Legendary auto executive Bob Lutz talks candidly about the future of the Corvette in a recent interview with Automotive News.
Some have speculated for years that General Motors should spin off the Corvette to its own brand, and Lutz wouldn’t mind seeing that happen or at least expand the model lineup to include an SUV.
In fact, he believes that GM should bite the bullet and make a substantial investment in a super Corvette SUV that would be slightly larger than a Porsche Cayenne and sell in medium volumes, beginning at a whopping price of $100,000.
Makes sense – the go big or go home mentality? GM already has a boatload of highly profitable SUVS like the Suburban, Yukon, Tahoe, and Escalade. After all, why would the automaker need another similar vehicle unless it’s going to be a “super” SUV that would appeal to big spenders? Lutz believes a Corvette SUV would have to offer American-made “stellar premium sport-utility” and GM would have to go all in with no compromises made. How would you like a 755-horsepower Corvette SUV, for example?
Speaking of Corvettes, Lutz is glad to see Chevy going to a mid-engine design for its upcoming C8 sports car but offers some words that should alarm enthusiasts like us.
“It will be successful to a degree,” Lutz says of the new generation Corvette, “but all two-passenger sports cars are facing a limited future.”
He expects the mid-engine C8 to sell well at the beginning but worries that it may be too little, too late to entice younger buyers away from foreign two-seaters like Porsche.
“I don’t think anyone is going to get out of a Porsche 911 to buy a mid-engine Corvette,” Lutz says. “One of the problems the Corvette brand has is the same as what Harley-Davidson is facing: The owner body is getting older and older and older, and there are no young people coming in.”
While we’re all eagerly waiting for the unveiling of the C8 on 7-18-19, Lutz told Automotive News he’s afraid “this car has been in development so long that there is a risk that the design will no longer be as new and as fresh as it should be when the car appears next month.”
Let’s hope he’s wrong about that.
And one final thought from this reporter: Would a Corvette SUV just steal away GM customers it already has locked up with the current Suburban, etc. lineup? Of course, with a supposed six-figure price, we would assume the resulting profits would be much higher than, say, an ordinary Suburban and make such a vehicle appealing to the bean counters at GM.
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