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C8 Corvette Designers Didn't Care About Old Guys

Sports Car / 24 Comments

Baby boomers, it's time to pass the torch.

Chevrolet made a bold but necessary decision by switching from a front- to a mid-engine setup for the 2020 C8 Corvette. It was a long time coming. For the Corvette's long-term survival, a dramatic re-think was required because, as Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter previous told CarBuzz: "We've taken the front-engine setup as far as we could [with the C7]."

Juechter was, of course, referring to performance and handling, but what about design? The C7 Corvette was quite a departure from the C6 thanks to its bolder styling and sharp angles throughout. In hindsight, this styling aged quite nicely, but when it came time to style the C8, Corvette designers acknowledged the reality: the final design had to appeal to a younger crowd, much less so aging baby boomers.

While boomers grew up on the Corvette, it was time to officially pass the torch to the next generation. Muscle Cars and Trucks recently spoke to newly retired C8 design director Tom Peters, the same guy who not long ago also confirmed the now abandoned split-rear window retro idea, that the C8's overall design and shape was not aimed at more traditional and aging buyers, but rather young people. More specifically, 10-year-olds.

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"We listen to our (current) customers as close as anybody does, but also you have to get the young new buyers. So I told my team to design it for the 10-year-old kid," said Peters. "Where I got that philosophy from, and one of the reasons I'm in the business, is that I can trace it all back to when I was about 10 years old and saw a Corvette Sting Ray for the first time. It had such a lasting impression, and I formulated a passion around that car. We wanted new customers and to break away from tradition, so I think that was a powerful way to approach it."

Put more simply, Peters and his team wanted young car lovers to tack posters of the C8 to their bedrooms walls. We can all relate to that habit.