The Corvette changed its formula in a big, big way with its eighth generation. Moving the engine behind the cabin, the C8 Corvette evolved into a true-to-form supercar, offering up superior handling and vehicle dynamics from the factory more than the C7 (or any generation before it) ever could. And the gamble is paying off in the sales charts. In fact, GM just produced its 40,000th Corvette in 2023, putting production at a pace that the car hasn’t seen in years. And largely, the C8 Corvette goes unchallenged from any domestic automaker, while European and Asian brands simply offer less car for the money.
Ford Motor Company was recently seen benchmark testing a C8 Corvette Stingray, and that’s created plenty of content fuel for the equally opportunistic and ill-informed. Regardless, while we would love to see a direct Corvette rival from Ford, it’s simply not in the cards. The new S650 Ford Mustang will have to do.
During the 2023 Ford Motor Company annual shareholders meeting (transcript), Chairman Bill Ford Jr. firmly quashed any immediate speculation that the automaker would be working on a direct rival to the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette.
“Here’s one. ‘Why are you not building a sports car similar to Corvette?’ Are you kidding? We have the Mustang, which I think is by far the best sports car in America and frankly, the world now,” said Bill Ford Jr. “It’s affordable. It’s faster than all get out. And it’s about as good as you could possibly get. And we’re going racing with Mustang. For the enthusiasts, we have an EcoBoost Mustang, we now have an electric Mustang and the Mach-E, and we have our all-new 5.0L Mustang Dark Horse, which we just introduced. And we have more coming. So, I wouldn’t trade our sports car for anybody else’s, let’s put it that way.”
Hopefully the clickbait videos and articles alleging otherwise can stop now.
Likewise, General Motors President Mark Reuss recently commented that his company will “not do a Bronco.” Which is to say that the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and GMC Canyon AT4X will have to do. And as far as a rival to the Ford Mustang is concerned, the Chevrolet Camaro will go into hiatus after the 2024 model year. So even though GM has the biggest portfolio of off-road pickups, and America’s Sports Car in the Corvette, it won’t lock horns with two of Ford’s most exciting products. And over at Stellantis, we see unchallenged products like the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, and we’re expected to get more details on Dodge’s next-generation muscle cars soon.
Ultimately, it’s refreshing to see that the Detroit Three automakers aren’t directly copying each other, but choose to offer different enthusiast products of their own variety. And it looks like Ford and Chevrolet will have to settle the dispute on the race track next year, when both the S650 Mustang GT3 and Z06 GT3.R enter IMSA and WEC competition.