I figured it would only be a matter of time before someone got hold of a GM executive for comment on the recent rumors of a mid-engine C7 Corvette equipped with a V6 and a wet dual-clutch transmission. Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering Karl-Friedrich Stracke spoke with Automotive News and Autoweek on Tuesday and said the next-generation Corvette C7 will not be a mid-engine sports car and no V6 is planned or being tested.
Autoweek, through its sister publication Automotive News, included some future product news for Chevrolet in yesterday’s News Brake which includes a couple nuggets on the C7 Corvette. The podcast tells us nothing new and I’m having flashbacks to Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter’s rant back in April when he called out the automotive magazines for making up stories which contain pure speculation and no facts to support the argument. Now that I’ve set the table, let’s see what Autoweek is serving.
Jesus, I go out of town for a couple of days, and the Corvette world just goes to pieces. CorvetteConti.com drops the bomb that his inside sources say yes to a V6 powered kappa platform vehicle wearing a Corvette badge. While Corvettes in the past have offered buyers significantly different powerplants in the past (small blocks and big blocks), this would be a radical departure for Chevrolet: Two completely separate body style models. One the regular Corvette, the other is a mini-vette built on the kappa platform (think Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky),
There has always been talk of an entry level model for Corvettes. The car is a money-maker, it’s got history and enthusiasts that live and breathe Corvette. The success of the Solstice is fueling this effort and the geniuses are GM are probably trying to figure out how they can get a kappa platform for Chevrolet without competing with Corvette. Previous efforts for an entry-level Corvette never really materialized. Conti reminds us that the 99 Hardtop was supposed to be a stripped down Corvette with less power, 17 inch wheels and cloth seats. Thankfully someone (Dave Hill?) stepped in and instead the Z06 was unleashed as the hardtop model.
The only reason Chevy would want to call this car a Corvette is for name recognition. We are in New Coke territory here, folks. Nothing else about this car screams Corvette. Instead of mucking (put an F on it!) up the name of the greatest American Sports Car in history, why not just dig deep into the recesses of Chevy musclecardome and bring back something nostalgic like the Chevelle or Nova. Both are names that lend themselves to performance and affordability, and both names would be seen as Chevy trying to bring Sexy Back like they’ve done with the Camaro.
You boys at Chevrolet better get this right the first or there will be hell to pay from your loyal base. While Corvette people are some of the greatest in the world, this mini-vette and the people that drive it would initially be shunned. Thatâ€™s right, you can drive your kappa Corvette, but you have to eat lunch at the kids table. Only grownups are allowed at the REAL Corvette table.