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Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS

by Keith Cornett on February 21, 2007

As I write this, I am as of yet unconvinced that this information is official. But because everyone else is writing about the Blue Devil officially being named the Corvette SS, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and give my two cents. The latest blog posts from Winding Road, Autoblog and Corvette Blog about the supercharged Corvette being called the SS are all based on information from DigitalCorvettes.com member Explorer_97. A week ago, Explorer_97 created several threads and posts for what appears to be substantial information relating to the development and production of Corvettes. The reason why I am hesitant about this is because we know nothing about Explorer_97 and where he gets his information. However, DigitalCorvettes.com founder Patrick Gramm says that Explorer_97′s credentials are good and that the information appears to be accurate. Knowing Patrick and his passion for hunting down sources for Corvette production news and information, as well as opening the wallet to pay for an occasional Corvette spy photo, that’s good enough for me. For now at least. So what does Explorer_97 tell us about the Corvette Program. Here is a recap:

CORVETTE SS:
The Supercharged Corvette will be called the SS. It has been assigned the GM Program Code of GMX245 SSC. Production begins the summer of 2008*. It will be powered by the LS9 and should be rated around 650 hp. Annual production volume is expected to be 1,500 cars. The SS will make its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. * This timeline doesn’t sync with what GM VP Bob Lutz said at the Chicago Auto Show two weeks ago. He said the Blue Devil/SS will be out the summer of 2009. Explorer_97 claims it is summer of 2008. Of course Lutz says the car will be 600hp while others including Explorer_97 say 650 hp. Since the Viper just hit 600 hp, my money is on the 650 hp number for the SS. CORVETTE COUPE & CONVERTIBLE:
The Corvette has received the green light for the next generation (C7). The coupe and convertible will make their appearance in the summer of 2010. No word if the coupe will come out first followed by the convertible or if both will be introduced simultaneously. Both the Coupe and Convertibles have received GM Program Codes. They are GMX721 (C7 Coupe) and GMX711 (C7 Convertible). CORVETTE Z06:
The Z06 will continue production into the C7 generation. According to Explorer_97, it may be introduced 1 to 1.5 years after the Coupe and Convertible. GM Program Code for the C7 Z06 is GMX731. MYTHS DEBUNKED:
No mid-engine Corvette, no Kappa-platform Corvette, no V6 Corvette.
I personally prefer the Sting Ray moniker myself, but I am okay with SS. Some are arguing that the SS brand has been too diluted in the past and doesn’t hold the mystique it once did. Well, my friends, if you’ve got a 650 horsepower Corvette and you call it the SS, then you’ve just raised the bar for all future SS-badged vehicles. For any other car to contain the SS emblem, it had better be a top performer for its class. As someone pointed out in the Autoblog comments, these rollouts will give the “Corvette brand” three different models in the mold of the classic Camaro line up: Base – Z06 – SS. Obviously I think the strategy is a winning combination for Corvette and GM and am also wondering if GM may also be planning the same return to the three model lineup for Camaro as well.
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com: C7 Corvette Related:
Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009 Technorati Tags:
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Dealer Attempts Sale of Ron Fellows Z06 Corvette On eBay

by Keith Cornett on February 20, 2007

The Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Corvette Z06Plans are being firmed up for how the roughly 300 Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvettes will be allocated in the US. But that didn’t stop Hare Chevrolet of Noblesville, Indiana for a chance to cash in on the hype surrounding the Artic White Signature Corvette. On February 12, just 5 days following the debut of the car at the Chicago Auto Show, Hare Chevrolet created an ebay auction to sell their allocation of the Z33 Ron Fellows Corvette Z06. If you want it, just bid the amount OVER MSRP that you want to pay for it. The bidding reached $16,700 but failed to make reserve and the auction ended yesterday, February 19th. From the eBay auction:

Bowling Green are only making 300 of these rare Z06′s for sale in the United States!! Hare Chevrolet will be getting ONE of these!! To put it in perspective for all bidders, there are over 4300 Chevrolet dealerships in the country, and once these collectibles are gone, they’re gone. Here is your chance to truely own a Rare Z06… The bid that you are bidding is for the price over MSRP you are willing to pay. Example; winning bidder of $25000.00 will be responsible for MSRP plus $25000.00 plus $125 documentation fee. That’s it.
I’m not against a dealer trying to make a buck or two, and perhaps the auction format is the best way to allow the market to decide who wants the Corvette the most. I am wary of those selling cars that haven’t even been built yet. What if the dealer doesn’t get the allocation? What if the dealer’s owner suddenly decides he wants the car. Too many factors this far out can only lead to dissatisfaction with the dealer and the sales process, thereby reinforcing the axiom of “car dealers are out to screw the customer”.
Source:
eBay.com Related:
2007 Z06 Corvette MSRP Increases Nearly $3K Technorati Tags:
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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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Video: Daytona 500 Z06 Corvette Makes TV Appearance

by Keith Cornett on February 17, 2007

On Friday, Fox News aired The Fox Report with Shepard Smith live from the Daytona International Speedway. In the background was the Z06 Corvette Pace Car. I captured a segment which just happens to included news that GM may be in talks to acquire Chrysler as well as the Waltrip-ping NASCAR cheating story.

Click here to see our growing collection of Corvette videos at youtube.com
Source:
FoxNews.com Related
Corvette to Pace 2007 Daytona 500 Technorati Tags:
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Z06 Corvette Wins Car and Driver Shootout

by Keith Cornett on February 15, 2007

Car and Driver drives the 2007 Corvette Z06Car and Driver magazine had themselves a shootout down in Southern California comparing a 2007 Corvette Z06 vs. the 2007 Lotus Exige S and a 2007 Porsche 911 GT3. As the headline suggests, the Z06 was the clear winner not only on the track, but as the best daily driver of the three. Several of the tech editors had driven the 2006 Z06 last year and were a bit “unnerved by at-the-limit high-speed twitchiness” and tricky handling. The 2007 Corvette Z06 left the editors so surprised at how well it handled on the track this time compared to their previous test that they contacted Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter who told them that shock-damping rates has been dialed in to make the car less jumpy when pushing it to the limit. “Bottom line” says Juechter, “The car has gotten better”.

But the Corvette Z06 ain’t just any old Corvette. It has a 428-cubic-inch small-block LS7 V-8 engine with titanium connecting rods and inlet valves, a dry-sump lubrication system, and an induction manifold so large you could pass a basketball through the engine. Okay, not quite, but it’s pretty big. The Vette redlines at 7000 rpm, where it is making a noise like Godzilla’s jackhammer and thrusting the car and its occupants along with the vehemence of a Category Five hurricane.
Notable highs for the Car and Driver Z06 include the “Flexible and powerful engine, good comfort and convenience” as well as the “stellar track conduct”. Lows point out the same-ole-same-ole complaints of the subpar seats and interior as well as “that gold-chain rep”. However, their final verdict sums it all up: “You can’t buy this much performance anywhere else for the price”. Visit Car and Driver for the entire lowdown and make sure you see the extras: The video and audio galleries and the individual car’s test sheets are available for viewing.
Source:
Car and Driver Related:
Video: TVR Sagaris vs C6 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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PRIMEDIA Selling Corvette Fever, Vette Magazines

by Keith Cornett on February 15, 2007

Corvette Fever MagazinePRIMEDIA, the company that publishes Corvette Fever and Vette Magazines, as well as other popular automotive titles including Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Automobile has announced that it is exploring the sale of their Enthusiasts Media division, which includes 70 magazines, 90 websites and 65 events. The Board of PRIMEDIA may also decide to the spin off the company and take it public if a sale doesn’t pan out. This move could eventually lead to the demise of one or both of the Corvette magazines. As a subscriber to Corvette Fever for the last 10 years, I’d definitely be sad to see it go. But there are just too many Corvette-themed magazines aimed at a very targeted enthusiast base to see how keeping both titles can remain profitable. Are there enough subscribers and advertisers to support all of them? Another factor is the rise of digital media. The impact of the internet has got to force the magazines to adapt better by offering more on their websites than I think any of them have to date. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
Source:
Yahoo Finance
Autoblog.com Related:
Vette Magazine: A Conversation with Reeves Callaway Technorati Tags:
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Aston Martin to Battle Corvette at Sebring

by Keith Cornett on February 14, 2007

The View from Aston Martin at SebringLooks like the 12 Hours of Sebring will be a little more interesting now that an Aston Martin has entered the fray. However, this is not the same Aston Martin team that has battled Corvette for the GT1 class over the last couple of years. The new car is backed by Team Modena and one of the drivers was last year’s LMP2 winning driver Liz Halliday. Antonia Garcia and another driver yet to be named will also share driving duties for Team Modena’s DBR9. The last few 12 Hours of Sebring has seen Aston Martin challenge Corvette racing. The Prodrive-backed Aston Martin team won the GT1 class at Sebring in 2005, but lost last year as Corvette regained the podium for their 50th Anniversary race at Sebring. “I have never driven an Aston Martin before and I’m looking forward to it. The DBR9 is widely considered to be the best GT1car in the world right now and I think I’m the first woman to drive one,” Liz Halliday said. Depending on the Performance Sanctions that penalized Corvette last year, that statement could be true. Free the C6.R and it is a different story altogether. Team Modena plans to race their Aston Martin DBR9 at Sebring, the 24 Hours of LeMans and some other LeMans series races in Europe. There has been no announcement whether or not the team plans any more races on the American LeMans Racing schedule.
Source:
NewsSun.com
Richard Prince via CorvetteRacing.com (photo credit) Related:
Corvette Racing to Defend ALMS Crown
Corvette Racing Waits for Aston Martin Decision Technorati Tags:
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Video: Special Edition Corvettes at the Chicago Auto Show

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

MotorTrend has a nice video of the two special edition Corvettes that were introduced last week at the Chicago Auto Show. The video has an interview with Corvette Project Manager Harlan Charles who discusses the build and release dates as well as selected highlights of each Corvette. Harlan says that most of the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvettes will be built in March with release to dealers and the public in April and May. The Indy 500 Pace Car Replica will have a few early cars built for the race committee but those slated for consumers will be built during May and June and will only be available only after the race on Memorial Day weekend.

MotorTrend.com TV
Check out the video at MotorTrend.com
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MotorTrend.com Related
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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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2007 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

by Keith Cornett on February 11, 2007

Last week the National Corvette Museum announced the 2007 inductees to the Corvette Hall of Fame. The newest inductees will be recognized as part of the 10th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame ceremony on August 31st. Being inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame is the highest honor given to those people for their contributions for preserving the past, present and future of Corvette. The three inductees of 2007 are world class Corvette racer, Doug Hooper, Corvette C4 consultant and specialist, Gordon Killebrew, and GM designer and stylist, Carl Renner.

Doug Hooper started racing in Corvettes in 1959, with a 1957 convertible. He won the Times Gran Prix in 1962 in a 1963 Split Window Coupe Z06 Corvette. He is an honorary director of the National Corvette Racing Association and ran Doug’s Corvette Service in North Hollywood, which became one of the premier Corvette repair shops on the west coast. Gordon Killebrew in well known in C4 circles. Gordon spent 25 years consulting and providing technical training and materials to Corvette dealer technicians. He was an integral part of the Corvette Action Center, a customer service program that handled technical service calls from Corvette owners world-wide. Gordon was the proof editor of the C4′s service and owner’s manuals, as well as edited bulletins and campaign recalls for the GM Tech Center. Carl Renner was part of “Project Opel”, the original Corvette Motorama project design team. As a senior designer in GM Motors styling department, he took an active part of the entire design process of the 1952 through 1957 Chevrolet models. A trusted member or Harley Earl’s special pojects crew on the “Ninth Floor”, he participated in shaping the first Opel – the future Corvette. The grille of the first Corvettes was based on some of his earlier designs.
There are currently 31 members of the Corvette Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include Harley Earl, Zora Arkus-Duntov, David Hill, Dave McLellan and John Lingenfelter.
Source:
Sports Car Market Magazine Related:
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