Imagine a six-litre, V8-engined, fibreglass sports car that sounded like a rutting minotaur, was more fun to drive than Apollo's chariot, looked like Kim Basinger sunbathing and cost £45,000. It would be on the front page of every car magazine, top of every schoolboy's wish list. I'm pretty sure of this because TVRs used to be.
In America they still make a car like this: the Corvette. Naturally, they would like us Brits to buy it, but we remain sniffy, not least because after 55 years they still haven't got round to making it in right-hand drive.
This is the latest, the C6 6.2 (that ".2", indicating an extra 200cc, is the biggest difference over the last version). It still comes only in left-hand drive flavour but, car-park barriers aside, that doesn't really matter. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun behind the wheel.
With 430bhp pumping through the rear wheels, the Corvette hardly needs to be given a sniff of a corner before it starts sliding around as if Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane were on its tail. Car journalists love to boast of their mastery of rear-wheel-drive cars – Autocar has an annual Sideways Challenge in which its writers and readers do nothing but slide about like Kenneth Branagh in the Frankenstein birth scene – but, to be quite honest, losing control of a car, even intentionally, scares the bejesus out of me, particularly on a public road. However, with a Corvette it all happens so predictably: car leads driver in a devilish dance, all comfortably controlled and intuitive.
And, consider this: the Corvette is a 190mph (0-60 in 4.1 seconds) supercar for the price of a 3.4 litre Porsche Cayman (171mph, 0-60 in 5.1 secs), and £35,000 cheaper than a 911 GT3 which, though more nimble, is no quicker in a straight line. A DB9 is twice the price but would be left looking like a milk float in a traffic light drag.
It used to be that the caveat to all this was the Corvette's interior build quality, but the C6's is much improved, and I'd wager the whole thing will be more reliable than an Aston. That mighty V8 has, essentially, been in production for more than half a century so they have probably ironed out any glitches by now.
I loved driving the Corvette; its cacophonous rumble made my stomach go all funny, and the fearful thrust gave me an instant trout pout. But – there has to be a "but", doesn't there? – its limited gene pool, General Lee, redneck aesthetic is always going to seem a little outré in the UK. Hold the front page.Reuse content