You can paint racing stripes on a new ‘Beetle’ and slap a big 53 on the door, but that doesn’t make it Herbie. It also doesn’t make it a Beetle.
The Type 1 was an air-cooled, rear-engine’d marvel of simplicity. Freshman hijinks and driveway mods were not just standard, they were mandatory.
But the A5 is a water-cooled, front drive, knock-off for millennials. Factory features include climate control, power everything, and Bluetooth. Nothing left for maintenance except the odd plug change, but that would get a snowflake’s hands dirty.
So… not a Beetle.
The Ford Mustang galloped off with the pony market in the 60’s. On the big screen, Bullitt’s 325 hp GT Fastback chased the mighty 440 Magnum Charger through the streets of San Francisco. But by the early 70’s, the steed’s replacement was relegated to ferrying chick detectives to and from the Townsend Agency.
The Mustang II was a vanity mirrored, embargo loving, party pony. It was built on the Pinto (bean not horse) platform, employed no super secret performance parts, and woke the neighbors with its Briggs & Stratton mower motor.
But it was still more a Mustang than the C8 will ever be a Corvette.
Dicking an engine up the Vette’s rear was always a lustful fantasy of car mag guys.
But let’s be frank, it was never about added performance. The C7 (otherwise known as the final Vette) was already a stratospheric performer:
650 supercharged hp
650 tire-smoking lb-ft torque
0-100 mph: 7.6 secs
186 mph top speed
50/50 perfect weight distribution
1.17 skidpad g’s
How much more is needed to fetch groceries from the Stop & Shop? Oh, yeah… you’ll really feel all that extra power and superior mid-engine handling sitting bumper to bumper on the beltway.
Truth be told, the C8 allows corporate HQ to officially race a mid-engine against those European weenies on the circuit. Shifting the engine layout from front to mid was not done for the Corvette owner. You know… the guy who actually buys the thing. Formerly known as: The Customer.
So… just as when Bruce slips into Caitlyn’s silk strapless and stilettos, he’s no longer the man he used to be; a mid-engine C8 may be a lot of things, just not a Corvette.
A new nameplate for the C8? Corvair, of course. Either that or Tucker.
I’m That Kind of Girl ♬
“Who do you think they’ll arrest? The girl in the tub or the guy with his pants down.”
There’s a baggage check at the altar. Come as you are. Don’t leave the way you came.