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Blue Devil / ZR1

Corvette SS Spy Photos: Return of the Shaker?

by Keith Cornett on May 9, 2007

Another batch of spy photos has surfaced and these appear to be the real deal. As GM has claimed they are wrapping up performance testing, we can only assume that attention is being turned to the exterior. While many Corvette enthusiasts are hoping for a radically different body style for the SS, these latest pictures show that the SuperVette will probably not differ too much from that of its Z06 siblings. Having said that, these photos do show that GM has something pretty cool up its sleeve.

SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo
Earlier photos of the SS showed the hood heavily camouflaged and now we know why. We are seeing what may appear to be the return of the shaker hood. The hood shows a cutout which may or may not have a polycarbonate or lexan see-through panel. Also appearing on these photos are new side vents behind the front wheels, massive rotors and a set of five-spoke wheels. The Corvette also appears to have the same black matte roof that showed up on the recent Popular Mechanics spy photos. As for my last impression of these photos, let me just say that it is good to finally see the Devil dressed in “Blue”…
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com Related:
Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette

by Keith Cornett on May 1, 2007

Popular Mechanics has nailed the last two spy photos of the Corvette SS, the highly anticipated supervette that will make its debut next year. The Corvette SS, formally known as the Blue Devil, Z07 and the Sting Ray, is expected to push 650 hp from a supercharged V8 and should be priced in the neighborhood of $100,000.

SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo
 
SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo
With these new photos, it does appear that engineers are moving onto other aspects of the development. Popular Mechanics notes the uneven construction of the roof, suggesting that this mule may have a carbon fiber prototype in place. And then there’s the wheels. The black finish makes it hard to distinguish the design, but you can bet there’s something exciting happening there as well. The rear wheels do appear to be extra large and on the 3/4 rear shot, you can see the addition of mud flaps. Lastly, the rear spoiler has been redesigned and features an ultra small third brake light.
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PopularMechanics.com Related:
PM’s Jim Dunne Bags Corvette SS Spy Shots Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Blue Devil/SS Enters Final Tuning Phase

by Keith Cornett on April 16, 2007

Blue Devil/SS Corvette Mule - Photo by Chris DoaneIn a Car & Driver interview with GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, GM’s great pontificator spoke about the development process of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette. Apparently, development of the fastest Corvette yet is moving through the development stages and nearling completion. That’s a good thing to hear considering that GM has frozen the development of other large and powerful rear-wheel drive cars due to the proposed new CAFE regulations. The freeze has put the brakes on the next Chevy Impala and several Cadillac models. But development of the Blue Devil/SS is very much on track, according to Lutz:

“It’s a very difficult vehicle development. This thing has so much power that we have to explore a dynamic envelope that we’ve never explored before. We want the vehicle to be safe and we want it to be predictable, even at speeds that no mortal is ever going to attain in the United States. That’s our obligation. We’re really into a speed and power realm that General Motors has never been in before. We’re way up there with Porsche Carrera GTs and Ferraris.”
One question not yet settled is the horsepower rating for the new Corvette.
In terms of horsepower, Lutz said: “We’re certainly not going to be at 600 because some of our competition is at 600. So, 600 is a number that is not satisfactory for us. I would say comfortably in excess of 600 is the way I would term it.” As for 700 horses, “that would be a stretch. Tom Stephens (GM’s head of powertrain) would say, ‘maybe in the second year.’”
Expectations are the Corvette Blue Devil/SS will make its debut early next year at one of the large autoshows (NAIAS anyone?) and will be produced as a 2009 model.
Source:
CarandDriver.com Related:
PM’s Jim Dunne Bags Corvette SS Spy Shots Technorati Tags:
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PM’s Jim Dunne Bags Corvette SS Spy Shots

by Keith Cornett on March 27, 2007

Popular Mechanic’s automotive spy photographer extraordinaire Jim Dunne snagged a few photos of the Corvette SS running on a GM test track (Milford?) outside Detroit. The speculation is that the SS is one of seven new cars to be introduced at the New York Auto Show in April. Our guess is that it won’t be, as every spy shot we’ve seen is really just an SS power train mule in Z06 clothes. Word on the street is that a new ‘skin’ may differentiate the SS the same way the Z06 is different than a coupe. Still, any glimpse is better than no glimpse at all.

The Corvette SS at a Detroit-area test track The Corvette SS at a Detroit-area test track The Corvette SS at a Detroit-area test track
Popular Mechanics also makes mention off the bumper sticker under the right taillights as perhaps relating to the Duke Blue Devils, a reference to GM Chairman Rick Wagoner’s alma mater. A commenter on the AutoBlog story claims the sticker is actually a simplified map of the Nürburgring, where the SS mules have been testing. Finally, like those who have HEARD the Corvette SS, Jim Dunne describes the sound as nothing you’ve quite heard before: “The sound of the supercharged V8 during acceleration is akin to a big diesel decelerating down—sharp rattle raps—only in reverse.” As to the New York Auto Show appearance, our bet is the Corvette SS utilizes home court advantage by making its first auto show appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in 2008 before hitting the streets in 2009…
Source:
Popular Mechanics via AutoBlog.com Related:
Irresponsible Speculation: Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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…
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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.”
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Detroit Free Press Related:
Podcast: Z06 Corvette, Blue Devil/Stingray/SS and the C7 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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