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”.
Rumors & Innuendo
Corvette Quarterly, the official magazine of Corvette from General Motors has told readers that in an effort to better the magazine, the spring and summer issues will not be published. We also have heard that subscribers have been mailed refunds and the mailers lead us to believe there will be no more print issues for the foreseeable future.
On Corvette Quarterly’s website, the following statement is at the top of the page:
Corvette Quarterly News
Because we value the readers of Corvette Quarterly, we are taking some time to make Corvette Quarterly the best source of Corvette news available. As part of this process, we will not publish our spring and summer issues for 2009.
But please check the website often to find the latest news on Corvette and information on the magazine.
Thank you! Your Corvette Quarterly Team
We contacted Corvette Quarterly through their Twitter account regarding the statement on the home page:
CorvetteBlogger: What’s the word on Corvette Quarterly? Saw the message on the site. Is it moving to an online addition only?
CQMag: The post at the top of our website (cqmag.com) is the official update regarding Corvette Quarterly from General Motors.
The Magazine has a subscriber base of 250,000 and an annual circulation of 1,000,000 copies per year. According to Echo Media, the demographics for Corvette Quarterly are:
- Average Income: $137,000
- Average Age: $53
- Percent Male: 90%
Online at Corvette Quarterly you’ll find full and partial issues going back to Summer 2006. You can view the magazines in a pdf format that is friendly to the magazine experience. That leads us to speculate that the magazine may try to cut costs by going digital only. But the move to cancel issues altogether in the name of providing a better product is lost on us.
Via our friends at BadBoyVettes, the Pratt & Miller GT2 Corvette was seen testing over the weekend at Road Atlanta. Outfitted in flat black and featuring Jake on the doors, the new GT2 Corvette also has the racing team’s motto stenciled appropriately above the rear wheels: Take No Prisoners.
The photos originally come from the forum site www.AmericanLeMansFans.com so we promptly signed up to participate in the discussions as well. You do have to register before seeing any threads.
According to some of those that have seen and heard the new GT2 Corvette during the testing:
The GT2 Corvette is expected to make its racing debut at the Acura Sports Car Challenage at Mid-Ohio in early August.
Timed them for about a 10 minute period around 1pm in nice weather 65+F and got consistent 1:22s (low) with a quick lap of around 1:21.5 and a high of 1:23 (low).
I clocked a couple of high 1:19s on the second day of testing. Car sounds just like the GT1 car.
That’s approaching the fastest GT2 lap at the 2008 Petit LeMans. Considering that these cars are in the very early stage of development, high 1:19 laps are scary fast. Maybe they were using no restrictor (or a larger-that-permitted restrictor) in an effort to test other car components.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Back in January, we brought you news that GM was considering a Grand Sport Widebody for 2010 and now the interwebs have blown up again with the news following a Corvette Forum post by Billings, Montana Chevy dealer Ken Fichtner. I guess a rumor is much more official when you can back it up with the internal model codes from GM. We’ve also got some additional information about the Grand Sport and it’s about the color blue.
Ken’s post on the Forum went viral pretty quick. Here is what he said:
Chevrolet will offer the 2010 in 6 models:
1YY07 Corvette Coupe
1YY67 Corvette Convertible
1YY87 Corvette Z06
1YY87 Corvette ZR1
1YG07 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe
1YG67 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
I haven’t any other information on colors, trim, powertrain, packages, or options.
I will keep you updated as information is available.
Well, we do have some brand new info regarding the 2010 Grand Sport Corvette:
- It will be offered as a widebody (like the Z06/ZR1)
- It will be offered in different color combinations, not just blue/white.
- It will be offered with the LS3 – no engine upgrades.
- Some parts/pieces of Z06/ZR1 may be offered on the GS.
Regarding that last bit of info, we are hearing a brake package may be available but we could also see other items like a differential cooler.
And if you want a blue Grand Sport, you can get one but it will come in Jetstream Blue only. No other new colors are slated for 2010 other than Torch Red replacing Victory Red.
We heard from Corvette Marketing Manager Harlan Charles say at Sebring that the new 2010 models can be seen at the Birthday Bash on April 24th at the Corvette Museum so we are assuming the Grand Sports will be there as well. CorvetteBlogger will be making the trip to the Bash specifically to witness the 2010 introductions and will bring the coverage to the web that weekend.
The Corvette Action Center scored these photos showing the 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition at the decal installation supplier located just down the street from the Corvette Assembly Plant. The decal supplier will be busy this spring as GM is producing 600 of these special editions that celebrate Corvette Racing’s 10 year anniversary and the final year of the GT1 program.
Pricing for the GT1 Championship Edition starts at $65,310 for the 4LT Coupe, $71,815 for the 4LT Convertible and $86,385 for the 3LZ Corvette Z06. Click here for more information:
The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition will make its public debut this Friday at the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring. Check back with CorvetteBlogger as we’ll be in Sebring covering the race and Corvette related festivities.
Season-Opening Sebring Race Marks Corvette Racing’s 10th Anniversary GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes Commemorate Corvette Racing’s Decade of Success SEBRING, Fla. â€“ The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the season-opening race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series to be held on March 21, will mark the start of Corvette Racing’s 10th anniversary in international road racing. The team made its competition debut in February 1999 at Daytona, and competed in its first Sebring 12-hour race the following month, finishing fourth in the GTS class. Since that modest beginning, Corvette Racing has become one of the world’s premier production sports car teams, winning eight consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers and team championships, seven straight drivers’ titles, and five class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chevrolet is commemorating Corvette Racing’s decade of success with the introduction of the GT1 Championship Edition Corvette. These limited edition vehicles (designated Regular Production Option GT1) will be available in coupe, convertible, and Z06 models in yellow or black livery. With graphics packages inspired by the championship-winning Corvette C6.R, the GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes will make their public debut at Sebring International Raceway. Production is scheduled for spring. “There have always been strong ties between production and racing Corvettes,” said GM Racing manager Mark Kent. “Technology developed by Corvette Racing is applied to improve the efficiency, performance, handling, aerodynamics and safety of production vehicles. Now with the introduction of the GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes, the link between the race and street versions is apparent at a glance. Corvette enthusiasts will be able to purchase cars that celebrate the remarkable history of Corvette Racing. The GT1 Championship Edition program is another example of how racing helps Chevy sell cars and trucks and provides a solid return on investment.” The ALMS season-opener also will mark the final appearance of the Corvette C6.Rs in the GT1 class in the Sebring 12-hour endurance classic. The twin Corvette C6.R race cars (chassis Nos. 5 and 6) are beginning their third season, and are scheduled to be retired in preparation for new global GT class rules that will take effect in 2010. These two cars have accounted for 23 of the team’s 74 wins. Corvette Racing has scored six class victories in Sebring, and Johnny O’Connell, driver of the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, notched his record-setting seventh Sebring win in last year’s event. O’Connell and Jan Magnussen, the reigning GT1 champions, will be joined by Antonio Garcia at Sebring, while three-time GT1 champions Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will be teamed with Marcel Fassler in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The addition of Garcia and Fassler for long-distance races will bring the total number of Corvette Racing drivers to 19 since the team’s inception. Corvette Racing will be powered by cellulosic E85R ethanol fuel at Sebring for the first time. The team adopted the renewable fuel made from wood waste after last year’s Sebring race, and used E85R throughout the remainder of the 2008 ALMS season. Cellulosic ethanol was one of the key ingredients in the team’s overall victory in the inaugural ALMS Green Challenge in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans held at Road Atlanta in October 2008. The winning No. 3 Corvette C6.R achieved the best overall score based on performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact under criteria developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and SAE International. Corvette Racing’s use of an alternative fuel on the race track reflects GM’s commitment to producing fuel-efficient vehicles for customers â€“ there are 3.5 million E85-capable GM FlexFuel vehicles on the road today. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 21. The race will be televised live on SPEED from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 11 p.m. ET.
Corvette Action Center
Officially Official: The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Editions
Details Emerging on the 2009 GT-1 Championship Edition Corvette
2009 Corvette Competition Sport Package Pricing Revealed
Introducing the Limited Edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette
Chatter has been building over the last week about the possible return of Torch Red as a color option on the 2010 Corvette. Corvette Conti says Motown sources are telling him that Torch Red will be available as well as one other new color. Could that new color could be related to the expected return of the Grand Sport?
Conti thinks that one such color that could be used on the 2010 Grand Sport is Imperial Blue which was featured on the AllState 400 Corvette Z06 Pace Car in 2008.
What hasn’t really been discussed yet is which color(s) may be dropped to support the addition of two new colors. We are assuming that Victory Red would be retired with the return of Torch Red as opposed to dropping the darker shaded Crystal Red. However, with the Cadillac XLR being retired, it could open up additional capacity to Corvette to add another color without first discontinuing an existing color.
What ever the case, these kinds of tidbits are usually out on the table and confirmed by GM just prior to the C5/C6 Bash at the National Corvette Museum in April. We’ll be attending the show this year and you can count on us to bring you all the sites and sounds of the new 2010 Corvette as well as an update on the NCM’s expansion project.
Update: The Corvette Grand Sport was introduced on April 24, 2009 at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash. We have updates which include:
Talk of “Change” is in the air, but luckily our focus is on Corvettes and what may be coming our way in 2010. A CorvetteForum member was perusing the GM computer system and claims he saw a Grand Sport option for both Coupes and Convertibles in 2010. The RPO Z16, used in 1996 to describe the Grand Sport package was also mentioned. However, something else is afoot, as we are seeing how just one word is causing the Corvette enthusiast community to swoon: widebody.
A widebody describes the Corvette Z06′s increased width over the Coupe and Convertible models due to the flared front and rear fender panels that house the larger Z06â€™s wheels and brakes. A Widebody conversion, especially the rear portion which when done by itself is referred to as a “widebooty, is one of the more popular C6 Corvette body modifications which can cost upwards of $10-$15K.
The last few special editions rolled out by GM have been nothing more than special paint schemes and embroidered seats, no doubt conceived by marketing types to sell more Corvettes. Normally, we are okay with that but some special edition Corvettes require a little something extra to make them special. As in the case of the coming 2009 Competition Sport Corvette, is it more of a performance model over that of a regular Coupe because it comes with a user-affixible numbers to paste on the doors?
A Grand Sport widebody on the other hand changes the game. A unique body style would make the Corvette special. Add some goodies like the Z06â€™s brakes and then wrap it up in the Grand Sport livery with special paint and interior trim and youâ€™ve got a guaranteed winner.
Like any rumor, those that know aren’t talking and those that don’t anything are talking too much. Watching the chatter over the next couple months will be interesting and it gives us something to look forward to. Hopefully as we get closer to the Corvette Bash in April we will start to get some solid news that will surely please the enthusiast community: The return of the Grand Sport Corvette.
AutoSport Magazine is reporting that Corvette Racing will not return to France next summer to compete one last time in the 24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 class as originally planned due to budget constraints. However Steve Wesoloski, director of Chevrolet’s road racing program denies the decision has been made.
Corvette Racing has won at La Sarthe 4 times since 2000 and finished 2nd in class last year, but due to the ongoing financial crises, the team has been told to reduce its racing budget next year. Should the AutoSport Magazine report be true, you would think that this decision would call into question the whole strategy of running the GT1 program during the first half of the season as those races are essentially tune-ups for the 24 Hours of Lemans in June.
While Wesoloski denies the cancellation rumor, he does add the caveat that the final decision will based on the bailout discussions in Washington:
“We are still going ahead with our plans for a reduced programme of Sebring, Long Beach and Le Mans,” he said. “No one has told me otherwise. We are, of course, prepared for all eventualities. It all hinges on what happens in Washington.”
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
It was just two weeks ago that Motor Trend reported the next generation Corvette would be pushed back to 2014. With turbulent economic crises threatening the very existence of the Big 3 automakers, word comes from AutoWeek that GM has put plans for the C7 Corvette on indefinite hold with no official word or set timetable.
Luckily, none of the sources are suggesting that the Corvette will go away. Corvette Vehicle-Line Executive Tom Wallace told AutoWeek “No one is saying we’re not doing Corvettes. We’re still bullish on Corvettes.” When asked directly if there was any chance the Corvette would die, Wallace stated emphatically “No way.”
Talk is now about the how the C6 Corvette’s run can be extended. One version of the story is that the C6 could be upgraded significantly in 2012 as a ’13 model. Wallace says we’ll see changes sooner than that. “There are changes, some neat stuff, coming for 2010 that I can’t talk about yet.”
Read the entire article at AutoWeek.
A proverbial bombshell was dropped last night when Patrick Gramm of DigitalCorvettes.com posted news about GM halting Corvette ZR1 production. Patrick was told by a source that ZR1 production was to be halted and the model may have been cancelled despite no known issues that would warrant a production stop.
The story was given credence with Corvette Conti’s post about Corvette ZR1 orders with production dates suddenly disappearing from the system. Corvette orders are assigned a Target Production Week (TPW) and when those TPWs start disappearing, people get nervous.
We confirmed the order process with Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore who told us that not seeing a TPW is completely normal, especially on early production cars. Dave says they did the same thing to the Corvette Z06s when they came out. “They do this so as not to get people mad or nervous if there’s a delay during the early production.”
Fact is, production has been halted on the Corvette ZR1 as well as the other three models this week as GM idled the Bowling Green Assembly plant to allow for a bit of constriction in supply. Salvatore says that he is hearing that once the plant’s operations resumes next week, Corvette ZR1 production will be doubled to make up for the loss numbers during the shutdown.
Finally, Autoblog weighed in, pulled out the rolodex and called GM’s Terry Rhadigan, Global Communications Director for Chevrolet, who responded with a terse statement designed to put this rumor to bed: “Not True”.
Going back to the Digital Corvettes post, there are several members with “sources” within the Corvette program that have provided reliable information over the last few years when it comes to Corvettes in general and the ZR1 specifically. They are saying that this rumor is not true and not what they are hearing. One of the members said the following:
The huge amounts of money that were spent on the ZR1 were for R&D. In other words, most of the money was spent before the car even went into production. That money is spent and gone…it’s never coming back. Killing the ZR1 at this point won’t get that money back and wouldnâ€™t really save that much money in the grand scheme of things. There might even be penalties to pay to suppliers for cancelling the parts contracts. Even if you do cancel the contracts, how much are you really saving by not paying for the parts for a 2000-3000 unit/year vehicle program? Again, not that much in the grand scheme. It makes more sense to keep building this super-limited run vehicle and get all the money out of it you can. They will sell every one they build.
We count Patrick of DC as one of our online friends and his information is usually reliable. But I feel for the guy who may have led him astray on this if that’s the case. Patrick followed up with a comment in the thread that mentioned “balls” and “chopping block” so we’ll see where this story goes.