Following up on our story earlier this week about Tom Wallace talking about building a lighter, greener Corvette, we have heard from Motor Trend’s well connected sources inside GM that say the Corvette C7 project is currently on hold. It seems the automaker is working to address the interim mileage requirements in advance of the 2020 35 mpg regulations. According to MT, that study could keep development of the C7 on the shelf until late 2009.
One of the strategies that Corvette may have been pursuing in the design of the C7 also appears to have gone by the wayside according our favorite former Detroit adman Peter De Lorenzo of AutoExtremist.com. Pete said last year that the midengined C7 Corvette was a go as GM had addressed the technologies needed to allow for production of a midengined Corvette while still retaining a price point that would effectively guarantee the car could still be available for the masses. De Lorenzo now says that those technologies that were reported as solved apparently were more complex than originally thought so therefore the midengined Corvette won’t be happening anytime soon.
Tom Wallace also commented on a midengined Corvette saying it has the potential to be more fuel efficient but there are currently too many roadblocks to production including the ability to build an affordable convertible model. (I guess it’s tricky finding the space to store the top because the damn engine is in the way!)
And with Wallace again talking about reductions in weight and power, it may be they are taking a hard look again at the Kappa platform, which is set to move to Bowling Green in 2012 anyways.
The stopping and starting of a next-generation Corvette project is nothing new for GM. It happened several times to the C5 Corvette according to the book “All Corvettes Are Red”, so it should only be a matter of time before we hear the green light has once again been given. In the meantime, I’m sure the boys in the design studio will probably still find the time for working on the C7, the next great American sports car.