Thanks to some sleuthing of the US Patent and Trademarks database, the writers over at AutoGuide.com have discovered that last week GM filed a trademark application for ‘Corvette Manta Ray’ for use as “Motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, engines therefor and structural parts thereof”.
The trademark was filed last week by General Motors and you can see the trademark request from the USPTO below:
A filing of a trademark by General Motors is no small thing and they can point to future projects coming to fruition like the ‘Corvette Grand Sport’ trademarked in 2008 or the Stingray application filed in 2010.
Chevrolet has used the Manta Ray name previously as a concept car that closely related to the Mako Shark and the Mako Shark II.
The Manta Ray was actually built using the 1965 Mako Shark II (XP-830) as its base and so it retained many of the Mako Shark IIs features which were many. The Mako Shark II set the design standard for the C3 Corvette but as a concept car it included a clamshell hood and an all-aluminum ZL-1 V8.
The Manta Ray had changes to front grill and a new spoiler while the rear received the most dramatic changes including a flying buttress replacing the Mako’s Venetian blinds rear window treatment. The side exhaust pipes were redesigned to be a bit rounder and they were eventually offered on the 1969 Corvette Stingray. Today, the car resides at the GM Heritage Center.
So what does this mean for the C7 Corvette? Well, having the Manta Ray trademark would give the Corvette Team the option to offer a “Manta Ray” special edition or an appearance package which would play off the Stingray name. The team has already said that the Stingray and Z06 are all that’s going to be for models in the C7 generation, so the special edition makes the most sense. Less likely is the idea that ‘Manta Ray’ would be the successor to the Stingray as a C8 model. While the name evokes the 1969 concept car to Corvette history buffs, to the general public Manta Ray is better known as the super criminal mastermind on Spongebob than as a Corvette model.
Here’s a short video of the 1969 Corvette Manta Ray at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Washington*:
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