How Can This Be? The Mid-Engine Corvette's Forward Visibility is Actually Worse Than the Front-Engine C7's

Dave VanderWerp
Photo credit: Marc Urbano

From Car and Driver

  • We were hoping that one of the many benefits of having a Chevrolet Corvette with its engine relocated behind the occupants was a much improved view forward.
  • However, our test data shows that not only is it not great among the mid-engine crowd, the C8's forward view over the hood is actually worse than the previous-generation Corvette's.
  • It's a missed opportunity on an otherwise revolutionary new Corvette.

Among the many promises of the mid-engine configuration is an unobstructed view forward, where the pavement appears to be whizzing by immediately ahead of your toes. So, among many other attributes we anticipated, we were understandably excited to see what the visual experience of a mid-engine Corvette had in store.

Photo credit: Brad Fick - Car and Driver

And then, during our recent chance for some extended seat time the view over the nowengineless hood seemed . . . not great. So, as we do on every new car, we took visibility measurements to see precisely how it measures up.

Even though the driver is sitting more than two inches higher than in a McLaren 720S, the Corvette's hood blocks four feet more road. That certainly must be a sacrifice made in the name of cargo space, right? Nope, the McLaren has more front stowage space. The Acura NSX and Porsche 718 Cayman also have a better forward view, but get this: so did the front-engine C7. Not helping with the perception from the driver's seat is an extraordinarily long dash with much distracting topography.

Perhaps this is the result of having appropriated the space for an eventual all-wheel-drive model with an electric motor packaged up front?

Photo credit: Car and Driver

However, in an unexpected twist, the C8's downward view out the back is dramatically improved, shrinking by more than 60 percent compared with the impossible line of sight over the previous Corvette's extremely large and flat cargo area that blocked the better part of a football field of road behind it. Also unusual is that, in a world of ever thicker pillars, the C8's A-pillars are two degrees slimmer, although these weren't enough to improve the overall negative perception created by the hoodline and long dash.

Photo credit: Car and Driver

But we just kept shaking our heads at the fact that a Volkswagen GTI has a more panoramic forward view than a Corvette with an engine no longer in the way. It's a rare miss in an otherwise revolutionary new Corvette.

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