Corvette C7 set for radical change to face European rivals

General Motors will put an all-new Chevrolet Corvette into production in 2013 — and the firm’s top US executive says it will be “completely different” from the current C6, fuelling rumours that it might be mid-engined.

Senior executives acknowledge that the current sixth-gen model falls short of the global appeal of rival sports cars from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.

The goal is to make the new Corvette a truly global competitor when production starts up in 2013, according to Mark Reuss, GM’s North America president, although exact details are being closely guarded.

Full story - Corvette returns to the UK

Adopting a mid-engined layout, rather than the long-running front-engined design, is a strong possibility, although it would be a significant engineering shift for GM. Even so, sources say this wouldn’t be entirely out of line, because the Corvette has often served as a technological testbed for the firm.

Chevrolet designers could also revive the split-window styling featured on the 1963 Corvette, today one of the most collectable versions of the two-seater.

One possibility for the C7, sources hint, will be the use of a downsized powertrain. Rather than the current big V8s — which develop as much as 638bhp in the top-line ZR1 model — GM is reportedly looking at more advanced V6 alternatives.

Read more on the recent Corvette revisions

Expect the interior to be much more modern in design than the current take, which GM global design chief Ed Welburn admits “is a disappointment”.

The styling boss, a long-time Corvette fan himself, says he is personally overseeing the development of the C7 interior and promises it will be “absolutely world class”.

GM is investing $131 million (£80 million) in the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the ’Vette to prepare for the C7 launch.

Paul Eisenstein

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28 October 2012

 

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3 May 2013

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10 July 2013

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