With the C7 Corvette’s new looks, improved handling and power numbers topping any previous factory model, the seventh-generation American sports car is sure to please enthusiasts, from the light-hearted thrill seeker to the more status-minded business man. But are the features of the recently debuted 2014 Corvette enough to pull the model out of its “midlife crisis” rut? Well, according to an article on TireBusiness.com, probably not. While GM has definitely made strides to bring the enthusiasm of it’s top-of-the-line model to younger generations, some believe the car will continue to be a staple mostly in the garages of Baby Boomers. Do you agree?
While it could be argued that Corvettes are primarily geared towards older males, more and more enthusiasts are popping up in younger crowds. Unfortunately, the average Corvette buyer is still about 59 years old, according to a Strategic Vision market research survey. So will GM’s attempt to shift the appeal of the Corvette to a younger generation with the new Stingray be successful? Andrew Stoy of Crain News Service has his doubts, and for good reason.
First of all, Corvettes historically have failed to appeal to younger generations for the most part. While C6s and the new C7s have certainly turned the vision of Corvettes around, many of the Generation X crowd (those born between 1960 and 1980) were first introduced to car as a low-powered C3 model. Unfortunately for Chevy, this initial interaction with the sports car has caused skeletons to remain lodged in some people’s enthusiasm closets.
On the other side of things, however, it could be argued that though not impressive to a vast majority of Gen Xers, the transformation from the 70s Shark Bodies to the glorious C7 has given Chevrolet some ground to stand on.
Not only is the evolution remarkable, it’s respected amongst some of the biggest sports car names on the market.
And then, there are those of us in Gen X and Millennial (those born between the 80s and the early 2000s) generations that, call us crazy, actually fell in love with the hit-or-miss 70s Vette.
Another argument supporting that the new Corvette will remain an “old guys’ car” is that many younger would-be owners still have kids at home, whether they be toddlers, school-agers or college students. The problem with this is that fewer people with children can afford to go out and buy a two-seater fun car.
While this is a valid argument, where does that put people who don’t have children or who’s children have already left home? Many people have kids, but there are far more Gen Xers and Millennials waiting longer to have kids and settle down. And if you’ve got the money to pull it off at a younger age, why wouldn’t you consider the brand new Corvette? Personal preferences, maybe, but not because you’re thinking about the baby card before you’re ready or after you’ve already raised your children.
Going along with that is the issue of cost. While GM has yet to release official pricing for the next-generation Corvette, we still expect to see base models starting in the $60,000 range. This can be tough to accommodate at any age, so rather than saying this is something older generations can weather more easily, we must look at the economic state of all potential buyers. In an age where titles like “Youngest Billionaire” pop up on a regular basis, Gen Xers and Millennials may even have the upper hand when it comes to buying a new C7.
A final argument for the Corvette maintaining its midlife crisis appeal is the idea of flash. While the Corvette is certainly a gorgeous car, it is sure to draw some serious attention, especially in its seventh-generation skin. While some would argue that most generations are over that, we’d beg to differ. There is a reason why all generations modify their cars, get custom paint jobs done, and feel free to burn rubber whenever they please.
For one, it’s fun, and two, many of us have grown up learning that getting attention is okay, and actually quite appealing. In fact, we could see more 20 and 30-somethings getting a kick out of all the attention they’d get behind the wheel of a brand new Vette.