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Rumors & Innuendo

GM Accepts Dodge Viper Challenge

by Keith Cornett on January 12, 2007

“Maximum” Bob Lutz, GM’s Vice Chairman said on Thursday that those involved with Corvette won’t let the new 600 hp Dodge Viper SRT10 keep its crown as the most powerful US sports car very long. Lutz was in a meeting with industry analysts and was asked about Chevrolet’s plans to produce the Corvette Blue Devil/SS. Lutz acknowledged that “a recent competitor” has surpassed the 505 hp Z06 Corvette. “As you all know, it is not our policy to discuss future product programs. However … ,” he said to laughter from the audience, “it is very important for Corvette to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States.” Chevrolet’s General Manager Ed Peper was also asked recently about how Corvette will respond to the Dodge Viper 600 hp Challenge. His cryptic reply? “We’re looking at some things going forward. I can’t talk about them right now, though.” So the real question is will the Blue Devil/SS Corvette meet the Dodge Viper’s 600 hp or are we going to see the bar raised higher? Bob Gritzinger, senior editor for news at AutoWeek magazine had this to say: “We all know the new Corvette is out there. The car is in development and it’s been speculated that it will have about 650 horsepower. … It’s supposed to be here in 2009.”
Source:
Detroit Free Press Related:
Podcast: Z06 Corvette, Blue Devil/Stingray/SS and the C7 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Monterey Red To Be Phased Out in 2007

by Keith Cornett on January 3, 2007

2007 Corvette - Last Year for Monterey RedFollowing up on our conversation yesterday with Rick Conti from CorvetteConti.com fame, we learned that Monterey Red is the second of two colors being phased out during the 2007 model run and will not return for 2008. The other color to be dropped is LeMans Blue. Monterey Red was the third most popular color for Corvettes in 2006, making up nearly 15% of all Corvettes produced. The color was one of two shades of Reds currently being offered on Corvettes, the other being the bright Victory Red. Monterey Red is the darker of the two shades of red. We are still waiting to find out what color will be added to the Corvette lineup for 2008. As Conti mentioned the new color has been assigned RPO code 89U and starts with Crystal Clar***. I did a bit of looking at the Corvette Black Book and saw that there was a dark shade of Red, almost maroon, that Corvette used from 1980-1982 called Dark Claret. Being that the two shades of Red combined for 32% of total Corvette colors, and that Chevrolet has offered multiple shades of Red on Corvettes for the last few years, it makes sense that we might expect another shade of Red to join Victory Red for the 2008 Corvette.
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com via CorvetteConti.com Related:
Final 2006 Corvette Production Numbers Technorati Tags:
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Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info

by Keith Cornett on January 2, 2007

CorvetteConti.com has posted a bevy of changes coming to the 2008 Corvette and probably the biggest letdown is that the Blue Devil/SS project is going to be released as a 2009 model year instead of 2008. I had heard some rumblings late last year that the supervette model was being pushed back, but of course we won’t know for sure until we have confirmation from GM. But now for some good news regarding the 2008 Corvette. Engine:
It appears that the LS3 6.2L V8 engine is a go for the new model year. The LS3 is slated for the coupe and convertible models. Specs for the new engine have yet to be released, so we are still unsure what the horsepower rating will be. Exterior Colors:
This is the last year for LeMans Blue. Rick doesn’t think that GM will even carry the color through the end of the model year. Initially we thought that GM would be resurrecting Mulsanne Blue for 2008, however, it looks like they will instead introduce a new blue called Bluestream(RPO 85U). Another exterior color from 2007 will also replaced but we don’t yet have confirmation on what that color is or what the new color will be named. We do know that Atomic Orange Metallic will be available for the 2008 Corvette. Interior Colors:
Coupes and Convertibles will have 9 interior choices. It looks like all 7 that are being produced for the 2007 model will carry over to 2008 and there will be 2 new choices called 245 Sienna Custom Leather Wrap and 425 Linen Custom Leather Wrap. The Z06 Corvette will also pick up these interior combinations. Options and Wheels:
Coupes and Convertibles will be getting a fourth options package, 4LT. So for coupes, you can choose 1,2,3 or 4LT and convertibles will offer 2,3 and 4LT. The Z06 is also picking up a new package of 3LZ. Unfortunately, we do not yet know what the packages contain. Wheel choices are the QG6, the Split Spoke standard wheel, QX1, a Split Spoke Wheel in Competition Grey, and the QG7 Forged Polished wheel. No sign yet of the QX3 Chrome wheel option. A different axle will be available on the automatic. GU2 is a 2.73 performance axle for the 6 speed automatic. Lastly, a couple new RPO codes have shown up, but we are unsure what or how they will be used. They are NPP and CCR. Rick Conti always seems to get this information before anyone else and more often than not, his info is right on the money. Please visit CorvetteConti.com and make sure you register to be a member while you are there. Thanks, Rick!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
2007 Corvette Last Year for Le Mans Blue? Technorati Tags:
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Name Games: GM Renews ZR-1 Trademark

by Keith Cornett on January 1, 2007

ZR-1 Emblem

It recently came to the attention of some enterprising Corvette enthusiasts with a bit of time on their hands that GM has renewed its federal trademark for ZR-1, the option code for Corvettes built from 1990-1995 with the 32-valve DOHC LT-5 engine. A trademark extension was filed on December 5, 2006 and it appears the purpose of the filing was to allow GM the use of the moniker for merchandise and accessories related to the ZR-1 Corvette. However, I did a little more digging at the United States patent and trademark office and found that a renewal for the ZR-1 trademark was made November 3, 2006 for the use of “Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles”.

From the USPTO:

Word Mark ZR-1
Goods and Services IC 012. US 019 021 023 031 035 044. G & S: Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 77036100
Filing Date November 3, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) General Motors Corporation CORPORATION DELAWARE 300 Renaissance Center P.O. Box 300 Detroit MICHIGAN 482653000
Attorney of Record Timothy G. Gorbatoff
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Now it would be irresponsible speculation on my part to think that GM would have an interest in using the ZR-1 RPO code for the Blue Devil/SS Corvette. There is a line of thinking that GM wouldn’t use the ZR-1 RPO for the Blue Devil/SS because the term is so closely aligned with the 1990′s LT-5 Corvette. However, the use of the ZR-1 RPO in the 90′s was actually the second time it was used. GM first introduced the ZR-1 package back in 1970 which included the LT-1 engine (350ci 370hp), M22 transmission, heavy-duty power brakes, transistor ignition and aluminum radiator. Fifty-three Corvettes were ordered with the package during its three-year availability.

Use of the ZR-1 name for a new “King of the Hill” Corvette actually makes more sense than some of the other names suggested like the Z07. That RPO was related to a suspension package in both the seventies and nineties, and doesn’t really ooze of high performance history that GM appears to be fond of dusting off and reusing in new applications.


Source:
United States Patent and Trademark Office
DigitalCorvettes.com
CorvetteForum.com

Related:
The Blue Devil’s New Name – The Z07 Corvette

 

Irresponsible Speculation: Another Corvette Spy Photo?

by Keith Cornett on December 5, 2006

In the latest chapter of VetteGate (I sure hope we are nearing the end!) the debate that Winding Road wants you focus on is not how they mislead the public and their peers, but how this whole exercise has, according to Winding Road’s online editor Chris Paukert “opens up a valuable debate into the small but substantial economy that’s popped up around spy photography, and more honestly, artist’s renderings. Much of it is based disproportionately on speculation, and while some of that is healthy (especially when qualified as such), the issue of quality-control needs to be revisited. If that dialogue among readers, publications, and photographers is the unintended consequence of our story, that’s wonderful.” So in the spirit of said debate, I submit what appears to be a spy photo of an unknown prototype. It has the characteristic rear fascia and distinctive cue’s of a C5 Corvette. So perhaps Winding Road, with their infinite wisdom and ability to walk the high road and doing what’s best for the automotive community while looking down on the rest of us for irresponsible speculation, can please help me with my quality control. Because you know us dumb bloggers, if it says Corvette, we gotta run with it…

New Corvette Prototype?
Many of you have seen and commented about the letter I received from Winding Road asking me to remove their images from www.CorvetteBlogger.com. Here are five sites that are still posting their most valued “intellectual property”. I’ve contacted several of them and guess what? They have not been asked to remove the images: - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2956978
- http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67032
- http://web.camaross.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487840
- http://forums.streetfire.net/showthread.php?t=13038&page=1&pp=10
- http://forums.finalgear.com/showthread.php?t=15174 Tomorrow, we will definitely be moving away from this story. All that’s been said, well has. Besides, the word coming from CorvetteConti.com is that there is a Special Edition White Z06 in works that could possibly show up at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Woo Hoo!!! Stay tuned for details!!! Image: Honda-Tech.com Related:
Winding Road Fakes Corvette SS Pics – Looses All Credibility
Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues
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Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues

by Keith Cornett on December 4, 2006

My interest in this story was beginning to wane. After three days of VetteGate – the creation of a fake Blue Devil/SS test mule by Winding Road for the expressed purpose of spreading misinformation across the Internet – I found that there wasn’t really much more to say. I see those following the story have divided into two separate camps. The first is the “It’s just a joke, get over it” camp for which most people that don’t have a Corvette are in, and the second is the “Where is the journalistic integrity” camp, where I fall into. So I was all set to move on. But then I got an email today from Winding Road’s Online Editor Chris Paukert, who asked me to remove the photos and story showing the creation of the fake Blue Devil SS:

Keith, Appreciate you chiming in on the faux Blue Devil ruse, even if your opinion is obviously different from that of our publication. It’s certainly a debate worth having, and we encourage you to continue to discuss the matter in your (and any other) forum. That said, by hosting and posting our copyrighted material, you are breaking the law, and we would appreciate it if you’d remove all Winding Road material immediately. You are welcome to link to our magazine or website (or, if you prefer not to do so, that is fine as well),but screen captures of our text and images are illegal and will be treated as such. http://www.corvetteblogger.com/index.cfm/2006/12/1/Winding-Road-Fakes-Corvette-SS-Pics–Looses-All-Credibility Please let us know of your compliance within 48 hours. Thank you for your time. Best, Chris Paukert
Online Editor
So here is where I see the hypocrisy in this request, which by the way, I have honored. Winding Road created a lie that they hoped would spread across the internet and it worked. AutoWeek, MotorTrend and others all picked up on the lie as well as enthusiast sites like the forums and of course, us. Winding Road didn’t spread the lie, but because they created it, they are ultimately responsible. Now, when it comes to the truth being told and setting the record straight, they don’t want that information out there. They want to control it. A publicity stunt where the prize is measured in page views and downloads. This is why their “ruse” as they put it, has ultimately caused them more backlash then I think they expected. Here are some quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy:
Chris Doane:
If I had to guess, Autoweek, Motor Trend and The Car Connection aren’t laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype. It was, after all, a fairly convincing forgery. Needless to say, this obviously doesn’t make those outlets look good in the credibility department. Some of you may think these media outlets don’t have any credibility to begin with. That’s fine if you think that, but we’re talking solely about this particular incident. Brenda Priddy:
I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the “prank”. Frankly, my major concern was that our actual “spy photos” would lose their value – their creditability. I’ve already had dozens of e-mails from readers questioning our Blue Devil / Stingray photos, which are in fact actual General Motors’ prototypes.
I take the stance that had this prank been pulled by a couple of guys somewhere, well okay, very funny, you got me. For years the media tells us not to believe what we see on the Internet. Those of us who make their living online certainly know that to be true, and Winding Road should too. There is an old saying about how a bear doesn’t shit in his own cave. And that’s exactly what Winding Road did. They were the bear and we were the cave. It’s just now dawning on them they have to live in the cave too. Source: AutoBlog.com | Winding Road Disclaimer: I did not speak nor solicit the quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy directly. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of said quotes at this time. While they did come from a respected online automotive blog, unless I get a sworn deposition that is notarized and contains verifiable DNA from both Mr. Doane and Ms. Priddy, we will not be able to stand behind these remarks as either truthful or accurate. Welcome to the new world of automotive journalism, courtesy of Winding Road.

We got duped, folks. Not just me, either. Every Corvette fan that has been following the development of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette was suckered along with all the automotive blogs and “legitimate” magazines that have followed the story. Winding Road calls the print article “Gamesmanship: The Corvette WR”. The ruse? To build a Blue Devil/SS Corvette mule in the hopes that it would be photographed and published on competitors magazines and websites. Here are the November 16th photos of the Blue Devil/SS and the accompanying story that a student named “Yonni G” just happened to be cruising near Milford and just happened to have his dad’s camera and just happen to be quick enough to squeeze off a couple frames..

Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Yonni’s Comments:
“As I was driving I saw the prototype way ahead of me on the road, and it looked like a really aggressive Corvette. Luckily I had borrowed my dad’s camera for a project at school and had it with me in the car and snapped some shots as it passed by. The car was amazing! It sounded very powerful and definitely did not seem like your everyday Corvette.
So, before I get to my comments about how Winding Road just threw its credibility out the window, here are the images from their Jan 07 print edition:

    • Charles D. Fowler, III: I stopped subsribing to both after many years, and within a year or two of even having a “feature” article accepted and published, after meeting Corvette Fever execs at Carlisle. With the merger, I...
    • Jeff McKay: I also asked a local dealer and they knew nothing about it. How do I order it myself? I think that would be faster than trying to convince them they should know about it.
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • tonyman262: I have an 89 C4 & an 07 C6, both white. After seeing the CUE system; the daughter may get the 07, I NEED a C7 with the CUE system. The 89 C4 stays with me. The C7 (artic white of course) could just end up being the new...
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