Can a car that’s built in quantities of 50,000 per year really be a dream car? It can be when it’s one of these.
There’s a good reason why the Chevrolet Corvette is built in such large numbers, selling more units per year than Porsche will make 911s and Jaguar will make F-Types combined, with a few other sports cars probably in that total too. It offers a proper sports car driving experience atvery old-fashioned money.
And this time around, in eighth- generation form, the Corvette has evolved to give customer appeal right around the globe, rather than just in its US home market, where its muscle car roots have always appealed.
Its engine is now in the middle, there’s a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the dampers are adaptive and, to cap it all, there’s availability in right-hand-drive form for those markets that do as we do.
All of that would sound quite nice at the relatively accessible (for a dream car, remember) sub-£80,000 figure that Chevrolet would like for the car even if the only show in town were the drama of the 475bhp naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8.
But this time around, there’s more. Much more. You sit much further forwards in the chassis than ever before (perhaps obviously) and the engine is closer to the car’s mid-point, and as sports car makers have known for decades, that gives pure exotic car driving experience: really sharp turn-in, agile responses and, if they get it right, a taut and neutral chassis balance.
Chevrolet really got this one right. This Corvette turns like none before it, and when it adopts its cornering stance, it remains one that’s seriously adjustable and very exploitable while it does so.
Better still, it does this with one of the most charismatic engines still in production. No other car in its sphere (unless you count front-engined muscle cars, and we kinda don’t any more, not for this car) retains an atmospheric V8.
It has a lovely response, with a broad spread of torque and, if breathy at the very top end, it’s willing to muscle way beyond 6000rpm with vigour and make all the right noises while doing so. The roof comes off too, to help you hear it.
The interiors of American- designed and produced sports cars aren’t always up to scratch in European eyes, but here, with a convincing level of technology and solid levels of fit and finish, the Corvette even gets that right.
In short, the Corvette will do what most dream cars can do just as well as most of them can, and yet while they will frequently want six-figure sums to gain entry to the club, its price starts at something rather more palatable. And the best dreams are the most attainable ones, after all, right?