Watch: Why Many of the C8’s Flaws Aren’t Flaws At All

Chevy’s engineers are very clever. And while we’re not suggesting that they’re infallible, it’s important to consider the reasoning behind their decisions before criticizing it.

That’s kind of the tack Jason Fenske takes in his latest Engineering Explained video on the so-called flaws of the C8 Corvette.

The flaws are: brake by wire, longer stopping distance than the C7, understeer, a pushrod engine, and all-season tires from the factory. Fenske argues that none of these are actual flaws and are, at worst, well-reasoned compromises that often lead to better performance.

We recommend watching the whole video for Fenske’s explanations—the reasoning is as—if not more—important as the conclusions. But the arguments break down like this:

Brake by wire may sound scary to people and, certainly, a badly calibrated brake-by-wire setup can be bad. But it also allows different modes to have different levels of braking aggression—meaning its easier to stop smoothly at a traffic light AND easier to brake hard for a corner. Best of all, though, the C8 can come to a full stop even if the brakes boil.

Why then does the C8 take 7 more feet to come to a stop from 60 mph than the C7 (according to C&D testing)? Well, this one is a little more complicated, but essentially it boils down to the fact that Chevy made the choice to reduce brake pressure at the rear wheels under hard cornering to prevent the back-end from being twitchy. The reasoning being, if you’re slowing down for a corner, instead of a 60-0 test, you want control over the back end to be able to get back into the power as soon as possible.

Might be just one more reason some reviewers complain of understeer. Even Fenske admits that there is some understeer, but it’s the standard, minimal, safe understeer that all sports cars have. Yes, the C8 behaves more like a supercar these days, but it’s priced like a sports car—so safety first. But Chevrolet is open about how to set up your car to minimize the understeer even further when you’re going on track.

Others complain that a pushrod V8 is old fashioned and nowhere near as exciting as a DOHC that you might see on other supercars. Anyone who’s familiar with the small-block, though, will know that a pushrod engine is cheap, small, has fewer moving parts, and has great low-end torque. So go back to Europe and go broke trying to buy a keep a DOHC engine’s clockwork running.

And finally, the all seasons. Why sell a track-focused supercar with all seasons? Because they’re really, really good. They’re sticky in the summer and won’t slow you to a crawl when the rain starts to get chilly. And summers aren’t hard to find.

So there you have it. The C8 is a perfect car. Or at least, it’s one with flaws that aren’t really flaws.

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