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Rumors & Innuendo

Things We’d Like to See: An Automatic Z06 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on February 19, 2007

I nearly fell over when visiting CorvetteConti.com this morning as one of his headlines reads “SOOOOO, Are they making an AUTO Z?!”. I said to myself “finally!” and clicked the link. Unfortunately, the General still says no, despite Rick’s photographic evidence to the contrary. Circumstances appear to make this Corvette one of a kind, which could be very fortunate for the new owner.

They tried to make this a Z06 Automatic They tried to make this a Z06 Automatic
Rick Conti was delivering a 2006 LeMans Blue Z06 Corvette to his customer Joe from North Carolina. He looks inside the cockpit and noticed the paddle shift buttons on the wheel, yet the 6-speed manual transmission is in the car. Rick mentions that his customer has taken the fluke in stride and promises the photos will be seen within GM from Detroit to Bowling Green. Our opinion is that someday this Corvette could be worth more than others from the same year because of the factory install error, especially if the error can be documented. Who knows what kind of price it might bring at the 2047 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car auction. We agree with Rick though. If GM were to offer an automatic in the Z06, they’d sell a bunch of them.
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
Is This The New 2008 Corvette Wheel? Technorati Tags:
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Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

Blue Devil/SS Corvette Slated for 2009With the latest pronouncement by GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz that the Blue Devil/SS/Sting Ray project is in the works, we’re wondering if we’re going to get a new confirmation at each and every car show from now until mid-2009. That’s when the limited-edition uber-Vette is expected as a 2010 model. At the Chicago Auto Show, Bob let fly the following statement “Call it horsepower wars. In summer 2009, Chevrolet will add a limited-edition Corvette producing about 600hp.” And according to Automotive News, Lutz said “There is a distinct appetite for something beyond the Z06 in performance, beyond the Z06 in exclusivity and beyond the Z06 in price.” The blue devil/SS Corvette project has been in the works for some time and its existence as a project was confirmed last year. Bob’s latest statement is Chevrolet’s shot across the bow of Dodge, who last month introduced a 600 horsepower Viper SRT10 at the Detroit Auto Show. GM would “not take that lying down” Lutz said. Still most interesting about this latest confirmation is the question of Corvette as a “brand”. Lutz apparently talked about how Corvette “has taken on the character of the a brand” and can support several models. The 600-650 hp supercharged Blue Devil/SS Corvette would be at the top of the horsepower food chain, followed by the 505 hp Z06 Corvette and then the regular production Coupe and Convertible Corvettes rated at 400 horsepower. Past quotes by GM people including GM’s head of performance cars Tom Wallace have mentioned that the new C7 Corvette could be coming our way as early as 2010. Does this mean that the Blue Devil/SS will be the C6’s swan song, or could we be expecting something brand new altogether…
Source:
MotorAuthority.com Related:
GM Accepts Dodge Viper Challenge Technorati Tags:
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Is This The New 2008 Corvette Wheel?

by Keith Cornett on February 4, 2007

Is this the new 2008 Split-Spoke Corvette Wheel?Last week’s unveiling of the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica has now caused a secondary stir among enthusiasts. Appearing on the Replica is a set of split-spoke wheels not yet seen on any other production Corvette. In January, we posted Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info which mentions a new split-spoke wheel design. So what do Corvette enthusiasts think about the new wheel? A poll on CorvetteForum.com says no. With nearly 300 votes as of Sunday morning, 49.8% voted NO, 31.7% votes YES and 18.5% were UNDECIDED. So what are your thoughts on the wheel?
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com
CorvetteForum.com Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info Technorati Tags:
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Is A Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette On The Way?

by Keith Cornett on January 26, 2007

Ron Fellows Special Edition Z06 CorvetteRick “Corvette” Conti has been hinting at this for quite some time and it appears that the pieces are starting to fall into place. He is reporting that GM may be building the first “special edition” Corvette of the C6 era, a Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette. The special edition Z06 is Artic White, a first-time color for the Z06, and will feature a fender stripe, high polished wheels and a wide racing spoiler. Interior color may be Cobalt Red and feature a carbon fiber signature plate. The Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette would be very limited in production with 399 units initially planned. Ron is one of the first drivers of the Corvette Racing program and has had a prolific career in GT1 racing. He won the AMSL GT1 Drivers Championship in 2002 and with teammate Johnny O’Connell in both 2003 and 2004. Victories include class wins at Sebring and LeMans. Ron also drives the road course races for NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick Inc in the Busch series as well as for PPI Motorsports in the NEXTEL Cup series. Unsubstantiated as this rumor is, it is quite possible that GM will be unveiling the Special Edition Ron Fellows Z06 Corvette at an upcoming auto show. Stay tuned for details!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
Monterey Red To Be Phased Out in 2007 Technorati Tags:
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Where are the 427 Corvette Emblems, GM?

by Keith Cornett on January 24, 2007

Z06 Corvette with 427 BadgeIt’s been almost a year since GM dangled the 427 Emblem in front of the Corvette masses. As Rick from CorvetteConti.com says, it’s an accessory that should have been on the Z06 Corvette from day one. Having received the new 1st Quarter 2007 Accessory Booklet, the much sought-after badge is still not available. Rick spoke with GM Accessories who say that the part should be available at the beginning of 2nd Quarter. Showing the 427 badge on the new Z06 Corvette connects the legacy of the legendary big blocks of the sixties to the new highly efficient 7.0 Liter 427 ci 505 horsepower LS7 engine. Come on, GM. We need some badges!!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related
The Z06 Corvette is a 427… Show Your Cubic Inches! Technorati Tags:
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Autoextremist: GM Debating over Mid-Engined Corvette

by Keith Cornett on January 24, 2007

Corvette Indy and CERV IIIAutoextremist Peter DeLorenzo is a man with connections to the big 2.5 automakers. Those connections with GM are reportedly saying there is a debate over the direction of the next generation Corvette (C7) and whether or not development of a limited production mid-engined Corvette should be built. The mid-engine debate seems to come up once a decade and the last discussions resulted in the Corvette Indy and CERV III concepts. According to DeLorenzo, the talk he is hearing is about diversifying the Corvette lineup by offering a regular-edition Corvette with a smaller displacement V8, a high performance V8 (evolving from the LS7) and:

“Then look for an extremely limited production run (less than 500) of an advanced, mid-engined Corvette that will play in the plus six-figure category – and deliver blistering performance that will surpass exotic sports cars from around the world costing hundreds of thousands more. This will be the technological ‘statement’ car from GM that the ‘True Believers’ within the corporation have long been waiting for.”
This debate also fits the talks we’ve been hearing about for some time about the creation of a multiple model Corvette line-up. Not just the same models with different engine sizes, but multiple model styles and multiple engines, essentially turning the Corvette from model to brand. CorvetteBlogger would be very much interested in seeing a new mid-engine concept. It’s been years since the development of the Corvette Indy and CERV III and GM has made technological leaps since then. Just look at the development of the new Z06 Corvette compared to the first C5 Corvette. Whether or not GM could afford to spend the money on the development of the concept that then translates into yearly sales of only 500 units is another matter.
Source:
Autoextremist via Jalopnik Related:
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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

 

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