I figured it would only be a matter of time before someone got hold of a GM executive for comment on the recent rumors of a mid-engine C7 Corvette equipped with a V6 and a wet dual-clutch transmission. Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering Karl-Friedrich Stracke spoke with Automotive News and Autoweek on Tuesday and said the next-generation Corvette C7 will not be a mid-engine sports car and no V6 is planned or being tested.
Rumors & Innuendo
Autoweek, through its sister publication Automotive News, included some future product news for Chevrolet in yesterday’s News Brake which includes a couple nuggets on the C7 Corvette. The podcast tells us nothing new and I’m having flashbacks to Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter’s rant back in April when he called out the automotive magazines for making up stories which contain pure speculation and no facts to support the argument. Now that I’ve set the table, let’s see what Autoweek is serving.
According to the UK car site Autocar, the mid-engine Corvette project is back online. That is if you believe an unnamed source from Saab engineering. Talk of mid-engined Corvettes have been around since 1960′s CERV-I so its no surprise that the rumor is back now that General Motors has moved beyond last year’s financial difficulties. As easy as it would be to discount the story, and some blogs have, there may be some truth based on what we know from the GM-UAW Strike of 2007.
Since 1981, the Chevrolet Corvette has called Bowling Green home. But a news report by a Michigan television station suggests that America’s Sports Car may be moving its production to Lansing.
Sources within GM have told Motor Trend that the C7 Corvette will be one of the first cars to feature the next-generation small block V8. General Motors recently announced its investment of $890 million to develop and manufacture the powerplant. The new V8 will feature aluminum blocks and heads, direct injection and a new combustion system.
Last week we posted a video of Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter talking about the C7 Corvette while at the C5/C6 Bash at the Corvette Museum. The conversation was prefaced with Juechter discussing the automotive magazines and their misrepresentation of the facts and he specifically called out Automobile Magazine for their June 2010 article in which, according to Tadge, they implied that he was endorsing a V6 power plant for the next generation Corvette. Today we received an email from Automobile Magazine with a link to the article in question as well as their response to Juechter’s criticism.
Automotive News reported that 10 GM studios across the globe have submitted designs for the next generation Corvette. GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn says of the designs submitted, some “were absolutely phenomenal”. Welburn suggests the global initiative is part of an effort by GM to create a C7 that appeals to both buyers in Europe, where Corvette sales has gotten little traction, and to a younger US buyers, who tend to favor imports.
Photo Credit: photo-by-me on Flickr
The Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring is huge in the world of sport car racing and GM has used the event in recent years to leverage the media and enthusiasts gathered in Central Florida to showcase new products. Just last year we witnessed the public debuts of both the 2009 ALMS GT1 Championship and Competition Sport Editions.
A GM official told Jalopnik that they were considering letting Corvette ZR1 buyers build their own LS9 638 horsepower engine that would then be installed in their very car. This was confirmed by Tom Read from GM’s Advanced Powertrain Technology Communications who said “We are considering the program”.