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Blue Devil / ZR1

No Jail Time for Corvette SS Spy Photographer

by Keith Cornett on February 23, 2007

Josh Oliver from TheGMSource.com has looked into the allegations that the Spy photographer of the Red Corvette SS mule was being held in police custody and claims that that simply isn’t the case.

“We did a little research of our own and can confirm, with the utmost certainty that the gentleman in question was NOT arrested or placed in police custody. TheGMSource has been able to confirm that a civil complaint was filed today by General Motors in Romulus, Michigan. We can also confirm that no criminal charges have been filed by the Romulus Police Department and that… …an investigation is still ongoing. What is expected to happen next is a detective will be assigned to the case if it is deemed necessary. While we can not state specifics, we are told that the civil complaint is in regards to “a prototype being pictured by an employee.” So, to set the record straight. The gentleman in question was NOT arrested, nor placed in Police custody, and criminal charges are pending depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.”
We’ll keep you up to date as the story evolves.
Source:
TheGMSource.com Related:
Corvette SS Spy Photographer Fired, Jailed!
Irresponsible Speculation: Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos Technorati Tags:
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Irresponsible Speculation: Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos

by Keith Cornett on February 22, 2007

Not to bash Winding Road over the freakin head again, but with new photos of the supposed Blue Devil/SS Corvette making the rounds again, the first question people are asking is “Is that real or is Winding Road messing with us again?” Here we have a group of photos taken from an unknown source so I think many of us may be gun-shy. We’re still gonna post them, but that thought in the back of our head saying “fraud” is going to stick with us until proven wrong. But I digress. This group of photos was first posted on the Fast-Autos.net forums by Chikara83. Reading some of Chikara83′s previous posts, there is talk about how the “shop” gets in vehicles directly from GM and “oh I think that may be the Blue Devil/SS Corvette”. Chikara83 apparently works at an air-freight warehouse where items are shipped to and from Germany. Could the new Corvette be on the way to the ‘ring? Chikara83 even talks about driving Blue Devil/SS: “God almighty this thing is fast!!! it had carbon ceramic brakes and you can hear the supercharger whistlin. That Vette has zero traction in 1st and 2nd. it felt like over 600 [hp], drove c6s and z06s b4 and their more controllable.” What is also kind of funny about these photos is that they appear in a viper vs vette forum pissing contest. Chikara83 first chimes in on Page 2. So let’s recap. GM leaves supersecret Corvette in a warehouse without supervision. The help has full access to the unprotected supersecret Corvette including taking the unprotected supersecret Corvette out for a spin and to “do burnouts”. Does this sound like GM to you? Here are some selected photos. They were dark so I made some adjustments to lighten as much as possible without losing too much detail:

Spy Photo: Corvette SS/Blue Devil The LS9 Supercharged Corvette SS/Blue Devil The LS9 Supercharged Corvette SS/Blue Devil
Ceramic Brakes for the Corvette SS/Blue Devil The Corvette SS/Blue Devil Got Carbon? The Corvette SS/Blue Devil
Here is the analysis from AutoBlog.com: The hood and front quarters are wearing camouflage to cover changes in those panels. The low-pressure area behind the front wheels makes the perfect location for extractors, which are likely fed by the high pressure area at the base of the windshield. Together they provide a good path through the engine bay for extra cooling air. That’s a nice, tidy explanation for why the camo is where it is, too, so we’re going with it. There’s also a vent in the leading edge of the rear quarter panel, which we presume is for rear brake cooling. For more photos (albeit dark photos), view the AutoBlog.com Gallery
Source:
Fast-Autos.net via AutoBlog.com Related:
Spied: DigitalCorvettes.com Posts First Pics of Blue Devil Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Corvette SS Spy Photographer Fired, Jailed!

by Keith Cornett on February 22, 2007

Both Jalopnik and AutoBlog are reporting that the guy who took the pictures of the red Corvette SS mule has been fired and is now in custody. The photog worked at EMO TRANS, the company responsible for shipping the Corvette SS mule to Germany for testing on the Nurburgring. A couple of nights ago, he took the first pictures of GM’s closely guarded LS9 powerplant, the supercharged V8 residing in the red SS test mule. Jalopnik reports that the he was taken to jail in Romulus, MI. I revisited the thread on Fast-Autos.net where the hubbub began and that thread appears to have been removed.
Source:
Jalopnik
AutoBlog Related:
Irresponsible Speculation: Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos Technorati Tags:
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Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS

by Keith Cornett on February 21, 2007

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:

CORVETTE SS:
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). CORVETTE Z06:
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. MYTHS DEBUNKED:
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.
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com: C7 Corvette Related:
Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009 Technorati Tags:
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Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

Blue Devil/SS Corvette Slated for 2009With the latest pronouncement by GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz that the Blue Devil/SS/Sting Ray project is in the works, we’re wondering if we’re going to get a new confirmation at each and every car show from now until mid-2009. That’s when the limited-edition uber-Vette is expected as a 2010 model. At the Chicago Auto Show, Bob let fly the following statement “Call it horsepower wars. In summer 2009, Chevrolet will add a limited-edition Corvette producing about 600hp.” And according to Automotive News, Lutz said “There is a distinct appetite for something beyond the Z06 in performance, beyond the Z06 in exclusivity and beyond the Z06 in price.” The blue devil/SS Corvette project has been in the works for some time and its existence as a project was confirmed last year. Bob’s latest statement is Chevrolet’s shot across the bow of Dodge, who last month introduced a 600 horsepower Viper SRT10 at the Detroit Auto Show. GM would “not take that lying down” Lutz said. Still most interesting about this latest confirmation is the question of Corvette as a “brand”. Lutz apparently talked about how Corvette “has taken on the character of the a brand” and can support several models. The 600-650 hp supercharged Blue Devil/SS Corvette would be at the top of the horsepower food chain, followed by the 505 hp Z06 Corvette and then the regular production Coupe and Convertible Corvettes rated at 400 horsepower. Past quotes by GM people including GM’s head of performance cars Tom Wallace have mentioned that the new C7 Corvette could be coming our way as early as 2010. Does this mean that the Blue Devil/SS will be the C6’s swan song, or could we be expecting something brand new altogether…
Source:
MotorAuthority.com Related:
GM Accepts Dodge Viper Challenge Technorati Tags:
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GM Accepts Dodge Viper Challenge

by Keith Cornett on January 12, 2007

“Maximum” Bob Lutz, GM’s Vice Chairman said on Thursday that those involved with Corvette won’t let the new 600 hp Dodge Viper SRT10 keep its crown as the most powerful US sports car very long. Lutz was in a meeting with industry analysts and was asked about Chevrolet’s plans to produce the Corvette Blue Devil/SS. Lutz acknowledged that “a recent competitor” has surpassed the 505 hp Z06 Corvette. “As you all know, it is not our policy to discuss future product programs. However … ,” he said to laughter from the audience, “it is very important for Corvette to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States.” Chevrolet’s General Manager Ed Peper was also asked recently about how Corvette will respond to the Dodge Viper 600 hp Challenge. His cryptic reply? “We’re looking at some things going forward. I can’t talk about them right now, though.” So the real question is will the Blue Devil/SS Corvette meet the Dodge Viper’s 600 hp or are we going to see the bar raised higher? Bob Gritzinger, senior editor for news at AutoWeek magazine had this to say: “We all know the new Corvette is out there. The car is in development and it’s been speculated that it will have about 650 horsepower. … It’s supposed to be here in 2009.”
Source:
Detroit Free Press Related:
Podcast: Z06 Corvette, Blue Devil/Stingray/SS and the C7 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Irresponsible Speculation: Another Corvette Spy Photo?

by Keith Cornett on December 5, 2006

In the latest chapter of VetteGate (I sure hope we are nearing the end!) the debate that Winding Road wants you focus on is not how they mislead the public and their peers, but how this whole exercise has, according to Winding Road’s online editor Chris Paukert “opens up a valuable debate into the small but substantial economy that’s popped up around spy photography, and more honestly, artist’s renderings. Much of it is based disproportionately on speculation, and while some of that is healthy (especially when qualified as such), the issue of quality-control needs to be revisited. If that dialogue among readers, publications, and photographers is the unintended consequence of our story, that’s wonderful.” So in the spirit of said debate, I submit what appears to be a spy photo of an unknown prototype. It has the characteristic rear fascia and distinctive cue’s of a C5 Corvette. So perhaps Winding Road, with their infinite wisdom and ability to walk the high road and doing what’s best for the automotive community while looking down on the rest of us for irresponsible speculation, can please help me with my quality control. Because you know us dumb bloggers, if it says Corvette, we gotta run with it…

New Corvette Prototype?
Many of you have seen and commented about the letter I received from Winding Road asking me to remove their images from www.CorvetteBlogger.com. Here are five sites that are still posting their most valued “intellectual property”. I’ve contacted several of them and guess what? They have not been asked to remove the images: - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2956978
- http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67032
- http://web.camaross.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487840
- http://forums.streetfire.net/showthread.php?t=13038&page=1&pp=10
- http://forums.finalgear.com/showthread.php?t=15174 Tomorrow, we will definitely be moving away from this story. All that’s been said, well has. Besides, the word coming from CorvetteConti.com is that there is a Special Edition White Z06 in works that could possibly show up at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Woo Hoo!!! Stay tuned for details!!! Image: Honda-Tech.com Related:
Winding Road Fakes Corvette SS Pics – Looses All Credibility
Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues
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Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues

by Keith Cornett on December 4, 2006

My interest in this story was beginning to wane. After three days of VetteGate – the creation of a fake Blue Devil/SS test mule by Winding Road for the expressed purpose of spreading misinformation across the Internet – I found that there wasn’t really much more to say. I see those following the story have divided into two separate camps. The first is the “It’s just a joke, get over it” camp for which most people that don’t have a Corvette are in, and the second is the “Where is the journalistic integrity” camp, where I fall into. So I was all set to move on. But then I got an email today from Winding Road’s Online Editor Chris Paukert, who asked me to remove the photos and story showing the creation of the fake Blue Devil SS:

Keith, Appreciate you chiming in on the faux Blue Devil ruse, even if your opinion is obviously different from that of our publication. It’s certainly a debate worth having, and we encourage you to continue to discuss the matter in your (and any other) forum. That said, by hosting and posting our copyrighted material, you are breaking the law, and we would appreciate it if you’d remove all Winding Road material immediately. You are welcome to link to our magazine or website (or, if you prefer not to do so, that is fine as well),but screen captures of our text and images are illegal and will be treated as such. http://www.corvetteblogger.com/index.cfm/2006/12/1/Winding-Road-Fakes-Corvette-SS-Pics–Looses-All-Credibility Please let us know of your compliance within 48 hours. Thank you for your time. Best, Chris Paukert
Online Editor
So here is where I see the hypocrisy in this request, which by the way, I have honored. Winding Road created a lie that they hoped would spread across the internet and it worked. AutoWeek, MotorTrend and others all picked up on the lie as well as enthusiast sites like the forums and of course, us. Winding Road didn’t spread the lie, but because they created it, they are ultimately responsible. Now, when it comes to the truth being told and setting the record straight, they don’t want that information out there. They want to control it. A publicity stunt where the prize is measured in page views and downloads. This is why their “ruse” as they put it, has ultimately caused them more backlash then I think they expected. Here are some quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy:
Chris Doane:
If I had to guess, Autoweek, Motor Trend and The Car Connection aren’t laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype. It was, after all, a fairly convincing forgery. Needless to say, this obviously doesn’t make those outlets look good in the credibility department. Some of you may think these media outlets don’t have any credibility to begin with. That’s fine if you think that, but we’re talking solely about this particular incident. Brenda Priddy:
I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the “prank”. Frankly, my major concern was that our actual “spy photos” would lose their value – their creditability. I’ve already had dozens of e-mails from readers questioning our Blue Devil / Stingray photos, which are in fact actual General Motors’ prototypes.
I take the stance that had this prank been pulled by a couple of guys somewhere, well okay, very funny, you got me. For years the media tells us not to believe what we see on the Internet. Those of us who make their living online certainly know that to be true, and Winding Road should too. There is an old saying about how a bear doesn’t shit in his own cave. And that’s exactly what Winding Road did. They were the bear and we were the cave. It’s just now dawning on them they have to live in the cave too. Source: AutoBlog.com | Winding Road Disclaimer: I did not speak nor solicit the quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy directly. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of said quotes at this time. While they did come from a respected online automotive blog, unless I get a sworn deposition that is notarized and contains verifiable DNA from both Mr. Doane and Ms. Priddy, we will not be able to stand behind these remarks as either truthful or accurate. Welcome to the new world of automotive journalism, courtesy of Winding Road.

We got duped, folks. Not just me, either. Every Corvette fan that has been following the development of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette was suckered along with all the automotive blogs and “legitimate” magazines that have followed the story. Winding Road calls the print article “Gamesmanship: The Corvette WR”. The ruse? To build a Blue Devil/SS Corvette mule in the hopes that it would be photographed and published on competitors magazines and websites. Here are the November 16th photos of the Blue Devil/SS and the accompanying story that a student named “Yonni G” just happened to be cruising near Milford and just happened to have his dad’s camera and just happen to be quick enough to squeeze off a couple frames..

Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Yonni’s Comments:
“As I was driving I saw the prototype way ahead of me on the road, and it looked like a really aggressive Corvette. Luckily I had borrowed my dad’s camera for a project at school and had it with me in the car and snapped some shots as it passed by. The car was amazing! It sounded very powerful and definitely did not seem like your everyday Corvette.
So, before I get to my comments about how Winding Road just threw its credibility out the window, here are the images from their Jan 07 print edition:
    • Charles D. Fowler, III: I stopped subsribing to both after many years, and within a year or two of even having a “feature” article accepted and published, after meeting Corvette Fever execs at Carlisle. With the merger, I...
    • Jeff McKay: I also asked a local dealer and they knew nothing about it. How do I order it myself? I think that would be faster than trying to convince them they should know about it.
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • tonyman262: I have an 89 C4 & an 07 C6, both white. After seeing the CUE system; the daughter may get the 07, I NEED a C7 with the CUE system. The 89 C4 stays with me. The C7 (artic white of course) could just end up being the new...
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