While the C7 Corvette may still be a couple years out, rumors and speculation are already running rampant as to what it will look like and how it will be powered. Popular Mechanics magazine sent one of their writers out to the streets of Detroit during July’s Dream Cruise to search for clues regarding the next generation Corvette and he came back with some interesting tidbits of info.
According to PM writer Colin Mathews, the Woodward Dream Cruise is a target rich environment for this kind of automotive detective work. Over 40,000 cars and trucks are on parade in front of 1.5 million spectators, many of whom are employees of the suppliers, engineering firms and vendors who support the Corvette. While many gave Mathews the cold shoulder, others were more than willing to discuss what they know. Here are some interesting quotes from industry insiders he picked up along the way:
“Y1XX. Yup. That’s the platform code for the new one. From what I seen, it’s gonna have square taillights. And it ain’t gonna be a 2013, neither. Supplier tooling is ramping up for production in May, June, July of 2013. C7’s a model-year 2014 car.”
On the C6 Corvette’s instrument cluster and nav/radio unit: “That’s ancient GM technology“. She (who looks and talked like an insider) hinted the next-gen would be vastly superior.
Colin also crashed a private party filled almost entirely with young auto designers. One of the attendees claimed to have seen the C7 said the new Corvette will have “Ferrari-style quarter windows for the first time since the C2“. The young designer added “the C7 will knock the current Vette out of the water. It won’t be an old guy’s car anymore“.
Another designer which knowledge of the C7 program said that base horsepower will “approach that of today’s Z06 (505 hp) and that the Z06 power levels will climb within a stone’s throw of the radical 638-hp of today’s supercharged ZR1“.
Like many, Colin believes the new Corvette will be the first car to feature the upcoming Gen-V Chevy small block V8. That engine is rumored to have a 5.5 liter displacement and will feature an aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. Turbocharging may still be a possibility for the higher performance models as well.
As far as analyzing what was presented in the article, We find the most interesting quote to be the return of the quarter windows. As this was a design feature on the 1963-67 Corvettes, and with GM’s Ed Welburn hinting the return of the split rear window, it makes us believe the C7 Corvette’s design may indeed contain several retro design cues. The insider’s comment regarding the square taillights also gels with current Chevy designs like the Camaro and the newly redesigned 2013 Malibu, which ditched its round taillights for the square Camaro-styled versions.
What is encouraging is that Mathew’s final conclusion is in line with what we’ve been hearing – the new Corvette will see improvement on all fronts, and especially in the areas where we find deficiencies in today’s current generation. From interior quality to power and fuel economy, the C7 Corvette is poised to be vastly improved where it counts.
You can check out the full article at PopularMechanics.com.