Cars Coming Soon->Corvette Update, New Mercedes-Benz Crossover and a Man Van

The next Corvette?

A General Motors insider has revealed to Motor Trend that the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette will feature GM’s new 5.5-liter small-block V8.

The engine will feature some new technology, including direct injection, but will retain its overhead valve design to keep costs down and the engine compact.

Power should come in around 440 horsepower, which isn’t much better than the 436 available in the current C6 Corvette. Fuel economy should improve, though, over the current ‘Vette’s 26 mpg highway rating.

The C7 Corvette should debut in 2012.

Not to be outdone by the BMW X6 and Acura ZDX, Mercedes-Benz is working on a coupe-crossover called the GLC. Reports claim the new model will slot into its lineup sometime in 2014.

The GLC will be smaller than the X6 and ZDX, based on the same compact platform that will underpin the next-gen B-Class. Look for a four-cylinder 1.8-liter engine with 204 horsepower powering the front wheels in standard form, with AWD available as an option.

Grand Caravan RT conceptFinally, minivan news rarely excites most people, but Dodge would like to change that by offering a special version of the Grand Caravan called the Man Van.

The rumors, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, come from Dodge dealers, who were told about the Man Van last month. The van could be similar to the concept that Chrysler displayed at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit dubbed the Grand Caravan R/T Concept. The concept’s bright orange/red metallic paint, ground effects, hood scoop, blacked-out grille and giant wheels certainly tried to look the masculine part.

The launch of the Man Van could happen within months, which I take as a sign that it will arrive as a trim option, without any added performance under the hood. If that’s the case, rather than being perceived as a cool minivan, the Man Van will just be a bigger target for ridicule. A hood scoop on a minivan? I pity the guy who pulls up to his weekly poker night in one of these…

What would it take for a Man Van to be cool? I think minivans are already cool enough in their practical, no-nonsense kind of way.

-tgriffith

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