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Why You Shouldn't Buy The First Year 2020 C8 Corvette Model and When Is The Right Time

The 2020 C8 Corvette is going to be an amazing car due to some spectacular changes and modifications, but you shouldn't buy it right away. Here's why.
Posted: July 3, 2019 - 1:12PM
Author: Justin Nohe

We are all waiting anxiously for that July 18th reveal date to see what this new Corvette is going to look like and perform like. While I have no doubt whatsoever that the C8 Corvette is going to be a monster there is a lot of doubt on the reliability and "growing pain" front. What do I mean by this? Well it's simple. GM hasn't really made a mid-engine car before (we're looking at you Fiero) and that might mean disaster... At least initially.

GM has built a ton of hype over this new Corvette and while everyone wants one, you might want to wait. There are a few reasons why but the biggest one is going to be growing pains. Basically, because GM hasn't successfully done any mid-engine designed cars before (minus the Fiero... and that wasn't overly successful) there is a very good chance it won't be perfect when launched.

I know GM is testing the C8 Corvette extensively and that is definitely a good thing but with a change with large in the Corvette lineup there is bound to be problems. It wasn't that long ago that the car was rumored to have been delayed due to electrical issues which were later determined to be because of a whole new electrical architecture GM is using in this car. Right off the bat the car was delayed for improvements which doesn't sit well with me due to the fact that this car is already a huge change from the "normal" Corvette.

What Does This Mean For The Buyer Of The C8 Corvette?

It basically means you will be the "beta tester" for GM. You will be the person who gets to find all of the new problems with the new Corvette. Yes there will be warranty so the issues will likely be fixed for you, but nevertheless you will be the one finding them and spending time without the car so they can be fixed by GM (assuming they can be fixed).

A car like the Corvette has had a very similar setup for years. That means GM has had years to perfect the design. The C8 Corvette being mid-engine is a relatively new concept for GM and while I have faith they can do it, it doesn't mean it will be perfect right away.

Even the C7 Corvette, which GM has had a lot of time to perfect the overall design of, had issues when it was first released which were things like bad paint jobs, wheel issues, interior leather pulling apart, etc. First year models of any car (especially ones that have undergone such a huge change) are almost always a bad idea if you want to avoid problems like this.

When Is The Time To Buy Your C8 Corvette?

This is a good question. I'd like to say the 2nd year model but, if the issues are big enough this may not be enough time either. If you compare the C7 Corvette to the C8 Corvette you will see that the car is undergoing some of the biggest changes that any company has ever given a sports car. While the refresh is nice to see it's inevitably going to lead to first year buying issues.

If you are aware of this as a potential problem (as we have all heard "knowing is half the battle") you can protect yourself and get the mid-engine Corvette you dream of in due time! Here's to a successful, problem free launch of the brand new C8 Corvette!

Also Watch The REAL reason(s) the C8 MID ENGINE CORVETTE hasn't been released YET!, and Click To Subscribe Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily News on Automotive Industry.

Image is from The MidEngineCorvetteForum and used with permission.

See you in my next story where I am discussing the 2020 C8 Corvette Convertible and Targa options.

Justin Nohe - My name is Justin and I am a car fanatic. Everything automotive is my passion. Ever since I was a little kid owning a Corvette was my dream and I recently achieved that dream with a 2015 Corvette Z06. I have such passion for the automotive world and enjoy sharing it with anyone who will listen! You can contact me, send me tips and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    July 4, 2019 - 4:32AM

Your issues raised are valid. First year models are notoriously riddled with problems, and the Corvette's design has been fundamentally redesigned in the upcoming model. Plus we have heard rumors of production delays due to build/design issues, and those are just the problems that actually leaked out. The other issue that I think about for the mid-engined Corvette is price-vs-demand. The new Corvette is going to be cool and different enough for many new buyers to get one (regardless of the cost) for boasting rights alone. And depending on the planned production volumes this could drive the new Corvette's price up unrealistically for the first year or so. However this might be more of an issue with the higher, lower volume models. The other side of the potential reliability issues of a 1st year, new design is that much of the new Corvette is still based on existing technologies. Not the active aero, but the basic engine design, electrical, chassis components, and countless internal bits that are either a carry over from earlier cars, or redesigned by experts with many years of automotive experience. It's not as if GM is a brand new car company, and this is their first design. In the past many times when a big automaker built an exciting new car they would form smaller teams of focused, passionate, engineers to get everything dialed in just right. Let's hope that Chevy has sweat all of the important details with the new Corvette!

Justin Nohe    July 4, 2019 - 12:29PM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

Exactly. I'm hoping GM can nail down the reliability of this first year car and have us all surprised. I know they are testing more C8 Corvettes than they ever did with the C7 Corvette and that is a good sign. There is a chance they will get it right immediately, but it's much more likely there will be issues due to the new setup. Fingers crossed!

Bill Atherton (not verified)    November 18, 2019 - 1:01AM

In reply to by Justin Nohe

In response I would point to the 2015 Mustang, which was new from the ground up. I bought one and it's been great. Now I'm preparing to sell that car in order to buy a 2020 Corvette. I think that the delays, in a way, prove that GM is doing their due diligence in testing and product development. I don't really fear finding a or that they might need to fix under warranty, although I may consider an extended warranty just due to the high price of the car.

Ridha Hasan (not verified)    July 5, 2019 - 12:57PM

That is not just the case for the Corvette, but even exotic car companies do the same and the entry price of most of their cars average to $250k plus versus under or around $100k for a rear mid engine monster such as the Corvette. Let's be realistic Mclaren's first few cars are a perfect example of guinea pig testing by customers, and to this very day they still have major electrical issues out of warranty from time to time with certain owners! This game will never be perfect, but that shouldn't stop some one from purchasing with a full warranty as they will offer on the C8 vettes.

Justin Nohe    July 5, 2019 - 10:40PM

In reply to by Ridha Hasan (not verified)

All car companies do it which is why it is a safe bet that the first year of the C8 Corvette will likely have issues that later years won't. Aside from beta testing you're also likely to pay the highest price for it over waiting until year 2.

David H. (not verified)    September 12, 2019 - 9:36AM

In reply to by Justin Nohe

What does that comment supposed to mean? You can't repeat what hasn't been done. As to the original, do NOT compare this or ANYTHING Corvette to a Fiero. Even the original MR2 is an engineering marvel compared to that generic pathetic misfire of a car.

DaVetteMakesEmWet (not verified)    September 9, 2019 - 8:29PM

In reply to by Michael walling (not verified)

I agree: HOGWASH! On a typical car, yeah, first year jitters are a given. But the C8 is very likely THE most thoughtfully designed and engineered automobile in the history of ALL automobiles - any company, any country. GM / Chevrolet has been R&D-ing this for more than a decade. Nothing left to chance, no corners cut. This is their shining moment - actually, a DEFINING MOMENT - and they’re not gonna disappoint. This isn’t just a Chevrolet. Not even “just a new” Corvette. This is the C8 in all of it’s glory. Get in line. Get our your money. Hang on for - truly! - the frikkin’ ride of your life!

Gregsnyder (not verified)    July 7, 2019 - 5:06PM

I was blown away by the 1989-90 ZR-1 hype. Bought it all, hook, line and sinker. For some reason, my practical side said, "Better buy an Extended Warranty with this Mercury Marine Miracle."

They were a lot cheaper then, and I popped for the Big Kahuna version: No deductible, etc., for an extra 3yrs and upteen thousand miles. That was a good call.

I definitely Beta tested for GM. I remember many disparate problems from replacing 7 red leather driver's seat left bolsters (they'd last about a month, then wear thru!) to the $80 each plug wires they ruined when starter died and they had to R&R the intake to get to everything. (That one stranded me in the middle of Bumfork, Iowa.)

I kept that car 4yrs and used that magic warranty around 22 times. I had my own parking place at the dealership and was on first-name basis with the 53 so-called "Corvette Techs" who came and went during that period.

Did I learn any lesson? Of course not. Bought a 2015 Z06 Convertible which GM didn't actually fix until the '17 model. Will I buy new C-8 middy? Are you bettin' men? What do you think? I think GM owes me about 20 Large for all the Beta testing I did for 'em in '90 and '15!

Lexterrae (not verified)    July 13, 2019 - 10:37PM

Justin...I enjoy and appreciate much of what you write, but trying to justify not buying a new design of a vehicle to potential buyers is a poor use of your talent. I purchased a 2007 Solstice GXP turbo in the first month of its production. Was I a beta tester for GM? I guess so.
I,ve driven the car over 130,000 miles. Was the car ever out of service for repairs? Yes, one time for three days. GM changed the differential as it was making noise, fully covered by warranty.
Will I buy an early 2020 Vette...I've been on a waiting list for months and can't wait. If there were never any early-adopters we would still be driving a Model-T.

Lexterrae (not verified)    July 13, 2019 - 10:58PM

Justin...I enjoy and appreciate much of what you write, but trying to justify not buying a new design of a vehicle to potential buyers is a poor use of your talent. I purchased a 2007 Solstice GXP turbo in the first month of its production. Was I a beta tester for GM? I guess so.
I,ve driven the car over 130,000 miles. Was the car ever out of service for repairs? Yes, one time for three days. GM changed the differential as it was making noise, fully covered by warranty.
Will I buy an early 2020 Vette...I've been on a waiting list for months and can't wait. If there were never any early-adopters we would still be driving a Model-T.

FRANK DETONE (not verified)    July 21, 2019 - 4:31PM

The c7 still has a bad transmission that GM HAS TO DATE NOT COME UP WITH A FIX. I had a new replacement in my 2015 at 5000 miles.Then at 8000 miles they put in a new torque converter. At 17000 miles they said it need a 3x flush. Now there is a class action lawsuit and on and on it goes.The suit states that GM has no fix.

P F Kelly (not verified)    August 3, 2019 - 3:06AM

I expected many defects of my first year C6 Z06, and upgraded each probleml. After many new beautiful styles came and went, I still like its romantic and threatening look the best, and it remains the best performer due to the upgrades. If you have the time to make improvements on the design, get the first year out. If you're a driver with aversion to shop trips, better wait and see. There are no such thing as new and old cars, just good and bad ones.

MIKE PRICE (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 1:58AM

Yes there will be issues but we are humans and we all have then. How many of us married our first date? Still we had a good time and enjoyed life. This car is the start of a new chapter in corvette history. Better things to come, certainly. good things to enjoy right now, absolutely! If you wait to enjoy the future It may not happen? Enjoy Life.

Corvette Man (not verified)    August 20, 2019 - 10:25PM

As numerous commercials and J.D. Power surveys shows that Chevrolet is the most reliable car manufacturer. Better the the Japanese's brand like Honda, Toyota! GM hires real automotive engineers that have 4 year degrees. Honda, Toyota, who knows?

marty b (not verified)    August 24, 2019 - 1:52AM

chevy said this 2020 can go from 0 to 60 under 6 seconds...I havnt seen a video to back that statement,,,,,,,,,,,I would like to see a few run that this car can do )-60mph on video a few times come on chevy prove your point...thank marty......

John Sharkey (not verified)    February 3, 2020 - 1:13PM

Didn't the C7 have overheating problems with the later years automatic transmission that they didn't have with model year 2014.

Franklin Kane (not verified)    December 20, 2020 - 9:31PM

The C8 Corvette is having all sorts of issues. Poor quality parts, all sorts of Never Ending software issues, brake issues due to drive by wire, engine failures, lots of transmission failures, little or no quality control. GM should be able to put out cars like Lexus, Porsche, BMW or Mercedes - but do not. They use cheap materials, cut corners everywhere they can, have a terrible UAW workforce with NO pride in their work, and NEVER do all the necessary work on perfecting a model before release. I will be surprised if GM actually makes it given the reliability or their product line. If it were not for trucks/SUVs- they probably would have already folded and gone the way of Kaiser and Rambler.