Detroit's horsepower race is white hot. Dodge sells SRT Hellcat Challengers and Chargers that come within a hair's breadth of 800 hp. Ford's mightiest Mustang, the Shelby GT500, boasts 760 ponies. With 490 horses on tap, the new midengine Corvette Stingray is the most powerful entry-level Corvette that Chevrolet has ever offered.
While these bleeding-edge, modern-day muscle cars deliver unprecedented acceleration and speed, they also can become speed bumps for dealership service and parts departments.
That's especially true with the all-new, eighth-generation Corvette, commonly referred to as the C8. When ordering their 2020 or 2021 Corvette, buyers can choose from an extensive array of factory options, accessories and graphics to personalize their cars.
The rub? Many must be installed by the dealership.
Chuck Metts, lead Corvette technician at Coughlin Chevrolet of Pataskala in Ohio, says the C8 get-ready process and pre-delivery inspections can run from two hours to a day or more, depending on how many extras were ordered and whether the parts are all in hand.
While some items — such as the spoilers, brake ducting and air deflectors that come with the Corvette's Z51 performance package — are included loose with the car, others are limited-production options shipped by a third-party distributor to the dealer.
As customers' Corvette parts arrive, Metts stores them in two bins, each of which is 3 feet deep and 8 feet long. New cars waiting to be completed are parked in their own area outdoors with the cars' protective shipping cover intact.
The midengine Corvette requires some specific procedures and equipment, including lift arms and pucks — spacers that prevent the lift from coming in contact with the vehicle and causing damage.
"Racking a C8 is a lot different than racking a C7," says Metts, who works exclusively on Corvettes and has 45 years of experience as a GM technician. "The C7's front/rear weight balance is about 49 front/51 rear. In the new C8, it's 40/60. There are four holes in the C7 frame where we position the pucks. That won't work on the C8."
Failure to use the C8's new puck contacts just in front of the rear tires could lead to a midengine Corvette being dangerously out of balance and toppling off the rack.