Contradiction
Contradiction HalfDork
5/8/22 3:35 p.m.

Hi everyone,

Avid car enthusiast, lover of well handling cars, and occasional autocrosser here with some aspirations to do maybe a track event or 2 a year in the future and get out on some North Georgia mountain roads once I feel experienced enough with the car. 

I’ve currently got an 84 VW GTI that I have no intention of getting rid of anytime soon, but I’m in need of a new daily driver.  My 15 Mazda6 just got totaled recently and since I’m now living in Georgia now after spending the majority of my life in the Midwest I have no reason NOT to drive something fun daily.  I want to experience something new for me, namely a RWD V8 car. 

My budget is up to $40k and I’ve narrowed it down to 2 most likely candidates:

2010 – 2013 Corvette Grand Sport coupe with a manual trans

- or -

Current gen (2018 +) S550 chassis Mustang GT coupe with a manual trans.

They are basically evenly matched for hp and torque with the Mustang having 30 hp more, but the C6 is 394 lbs lighter. 

Any thoughts on where either would be definitively better characteristically?


As a wild card thought here, I could also likely afford a 2012 or 13 Boss 302 (but not a Laguna Seca edition) for around the same money.  

I feel like that’s almost a different debate in and of itself because now we are talking more track prepped from the get go and a solid rear axle vs. IRS in the S550 chassis GTs.  I feel like either the C6 or S550 GT would be more “refined” in handling.  I am sort of drawn to the Boss 302 though from a rarity stand point and what is likely a more “raw, visceral” car to drive.  

I’m just wondering if that “rawness” is going to be uncomfortable as a daily driver stuck in traffic on 285 in Atlanta, or if the live rear axle is going to be that much more prone to oversteer?

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/8/22 5:20 p.m.

Corvette weighs less and has better F/R weight balance than the Stang, so from a performance view, that one should be superior.

Here are Lightning Lap times for comparison, but it really boils down to which Mustang trim you opt for.

2018 Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2- 2:53.8

C6 Grand Sport- 2:58.8

2013 Shelby GT500- 3:00.6

2011 Shelby GT500- 3:04.0

2020 Mustang Ecoboost HiPo- 3:04.4

2015 Mustang GT- 3:05.2

dps214
dps214 Dork
5/8/22 6:06 p.m.

I'd say avoid the Corvette because of the truck interior and worthless seats. But then the alternative is the mustang which is a bit better put together but really not that much nicer all in all. As a general rule, for street driving purposes the newer car will generally be the better option. More refined, more/better tech, etc. So I'd lean towards the mustang just for that but realistically unless the V8 is an absolute deal breaker I wouldn't pick either one.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/8/22 6:10 p.m.

With commuting, how about a more 4 door Corvette?  

Chevy SS sedan (the forgotten model), Pontiac G8, GTO, or Cadillac V-series.  Much less "rawness." 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/8/22 6:52 p.m.

Go test drive several of each, the more seat time the better. Make sure some of it is sitting in traffic.

dps214
dps214 Dork
5/8/22 9:53 p.m.

If the V8 is a sticking point, I'd add the BMW E90 M3 to the list. Still a V8, but a much nicer place to spend a lot of time sitting in traffic or driving casually than either of the other two options. A quick search suggests decent examples are still available at/under $40k.

Contradiction
Contradiction HalfDork
5/8/22 10:34 p.m.
John Welsh said:

With commuting, how about a more 4 door Corvette?  

Chevy SS sedan (the forgotten model), Pontiac G8, GTO, or Cadillac V-series.  Much less "rawness." 

I'd do an SS in a heartbeat if I could but prices have really skyrocketed on those.  I don't think I could get in one for less then $45k - 50k, especially with a manual trans.  G8's don't seem to lag too far behind in value and there are even less manuals I'm seeing in a nationwide search for them right now.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
5/9/22 7:32 a.m.

I'd say drive both.  I have a c6z and love that it feels like I'm driving a bit of a super car.  

i don't love the long nose that makes bumps and inclines and curbs likely more of a challenge than with the mustang  

seats can be changed  


being lighter will make it potentially a little better on consumables but both will not be cheap.  

I think the mustang will feel nicer/more modern and luxurious than the c6 but the interior never really bothered me   But my only concern with mine is low lap times  

 

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
5/9/22 8:10 a.m.

A friend of mine has a 2012 Boss 302, and I've been on Sebring with it.  I think you would be very surprised at what a solid axle will do  in that car

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
5/9/22 9:53 a.m.

I vote the Mustang for sheer DD'ability versus a vette. If you were doing 5 or 6 track events and this was your second car it would be a different story.

Their chassis is very fast and make them feel lighter than they are considering the amount of heft they carry around. Consumables is an issue but not for your use case unless you get into the deep well of dispair that is monthly trips to the local race tracks for R&R.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
5/9/22 4:15 p.m.
dps214 said:

I'd say avoid the Corvette because of the truck interior and worthless seats. But then the alternative is the mustang which is a bit better put together but really not that much nicer all in all. As a general rule, for street driving purposes the newer car will generally be the better option. More refined, more/better tech, etc. So I'd lean towards the mustang just for that but realistically unless the V8 is an absolute deal breaker I wouldn't pick either one.

The trunk in the corvette isn't bad; my wife and I fit an entire weeks worth of stuff in ours for a road trip a few weeks back.  That's two carry on sized suit cases, a small cooler with drinks, two laptop backpacks, a small tool kit, a case of water, and a box of various odds and ends (snacks, etc.)  That all fit in the trunk without obstructing the view out the rear window.  

  • The car gets 30mpg (or very close to it) when cruising on the highway in 6th gear.
  • The targa top comes off with ease giving you open top motoring when you want it
  • The A/C works amazing.
  • The interior isn't great, but you get an optional heads up display, the radio is a double din so carplay, modern stereo, etc. is all just a call to crutchfield away.  

Now reasons I wouldn't want to drive it every day:

  • long hood making parking/pulling into a spot interesting
  • it's a plastic car that is upwards of 13 years old (assuming you're looking at a 2010 grandsport) so they squeak and rattle.
  • the corvette tax is real and some repairs are expensive 
  • big doors and you kinda "fall" into the car so daily driving it isn't as easy as popping into/out of a small SUV/sedan.
Contradiction
Contradiction HalfDork
5/10/22 11:12 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:
dps214 said:

I'd say avoid the Corvette because of the truck interior and worthless seats. But then the alternative is the mustang which is a bit better put together but really not that much nicer all in all. As a general rule, for street driving purposes the newer car will generally be the better option. More refined, more/better tech, etc. So I'd lean towards the mustang just for that but realistically unless the V8 is an absolute deal breaker I wouldn't pick either one.

The trunk in the corvette isn't bad; my wife and I fit an entire weeks worth of stuff in ours for a road trip a few weeks back.  That's two carry on sized suit cases, a small cooler with drinks, two laptop backpacks, a small tool kit, a case of water, and a box of various odds and ends (snacks, etc.)  That all fit in the trunk without obstructing the view out the rear window.  

  • The car gets 30mpg (or very close to it) when cruising on the highway in 6th gear.
  • The targa top comes off with ease giving you open top motoring when you want it
  • The A/C works amazing.
  • The interior isn't great, but you get an optional heads up display, the radio is a double din so carplay, modern stereo, etc. is all just a call to crutchfield away.  

Now reasons I wouldn't want to drive it every day:

  • long hood making parking/pulling into a spot interesting
  • it's a plastic car that is upwards of 13 years old (assuming you're looking at a 2010 grandsport) so they squeak and rattle.
  • the corvette tax is real and some repairs are expensive 
  • big doors and you kinda "fall" into the car so daily driving it isn't as easy as popping into/out of a small SUV/sedan.

Thanks!  Appreciate the daily driving liveability impressions of the car!

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