Corvette Visits Spaceport America (Gallery)

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Forum member meets other fast car fans at America’s only spaceport.

Corvette Forum member nmvettec7 (who obviously lives in New Mexico and drives a C7 Corvette) recently got a chance to visit Spaceport America, along with some other VIPs who happened to drive exotics. When you drive a C7 Corvette, even a base Stingray, you are driving a fast car that easily embarrasses the supercars we all lusted after in the late 20th century. So it takes a very special crowd to make the ultimate evolution of the front-engined sports car seem even a bit pedestrian, but sometimes it does happen.

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Like when you are parking your red corvette, and someone one-ups you by pulling up in their screaming yellow Ferrari 360. The rear-engined Italian may impress the valets at the country club, and it is certainly a bit rarer than a late model Corvette, but performance-wise it is past its prime. The sweet tenor of a Mediterranean tuned 3.6 liter V8 sounds incredible at full song, but isn’t even putting down 400 hp. The Corvette is faster in a straight line, and chances are, just as quick when the road gets twisty.

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If you need attention, and your neighbor already has a yellow Ferrari, a bright orange metallic Lambo is the way to go (unless you prefer day-glow green). Truly the car for the extroverted, the Lamborghini Gallardo is nearly as powerful as the Corvette, and just as fast (or faster). Corvette buyers will be able to console themselves with the $150,000 they saved when they lose a drag race against the raging bull by a few tenths of a second. Smart money says the Corvette is the better performance buy, but who wouldn’t take the bull by the horns if they just won stupid Powerball kinds of money?

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But then, what about the McLaren MP4-12C? The McLaren isn’t just flash or an expensive brand name, but seriously advanced racing technology wrapped in just enough road car to make it street legal. Obviously, it is the smallest of the bunch here, and only has a 3.8 liter V8, but its twin turbos make it the most powerful with about 600 hp. McClaren’s Formula One experience allow them to undercut the Corvette’s base weight by hundreds of pounds as well. A base model C7 should be able to hit 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, but the 12C gets there in less than 3. This is the thinking man’s hypercar, and he better be a super genius too, because McClaren demands more than $200k for one.

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Spaceport America is a fully functioning launch and landing site run by the state of New Mexico, and is home to Space X and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. There are no reports of four-way, high speed test runs being conducted with impossible to miss cars recently, so we have to assume nmvettec7 was just there for the tour. Since obviously there are not many commercial space flights happening out there, why not let the local car guys have a little fun?

There’s already a thread going comparing the cars, but it went off the rails and became chrome wheels vs. black painted. Join in here and voice your opinion.

Bryan Wood is a longtime car and motorcycle enthusiast who writes for Harley-Davidson Forums and Corvette Forum, among other auto sites. Plus, he runs his own blog, Pilez & Driverz.

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