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Rumors & Innuendo

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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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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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.
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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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The 2009 Cadillac CTS-VLast month GM’s Vice Chairman “Maximum” Bob Lutz was derided by many including myself on this blog for making the comment about taking a look at producing a four door Corvette. Along comes the new issue of Motor Trend magazine which has a story about the next generation Cadillac CTS-V, which will have none other than a “detuned” version of the SuperCharged V8 Blue Devil Corvette engine under the hood. Could this be the first step in the evolution of a 4-door Corvette? The news is just another example of the ongoing horsepower wars and we think this is great news for GM as it continues to position the Cadillac against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. However, the information from the Motor Trend article is not entirely correct:

What’s good for the Blue Devil is good for the Cadillac CTS-v. The next-generation muscle-Caddy, which is expected in the 2009 model year along with the quicker-than-Z06 Chevrolet Corvette, also will get the supercharged LS7 7.0-liter powerplant. While the Blue Devil, which will be named Z07, will have about 700-horsepower (“Trend,” June), expect the engine to be detuned somewhat for the CTS-v to about 600 horses.
The Blue Devil engine is expected to be the LS9 – a supercharged 6.2 Liter V8 that should produce upwards of 700 hp. It’s not a blown version of the current Z06 Corvette’s LS7 7.0 Liter V8. Others have speculated the Cadillac engine will have the supercharged LSA 6.2 liter V8. Both are supercharged variants of the new LS3 engine debuting in the 2008 Corvette later this year, but the LSA will have about 100 horses less than the LS9. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, let’s get back to the plans for the CTS-V. Motor Trend says the 4-door sedan will get an updated suspension with stiffer springs and shocks, Brembro Brakes and a host of exterior changes that will include front and rear spoilers and a mesh grille. Click here to read the Motor Trend article and I would also recommend reading the comments about this story on AutoBlog.com
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Motor Trend
AutoBlog.com Related:
Corvette: The Next Four Door Sports Car? Technorati Tags:
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New for 2008 Corvettes: Jetstream Blue Metallic

by Keith Cornett on May 29, 2007

2008 Corvette in Jetstream Blue MetallicWay back in January we learned that a new exterior color called Jetstream Blue Metallic would be replacing the popular Lemans Blue Metallic on the 2008 Corvette. Our friend and proud new papa Rick Conti has just got his hands on the first photo of Jetstream Blue Metallic painted on an entire car, not just the fender as we saw David Hill carrying around May’s C5/C6 Bash at the Museum. The new color, coded 85U is reminiscent of previous lighter shades of blue used on Corvettes like Nassau Blue, Marina Blue and Mulsanne Blue. Also debuting in this photo is the new QG7 High Polished Wheel. The wheels high polished shine makes a nice contrast against the Jetstream Blue exterior and should be even more striking on black and red Corvettes.
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
New Paint Chips Unveiled for 2008 Corvette
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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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Autoblog.com Related:
A V6 Corvette? Hell No Chevy!!! Technorati Tags:
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Edmunds.com 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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Straightline Blog
AutoBlog.com Related
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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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DigitalCorvettes.com Related:
Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette Technorati Tags:
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