Will a New Corvette Appeal to Younger Buyers?

Chevrolet has a problem with the Corvette. Despite efforts to appeal to a younger audience with the sleek C7 Stingray, the Corvette remains an old man’s car.

The average ‘Vette buyer is a 59-year-old male, but Chevrolet would love to start sending Corvettes home with guys and gals a decade or two younger. Certainly the C7 appeals to a younger crowd, but the Corvette brand has become associated with being a mid-life crisis purchase. When was the last time you saw someone driving a Corvette who didn’t have white hair?

Younger folks tend to buy the Camaro or Mustang.

Part of the reason is because older buyers are usually better-equipped to buy such an expensive car than their younger counterparts. In fact, more than 40 percent of Corvettes are purchased with cash.

There’s a new Corvette on the horizon, though, that might be enough to persuade younger folks with extra cash to jump on the Corvette train.

There have been rumors of a midengine Corvette for about as long as the Corvette has been existence, but they’ve never materialized. Until now, that is.

In August, The Detroit News, citing multiple sources, reported that GM plans to begin selling a midengine Corvette in early 2019. It appears that work is underway to meet that goal.

AutoNews reported on spy shots of a what looks to be a heavily camouflaged midengine Corvette testing in the snow and said,

Switching from a front to midengine layout would entail engineering a new chassis, creating a new transaxle — the transmission and axle — to drive the rear wheels, developing new cooling, air-conditioning and suspension systems, and designing an all-new body.

A midengine Corvette would give GM a true competitor to Ford’s GT supercar, which is midengined, as well as supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.

It would also, GM hopes, make the car appeal to a younger crowd. Ferrari’s average buyer is 47, and Lamborghini’s is 48, while the average Porsche 911 buyer is 52.

The biggest problem, in my humble opinion, is that the Corvette was coolest when older people were young. The other brands require a deeper appreciation for quality cars, while the Corvette is a feel-good purchase that makes people reminiscent of when they were younger.

A new C8 could change that.

Would a midengine Corvette make you interested in buying one, or would you rather have a Camaro?

-tgriffith

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16 Comments

  1. “younger customers” Chevrolet is targeting are members of Generation X, born from about 1960-80. http://autozqa.com/blog/most-expensive-cars-in-the-world/ Big differences exist between the ‘Vette’s current core audience of Baby Boomers and the slacker generation (of which your author is a member), including these five significant hurdles that stand in the way of the Corvette’s demographic downward drive.

  2. I don’t see too many young people with brand new Porsches or Ferraris either. I’m 48 and drive a new stingray everyday winter and summer in the northeast. I used to drive a sports car twenty five years ago. But for years it didn’t fit into my life. My kid is big enough that it now does. The few Porsches and Ferraris driven by younger people are people who are probably very very rich with many many cars. For the upper middle class new, not used, corvette buyer, they probably have only as many cars as they have drivers in the household. If Chevy really wants younger buyers, they need to get them into a used corvette first at a young age. Put together a combo lease/purchase package of a 10 year old vette with 35k miles on it and new cheap SUV or such for regular use.

  3. Insurance aside , in Canada the base model is roughly75,000$. The Z06 with all the bells and whistles runs not less than $135,000. What will the new mid engine run for, $215,000 Canadian????? That is why people buy Camaros and mustangs. Not because the Vett is an old man’s car. Because it is so expensive. Big difference American funds from Canadian currency.

  4. The GT made a name for itself in the 1960s, and the nameplate returned to Ford for the 2005 and 2006 models. Since then, the vehicle has truly evolved into a supercar, evident by it’s $100,000+ price tag.
    The company has made some changes to the third-generation GT, prioritizing handling and track capabilities in their 2017 model. The result? Not only one of Ford’s most impressive cars ever, but perhaps one of the most innovative cars to ever be released.

  5. With the younger generation it’s not just the price point, it’s insuring the car too. Easier for an insurance company to accommodate a young person driving a Honda versus insuring that young individual driving a Corvette. Then I also look at the practicality of a corvette – can’t drive a Corvette in the snow, limited seating and the list goes on. Yes I am saving up for a Corvette (I refuse to finance my dream car) yes I am already in my fifties. At the moment I make sure I have my Envoy and Tahoe for the winters and for the extra passengers in a pinch.

  6. I drove two Cadillac CTS-V’s for 12 years. I spec’d out the new V at $90K. I looked at a Z06 and thought, “Where in the hell will I put any stuff?” I bought a 2017 Camaro ZL1. Nice trade-off between practicality and 650 hp/650 tq, and at $62K & change.

    The Corvette appeals, but simply isn’t practical. The younger the buyer, the less practical it is.

  7. It’s not the car….it’s the price point. I’ve been wanting a ‘Vette forever, and it’s looking like next year will be the year, because I’ll finally be able to afford one (and yeah, I”m pushing closer to 60 every day). Unless one comes from some level of wealth with expendable cash; has a rich relative die and leave them a chunk of cash; or wins the lottery, most people are spending their money paying off student loans, raising kids, and buying a house and a mini-van. A two seater sports car is not a practical purchase at that point in life.

  8. We could not AFFORD a corvette till in our 60 s…..after house paid off and kids grown. So far we’ve had three.

  9. Its got to do with the pricing of the corvette. The mid-engine assembly does not make it any cheaper to address the young audience.

    • Anzael, How would that work if Ferrari’s average buyer is 47, and Lamborghini’s is 48, while the average Porsche 911 buyer is 52?? Doesn’t make sense? The price is 3 to 5 times as much as a corvette? It would not have to do with price. I think the higher price makes these younger wealthier people who want a car only a few could afford buy.

      • In 2016 a total of 40,689 Corvettes were produced. Not all were sold, but most of them likely were. I have serious doubts that 40k new Ferraris or Lamborghinis were sold even when combined. What you’re arguing is a non-sequitur. Corvettes are marketed to different people. You can’t buy a 70k Ferrari. Corvettes are basically the retiree car of choice. Lowering the price will attract younger buyers in significant enough numbers to lower the average age.

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