31 January 2014

C7 or 911?

I’ve been following the development of the C7 Corvette for a long time — everything from trying to pry a few hints out of GM’s Ed Welburn when I’d see him at events to making sure that I was present at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit when it was unveiled in January 2013. And I’m one of those rare guys who is both a Corvette and a Porsche fan, owning both a 1967 911S and a 1963 Split Window coupe.

Having recently taken delivery of a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, I was more than anxious to see how the new Porsche and Corvette stacked up against each other in an informal “daily driver” setting. I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was floored at what you get for the money in the Corvette.  From a seat-of-the-pants standpoint, it was virtually impossible to discern any performance difference between the two cars. I doubt that it could be done on a public road without endangering car, driver and all bystanders.

Although they statistically match up pretty closely, the Corvette’s V-8 felt like it had much more low-end torque, which made it feel like the faster car. It’s a testament to the 911’s advanced PDK transmission that the six-cylinder 911 makes it such a close match.

As an aside, I have to mention that far more people took cell phone shots of me driving the Corvette than the Porsche. Although the 991 is the all-new version of the 911, there’s a lot that’s familiar in it and the noticeable distinctions are less obvious. Not so with the Corvette. It’s really made the leap from America’s sports car to America’s super car. And I am sure the recently announced Z06 will solidify this.

From a build quality standpoint, the C7 is a huge step forward for Corvette. It felt solid and well built, and compared to the Porsche, where I expect the block-of-granite/bank-vault solidity, this is high praise for the Corvette.

My only complaint about the Corvette was the exhaust note. Maybe I was expecting a roar similar to an Audi TDI-powered LeMans car under full load, but it fell a bit flat for me.

As to which car I’d like to drive every day, it’s a bit of a toss-up. In bad weather, the 911’s AWD would give it the nod, but any other day, it depends on your mood — barbeque versus schnitzel, I suppose.

36 Reader Comments

  • 1
    joe colorado February 5, 2014 at 13:17
    Really, the new corvette is so ugly I can not believe anyone would buy it, I own a body shop and if any GM guy ever worked on the any of these cars or trucks they would instantLY trade it for a dodge or FORD
  • 2
    Thumper NJ February 5, 2014 at 13:26
    Having owned a Corvette for 2yrs I would take the 911 C4S all day. It may not be Z06 or ZR1 fast. However its more comfortable, year round usable and plenty quick stock. I will be moving up to a 911 in the next year or so based on the quality and performance of the 911
  • 3
    Paul Dallas February 5, 2014 at 13:37
    Had a 550 Maranello. Now have the new S'ray. Glad I had the 550 but don't miss it.
  • 4
    Bob upstate NY February 5, 2014 at 14:02
    Hey Michael, Thks for insuring our 01 C4 Carrera, 57 Bel air, 40 Willys, & 31 Ford coupe. Our first Porsche since 50 yrs ago when we were married. Thought we should have another for our 50th while we can enjoy it. Rgds Bob
  • 5
    rob steffen las vegas February 5, 2014 at 14:04
    I wish the back of the new corvette was designed as well as the front of the car . To wait this long and to get this design is very disappointing for a corvette fan.
  • 6
    steve san francisco February 5, 2014 at 14:14
    The solution to the exhaust is to install a Corso system. I did it on the C6 and it at least sounds like a sports car instead of a Cadillac
  • 7
    Mark Reynolds Harrison, AR February 5, 2014 at 14:15
    Well, one is a Chevrolet built by Government Motors Corporation and the other is a PORSCHE. I don't have to say any more. Corvette's are everywhere you look, but there are not that many Porshe 911's around. I bet I can count how many I've seen in 10 years on one hand. Corvettes are a "dime a dozen".
  • 8
    Brent Toronto February 5, 2014 at 14:29
    McKeel: A better question for the collector car world wouldn't be C7 or 911?, but rather C2 or 911 longhood? I answered that latter question by purchasing one of each: A '70 911T and a '66 427/425 C2 Coupe. Both insured by Hagerty! Both a blast to drive and both iconic vehicles in their own right.
  • 9
    Ron Schell Michigan February 5, 2014 at 14:36
    Perhaps Mr. Hagerty makes a little too much money. He says he's a Corvette fan,I think he is more an investor. Why would he buy a 2013 Porsche, when he has an association with Ed Welburn of GM, and then ask to make a comparison. Perhaps we should look for an expensive off shore auto insurance company then ask Mr. Hagerty for a comparison. I think he could clearly discern the price difference. Makes one wonder what his every day driver is.
  • 10
    Steve Yachats, OR February 5, 2014 at 14:37
    What is the difference in price with the options? I am betting you are talking $40k. Maybe you should compare a Porsche Cayman S to the new C7. I know you own the Porsche but this is like every R & T comparison between the Porsche and Corvette.
  • 11
    Ken Pickering Rives Edge, TC, Michigan February 5, 2014 at 15:19
    Very interesting story re your new Corvette and your Porsche. I believe the Design Staff guys including Tom Peters did an outstanding job as well as the Chevrolet engineering team. Noticed your '63 Split Window Corvette parked outside your office a few weeks ago If you have not heard the story as to why the Split Window only lasted one year, it was because Bunky Knudsen (the Chevrolet General Manager) said it obstructed his rear vision and he intended to "saw it out of the next model". He did and created a valuable collector Corvette. By the way, I have photo of my newly acquired Mazda Miata parked behind your Porsche in the Hagerty parking space - interesting comparison.
  • 12
    jason Fell Northern Ca. February 5, 2014 at 16:02
    Mr. Hagerty, I can understand how you feel about both cars being you have owned both and driven them. I restored old 65 Shelby and had a 65 FI Vette each had its own road personality and I loved each. I want you to do as I did. Pick your favorite then go to a place that prints license plate brackets. Have them put on the bracket "Bucket List Complete" I did this to my Shelby GT500 (Hagerty insured) I get more looks and compliments then any personal plates I ever had lol.
  • 13
    Asa Godbold South Carolina February 5, 2014 at 16:31
    Spoken like a true gentleman and shrewd businessman; riding the fence and not burning any bridges!
  • 14
    Shawn Atlanta February 5, 2014 at 16:33
    Good insight McKeel. I haven't driven the newest models of either car. I am a fan of both Corvette and Porsche as well. I have a 67 Tri-Power and a 2009 Z06. My brother has a 2009 911 Turbo. We often trade each others cars during weekends. It's amazing how similar and different these two cars are. They both get you from A to Z in about the same amount of time but in completely different ways. In the 911 I feel completely safe and almost bored at speed. In the Corvette I feel the sensation that if I don't respect the car it could get dicey. That to me is exciting and why I prefer Corvette. I will probably buy a 911 one day as well. I enjoy your articles.
  • 15
    Jon Pinardi Wyoming February 5, 2014 at 20:41
    Just read your article. Just returned from the magnificant Ron Fellows Driving School at Spring Mountain Motor Sports Park in Pahrump Nevada and able to drive both cars. The Porsche is a magnificent car, but the new C7 was a complete surprise. Refined, powerful, solid build and with performance and drive characteristics that were astounding. Besides the brute power with 450 hp and 450 pounds of torque, the C7 also gets 29 mpg! The multiple drive modes (5 in total) give the driver everything from comfort and quiet to track performance capabilities. The exhaust note was awesome as we drove the Z51's (a must) with the performance exhaust option from Chevy. You can adjust the exhaust to make it quiet for highway and neighborhood driving or deep and throaty for the track. Best part.....fully loaded LT3 with Navigation, outstanding leather, magnetic ride control, etc. comes in under $80k. I'll take 2.
  • 16
    Dennis Coffin Hot Springs Village Arkansas February 5, 2014 at 11:43
    I was never a Vette fan until I read so many positive articles about the 2014Long story short, I just got mine-not theballs -to-the-walls LT3 but the more tractable LT2 automatic version. It's a convertible and is very quite. The performance is just shy of scary. I personally have never driven a car this quick, yet it handles exquisitly. I don't believe there is anything out there that gives more bang for the buck! Anyone wants to buy a 69 Roadrunner ragtop? Got one for sale.
  • 17
    James Katzen Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada February 5, 2014 at 11:50
    I was part of a crew that put the C-7 onstage at a presentation for CES on behalf of Chevrolet and OnStar. I was impressed by the World Class styling in Pininfarina type. I have a C-3 which I like far more than most of the rest of the designs, but now I commend Corvette for their daring leap to the front of world leading design and innovation.
  • 18
    Kimble Bartlow Scottsdale, AZ February 5, 2014 at 12:07
    Considering the difference in the bottom line costs, I would consider a custom exhaust, (CAT-back), by Corsa, Borla, etc. I would love to have a system made that uses a nice chambered exhaust set-up for that nice Corvette 427/Cobra sound. Yow! KOB
  • 19
    Matt Kempton PA February 5, 2014 at 12:23
    I also am a fan of both cars, but on the porsche side, the 928 was my favorite over any of the other models. I just loved the ultra modern styling and the traditional Front engine V-8, rear drive layout. I only owed an 84 Vette and it was a great car, look how well they held up despite the early naysayers. If I had to chose now, I would Definately take the Stingray. Wish I had the money!
  • 20
    lillyman NY February 6, 2014 at 14:03
    I am also divided between the Vette and the 911, if the Vette had an AWD option, Porsche will be dead as an option for many people who are looking at both vehicles as their next purchase. I understand that the Vette median age group is about 55 years old. But with the new design that age group will be dropping, its one of the best looking Vetts i have seen, excluding the 50's and 60's models.
  • 21
    Gary Anderson Vancouver, WA February 6, 2014 at 14:40
    As a big fan of Porsches, particularly of the 356s, and an owner of a '63 S90 Coupe, I had no idea that Porsche made a split-window coupe in 1963. Is Mr. Hagerty's a 356 or some other model? Or did you mean to say that his is a '53?
  • 22
    Gary Anderson Vancouver, WA February 6, 2014 at 14:43
    Oops, it's a '63 'Vette that's the split-window. Never mind. :-)
  • 23
    L Thoms Calgary February 6, 2014 at 18:31
    Great car coming from GM!! John DeLorean, if he was still at GM would have loved it.
  • 24
    Wally Marsden United States February 6, 2014 at 18:54
    It's Corvette all the way for me! American made, better looks, better performance, better gas mileage, and oh - way cheaper.
  • 25
    Steve Goldenberg Fairfax, VA February 6, 2014 at 06:57
    I have owned a silver '65 Vette coupe with side pipes, knockoff wheels etc. for many years. It still gets the looks whenever I am out and about. I am a big fan of the C2. Up until now I feel that it was the best designed car Corvette ever made. The design still holds up today.
  • 26
    ken NE February 6, 2014 at 08:23
    poor article, a lot of babble, substance for a 12 year old to read.
  • 27
    David Roloson Fairhope, Alabama February 6, 2014 at 11:04
    Love them both!
  • 28
    joe 01240-2544 February 6, 2014 at 11:34
    ALL VETTES after 1967 really stink.....
  • 29
    louis Texas February 8, 2014 at 16:48
    I have a 2014 Z51 Vette and I will gladly take it and buy my wife an SUV with the money left over. Drive the new Corvette and try to get the smile off your face.
  • 30
    Tom B Fredericksburg Va February 10, 2014 at 12:32
    After over 50 years of wanting, and Mustangs, two in number_ a 68 fstbk and a 66 drop top, and a present 68 Road Runner, my new for me 99 vette FRC is the best driver I've ever had! Interesting to read all this input and educational!!
  • 31
    peter skafish naples February 13, 2014 at 10:01
    I had never been a Corvette lover until I drove a C6 Z06. Great car. I still bought an M3 instead and since then have owned 2 911s. This new Vette is an entirely new matter, however. It's awesome in every way. Although I have a 2010 911S with Tubi exhaust and Fabspeed cold air intake, I would consider moving to a new Corvette. For many, I think personal preferences comes down to European car ownership snobbery, whether people admit it or not. The new Vette Z06 will be the equal of any supercar, but what Ferrari or Lambo owner would consider owning one?
  • 32
    Vincent Murphy Marco Island, FL February 14, 2014 at 06:00
    Not even a contest.....If asked to choose between the new Vette or a new 911 , I';d take......... Mr Hagerty's 911S and / or the '63 split window. Either car has tons more personality than the new models. Well done, McKeel !
  • 33
    Randog Spokane February 17, 2014 at 19:33
    I think Chevy hit the nail on the head. For that kind of $$, where can you get a 195mph car with that kind of looks and performance! I'm ordering a 2015 Z51 and picking it up at Bowling Green next year. Because I'm an American, not a German ass kisser.
  • 34
    ken gutwein glen cove, ny March 2, 2014 at 14:42
    RE: C7 Corvette vs. 911. As the owner of Porsche's and the new C7, I agree completely with McKeel that the C7 is a true supercar and an incredible value. You might have wanted to test the optional performance exhaust equipped car however, which would have given you the exhaust note you wanted AND 5 additional hr and lbs./ft. of torque!
  • 35
    Mike Ca August 1, 2014 at 10:23
    Well the new Vette has been our since oct 2013. The design has not won me over @ all. As a matter of fact I have owned one, but can't get over the busy design and Hugh Butt. I sold it cause I started to hate the design. I feel the same way about the new Ferrari designs coming out.
  • 36
    Manases emeryville April 23, 2015 at 19:56
    vettes aint no good for large subwoofers and inclosures. tryed doing a 25000watt system in a 94 zr1 z back glass shattered. sucks

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