As the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off virtually today, the Internet is already abuzz with a GM vehicle lurking in the shadows of a 45-minute video with several General Motors leaders offering more details about the company’s future plans to go all-electric.
Might the SUV seen behind GM’s design leader Michael Simcoe be one of a rumored Corvette-based lineup of vehicles ranging from sports cars to SUVs? We don’t think a stand-alone Corvette brand is in the works, and it’s more likely that the vehicle behind Simcoe with C8-looking headlights is just one of the two Buick concepts he admitted were in the room with him.
As Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter has always said, GM just doesn’t talk about future products, unless it’s good and ready to do so.
Along those lines, in this GM video released for the Consumer Electronics Show, we see a steady stream of company officials giving us a glimpse into what the future of GM looks like as the automaker heads into an all-electric future.
While we must admit we were hesitant about a future with cars that don’t sound like the old familiar V8s that rumble down the road and bring a smile to our face in cars like our mid-engine Corvette, we also must admit that we’re excited about the future of electric vehicles.
As Simcoe says, the start of the electric vehicle era represents the most significant change in vehicle design since the 1920s when GM’s first chief designer Harley Earl developed the modern concept of vehicle design. “Earl pioneered the idea that design could create an emotional connection with the vehicle,” Simcoe says, “and these connections could be as diverse as people’s individual tastes.”
He says in the 21st century, GM is “drawing a line in the sand and rethinking how an entire range of electric vehicles should look and feel.”
Aaron Pfau, lead development engineer for the upcoming GMC Hummer EV, says the company is working with Bose to create sound enhancement technology that “incorporates guitar riffs, high-frequency feedback, and inspiration from Formula E motorsports to create the sensation of power and torque” in that vehicle.
Candice Willett, advanced lead creative designer with Cadillac, says electrification gave GM a chance “to rethink our relationship with our vehicles,” noting that “now it signals a new future for the interaction of technology and the senses.” Simcoe says the layering of technologies will create sensory and emotional connections that immerse occupants in the distinct purpose and personality of that vehicle.
In short, times change, and if you don’t change with them, you’ll get left behind. After watching this video, we feel optimistic that the future of the auto industry, including the Corvette, is in more than capable hands to create an experience that may wind up being better than what we have experienced with gasoline-powered cars.
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