As I write this, I am as of yet unconvinced that this information is official. But because everyone else is writing about the Blue Devil officially being named the Corvette SS, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and give my two cents.
The latest blog posts from Winding Road, Autoblog and Corvette Blog about the supercharged Corvette being called the SS are all based on information from DigitalCorvettes.com member Explorer_97. A week ago, Explorer_97 created several threads and posts for what appears to be substantial information relating to the development and production of Corvettes. The reason why I am hesitant about this is because we know nothing about Explorer_97 and where he gets his information. However, DigitalCorvettes.com founder Patrick Gramm says that Explorer_97′s credentials are good and that the information appears to be accurate. Knowing Patrick and his passion for hunting down sources for Corvette production news and information, as well as opening the wallet to pay for an occasional Corvette spy photo, that’s good enough for me. For now at least.
So what does Explorer_97 tell us about the Corvette Program. Here is a recap:
The Supercharged Corvette will be called the SS. It has been assigned the GM Program Code of GMX245 SSC. Production begins the summer of 2008*. It will be powered by the LS9 and should be rated around 650 hp. Annual production volume is expected to be 1,500 cars. The SS will make its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show.
* This timeline doesn’t sync with what GM VP Bob Lutz said at the Chicago Auto Show two weeks ago. He said the Blue Devil/SS will be out the summer of 2009. Explorer_97 claims it is summer of 2008. Of course Lutz says the car will be 600hp while others including Explorer_97 say 650 hp. Since the Viper just hit 600 hp, my money is on the 650 hp number for the SS.
CORVETTE COUPE & CONVERTIBLE:
The Corvette has received the green light for the next generation (C7). The coupe and convertible will make their appearance in the summer of 2010. No word if the coupe will come out first followed by the convertible or if both will be introduced simultaneously. Both the Coupe and Convertibles have received GM Program Codes. They are GMX721 (C7 Coupe) and GMX711 (C7 Convertible).
The Z06 will continue production into the C7 generation. According to Explorer_97, it may be introduced 1 to 1.5 years after the Coupe and Convertible. GM Program Code for the C7 Z06 is GMX731.
No mid-engine Corvette, no Kappa-platform Corvette, no V6 Corvette.
I personally prefer the Sting Ray moniker myself, but I am okay with SS. Some are arguing that the SS brand has been too diluted in the past and doesn’t hold the mystique it once did. Well, my friends, if you’ve got a 650 horsepower Corvette and you call it the SS, then you’ve just raised the bar for all future SS-badged vehicles. For any other car to contain the SS emblem, it had better be a top performer for its class.
As someone pointed out in the Autoblog comments, these rollouts will give the “Corvette brand” three different models in the mold of the classic Camaro line up: Base – Z06 – SS. Obviously I think the strategy is a winning combination for Corvette and GM and am also wondering if GM may also be planning the same return to the three model lineup for Camaro as well.
DigitalCorvettes.com: C7 Corvette
Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009