GM: Next-Generation Corvette C7 Expected in 2012 as 2013 Model


C7 Corvette Rendering

In a move to shore up public confidence following its stint in bankruptcy court, General Motors on Tuesday unveiled its 2-year product plan for the four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GM. Included in the Chevrolet news is that production of the C7 Corvette will start in April 2012 for the 2013 model year. GM also added that the Corvette will maintain the front-engine layout that has defined the sports car for 57 years.

This is great news as earlier estimates had pushed back the C7 through 2014. This also means that the Corvette Team will now have the resources and the corporate edict to move full speed ahead on a new design that could see changes to America’s sports car that include a smaller, lighter body, greater use of advanced weight-saving materials like carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium and perhaps a smaller engine but one that will still provide the power-to-weight ratio that Corvette owners have become accustomed to. Superchargers for everyone?

At the Birthday Bash earlier this year, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter reassured the enthusiast gathering that the team is always thinking about the next generation Corvette and how to make it better. Now that the mid-engine layout has once again been tossed aside, Tadge’s engineering team will have essentially just a couple of years to make these engineering decisions and test them in mules which we could see as early as 2011.

As for the actual design of the car, prior this summer we believed the new C7 will again be more of a transition of the C6 body style. However, the public and Corvette enthusiasts were immediately smitten with the Transformer’s Corvette Stingray Concept introduced earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show. Perhaps the design team will see that owners would accept more of a radical departure from the looks of the C5/C6.

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  1. I really do not see any major changes to the Vette. Working in the factory before I was laid off and working in and with the WDC (concept room) there were no looks to the future since GM was in trouble. They spent many hours and a lot of money on the ZR1 before it came out, thus not spending time on a new corvette and what money was spent on the vette were just for minor tech things.
    Plus if they decide on the new vette they will have to re-tool the factory again, and making any major changes to the body or construction will require the factory to re-tool and end up once more spending loads of MONEY! To be honest don’t look of anything thats going to really excite you, I’m not.

  2. I don’t think they will or should take cues from the Stingray concept. It’s a little too out there for the corvette… I can’t wait to see what they come up with though!

  3. In the discussions that are going on within Smokinvette.coms forums there are a handful of opinions and theories as to what the new Vette will look like. We can all speculate but only time will tell. All I know is that I have faith that GM will put out a new Corvette that will inspire people to go out and buy one, similar to the success of the new Camaro but on a different level.

  4. First of all, let me say, I have always loved Corvettes! I own a pair and have a shop full of cutomers’ Corvettes in various stages of repair. I think the current Corvettes have too much body. The “fat” butt C5 and C6 will go down in history as overkill on body panels! Smaller and sexier exterior would reduce weight, increase rigidity, help aerodynamics and increase maneuverability. (Porsche is a testament to this!) I also think any body structure changes ought to be made only as a result of wind-tunnel testing, performance enhancements, or for weight reduction. Put performance first, and the looks will fall in place! Since when is 20+ square feet of interior storage a must? (nice, but not necessary) Make driver/passenger leg/head room plentiful and don’t worry so much about the luggage room. Lingenfelter Performance has long believed that turbo-charging is a great performance option. I personally prefer super-charging, but a turbo option would be nice.. I want the Corvette to be/remain king of the road during my life and beyond. Quality, smart performance-oriented decisions, and ease of maintenance will make that happen… Sinc, Barry “Hopper” Hinton

  5. It would be GREAT if they brought back the “LeMans Blue” exterior color for the C7. I would use my new C7 for more than a joy ride, so please keep the SQ FT-age for golf / travel bags of at least 20. Lets hope Chevy goes with a base model 500+ HP motor that has 30+ mpg performance. Put me on the order form if they do these simple improvements!!!

  6. I say loose the “station wagon” space and add a rear rack, (for those that carry all the things “money can’t buy”).. I have traveled over 500,000 miles in various Vettes and have come to realize a Motel is much more comfortable than the rear of a Vette, lol.. So loose the “cargo” area in favor of performance….!

  7. Keep the corvette design similar to the C6 (smooth out the lines) with hidden retractable headlights, split window coupe option, ZR-1 convertible and more interior and exterior color choices. A total redesign would be to costly. The GM prototype C7 is way to radical and only promotes non buyer customers to make statements of how beautiful it is!

  8. Right hand drive then definitely. Perhaps GM will think about the UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia, NZ, South Africa and even India with the C7?

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