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Corvette: The Next Four Door Sports Car?

by Keith Cornett on May 22, 2007

 A Corvette Sedan?GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has been a student of the automobile business his whole life. When he sees success from rivals, in this case its Porsche, he opens his mouth in a sort of “off the cuff” manner and delivers a one-liner that sends car journalists into a frenzy. In an interview with Automotive News, Lutz did just that. Admiring Porsche for extending its brand beyond the two-seater sports car with models ranging from crossovers to sedans, Lutz delivers the zinger de jour: “You could do the same thing with the Corvette”. The Corvette has served GM faithfully for its 50+ year run. During that time, we’ve heard of ideas come and go about the General’s Halo car. Every few years, there is talk of splitting Corvette from Chevrolet to become its own brand. Previously, Corvette engines were installed in the Impala, Camaro and Trailblazer. And with the coming return of the newly redesigned Impala and Camaro, we will probably see Corvette engines in them as well. So, do we really need to have a Corvette sedan? Of course not. GM already has models in place that could compete for the title of the next great four-door sports car, and frankly, the company needs another winner that isn’t a Corvette. A sedan built with “Corvette technology” would be much better received than a Corvette designed with “sedan styling” in mind.
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Corvette Fever MagazineSource Interlink, a distributor of magazines, CD’s and DVDs in supermarkets, discount stores and bookstores announce yesterday that they have agreed to purchase PRIMEDIA’s Enthusiast Media division for $1.2 billion dollars. The Enthusiast Media group is made up of 70 specialty magazines, 90 special interest websites and 65 events. The group posted revenue of $525 million in 2006. Corvette Fever and Vette Magazine are both published by the Enthusiast Media group, along with MotorTrend, Hot Rod and Automobile magazines. The purchase of PRIMEDIA’s Enthusiast Media Group establishes Source Interlink as a vertically integrated company that will publish the magazines and then distribute them in over 110,000 retails stores throughout North America.
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| | | Straightline Blog has a set of photos of a Corvette SS Prototype testing alongside a Ferrari 599. The take on the story is that both the Ferrari 599 and the regular production Corvette both share Delphi’s Magnetic Suspension Technology and therefore Chevrolet engineers are reworking the system to help control the massive horsepower output of the Corvette SS. Last April, Ferrari announced they would be using the MagneRide suspension, which uses shock absorbers filled with a fluid capable of changing damping characteristics on the fly. Delphi’s MagneRide system is used on the Corvette as well as the Cadillac STS and other premium GM cars.

Corvette SS Spy Photo Corvette SS Spy Photo Corvette SS Spy Photo
The track the pictures were taken is unidentified other than “a supplier’s test track in Europe”. Visit the Straightline Blog to view all the photos.
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AutoBlog Tours The Corvette Assembly Plant

by Keith Cornett on May 10, 2007

Corvettes on the Assembly recently took its readers on a tour of the Corvette/Cadillac XLR Assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The plant has been cranking out Corvettes since 1981 and just recently celebrated it 25th anniversary. The factory itself covers 250 acres and has the equivalent of 22 football fields under the roof. Each day, the plant’s 1,200 workers produce up to 170 Corvettes and 16 Cadillac XLR’s on a single shift. It takes 36 hours to fully assemble a Corvette, and during that time, the car will travel 7 miles on the plant’s conveyor system. In the paint department alone, the body panels spend 10 hours winding their way through 2 miles on the conveyor. AutoBlog has a rare glimpse of the paint area, which requires entering a dust-free clean room. Over 50,000 people tour the Bowling Green Assembly Plant every year, and Corvette owners that select the R8C option for delivery at the National Corvette Museum that’s located across the street, get a special VIP tour that allows them to be the first to start their new Corvette. Visit to take your online tour of the assembly plant.
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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”…
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Patrick DempseyActor Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Sheperd on the hit TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”, was named the driver of the 2007 Corvette convertible Pace Car at the 91st Indianapolis 500. The worlds largest single-day spectator event is scheduled for Sunday, May 27th. While Dempsey is know for his acting work, he is no stranger to auto racing. Dempsey is a co-owner of IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 team Vision Racing. He also drives in selected sports car races for Hyper Sport Racing and off-road events.

“Most people recognize Patrick Dempsey from his on-screen endeavors,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “But among the racing community, where Chevy plays a role globally, he is known as a dedicated car and racing enthusiast. Being accustomed to high performance cars and racetracks, he’s a great candidate to drive the Pace Car, and he’ll no doubt appreciate the Corvette’s power and handling abilities.”

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OMFG! Is That A Convertible Corvette Z06?

by Keith Cornett on May 1, 2007

Tonight I was browsing’s 2008 Corvette image gallery when I happened to notice the Corvette parked behind the black 2008 convertible. Yes, it appears to be a Monterey Red Convertible Z06 with a black soft top. There is actually a burgeoning market for chopping the tops off Z06′s and this is probably the end result of an FRC meeting a buzz saw. Click the image below to see a larger version.

Is this a convertible Corvette Z06
Used to be you could walk into the dealership and order your Corvette convertible with the engine of your choice, but those glory days of giving the customer what the want are long gone.
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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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One thing you can always expect from the guys at Chevrolet is that they are going to get the maximum amount of horsepower out of a push-rod small block V8. And then a couple years later they’ll do it again. And a couple years later they’ll do it again. In fact, the Corvette has gained 130 horsepower from its base LT1 300 hp engine in 1996, just 12 short years earlier. This year’s version is called the LS3, a 6.2 liter push-rod V8 is rated at 430 hp. The new V8 with a six-speed paddle-shift automatic can go 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and its top speed is 190 mph.

2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8
The LS3 replaces the 6.0 liter LS2 rated at 400 hp that was the inaugural C6 engine. For production engines, three years is a very short lifespan. However, just because it is no longer installed in the Corvette doesn’t mean it may be destined for other GM performance vehicles including the new Camaro. I’ve read the posts on the forums that discuss how the upgrade in engine for Corvette allows the LS2 to become the Camaro’s base V8. The LS3 engine is truly a marvel. It features a larger bore at 4.06 inches compared to the LS2′s 4.0 inches as well as larger pistons, upgraded camshaft and high-flow intake manifold. Total displacement grows from 364 to 376 cubic inches. But the real secret to the LS3′ success comes borrowed from the Z06 Corvette’s LS7 engine. The LS7 offers several hand-me-downs for the LS3 including new high flow LS7/L92 cylinder heads with the large port/large valve design, and the high flow fuel injectors. Also optional on the 2008 Corvette is the Z06 styled two-mode performance exhaust system. Not quite identical to the Z06. The LS3 still has the 2 1/2 in exhaust compared to the three inches in the L7. The system features butterfly valves that close two of the four ports to reduce engine noise under normal driving conditions, but open up for maximum performance when called for. With the new dual mode performance exhaust, the power output for the LS3 rises to 436 hp and 428 lb.-ft. of torque.


6.2L V-8 LS3

Displacement (cu in / cc):

376 / 6162

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92

Block material:

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum


overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder

Fuel delivery:

SFI (sequential fuel injection)

Compression ratio:


(hp / kW @ rpm):

430 / 321 @ 5900* w/ std. exhaust
436 / 325 @ 5900* w/ opt. exhaust

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

424 / 575 @ 4600* w/ std. exhaust
428 / 580 @ 4600* w/ opt. exhaust

Recommended fuel:

premium recommended but not required

Estimated fuel economy :


Still amazed? Production begins in late July with cars shipping in August/September. Although Chevrolet has not yet announced the pricing for the 2008 Corvette, it should remain similar to the 2007 model that retails for $44,995.
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The Ron Fellows Special Edition C6.RThere was some exciting news about Corvette Racing that came from the Bash at the Corvette Museum. Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows will be fielding a third C6.R at his hometown event, The Grand Prix of Mosport. Joining Ron as co-driver will be none other than C5-R Veteran Andy Pilgrim. Fellows and Pilgrim will be co-driving the special edition White C6.R that was unveiled earlier this year at Sebring. The last time Fellows and Pilgrim shared driving duties together was in 2000. The Grand Prix of Mosport is scheduled for August 26 in Ontario. SPEED will provide the racing coverage. More on this as it develops.
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