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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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Things We’d Like to See: An Automatic Z06 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on February 19, 2007

I nearly fell over when visiting CorvetteConti.com this morning as one of his headlines reads “SOOOOO, Are they making an AUTO Z?!”. I said to myself “finally!” and clicked the link. Unfortunately, the General still says no, despite Rick’s photographic evidence to the contrary. Circumstances appear to make this Corvette one of a kind, which could be very fortunate for the new owner.

They tried to make this a Z06 Automatic They tried to make this a Z06 Automatic
Rick Conti was delivering a 2006 LeMans Blue Z06 Corvette to his customer Joe from North Carolina. He looks inside the cockpit and noticed the paddle shift buttons on the wheel, yet the 6-speed manual transmission is in the car. Rick mentions that his customer has taken the fluke in stride and promises the photos will be seen within GM from Detroit to Bowling Green. Our opinion is that someday this Corvette could be worth more than others from the same year because of the factory install error, especially if the error can be documented. Who knows what kind of price it might bring at the 2047 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car auction. We agree with Rick though. If GM were to offer an automatic in the Z06, they’d sell a bunch of them.
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
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Video: Daytona 500 Z06 Corvette Makes TV Appearance

by Keith Cornett on February 17, 2007

On Friday, Fox News aired The Fox Report with Shepard Smith live from the Daytona International Speedway. In the background was the Z06 Corvette Pace Car. I captured a segment which just happens to included news that GM may be in talks to acquire Chrysler as well as the Waltrip-ping NASCAR cheating story.

Click here to see our growing collection of Corvette videos at youtube.com
Source:
FoxNews.com Related
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PRIMEDIA Selling Corvette Fever, Vette Magazines

by Keith Cornett on February 15, 2007

Corvette Fever MagazinePRIMEDIA, the company that publishes Corvette Fever and Vette Magazines, as well as other popular automotive titles including Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Automobile has announced that it is exploring the sale of their Enthusiasts Media division, which includes 70 magazines, 90 websites and 65 events. The Board of PRIMEDIA may also decide to the spin off the company and take it public if a sale doesn’t pan out. This move could eventually lead to the demise of one or both of the Corvette magazines. As a subscriber to Corvette Fever for the last 10 years, I’d definitely be sad to see it go. But there are just too many Corvette-themed magazines aimed at a very targeted enthusiast base to see how keeping both titles can remain profitable. Are there enough subscribers and advertisers to support all of them? Another factor is the rise of digital media. The impact of the internet has got to force the magazines to adapt better by offering more on their websites than I think any of them have to date. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
Source:
Yahoo Finance
Autoblog.com Related:
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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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Video: Special Edition Corvettes at the Chicago Auto Show

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

MotorTrend has a nice video of the two special edition Corvettes that were introduced last week at the Chicago Auto Show. The video has an interview with Corvette Project Manager Harlan Charles who discusses the build and release dates as well as selected highlights of each Corvette. Harlan says that most of the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvettes will be built in March with release to dealers and the public in April and May. The Indy 500 Pace Car Replica will have a few early cars built for the race committee but those slated for consumers will be built during May and June and will only be available only after the race on Memorial Day weekend.

MotorTrend.com TV
Check out the video at MotorTrend.com
Source:
MotorTrend.com Related
Chicago Auto Show: Special Edition Corvettes Heat Up The Windy City Technorati Tags:
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While temperatures hovered in the single digits outside the Chicago Auto Show, inside things were heating up over at the Chevrolet display as the two new special edition Corvettes were unveiled to members of the media. Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows was on hand to introduce his signature ALMS GT1 Championship Corvette Z06. Fellows, who owns a silver Z06, becomes the first individual in Corvette’s 54 year history to have his name on a special edition Corvette. 399 of the Artic White Corvettes are planned. Sharing the stage with the RFALMSGT1C Corvette Z06 was the Corvette that will be pacing the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th this year. It’s the first time since 1998 and only the 5th time that a replica will be produced for the public. You better get in line fast if you want one. Only 500 are planned.

Ron Fellows with his ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette 2007 Ron Fellow ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette 2007 Ron Fellow ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette
2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
The Chicago Auto Show also has webcams set up throughout the venue and you can pan and zoom in on the different displays. Here is the camera that is closest to the Chevrolet display.
Source:
Edmund’s Straightline Blog
Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
GM Confirms Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06 Technorati Tags:
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Is This The New 2008 Corvette Wheel?

by Keith Cornett on February 4, 2007

Is this the new 2008 Split-Spoke Corvette Wheel?Last week’s unveiling of the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica has now caused a secondary stir among enthusiasts. Appearing on the Replica is a set of split-spoke wheels not yet seen on any other production Corvette. In January, we posted Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info which mentions a new split-spoke wheel design. So what do Corvette enthusiasts think about the new wheel? A poll on CorvetteForum.com says no. With nearly 300 votes as of Sunday morning, 49.8% voted NO, 31.7% votes YES and 18.5% were UNDECIDED. So what are your thoughts on the wheel?
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com
CorvetteForum.com Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info Technorati Tags:
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Europe to get LeMans Victory Edition Corvette

by Keith Cornett on February 3, 2007

2007 Victory Edition Corvette CoupeCompleting GM’s trifecta this week of news about limited production Corvettes with ties to racing, I came across an international news story that GM may also be preparing to launch a special edition Corvette for the European Market. Celebrating the success of Corvette Racing at LeMans, a very limited series of 250 “Victory Edition” Corvettes will be produced. The Victory Edition Corvettes will be available in either Black or Velocity Yellow with Competition Grey wheels. Highlighting the interior are two-tone leather seats and Corvette flag emblems, a carbon fiber look interior trim and the unique numbered “Victory Edition” badge. The Corvette Coupes will be powered by the LS2 6L V8 with the choice of a 6-speed manual or the 6-Speed paddle shift with automatic mode. Every “Victory Edition” Corvette will get a numbered car identification interior badge. Buyers are invited to participate in a 1 day free Corvette Drivers Training event with professional instructors at selected race tracks across Europe. The VE Corvette will be available in Europe at the beginning of March 2007. Last year there were 1,250 Corvettes sold in Europe, so based on recent trends, the “Victory Edition” Corvettes could possibly comprise 20-25% of total Corvettes sold. No official word yet on the wording on the badge, but we’re hoping for something that says “Corvette Kicks Ass.”
Source:
DueMotori.com Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
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