Upon its release, the C8 Corvette took the world by storm. Here was a mid-engined sports car that boasted a powerful naturally aspirated V-8 and drivetrain that would give much more expensive supercars a run for their money. It was an instant hit, and it certainly captured the attention of the world as an affordable sportscar, starting at just under $60,000; something which seems like a distant memory today. Granted, the Corvette was always thought of this way; however, the C8 brought advancements (like the mid-engine setup) that belonged into the far more expensive territory.

Now, as the Corvette was released, the world had also gone through the troubles of the past three years which have led to chip shortages and therefore, problems in supply. Since the C8 is a great vehicle, the lack of supply was met with great demand by buyers which then led to a problem that kills the Corvette’s appeal. Let’s have a look.

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The Magic Of The C8 Corvette

A drag race between a Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray vs. Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD Spyder vs. Ferrari F8
Hagerty (YouTube)
A drag race between a Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray vs. Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD Spyder vs. Ferrari F8

The world is longing for more affordable sports cars. Let’s be honest, we all want fun cars, but most people can’t afford them. The Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other similar vehicles are unattainable for the average person; therefore, we are stuck with used or new but much cheaper sports cars. These cheaper sports cars tend to be priced lower for a reason.

In most cases, their performance doesn’t match that of the more expensive models. This is the way the world works. You get what you pay for. Right? Well, kind of. The Corvette has proven that great performance cars don’t need to be eye-wateringly expensive. The C8 isn’t cheap, but it is far cheaper and therefore much more affordable than other cars of similar performance and looks.

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This Is A Vehicle That Comes With Incredible Features

Front 3/4 view of red Chevrolet Corvette Z51 and rear 3/4 view of Chevrolet Corvette Stingray parked.

People don’t tend to appreciate the number of gadgets the C8 Corvette comes equipped with. Older Corvettes were cheaper than other sports cars, but they were also far simpler. In most cases, older models were just a big V-8 bolted to a manual transmission. The C8, however, is a different case as it comes with features (depending on the trim level you choose) that are usually found on far more expensive vehicles.

For example, certain trim levels have axle lifters, a limited-slip differential, and clever dampers that lead to a perfect balance between ride quality and performance. In fact, the Corvette has been widely characterized as one of the best-riding sports cars on the market. Furthermore, the Corvette comes standard with clever electronics like an electronic diff, and stability control which always works to improve the driving experience without the driver noticing their interference.

Interior view of 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. 

Heated seats, a great infotainment system, a beautiful interior, and even exterior cameras that can act as lap recorders or even dash cams are available. Oh, and let’s not forget that this is one of the last sports cars with a naturally aspirated V-8 engine that pumps out 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque.

But wait, there is more. The C8 isn’t fragile an impractical like most sports cars with a higher price tag. The Corvette, now with the E-Ray is a sports car that can be driven daily even in the coldest states of America. The weight of the engine over the rear wheels provides great traction in the snow, the car offers good storage space (for a mid-engine machine) the ride quality is great, and maintenance isn’t all that expensive.

You see, the big 6.2 liter V-8 isn’t a complicated engine. In fact, its design is old; therefore, it is easy and cheap to maintain. The only items that can be a bit costly are the suspension and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. But still, these will be cheaper than most vehicles of the same type. So, it all seems well and good with the C8 right? Well, no. We have a slight issue.

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The C8 Corvette Is Subject To Insane Dealer Mark-Ups

A parked 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Side and rear view of a 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Sadly, the effects of the events that happened during the past three years have taken their toll on the car industry. As we are sure you know, used car prices have gone through the roof but the same can be said for new cars and especially models like the C8. Since the Corvette offers such an appealing package, customers rushed to buy the new vehicle, but the chip shortage meant that demand outweighed supply. Therefore, Chevrolet could not provide enough vehicles for customers. This leads to two things, insanely high used prices, and insane dealer markups, enough to turn off a few potential buyers.

In these instances, dealers and used car sellers know that people in the market for a Corvette will be desperate to get their hands on a pristine and will be willing to pay much more than MSRP. So, if you want a new Corvette right now you will need to pay more than Chevrolet’s original price tag which negates one of the Corvette's biggest advantages. Dealer markups as insane as $100,000 have been recorded and for that amount of money, the C8 may not be worth it.

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Thankfully, The Trend Is Shifting

Okay, so base price of the C8 has gone up since it first debuted. Starting MSRP on the LT1 trim (excluding destination) is $64,500. The good news is that the world is slowly shifting back to normal and so are used car prices. The chip shortage has been addressed and automakers are starting to meet demand numbers again.

Therefore, prices of used cars are decreasing and dealer markups are not as ridiculous, or so it seems. In fact, Chevrolet and many other automakers have warned dealerships of the possible consequences of huge markups as such behaviors deteriorate the image of the companies.

The current trends show that used Corvette C8 prices will continue to drop; so, if you currently can’t find one at the right price it may be worth waiting for a few more months. Current markups may be a turnoff for the Corvette, but they thankfully won’t last forever. At the end of the day, the Corvette is all about being an attainable sportscar that packs uncompromising performance and there's nothing more than an affordable 'Vette that we'd all want.