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Cost of Mid-Engine

 
Old 10-27-2018, 11:25 AM
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milkrun
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Default Cost of Mid-Engine

What are the extra costs, if any, of producing a mid-engine car?
In other words, if you took roughly the same components in a C7 and made a mid-engine car, would there be additional expense just because it is mid-engine?
What components would have have to change? Transmission? anything else? Is there extra plumbing? wiring?
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:02 PM
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Supermassive
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(Best Rainman impression)

'Bout a hundred dollars...

Honestly the cost in materials and tooling is not much different from a regular FE Corvette except there's no need for a torque tube or drive shaft. The cost might increase due to the use of a DCT. I think someone stated that the C8 has cast magnesium subframes which could increase cost a bit like the C6 Z06, but due to the relatively low cost of cast magnesium compared to forged magnesium it should be negligible.

Most of any cost difference will be the cost of any new technologies added to the car. If the car comes with magneto-rheological engine mounts on the base model, we could see some added cost there as well.

But to be honest, the powertrain layout change has little to no effect on material cost as long as GM doesn't go carbon fiber monocoque chassis on us, with a full CF body we shouldn't see too much difference in starting prices between the C7 and C8.
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:31 PM
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I agree with the above. Multiple independent and credible sources have disclosed that the price of the base C8 will be within 10% of the current base C7 Stingray MSRP.
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Old 10-27-2018, 01:30 PM
  #4  
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All of these have been shown on the Zerv Leaks or indicated by new GM Patent's. I've applied a value next to each that I feel is comparable to prior option pricing from Corvette and Porsche "Build and Price" functions on their websites. A extreme example of my estimated pricing is the ZF DCT transaxle that has been shown on the Zerv Leaks. It is the same unit that is on the Porsche 918 that sells from Porsche Parts for $69,239.00. I've put a very conservative estimate of only $10,000.00 on that critical line item cost of the car. It could be much higher !!

1. Enhanced and Stiffened 3 part modular Chassis with High pressure castings as seen on Zerv leaks $1,000.00
2. 4 Magnetorheological Coilover Shocks on ME vs 2 transverse leaf springs and 4 Shocks on FE C7 $2,000.00
3. 4 ZF Magnetorheological engine mounts on ME vs standard rubber composition engine mounts on FE C7 $2,000.00
4. ZF DCT Transaxle on ME vs 7sp manual or 8sp automatic with independent differential on FE C7 $10,000.00
5. 4.2L DOHC Two Stage Twin Turbo Charged V8, Gen6 LT7 5.5L DOHC Two Stage Twin Turbo Charged V8, New Gen6 LT2 6.2L OHV V8 as base engine on ME vs LT1, LT4, and LT5 on FE C7 $4,000.00
6. Integrated Intercoolers on ME vs separate intercoolers on C7 FE $500.00
7. Advanced high-pressure die-cast aluminum or magnesium structural ribbed chassis stiffeners, struts, and brackets on ME vs older generation tech on FE C7 chassis $1,000.00
8. Adaptive Aerodynamics or Active Aero as indicated in Patent Application and Zerv leaked CAD views on ME vs fixed aero components on FE C7 $3,000.00
9. Folding hardtop convertible on ME vs soft top convertible on FE C7 $6,000.00
10. Inconel tubular factory short headers on ME vs cast exhaust manifolds on FE C7 $1,000.00
11. Higher Carbon Fiber Body Panel Content on ME vs FE C7 $2,000.00
12. Precision Smooth Cast Alloy Intake Runners from Air Box to Two Stage Twin Turbochargers on ME vs none on LT1, LT4, and LT5 on FE C7 $1,000.00
13. Adjustable suspension(Front axle lift system) gaging by the pneumatic or hydraulic line apparently emanating from the bottom of the LF shock/spring assembly on ME vs none on FE C7 $2,000.00
14. Rear spoiler actuator to be piston style electronic actuator on ME vs Fixed aero on FE C7 $2,000.00
15. Dual Port and Direct injection system on ME engines vs Direct injection only on LT1 and LT4 of FE C7 $1,500.00
16. Digital Rear View Streaming Mirror/Camera will require a flat screen in dash on ME vs regular rear view mirror on FE C7 $1,000.00
17. Optional AKC ZF rear wheel steering unit on ME vs none on FE C7 $1,500.00
18. Optional State of the Art Bose Panaray Sound System on ME vs Standard Bose Sound System on FE C7 $2,000.00
19. AEB (automatic emergency braking) on ME vs none on FE C7 $500.00
20. BSP (blind spot protection) on ME vs none on FE C7 $500.00
21. Advanced mixed-material approach for the lightweight body structure on ME vs older tech on FE C7 $1,500.00
22. New Advanced Headlight and Taillight LED technologies on ME vs older generation lighting tech on FE C7 $500.00
23. FCA/FCW e.g. frontal collision avoidance/warning on ME vs none on FE C7 $500.00
24. Electro-Hydraulic Braking Assist on ME vs standard hydraulic on FE C7 $500.00
25. New ZF Steering Damper on ME vs standard on FE C7 $500.00
26. Swan Style(Aston Martin) upswing doors on ME vs standard door hinge arrangement on FE C7 $300.00
27. Possible electronically actuated manual transmission on ME vs standard manual on FE C7 $1,000.00
28. Potential Hybrid Drivetrain technology as indicated in GM Patent for ME vs none on FE C7 $3,000.00
29. Left and right hand drive for all markets worldwide on ME vs Left hand drive only on FE C7 $2,000.00
30. Potential of all wheel drive since GM has trademarked Sport Control AWD on ME vs rear wheel drive only on FE C7 $2,000.00
31. ZF electronic "Brake By Wire" system on ME vs standard Brake system on FE C7 $1,000.00
32. Higher Quality Interior standards on ME vs Interior Standards on FE C7 $5,000.00

Total $62,300.00
I'm estimating that $30,000.00 of the $62,300.00 will be directly attributable to the Base ME base price with the other $32,300.00 being optional add ons.
That puts the C8 ME Base price at approximately $85,000.00 to $90,000.00 where I've had it all along.
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Old 10-27-2018, 01:52 PM
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Everything you've listed sounds correct, but even if you are off by $10K, I think your price clearly shows that the FE Stingray is going to remain in production for a long time. If Corvette went to an $80K base car, it would lose at least half its buyers. The Porsche Cayman only sells 3K cars annually and it is cheaper by thousands.

BGA cannot function on less than 10K cars annually so the ME Zora would have to conquer all the sports car sales over $80K to have any hope of staying in business.
Hope is not a business model for GM. The FE simply offers more bang for the buck and Corvette buyers insist on value.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:10 PM
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skank
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Originally Posted by PCMIII View Post
Everything you've listed sounds correct, but even if you are off by $10K, I think your price clearly shows that the FE Stingray is going to remain in production for a long time. If Corvette went to an $80K base car, it would lose at least half its buyers. The Porsche Cayman only sells 3K cars annually and it is cheaper by thousands.

BGA cannot function on less than 10K cars annually so the ME Zora would have to conquer all the sports car sales over $80K to have any hope of staying in business.
Hope is not a business model for GM. The FE simply offers more bang for the buck and Corvette buyers insist on value.
I've alway thought that having both would be the best solution. The new freshened C8 FE could start at 60k - 65k and the C8 ME could start at 85k to 90k and everybody would still be happy.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:20 PM
  #7  
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Thank you Skank! If anything your numbers may be a bit low! As well, I applaud your interpretation of the mixture of option's versus standard ingredients. No one has done this to date and it does put things in better perspective. Hopefully the Corvette faithful will get the message that this is not your C7 FE Stingray! This is a far sight more sophisticated and will carry the sticker that will, undoubtedly, accompany it.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:29 PM
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PCMIII
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The Zora's mission is to win it all at the track and no doubt it will do exactly that. But winning it all doesn't come cheap especially when you are taking on Porsche and Ferrari. The idea that Zora is going to be a $60K car is not serious.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:50 PM
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I do not think some of you realize how cheap the parts themselves are.

Development is something else but the end piece cost is for the most part very very low.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:58 PM
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ltomn
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Originally Posted by NoOne View Post
I do not think some of you realize how cheap the parts themselves are.

Development is something else but the end piece cost is for the most part very very low.
Do you really think that all of the R & D isn't going to affect the price dramatically? Do you think that suppliers like ZF, which is providing a complete suite (see the Zerv leaks) from the transmission to the newly released "brake by wire?" And read into that, these are German companies that raise the quality of the vehicle beyond the C7, which does not have the same foreign precision components.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NoOne View Post
I do not think some of you realize how cheap the parts themselves are.

Development is something else but the end piece cost is for the most part very very low.
As I've already explained on my post above. Check out the cost of the ZF DCT Transaxle and my cost estimate adjustment of that DCT/ Transaxle
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by skank View Post
As I've already explained on my post above. Check out the cost of the ZF DCT Transaxle and my cost estimate adjustment of that DCT/ Transaxle
That is not how cars are costed out.

Your talking about amortizing hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars of dev work over the life cycle of a car. Not just piece cost, engineering costs, legacy costs, labor, and a million other things that go into figuring out the cost of a vehicle.

Here is a starting point. An accessory less 5.7l Hemi out of the plant cost $752 in total part cost. I bet the TT motor is around $1800-2000. Labor costs, engineering, support, assembly(including legacy costs) are around 10-11 percent the cost of a vehicle. The vehicle parts itself are the majority but amortized development, cost sharing with suppliers, etc. makes up the rest.

You have to also realize that the cost to build a car today extends years, if not decades beyond the time it roles off the line.

The biggest cost difference between the ME and FE is going to be part sharing cost. There was a moderate amount of part sharing between the C7 and rest of the product line, mostly power train, electronics, stability and safety systems, etc. Suspension is 100 percent unique.

The $5,000 Lutz threw around I bet at the time was 100 percent related to parts that used to shared which now need to be unique. It might all be in the trans axle because the torque tube setup let them use an off the shelf trans and fab it into a trans-axle style setup. That cost however would be offset by an all in one unit.

Those comments were also made a long long time ago and probably are not relevant.

Last edited by NoOne; 10-27-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:56 PM
  #13  
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^^^^^
Exactly.
Costs are spread over the projected life cycle. R&D on a NEW generation ANYTHING is not paid back in the first model year.
Put me in the $65K-$70K base price for the ME.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:02 PM
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Skank, I wish I could be more specific, but you're way too high. That would be marketing suicide for Corvette, for which GM counts on 40K units annually being sold. The market for 2-seat sports cars is not that big, and too many would be priced out. Just look at the number of Z06s vs. base C7s sold, and the latter has been the biggest seller by a huge margin every MY.

The other flaws in your pricing logic include that all that stuff getting used in every model, or even used at all in the C8, and you fail to take into account efficiencies due to volume production. It's much cheaper to build 40K units annually than it is to build 2K. There's a reason exotics go for stratospheric prices.

There will be an ME (C8) version that will sell for not much more than the current base C7. The C7 will not stay in production alongside the new model for more than a very short period of time. Demand is falling dramatically, and it's time for something new.

Lastly, many cite the huge plant expansion as evidence both models will be kept, but that's also spurious logic. When factories are built and/or expanded, companies think 30 years in the future. There may be other models built there eventually, but those plans aren't necessarily cast in stone at present.

Last edited by Foosh; 10-27-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:02 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by PCMIII View Post
If Corvette went to an $80K base car, it would lose at least half its buyers. The Porsche Cayman only sells 3K cars annually and it is cheaper by thousands.
That's a bit misleading. You have to include the Boxster in those figures first of all . . . plus they sell more than that in Europe (vs. the < 1000 Corvettes they sell on the other side of the pond).

However, I do agree they need to keep it under $80K base MSRP to not risk losing market share.

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Old 10-27-2018, 04:03 PM
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Of course my list above is based on retail price value in what we are going to be charged. That's why I tested most of the above on the Build and Price function on both Corvette and Porsche's web sites. Your logic is correct from a pure cost value. But those are not what we are going to be charged come order time.

Most on this forum are forgetting we will have a 60k - 65k C8 FE coming after the C8 ME. Both FE and ME are going forward.

Originally Posted by jimmyb View Post
^^^^^
Exactly.
Costs are spread over the projected life cycle. R&D on a NEW generation ANYTHING is not paid back in the first model year.
Put me in the $65K-$70K base price for the ME.
Lets see your cost evaluations on the list above. Everyone of those component comparisons are happening. We will wait for your analysis of those numbers. This will be very entertaining. My numbers put the ME base price at 85K - 90k and yours are at 65k, only 8k above the barebones C7 Stingray.

Last edited by Steven Bell; 10-29-2018 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Merge Posts
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by skank View Post
Most on this forum are forgetting we will have a 60k - 65k C8 FE coming after the C8 ME. Both FE and ME are going forward.
It's being forgotten because it's almost certainly not happening.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:15 PM
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A 2019 Cayman S with 2.0L 4 cyl. and DCT is over $73,000 to start. Add some typical options and it is $90K with just 300 hp.

The Zora will be $80K to start and with typical options, at least $90K. Producing a winning track car is not cheap, but that is Zora's mission.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:22 PM
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Producing a winning race car has nothing to do with the street version except to meet homologation rules with the basic design. The mission is to sell 40K units.

Folks keep using the Porsche example, but they're lucky to sell 10K cars annually in the US. They survive now on SUV sales.

Last edited by Foosh; 10-27-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by skank View Post
Of course my list above is based on retail price value in what we are going to be charged. That's why I tested most of the above on the Build and Price function on both Corvette and Porsche's web sites. Your logic is correct from a pure cost value. But those are not what we are going to be charged come order time.
There is some confusion between the terms "cost" and "price".

In accounting terminology, "cost" is the actual cost to procure a component. "Price" is what it sells for or list price minus discount.

I have no problem with the list of components above as "price".

"Cost" is a whole different animal because you have to add indirect/allocated overhead, tooling, engineering, marketing, administration, etc. to arrive at the true "cost". Allocated cost to a particular "unit" is done on a logical formula that is determined by accounting "GAAP" methodology. A part can have a manufactured price of $1.00 can increase to $10,00 after factoring in engineering, tooling, etc. Cost accounting will make your head spin......and, yes, I have a BS in Accounting and experience as a CFO for a number of private and public companies.

Anyway, one of the biggest factor (if not the biggest) is the number of units that are projected to be built and sold because most of the sunk costs are allocated over that number. A low MSRP is critical to attract buyers. The lower, the more will be sold and I believe it has to be priced ~$70,000 at base to sell enough. If the ME has a starting price above $80,000 that will really impact the number sold. I am sure GM has modeled the estimated # sold over 5 years vs. the base MSRP.
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