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Autoextremist: GM May Greenlight Mid-Engine C7 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on August 22, 2007

A Mid-Engine Ferrari F40Peter De Lorenzo’s Rants column at AutoExtremist is required reading on Wednesdays and this week he may have just hit a home run to the Corvette fan base. Conversations with high level executives lead Sweet Pete to claim that “the Mid-Engined Corvette is not only back on the front burner – it looks to be a certainty”:

It was already supposed to be a done deal that the seventh generation of the Corvette would arrive in its current, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration – albeit slightly smaller, lighter and with two engine choices. There was serious talk of an extremely limited production mid-engined “super” Corvette (fewer than 500 units), which would be built as an adjunct program to the traditional car, but that had not been decided. That’s the way we reported it many weeks ago, and that was the assumption by many in the business as to how it was going to go down – until now. But after my conversations late last week with executives at the top of the company (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons), I can tell you that the “idea” of a mid-engined “C7″ Corvette has not only progressed far beyond the initial planning stages, the engineering on the car is well underway.
Pete goes on to examine the 3 factors that he says changed the internal debate for building a Mid-Engined C7 Corvette. With Pete’s track record and contacts in the industry, he is probably the one person to believe on this subject as Corvette seems to be a cause celeb of his. So if he say’s its coming, after approval from GM brass in September, its coming. We are so ready for GM to make the leap to a mid-engined Corvette for host of reasons. Corvette needs to be the platform and the showcase for these new technologies. But if it has the Corvette name on it, then it needs to be done right: Better than the competition and still be affordable to the masses. Click here to read Autoextremist.com.
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Autoextremist.com Related:
Autoextremist: GM Debating over Mid-Engined Corvette Technorati Tags:
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1980 Dark Brown CorvetteCorvette Conti, our highly proficient conveyor of Corvette insider knowledge has hinted once again about the return of “Corvette Brown”. Corvette Brown and its variations Dark Brown, Dark Bronze and Medium Bronze Metallic have been one of those not-so-celebrated exterior shades that graced Corvettes from the mid-seventies through the early C4 generation. Conti is hearing the new tri-color paint called Mocha Bronze Metallic or “Mica Tint” may be coming sooner rather than later. It’s been over 20 years since a Corvette has been lit up like dark chocolate and since they don’t write songs about “Little Mocha Corvettes”, I say give it another 20. This news, combined with the rumor Conti posted last week about GM allowing customers to choose a caliper color begs the question: What would you paint your calipers if you had a shiny new Mocha Bronze Metallic Corvette?
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
Corvette Buyers To Get Option for Choosing Caliper Color? Technorati Tags:
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2008 Z06 Wheel and Brake CaliperChevrolet has really done an awesome job over the last few years expanding the number of options that allow the customer the ability to customize their ride straight from the factory. A great example of this customer-centric approach is the number of wheel styles that Corvette buyers can choose from. In 2007 no less than nine wheel styles were available, although not every wheel was available for any Corvette. Regardless, the factory has come along was from the days of the C4 sawblades. Rick Conti received some insider news that says the option for color-coded calipers is seriously being considered. The do-it-yourselfers have been painting their own calipers for years, and admirers have the almost universal reaction of “That’s so cool, where can I get mine done”? Nothing can make a set of chrome or polished wheels look even more serious than a nice set of painted calipers with “CORVETTE” engraved on them. Of course the key phrase is “being-considered” with no decision on introduction or costs yet. But stay tuned as this option sounds like a no-brainer to us!
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos Technorati Tags:
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July 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on August 2, 2007

We got the July 2007 Corvette sales numbers from GM today which continue to show a month-to-month and year-to-year decline in sales based on last year’s numbers, but with the model change over and a two week hiatus at the factory last month we expect these numbers to rebound. In July 2007, total Corvette sales were 2,377 vs 2,794 in 2006. For the calendar year, sales are at 20,135 vs 21,857 at this time in 2006. With the new 2008 Corvette, we are staying focused on the excitement of the LS3 engine and the newly refreshed interior. According to various sources, constraints are coming to an end for the 3LT and 4LT packages and the new 2008 Corvette exterior colors – Jetstream Blue Metallic and Crystal Red – are slowly making their way to dealer showrooms.

Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-Jun 17,758 19,063 -6.8%
July 2,377 2,794 -11.4 Jan-Jul 20,135 21,857 -7.9%

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GM.com Related:
June 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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Corvette, Orioles Give Ripken Sendoff to Hall of Fame

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2007

Cal Ripken Jr, the ironman of professional baseball was the center of attention Wednesday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Entering the field in a convertible Corvette, he made his way down the right-field foul line tossing balls into the throngs of fans in the stands.

Cal Ripken Tours Camden Yards in a Corvette
Tonight’s event precedes Ripkin’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. While being known for his all time record of 2,632 consecutive games played, Ripkin is also a member of 3,000 hit club and a 19-time All Star. So other than the picture of Cal in a Corvette, why do I bring this up on a Corvette blog? I’m not even a casual fan of baseball, but I think it’s important to remember that in our current climate of sports scandals, NBA’s betting ref or the NFL’s Vick and dog fighting allegations, there are sports heroes that kids and grownups alike can look to, and Ripken is certainly a person that deserves a victory lap in a Convertible Corvette.
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MLB.com Related:
Video: Real Life Superhero Drives A 1975 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Callaway C16 Speedster to Make Debut at Pebble Beach

by Keith Cornett on July 23, 2007

Callaway Cars released the details of the third model in the C16 lineup today and by all accounts this is the most electric. The C16 Speedster, which its increased horsepower and chopped wind deflectors is the ultimate in topless driving. Two humps rise behind the seats to help with airflow although the thought of pushing the 700 hp car to its 210 mph limit makes me a bit queasy. The C16 Speedster is the third such model in Callaway’s 30 year history. Paul Deutschman, who designed the original 1990′s Callaway Speedster was the designer behind the C16 model. Every body panel is designed with aerodynamics in mind. The signature Callaway badge decorates the car inside and out.

The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster
The heart of this Corvette derivative is a 6.2 liter supercharged intercooled V8 which produces 700 hp and 660 lbs of torque. Estimated 0-60 is 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 210 mph. A newly developed coil-over suspension allows the driver to customize the settings for specific road conditions. Unique to the Callaway C16 line is its carbon wheels that weight 40% less than the lightest aluminum wheels. They feature forged magnesium spiders surrounded by carbon fiber rims. 19′s on the front and 20′s in the rear complete the speedster look. The C16 Speedster will makes its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 19, 2007. Production models will be available this fall and the MSRP is just north of $300,000. The good news? For that much money, the C16 is completely tailored to the buyer’s specifications including interior and exterior colors.
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Callaway Cars via AutoBlog.com Related:
Production Callaway C16 Debuts at Montreal
Callaway C16 To Go Topless in New York Technorati Tags:
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Internet Brands Buys CorvetteForum.com

by Keith Cornett on July 19, 2007

The Corvette ForumTroy Roberts has announced the sale of CorvetteForum.com to Internet Brands. The notice showed up today on the front page of the forum and links to an official announcement created this afternoon. Internet Brands runs several car related websites including CarsDirect.com and Autos.com as well as develops the vBulletin forum software that powers the forum. Other forums announced in the acquisistion include LS1Tech, AudiWorld.com and MustangForum.com. According to the post by Roberts, the plan will be for the Corvette Forum to remain as a stand alone site, and additions in content and features will be coming soon. The Forum was founded in early 1999 and is widely regarded as the largest in our niche with over 110,000 members. Our classified ads website VetteFinders.com has been a sponsor of the site since 2001. CorvetteForum.com recently made the leap to new, faster servers provided by Internet Brands. According to the FAQ of the sale, Internet Brands will be providing infrastructure and technology resources for the site.
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CorvetteForum.com via Alarm:Clock Related:
Source Interlink Buys Publisher of Corvette Fever for $1.2 Billion Technorati Tags:
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PM’s Jim Dunne Debunks Corvette SS Rumors

by Keith Cornett on July 12, 2007

Corvette SS Spy Photo by Jim DunneThe coming of the Corvette SS has generated a buzz on the interwebs that hasn’t been seen since… well, perhaps never. When you’re talking about a brand new $100,000 Corvette, truth and rationale seem to go right out the window. Popular Mechanic’s Jim Dunne, who has taken his share of the uber-Corvette’s spy photos has decided to give readers a reality check by debunking the top five Corvette SS rumors. Myth 1: The Corvette SS will be offered in a manual transmission. False. The LS9 has proven to be too strong for GM’s manual transmissions, so the SS will only be offered in an Automatic. Myth 2: The Corvette SS will use twin turbochargers to develop 650 hp. False. The LS9 has a single supercharger mounted between the cylinder banks. The intercooler appears to be mounted above the supercharger just under the air scoop. Myth 3: Chevrolet will produce 3,000 units of Corvette SS. True. The company is planning 1,500 units each year for two years and then will halt production. Myth 4: The New Corvette will cost $100,000. True. That price point may actually be higher and could end up between $100,000 and $125,000. Myth 5: The Corvette Z06 will be dropped from the Chevrolet lineup. Don’t Know. This story goes both ways with either the Z06 continuing to be placed on the moderate end of the high performance lineup or that it will be gone all together. Here is my take on these five myths: Myth 1: If the Corvette SS will only be offered in an automatic, then there will surely be tears shed by the enthusiasts who believe high end sports cars need a manual shifter to compete with the exotics and other high end competition. On the other hand, there has been a constant drumbeat from the same base to have Chevy offer the Z06 as an automatic. Myth 2: I don’t think anyone believed the Blue Devil/SS was going to be turbocharged. Myths 3 & 4 appear to be dead on. The two year run would take the program to 2011, which is when the C7 is slated for production. My guess is that depending on how well the SS program is received will determine its place in the future C7 lineup. Myth 5: The demise of the Corvette Z06 would cause a lot of consternation among the fan base, especially if the SS program is slated to run only two years. Corvette fans like options, and the idea of a Base/Z06/SS lineup has a lot of appeal.
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PopularMechanics.com via Autonewsguide.com Related:
Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette
Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS Technorati Tags:
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June 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on July 7, 2007

For the first time this year, GM posted a monthly sales total for Corvette that was higher than last year’s monthly total. June 2007 saw 3,055 Corvettes sell compared to 2,938 Corvettes in June 2006. For the 2007 calendar year (January-June) sales total 17,158 Corvettes, still -6.8% off of the 2006′s Corvette sales of 19,063. A couple of factors worth watching for the rest of year will be to see how the 2008 Corvette, with its upgraded LS3 engine and new interior refinements will sell compared to the 2007 model, which set a yearly production total record for the C6 at 40,561 units. The factory also is in the middle of a two-week hiatus with no Corvettes being produced until the plant restarts production on July 16th, 2007.

Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-June 17,758 19,063 -6.8%

Source:
GM.com Related:
May 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Coins and their Ilk Cheapen the Brand

by Keith Cornett on June 30, 2007

Corvette CoinsI started seeing these coins on CNBC a couple of days ago. Some podunk country offers up their coinage to some “collectors” mint who designs a coin that is an exclusive legal, non-circulating tender. Oh, and it’s such a limited deal that you can only buy five. Give me a break. These are simply trinkets that are designed to do one thing and one thing only. Separate you from your money. And since when is .925 considered pure? As a Corvette owner, you obviously have some discretionary money to spend. Are you so gullible to allow these predatory companies think they can separate you from your money simply because it has a Corvette logo on it? Reminds me vaguely of the dialogue in the Chris Farley movie Tommy Boy. Rewritten, it would sound like this, “You could take a dump in a box and then slap a Corvette logo on it and then some sap would feel good about it, and would buy it.” See what I’m saying? In the end, all you really have left is a box of crap that won’t get you three bucks on eBay. You’d be better off putting the $19.95 (plus $4.95 shipping and handling) in your gas tank and going for half a days cruise. Or buy that one little part that you’ve been putting off forever. Me? I think I’m finally going to order that hubcap inset that I lost oh, three or four years ago. For those of you who haven’t see the commercial, it’s playing on Jalopnik.com For those of you who just have to have it because, gasp, it celebrates the 100 year anniversary of GM, order your box of crap Corvette Coins at CorvetteDollar.com
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CorvetteDollar.com
Jalopnik.com Technorati Tags:
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