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Rumors & Innuendo

C7 Corvette to get All Wheel Drive System?

by Keith Cornett on October 3, 2007

Since the GM-UAW agreement became available last week, tons of information usually kept close to the chest has been laid out for all to see and it seems as though a new nugget of information relating to the C7 Corvette is revealed every day. Earlier this week we read about plans to move the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant sometime after 2011. Yesterday we learned that the C7 Corvette could be offered with a dual-clutch transmission and today’s news? All Wheel Drive!

GM and Sweden’s Haldex already have a performance AWD system dubbed XWD that debuted on the Saab 9-3. The AWD system features an electronic differential and can send up to 85% of torque to an individual wheel to prevent slippage, whether it’s from a fast corner or when trying to put power to the ground.

Various accounts state that engineers have been seen testing a GM prototype with a very wide rear track, which is thought to be a test mule for the next generation Corvette.

We are still five years away from the production of the C7 Corvette and I am already dizzy trying to keep up with the details. If all these rumors are correct, in 2012 you’ll be looking at a kappa-based mid-engine Corvette with all wheel drive and some fancy Shmancy dual-clutch transmission.

Yep, that sounds like a Corvette to me…

UPDATE:

Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know what a dual clutch transmission is:

A twin-clutch gearbox or dual clutch transmission (DCT) is a semi-automatic transmission with separate clutches for odd and even gears. The outer clutch drives the odd numbered gears and reverse, while the inner clutch drives the even numbered gears. Shifts can be accomplished without interrupting power, by applying the engine’s torque to one clutch just as the engine’s torque is being disconnected from the other clutch. Since the synchronizers that select an odd gear can be moved while driving the car in an even gear, and vice versa, DCT’s have been configured which shift faster than Formula One cars and other single-clutch AMT’s (automated-manual transmissions, a.k.a. single-clutch semi-automatics); the shift can also be made smoother and more suitable for street-driving than a single-clutch AMT is capable of.


Source:
MotorAuthority.com

Related:
Late Night Speculation: C7 Corvette Moving to Kappa Platform?

A Kappa-Platform Corvette?

Yet another tip from my new friend George led me over to Automotive News where a preview of an article that’s related to the recent GM-UAW agreement and the now famous summary outlining the distribution of future GM products states the following:

Two GM plants are left without long-term products
Orion Township, Mich., and Wilmington, Del., will wait
General Motors’ Orion Township, Mich., plant and its assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., did not have new vehicles designated for them as part of broad job guarantees in GM’s tentative new contract with the UAW. Wilmington does not have replacements for the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Opel GT roadsters after 2011. The contract says the next generation of Solstice and Sky will be built at Bowling Green, Ky.

Whoa, Kappa designated platforms will be moving to Bowling Green AFTER 2011? And the C7 Corvette is now slated to be introduced in 2012. And Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace is also the Vehicle Line Chief for GM Performance Cars, which in addition to the Corvette and Cadillac XLR includes the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and the Opel GT.

Do you see where I am going with this?

A year ago this month, a bomb was dropped by CorvetteConti.com who wrote about an inside source saying there was a possibility of a Kappa-based vehicle wearing a Corvette badge and sporting a V6. The enthusiast community cried NOOOOOO while Zora rolled over in his grave (I know his ashes are in a urn at the NCM, but that visual doesn’t work here).

But let’s drop the V6 aspect of that story for a minute and concentrate on the core concept: a Kappa-based Corvette. Sure we know economies of scale and the dollars saved when the brands share a platform. Motor Trend even mentions the Kappa C7 Corvette possibility in their Nov 2007 issue. We also know that the Kappa can handle a big V8, as Mallet proved by dropping an LS2 into the Solstice. The downside though is that one kappa looks like the others: The Opel GT looks like a Saturn Sky, which looks like a Pontiac Solstice. Imagine driving down the road, seeing a familiar looking car and throwing out a Corvette Wave, only to find out it wasn’t a Corvette at all. Remember the front view of the Fiero anyone?

Of course this is all just late night speculation on my part. I don’t have an account to Automotive News (help anyone?) so the complete story could be just the opposite. For all I know it could say that the Kappa platform vehicles are going to be sharing the Corvette platform in 2012. But I don’t even think “Maximum” Bob Lutz could sell that story…


Source:
Automotive News
CorvetteConti.com

Related:
A V6 Corvette? Hell No Chevy!!!

 

Corvette SS Spy Photo by Jim DunneThe GM Source’s Josh Oliver says the first 2009 Corvette ZR-1 will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Actually, that’s already been speculated, but Josh takes the rumor a step forward by reporting that days after its NAIAS unveiling, the new supercharged 650 hp Corvette ZR-1 will be off to Scottsdale to be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event sometime between January 12-20th.

Should such an event come to pass, the amount of buzz generated by the General would be huge, first with the bounce from the Detroit auto show and then placing the car in the middle of all those car-crazy collectors in Scottsdale with cameras from Speed TV capturing the moment. of course, no word from GM on whether or not this will happen officially or if this is just irresponsible speculation.


Source:
CorvetteZR1Forum.com via Jalopnik.com

Related:
Second Video of Corvette ZR-1 Surfaces

 

New King of the Hill: Corvette Blue Devil/SS is now ZR1

by Keith Cornett on September 6, 2007

Motor Trend is the latest to suggest the new supercharged 650 hp Corvette will have a name that looks to the past: ZR1, the King of the Hill, will be resurrected for the Blue Devil/SS Corvette currently being developed in anticipation of next year’s introduction. I like the name and it works for me, but don’t believe for a second that this is a done deal yet. Remember those previous monikers: Z07, Stingray, SS and now ZR1. There’s a couple good names in that list and while my vote would most decidedly go to Stingray, I wouldn’t be surprised if its none of them. Motor Trend also reports that the Blue Devil/SS/ZR1 will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008.
Source:
Motor Trend Related:
The Blue Devil’s New Name – The Z07 Corvette
Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS
Technorati Tags:
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New Corvette SS Spy Photos Show Design Refinement

by Keith Cornett on August 29, 2007

Just a week ago I was lamenting about the lack of Blue Devil/SS Corvette news and made the observation that this was probably due to Chevrolet making changes based on their previous road testing. Low and behold Popular Mechanics caught up with the Velocity Yellow Corvette Blue Devil/SS and points out some of the changes they have seen on this latest incarnation that are different from previous mules.

Check out the hood bulge and carbon fiber roof Rear spoiler creates downforce at high speeds
 
With that hood, there's plenty of space for supercharger New wheel design with Michelin tires
These biggest change appears to be a bulge in hood that is much more pronounced than on previous versions. It’s always hard to tell with the black covering GM uses to hide, but on this yellow SS mule, the bulge is definitely larger than before. It also looks like GM is testing a carbon fiber roof. While harder to spot on previous spy photos, these new photos again show a black roof, not painted or tinted as a production Corvette would have. Going to a carbon fiber roof would be yet another way that Corvette engineers are shaving pounds off the SS. Other Changes include: A rear spoiler on the back is now extended across the back of rear. This is for added downforce at high speeds. Michelin tires are on the Corvette for the first time as GM has reportedly reopened the bidding between Michelin and Goodyear for the Blue Devil/SS contract. Mudflaps extend to the fenders to cover the width of these Michelin tires. The Wheel takes the traditional 5 spoke “star” in a split design and adds two more between each of the five points. Popular Mechanics surmises that these are actually a weight saving move that allows for lighter materials and more reinforcement.
Source:
PopularMechanics.com
Related:
See our new section dedicated to Corvette Blue Devil/SS News Technorati Tags:
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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.
Source:
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?
Source:
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!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos 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.
Source:
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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Yellow Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos

by Keith Cornett on June 6, 2007

That’s right, we said yellow. The not so super secret (SS) Corvette has been spotted once again on a GM test track by the hound dogs at Popular Mechanics and this time the car was wearing a Velocity Yellow paint job. So for those of you who are counting, we’ve seen the Blue Devil/SS in Black, Red, Blue and now Yellow. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Popular Mechanics refers to the Blue Devil/SS in two other monikers I have yet seen reported anywhere else: The ZRS and the Grand Sport S.

Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos from Popular Mechanics Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos from Popular Mechanics Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos from Popular Mechanics
 
Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos from Popular Mechanics Blue Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos from Popular Mechanics
Click here to read Popular Mechanics’ review of their latest sighting.
Source:
Popular Mechanics Related:
Corvette SS Spied with Ferrari 599 on European Test Track
Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette Technorati Tags:
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