10 Reasons A Corvette Will Never Be A Porsche 911

The Eternal Porsche 911 Vs Corvette Rivalry

The Corvette versus Porsche 911 rivalry is one that has raged for decades. For a long time, Corvette enthusiasts recognized that the plastic fantastic didn’t necessarily have the interior quality or overall refinement of the Porsche. But what it lacked in luxury and refinement, it made up for with attitude, value, and muscle. After all, for about half the price of the cheapest 911 Carrera, you can get most of the performance of the Corvette. Besides, Corvette owners were never exactly interested in Houndstooth seats or a built-in Espresso machine.

In recent years, the argument for cross-shopping the Corvette with the Porsche 911 has been strengthened substantially by the reintroduction of the Stingray. Beginning with the 2014 model year, the Corvette traded most of its plastic pieces for higher quality materials. Soft leather surfaces, colorful stitching, and even some carbon fiber pieces replaced the notorious plastic. The rear bumper received a fierce, angular, and contemporary update. The front fascia, while recognizable, was suddenly exotic. All of these radical changes indicated this new Corvette meant business, and the resurrection of the Stingray moniker made it official.

The Corvette Stingray Changed The Game, But Is It A Porsche 911?

Without a doubt, even if you get a Porsche guy to admit the new Stingray is good, they’re likely to also say, “…it’s still no Porsche 911!” But how does the current Corvette compare against its arch rival, the Porsche 911? Pretty well, but it’s true it’s still not a Porsche 911, and never will be. Here’s why.

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“Refinement”

Let’s get this one out of the way first (especially since none of us even know exactly what it means). Despite there not being an official explanation of what the legendary Porsche refinement means, I’ll attempt to explain the the rationale for the key word Porsche faithful point to when asserting superiority over the brutish American Corvette.

If you take a look at the history of the Corvette, there are core characteristics that have been around forever. A Corvette has always been a V8, leaf springs, and rear-wheel drive. However, the Corvette started off as a roadster, and underwent several aesthetic and mechanical evolutions during its lifetime before becoming the street & track monster it is today. On the other hand, the Porsche, while branching off in several directions, is largely recognizable even compared to its original designs. Porsche has continued to improve its design for decades and, in some ways, has performance achievements that could only come from a long-term commitment to perfecting the original design. (Continues on Page 2)

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A Big Engine Block

If you get into a conversations about engines with a Porsche owner, they’ll like pour themselves a glass of 18th century chianti, put on a monocle, cross their legs and begin espousing all of the advantages of a smaller block and forced induction. Without a doubt they will point to the lighter weight and rear-mounted configuration the smaller block allows. If you’re feeling salty, respond with the following extremely cogent and well-researched counterpoint: “WHO CARES?”

Corvette owners aren’t interested in any of those points. Is the engine big? Is it powerful? Is it over-engineered? Yes, yes, and yes. Good! (Continues on Page 3)

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The V8 Growl

On the other hand, if you love the sound of a lawnmower engine, you’re probably a huge fan of the Porsche. Nothing screams performance like a lawnmower. If you weren’t much of a car person, you might never even realize that the Porsche is, in fact, a very powerful car. There’s a certain element of the car’s personality that is consistent with this subdued exhaust note. You may even be tempted to assign qualities of design superiority to this difference in the Porsche.

The fact is that the Corvette doesn’t want to be subdued, and its faithful wouldn’t have it any other way. The Corvette will never be designed to sound like a lawnmower, and thus, it will never be a Porsche.

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Two Seats

While the Porsche 911 may pretend to have a backseat, the Corvette isn’t afraid to be socially unacceptable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Porsche owners point to the backseat as a massive advantage over the Corvette. To these people, I typically have a few questions. First off, why do you feel it’s important to have the capacity to give people rides in a sports car? Secondly, do you honestly believe you’re fooling anybody? It’s clearly a fake backseat only present to tick off a mark. The Corvette isn’t concerned with such disingenuous social niceties. There’s one passenger seat, and you should consider yourself an important person in the owner’s life if you get to ride in it.

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Social Identity

Whenever someone purchases a car, there is undoubtedly an element of identity that factors into the selection. Even if the person doesn’t think it, they infuse a piece of personality into their car purchase… even if their personality dictates being low key and just blending in. This is undoubtedly amplified when a person purchases a sports car such as the Corvette or Porsche 911. The question is, what does your car of choice say about you?

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The Wave

Corvette owners are a part of a community of people that wave at one another. With just a glance at each other while passing each other on the road, two Corvette owners share an instant affinity. Good luck getting another Porsche owner to wave – they’re too busy listening to Mozart’s 9th symphony and confirming which groceries to pick up with their wives.

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Price

Porsche owners will often put their nose up at the paltry price tag and ubiquity of the Corvette. But guess what? Porsche knows their target consumer wants to spend money. As a result, there are a plethora of ridiculously expensive options that are available to help you fulfill your dream of purchasing a fully-optioned $150K 370HP 911 Carrera. Itching to burn $3,000 on a different color paint? Porsche has you covered. How about $2,000 for some Mahogany wood (ugly) on the interior? Sure. Not a problem.

Corvette owners, on the other hand, are happy to pay $60K for just as much performance and a very nice interior (unless you’re weirdly aware of different types of leather and grades of softness like some Porsche owners).

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Batman

If anyone ever asks why you would ever own a Corvette over a Porsche, simply ask them, “Well, what would Batman drive?” And if you ever have any doubt of this, try to gauge the reaction of people in your neighborhood as a new Stingray. 10 out of 10 times, no matter what they are doing, you’ll see crowds of kids and adults stop and point, and maybe even yell for you to rev the engine.

There’s an instant recognition of the car as something a superhero would drive. The Corvette is a symbol of American engineering and aspiration, and you know this is true by it’s stopping power, and I’m not talking about the brakes.

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Americana

Joking aside, a Corvette will never be a Porsche. Likewise, a Porsche will never be a Corvette. They are Ying and Yang, and representatives of two very different cultures with a common love for performance cars. There is a segment of Americans that truly embrace the culture of Americana. Big, loud, brash and unabashed about it – the Corvette embodies all of these classic staples of mid-century America. On the other hand, there also exists a group of Americans that seem to aspire to the subtly and refinement of our friends from over the pond.

However, these differences in perspective and taste are key ingredients long, healthy, and fun rivalry! So, for that reason, we know a Corvette will never be a Porsche, and we Corvette enthusiasts are completely fine with that.

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