Vette Polls: C7 Corvette Update: Is this IT???

Dateline: 3.4.12

Car and Driver Splashes the C7 Corvette – A PERFECT swan dive or a belly flop?

Cast your vote at the end of this post.

Don’t you just love a nice surprise in your mailbox? You know, a nice fat IRS tax refund, a Publishers Clearance Warehouse winner notification, or a letter from an old flame. (okay, maybe not that last one) The April 2012 issue of Car and Driver arrived in my mailbox today and I was greeted with what appears to be the real car that the November 2011 Jalopnik illustrations were based upon. It’s SO hard to tell computer rendered cars these days. “Usually” computer images are a little too flashy and that’s the telltale sign. A year, or less, from now, we’ll know for sure how spot on Jalopnik and Car and Driver are.

But for now, it’s deal with what’s in front of us. Sometimes, cars look better in person. But the C7 is looking more like a C6.75. I know that Corvettes tend to be evolutionary in their design, but honestly, there’d better be some stunning things going on under all the pretty fiberglass and carbon fiber.

The front view of the car is interesting, but two design elements bother me. The front grille opening looks awfully close to that of the 1993 – 2002 Camaro with its Billy Bass mouth. Going by the Jalopnik renderings, the hood vents and vents on the tops of the rear fenders indicate that this is the 2015 ZR1 configuration. But the vents on the hood look like those on the new ZL1 Camaro. Since when does the Corvette FOLLOW the Camaro? (when Camaros outsell Corvettes 6-to-1?) I suppose we’ll get used to it. But we’re not supposed to “get used to it,” we’re supposed to LUST for it!

The car looks as if there were different “design teams.” This view clearly shows the work of the Back End Team. The design elements and shapes just don’t “go with” the rest of the car. From the side, we see compound curves and swoopy lines. But the rear view shows flat sides. This doesn’t even LOOK like a “Corvette” from the back.

And now to the back end. (sigh) PLEASE!!! Don’t let this be the real back end of the C7 Corvette, PLEASE. If so, we’ll never hear the end of the “Cormaro” of the “Camvette.” I know that the Camaro is a sales success and the Corvette is struggling, but that doesn’t mean that the corporate flagship Corvette should FOLLOW the company’s pony car.

The side and front show smooth swoopy shapes and compound curves while the back end is all straight lines and facets. Plus, the rear view photo shows how flat the sides are – nearly straight up and down slabs with a skinny front fender vent. The spoiler looks like, “Hey! Let’s add a spoiler thinky here!” The  squinty-eyed Camaro taillights look like a bad ethnic joke from an ‘80s Toyota. And the C-pillar has that angled forward BMW, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion look. I’m starting to get mad here. GM, you have taken the “design by committee” “focus groups” model of design right off the cliff.

Oh boy…

With never seen before expectation being driven by the internet since sometime in ‘08, if this car doesn’t instantly blow everyone’s doors off and make socks go up and down, this brand will be in trouble. There’s a shrinking part of me that’s still hoping that the images we’re seeing are bogus and just out there to stir up controversy. If so, I’ll fold up the cover of Car and Driver, put it into a sandwich, and have it for lunch! If the images ARE correct, the Corvette’s traditional detractors are going to beat the faithful Corvette bunnies to a bloody pulp.  – Scott

You can catch all of our C7 posts by going to the top menu bar and clicking on the “Search Gens” tab, then the “C7 Corvettes” dropdown.

Also, you can cast your vote on the Jalopnik C7 Corvette renderings and see the vote count HERE.


Based on the Car and Driver and Jalopnik renderings, is the C7 Corvette revving you up, or stalling you out?

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18 thoughts on “Vette Polls: C7 Corvette Update: Is this IT???

  1. I hope this is all wrong! The NSX commercials on TV make me drool. If this is the C7, I’ll be buying someone’s garage queen C6 Z06 (which I just sold mine to prep for a 7). Waay too camaro looking, too many sharp edges, too busy in general. The NSX is just – sex on wheels. Come on Chevy, don’t mess this up.

  2. If the Car and Driver photo’s are close to what the C7 is going to look like, the Corvette team better get back to the drawing board real fast and fix this abortion as soon as they can. If you think Corvette sales are down now you ain’t seen nothin yet.

  3. If indeed the C&D photos are correct, then that’s what they’ll soon be making. At this stage, the actual car is been decided upon and they are working to get everything ready to start building C7 Corvettes. Despite the obvious issues MANY Corvette fans are having with what’s been shown, I know that the people that are now working on the car’s design and mechanicals, and those that will eventually build the C7s will do an excellent job to make the car as good as it can be. We all know that the Corvette team is more than capable of building a quality, mass-produced high-performance sports car. We’ll see. – Scott

  4. I feel your pain. “Design by committee” will get you a Pontiac Aztek. The great Bill Mitchell HATED focus groups and the whole “design by committee” model. And GM’s upper management was happy to have Bill Mitchell and his mako shark-like attitude shuffle off into the sunset. Aside from the Corvette, has GM designed ANY “classic” cars since the late ’70s? A few, but not many. On Hemmings Motornews blog they have a sometimes feature called, “The Class of _____” where they look back at cars from 25 years ago. So recently, they’ve been covering cars from 1987. BORRRR-ING boxes, obviously designed by focus groups and committees. – Scott

  5. Fran, I guess we’ll all know by the end of the first year of C7 production. The then new ’97 C5 Corvette didn’t do well in its first year, as if seemed that fans had to warm up to the new design. What seemed to help was the fact that the C5 was so mechanically superior to the C4 that fans quickly got warm to the new softer shape. But why do we have to “get used to” the new design? Corvettes are about PASSION and SEX APPEAL! You should “LUST for” one, not “get used to” one. Ahhh… Maybe it’s just me… – Scott

  6. sob,sob,sob,sob-that is me crying not calling the design studio at GM Tech Center bad names. I worked there and know the politics that go into these decisions. The corvette was never meant to sell 25,000 cars a year it is an icon of pure American sport car for the enjoyment of the drive. Plus it has been the best value and beat performing car for the buck.

  7. No argument here, Robert. What’s troubling here is the deep drop off in sales due to the overall bad economy. There have always been those inside GM that either want the Corvette to be “something else” (cheaper, more exotic, smaller, lighter, engine in the middle, 4 seats, etc – ALL over the map!), or outright kill the car. There has to be a point where if the sales fall below, for too long a period of time, and the car isn’t carrying its weight, it’s bu-bye time. These things happen.

    What concerns me is this. Thanks to the internet, expectations of the next Corvette are amazingly high, which means that a whole lot of someone’s are going to be very disappointed. There are tensions coming from many directions as to what the car is supposed to be (retro, modern, a world car, a youth car, etc), how will they make the faithful AND the newer buyers happy? They probably won’t. When something has too many directions, it usually goes nowhere.

    Another interesting thing is this. What you almost never see it Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, etc, trying to fulfill the demands that people what the Corvette to meet – smaller, cheaper, more youth oriented, world cars, etc. No, Porsche says, “Here’s out new 911 Turbo S and it cost THAT MUCH! We’re only making this many and sorry, no discounts. You want one, save your pennies or raid your IRA.” But Chevrolet is expected to design and sell a Corvette that everything to everyone. AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

    In the mean time, enjoy the show! Thanks for commenting. – Scott

  8. If this is true, my 2011 Grand Sport will continue to be my love at least until we see if they get it together for the C8. How could they possibly create something like this? Its horrible!

  9. I just found an 09 Z06 in Indianapolis with 6 thousand miles on the odometer, $10,000 in upgrades including Long Tube Headers, for just over $45K. I bought it sight unseen *((Other than internet photos)). I will fly there in a week to drive it back home…… WHY? If the photos are correct, and this IS the new C7, I will not be buying a New ANYTHING GM for quite some time. IF its true, ((I noticed everyone is saying IF…. in total denial and disbelief)) I have a feeling I could resell the Z06 in a matter of days and make a profit. This “Camaro” looking “Celica GT” is beyond sickening.. It’s outright INSULTING!!
    Those who are Camaro drivers, love the Camaro and can even get a Vette motor in them. Those who are Vette drivers are a family of people who are dedicated, loyal, staunch supporters….of a TRUE AMERICAN CLASSIC ICON! There is no way….. and this is what the focus groups are missing….. that a Vette owner is going to want a Camaro looking halfbreed for MORE MONEY than a Camaro…. NOR are the Camaro buyers going to purchase a VETTE when it’s not even close to what a Camaro is all about ((second set of seats)).
    Next we’re going to see a four seater Vette like Porsche did??? Or a station wagon/mini van version like in the 70s aftermarket? Makes me wonder how many in the Head Shed actually drive a Chevrolet?? No doubt, GM brought back the defunct Camaro with a huge impact. I love the car too! But I didn’t buy one for a REASON! It’s obvious GM’s focus groups are looking for new blood to bring into the Vette world. At the cost of killing off all their LOYAL LONG TERM FAMILY MEMBERS!! ((This is a great way however to get all the OLD STOCK off the showroom floors that’s been sitting there….))

  10. No arguement here, Steve. I haven’t seen or hear any chatter about a 4-seater Corvette, but I did see something about the C8 being a mid-engine layout. Gimmeabreak! The C7 isn’t even out yet or sold a single unit and they’re talking about a C8??? How about a nuclear-powered, AWD, mid-engine C9, guys? And mid-engine is NOT a car to live with as a daily driver. Ages ago, pre super-wide, sticky tires and pre active suspension, putting the weight in the middle made perfect sense for a supercar. But not any more.

  11. Ron, I’m sure your GS is a delight – hold on to it! You seem to be in the majority on the C&D C7 images. Lets hope its a fake-out!

  12. Hi Fran. If the C&D images are correct, at this stage of the game, they’re already grooming and perfecting the final car. So, it’ll be what it’ll be. As of today, 3-21-12, 65% of the 270 responders in our poll voted, “Chevy! Say it ain’t so!” OUCH! Do they read my site? Probably NOT. LOL :-)))

  13. I know. We’re supposed to LUST for this car, not “get used to it” and make excuses. – Scott

  14. Hopefully this is just speculation on C/D part. Why would GM announce investing
    $131 million into the Corvette plant if it wasn’t positive the C7 will deliver the goods.

    Bob Lutz, GM’s retired vice chairman of product development, says (Quote)
    “he rejected plans for an earlier introduction that included low-cost proposals for only modest changes. He preferred to wait until GM had the cash to build a car that would make a Corvette owner want to trade up.”

    Now that’s some tough talk ($$$)…
    We can only wait and see, but I’m sure so far,… this is smoke & mirrors.

  15. Hi Don,
    As you can tell, Corvette speculation is “sport” on the net these days. With the 60th anniversary of the car coming up and GM making the 100 millionth small-block Chevy engine a LS9 Corvette engine, clearly, GM is solidly behind the car. And with the sagging sales and magazine sniping of the last few years, perhaps the big investment has some, “we have to do SOMETHING!!!” in it.

    What concerns me is that with SO MUCH speculation and anticipation for the C7, that if the car isn’t PERFECT, there’ll be hell to pay. That means that the base model C7 will have to be a stronger performer, have more exotic hardware, and if the interior isn’t dazzling and the seats are right, we’ll NEVER hear the end of it.

    Also, I hope Corvette product planners are over their “low-cost” version idea. It just can’t happen. They can not offer exotic hardware on a limited production car that shares almost nothing with any other GM car, and make it inexpensive. They tried this just after the C5 came out and learned that a stripo model with cloth seats, crank windows, smaller wheels and tires, and other creature comforts removed, the price didn’t go down that much and market tests showed that no one wanted it. What was salvaged out of the effort was the ‘99 Hardtop with was a whopping $394 less than the coupe.

    But that aside, why isn’t there any clamoring for Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan and others that make sports car that cost WAY MORE than the Corvette to lower the price of THEIR CARS??? But Chevy is supposed to make cheap, look-like Asian-styled Corvettes to satisfy the critics and the younger buyers. I don’t get it.

    Thanks for commenting! – Scott

  16. Surly somebody is pulling our legs! I could live with the front end, but the rear is butt ugly! I really hope somebody is dead wrong. I guess I will keep my C5 a while longer.

  17. I agree, Dave. I’m about to start a story for my VETTE column about the development of the ‘84 C4 Corvette. In one of my reference books, there are numerous photos of “Corvettes” that were part of the styling development process. A few are interesting, several are Camaro/Firebird-like, or just plane nasty. So… Let’s hope that the C7 renderings we’ve seen as of late are just some of the styling exercises. We’ll see this January! Thanks for commenting. – Scott

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