C7 Corvette Due Date?

When is that C7 Corvette Coming Out, Detroit?

I’ll Believe It When I See It. C7 Musings

by K. Scott Teeters

2010 Grand Sport Corvette Top View

2010 Grand Sport Corvette Top View

I Smell Something

4WheelsNews.com has had several speculation posts concerning the C7 Corvette. I hate to be the one to say it, but I’m smelling some PR-BS here.

One thing is certain, GM has to meet the tougher CAFA rating of 35.5-mpg in 2016. Perhaps if the production volume is low enough, a slightly higher than current Corvette MPG rating, might not negatively effect the corporate average all that much. But then again, if the volume gets too low, there’s no reason to keep an expensive car, that uses lots of R&D effort, that few people actually buy. Remember, GM STILL has those pesky bean-counters, plus, governmental oversight bean-counters. Sorry, but this doesn’t look good to me.

There’s talk of a lighter Corvette, something many wish for, but given everything the car does, I don’t see happening without mega cubic-inch development dollars. Electric power steering, variable valve timing, and direct injection sound cool. But Tom Stephens, GM’s vice chairman of global product development, also said that a six-cylinder engine won’t be necessary. But he didn’t say that the V8 would maintain its current cubic-inch displacement – AKA a smaller CID.

And when you hear of “tires with less rolling resistance” does the word, “narrower” come to mind? Corvette tires are supposed to get wider, not narrower. Or, is it possible that there are new, wide tires with less rolling resistance? I suppose anything is possible, but that does fly in the face of some basic resistance physics.

GM and the rest of the car industry on BOTH sides of the Pacific and Atlantic are far from out of the woods. Even “can do no wrong and never make a bad decision” companies such as Toyota and Honda are posting huge losses because they all have the same problem – a shrinking customer base.

A Perfectly Good C6 - 2010 Grand Sport Corvette

A Perfectly Good C6 - 2010 Grand Sport Corvette

Does the C6 REALLY Need To be Replaced?

But seriously Corvette friends. I’ve got nothing against advancing the car’s technology, so I have to ask a nasty question. Is the C6 so deficient that it needs to be replaced while all this other stuff is going on? Remember, 2010 is only the the beginning of the car’s 6th production year. The C3 “Shark” Corvette had a 13-year production run. And unlike the old C3 Corvettes of the early to mid ‘70s, there’s plenty of good, performance technology that can be borrowed from the ZR1 and integrated into the regular Corvette. Body panels can be easily enough changed and redesigned to keep the looks fresh, similar to the 2010 Grand Sport. And no one would complain if the interior got a high-quality makeover. The C6 could be incrementally moved closer to the ZR1 and not have to justify hundreds of millions of dollars of new car development capital expenditure while this economic storm roars on.

Call me an old geezer, but (not “old geezer-butt”) is all this electronic hardware good for us? I mean, electronic tire pressure indicators? Get involved with your car and check your own tire pressure, for Duntov’s sake! I was talking with a mechanic friend once about the electronics on new cars. He mentioned the electric doors in the top-of-the-line mini vans. He said, “Yea, they’re great when they work, except for when you go to get them fixed when the car’s 5 years old.”

Is This What Zora Had In Mind?

This is not an indictment of the new electronic Corvettes and I mean no insult if you happen to own one. There was a time when if you had a decent box of Craftsman tools, a shop manual, and some jack stands, there was a lot you could do to make minor repairs to your Corvette. Now, you make an appointment at a certified dealership that has diagnostic equipment that cost’s 100’s of thousands of dollars. It’s as bad as going to see a brain specialist. The performance figures of the new Corvettes are mind-boggling, but somehow, I don’t think Duntov ever imagined this.

Okay, go ahead and call me “old geezer butt.” That’s “Mr. Old Geezer Butt”, thank you.


K. Scott Teeters

You might also enjoy these Corvette Report posts.

Also see the Future of Corvette in Peril post

Henderson on C7

C7 Corvette Speculation post

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