Is “Seeing” Believing???
I have been following the Corvette hobby since the mid-’60s. Nothing stokes the faithful loyal Corvette fans like a really hot-looking Corvette show car. The first question is obvious, “Is this the next Vette?” C7 Corvette rumors started in mid-’07 with chatter about a possible mid-engine as the design layout of choice for the next generation Corvette. I’m not sure of where that came from, as mid-engine cars are notoriously inefficient when it comes to use of space and workability.
In the olden days, (‘60s, ‘70s,’80s, and ‘90s) fans had to wait for either artwork or one of Jim Dunne’s famous, long-lens, blurry images of a Corvette prototype being thrashed about at one of GMs test centers. Many of those cars were wearing grotesque panels to disguise the car’s new shape. Those kinds of images inevitably lead to reader comments, such as, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!” OR “What are they THINKING?!”
It was all part of the fun of anticipating what the next generation Corvette will look like. But one thing was clear: “artwork” was just art, and spy photos were deceptively ugly. But today, things aren’t so clear, thanks to relatively inexpensive computer graphics programs. Back in mid-November 2010 I published a post titled, “C7 Corvette Daydreaming – Concepts for the Next Generation.” that featured 28 C7 Corvette concept images. There were a few actual photos of the official Corvette Stingray Concept car (aka the Transformers “Sideswipe” Corvette), a few classic paper, pen, and pastel illustrations, and numerous computer generated illustrations that were very photorealistic.
The image at the top of this post REALLY caught my eye. Cars in development go through numerous iterations called “styling studies.” Many are full-size clay sculpts that are covered with smooth colored foil and finished to look almost like a real car. If a particular design is well received, a full-size mock up on a running chassis is sometimes built.
The above image certainly looks like a full-size mockup that’s borrowed several of the styling points from the much praised Corvette Stingray Concept car. The front gills, grille, side coves, and swept-back B-pillar is most obvious. The Supersonic Blue car shod with C6 Grand Sport wheels and tires looks like it’s ready for a Fall ‘12 showroom debut at your local Chevrolet dealer.
Looks good! How much? Is there a Z06 and ZR1 version? When do we get to see the roadster? I mean, THERE IT IS!
But wait! Hup! What’s this???
I found the above image by doing a Google image search and after drilling down through a few dozen pages, My goodness! Same wheels, same color, same light reflections, SAME BACKGROUND! What’sup with this?
After a little more digging I discovered the artwork of Hungarian artist and designer Tamas Jakus. He’s a man of few words. On his “About Me” section on his website, he simply says, “I work in Photoshop.”
You can check out Tamas’ beautiful photorealistic art HERE.
So, back to the topic of the C7 Corvette. Where do these images leave us? As I said in the closing statement of my latest Illustrated Corvette Series No. 170 about the Corvette Stingray Concept car, “It’s all endless fun, but we won’t know any hard data until Chevrolet tells us.”
The old notion of “seeing be believing” is DEFINITELY out the window. – Scott
PS – Tamas didn’t forget the roadster fans, below is his sliver roadster version. Pretty sweet!