, and whether or not I can figure out a way to keep my C5.
 

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I agree with Zoomin, 2MchFun, SRV, Vettitude and a few others. "Just the fact the guy felt compelled to send in a letter defending it speaks volumes. A great design doesn't require apologies."

Leszewski even goes as far as to say:

"So isn't it possible that maybe , just maybe, Corvette Engineers have a winning and accomplished design theme for the first time in Corvette history! I think so! " :screwy:

"for the first time in Corvette history"

Give me a break..... :NoNo: !
 

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Rob is on the mark!

I bought a C6 coupe last Decemeber. Black of course and found the car very different from my Z06. At first I didn't like the new ride etc of the car.

Over this time the car really started to grow on me. This car is a very different corvette. But it is a corvette. People don't like change, but over time things are accepted.

BTW, I like the ride and look so much, I just traded my C6 coupe in yesterday to take delivery of a new C6 vert /z51.

See below.


It's a great corvette, the C6!
-Bill. :jammin:

In Canada they are just starting to sell. Our weather is holding back the sales. Give us some warm sunny weather and watch them sell. ;)
 

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Smook. Congratulations. I LOVE IT ! :cool:
smook said:
It's a great corvette, the C6!
-Bill. :jammin:
 

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WOW...Love This Thread

What is this Vette thing called C6 !! Sharks or not.....99+ percent of us here and are here because of Love for this automobile called Corvette...Many of us are addicted in a healthy way...So many Intelligent and accurate points have been aleady been made here and yes there are definately C5 & C6 "Camps". I have never in or very near the automoble "Biz" just an observant consumer for 40 something years. It was sometime in 1955, I was 12 going on 13 already addicted to most mechanical beasts and all things automoblie,when I first saw the 55 Vette. I think for all of us...it was Love at first sight and maybe some Lust too after the first drive. okok a lot of Lust !!
In Spite of all of GM's Shortcommings and mistakes and we know there are many...You just have to BE THANKFUL that they have stayed with the Corvette and evolved (with much cistomer support) it into the C-6, like it or not. So many makes and models have come and gone and OMG just Look at the evolution of FORD and the T Bird. For those of you who do not know...way back in 1955/56 & 57 The T Bird & Vette were both Sporty two seated "sports" cars,both attractive and Zippy, the Thunderbird having buns o' steel and the Vette being a Glass Butt. Ford Evolved (Bastardized) the TBird into slightly larger a four seater,eventually into a full size Ho Hum sedan before killing it only to recently revive it and still...it ain't no Vette not to mention a Z.
The C-6 Corvette appears to be a very Solid Well thought out from and enginering standpoint... nice (but or butt) somewhat ugly car. I understand the hash lines are somewhat practical in the engineering aerodynamic sense However this car looks like it was in an Ax fight with the Viper Designers and they Won. One of GM's Shortcommings is the Arrogance...Yes Arrogance ...to think that Corvette people will give GM a pass or ok for making the Vette look like a Viper...Which in it's own right is an ok car and fine automobile. I Too am among those who will Love this car more...The More Horsepower it has...powerful is beautiful. However even at a 1000 or 10,000 HP it will never approach C5 Beauty and Grace period.

SRV said "

The 'natural' evolution of the body styles are reversed in my opinion. To me, it looks like the C6 styling should been released first, with the C5 styling released now as it's more modern looking than the C6. It looks like that out of sheer desperation, GM took the C5 and the boxey C4, and melded them together with the worst results imaginable. GM had so much to build upon with the beautifully styled C5, but they flat-out squandered a golden opportunity.
Let's see, we have the(..beautiful) C5 and the (..butt ugly) C4, with the slab-sided-edgey Cadillac thrown into the mix. The bottom line is, the C6 is one bastardized styling DISASTER, and there is NO getting around that fact!

I think you are really onto something here...the evolution should have been C6/C4 morphing into the C-5 body with C6 Engineering Technology and materials. Is The C-6 Body an example of Engineering run amuck ?? Viper infilteration and influence ?? Corvette people (We C-5 Lovers Included) will accept this car because it's a Vette but always dislike GM for makeing it both ugly and Viperesque. Untimately the "MARKETPLACE" will decide the success or failure of this car. In the meantime I would like to Salute and Commend The C5 Body guys and Approvers and Pray that their tasteful influence will eventually enhance the C-6 ....Even if we have to Wait until C-7.

To Corvette people of all Schools and camps......Thanks for taking the time to read this and letting me rant and ramble and Happy Motoring on the FIRST DAY OF SPRING :thumb: :usa: :z:
 

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I believe that curvy lines and rounded surfaces are one of those things that makes cars age very gracefully, whereas distinctive shapes, hard lines and sharp cues are usually a good giveaway of the moment in time in which the car was built. Most cars with sharp edges don't tend to age well IMO.
If you didn't know the U.S. RX-7 FD production ended back in 95/96, would you be able to tell how old is it if a car were properly taken care of? The Supra Mk IV is another example of this, real curvy, whereas the Mk III is not curvy at all so it denotes its age. The GT40 from the 60s... it is a curvy looking car, thats why its lines held so well to the test of time.

GB.
 

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You know, there aren't too many of us younger kids (I'm 28) that are Vette fans. And to those of us that are, we laugh every time you older guys bellyache about how the new vette looks (yes, I recall quite a bit of whining back when the C5 came out. Mostly stupid stuff, but whining none the less). Now we have a new one, and low and behold! PEOPLE WHINING AGAIN! Now, certain folks may feel like the looks of each new vette are inferior to the looks of the 19_ _ corvette (53 or 63 or 69 or 79), but the fact is that lovers will still love it, if only because of the numbers it puts up, and new lovers will come on board because of that and because of its good looks (YES! I said GOOD LOOKS!! It looks great to people not stuck on the looks of past vettes. I mean, honestly, who's hotter? Ursula Andrus, Cindy Crawford, or Angelina Jolie? Perspective makes a HUGE difference!) On top of that, (new ALMS homologation rules, EU requirements, etc,) there are some darn good reasons they've made the choices they've made, and given that those choices are going to help the vette be more successful (both racing and selling), they should be applauded. And yes, in IMHO, I think the C6 (and C6 Z06, in particular) looks stronger than the C5. Kinda like a tiger next to a leopard. The C5 looks smoother, less aggressive or menacing than the C6 to me, and the overall market is demanding more edge these days.

Now, I don't mean to be too offensive (one of my best friends recently got a 25th anniversary edition, and maintains the looks have just gone downhill since then), but taken as a whole, it starts to sound like old folks grumbling about the good old days. Roll with it, people! I think the new Chevy truck's "angry eyes" look dumb, and I also think saber-toothed tigers are cooler than the normal stripey tigers we have these days, too, but that's evolution.
 

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Z06Mongoose said:
YES! I said GOOD LOOKS!! It looks great to people not stuck on the looks of past vettes.
I don't think too many people will agree with your assessment since it has absolutely nothing to do with the styling of 'past vettes'. The C6's styling is pathetic for ANY car, let alone it being a Corvette. And that is the essence of what people are angry about, an ugly car, and it's a Corvette.

...there are some darn good reasons they've made the choices they've made, and given that those choices are going to help the vette be more successful (both racing and selling), they should be applauded.
You're joking about the 'selling' part, right?

...and the overall market is demanding more edge these days.
Is that right... Let's see, tell me how successful BMW's 'new and improved' Z4 is doing. I hated that car right from the start, but I have to give it props in that at least it's more interesting to look at versus a C6. After BMW made their sweeping styling changes, their sales went into the toilet. BMW responded by saying, '..well, we didn't do a good job of explaining the styling changes to the public'. You know there's trouble if someone has to win over another by 'explaining' why the styling is so ugly!

And unfortunately, the same thing is happening to the C6 since they're rotting on the lots. Hopefully (..sincerely) sales will pick up once it warms up.

...but that's evolution.
Yep, and in this case, the Corvette styling went from a higher state, to a lower state, just like thermodynamics state.
 

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SRV said:
I don't think too many people will agree with your assessment since it has absolutely nothing to do with the styling of 'past vettes'. The C6's styling is pathetic for ANY car, let alone it being a Corvette. And that is the essence of what people are angry about, an ugly car, and it's a Corvette.
Really? The only people I really hear complaining about the looks are die hard vette fans that think vette styling has just gone down hill since the 60's. Even the most scathing reviews don't mention the looks per se--just the same lament about the same plastic parts the C5 has. I've read every article I can get my hands on. Nothing about the looks. Even the C5 1/2 comments went away after they drove it. Bugged about the FRC loss? I never liked it anyway. And the coupe is more aerodynamic in any case. Wish the Z looked MORE different than the coupe? I think that's a legitimate argument, but mostly a matter of taste. I like the coupe looks better the the FRC. You don't. I like the fact that the new Z is a bit of a sleeper, and a lot of people will mistake a Z for a normal vette (and will be shocked if they ever try to mess with it like a normal vette). You--again--don't. In fact, it seems like a lot of people here don't like the looks, while a lot of people on other vette forums (like DC) DO like the looks. It seems like folks around here are mad that the new version of THEIR car is less (visually) distinctive than it used to be. Vanity, plain and simple.
 
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