Corvette fans love their cars, leaf springs, bad interiors and all. Over the years (and six generations of Corvettes) they have been generally put down by lovers of fine European sports machines. Snubbed and snobbed, Corvette fans don’t care, because they know they’re driving a bargain performance car.
But the present Corvette has been getting long in the tooth, and sales in 2010 were dismal (12,624 sold). As of April, Chevy has sold 4,293 cars to date in 2011, up almost 22 percent. Rebates and financing deals have helped.
So, finally, GM is making appropriate noises about refreshing the car for 2012, hoping to keep these dedicated buyers in the fold. Finally, the base car gets a better interior, and the Z06 gets some new Michelins, new brakes, spoiler and other cosmetic stuff.
What’s really needed, of course, is a new car. But a “completely different” C7 (per GM’s Mark Reuss) won’t happen until 2013, and the company is being very coy about any details, so rumors abound.
Autocar claims that a midengine layout is “a strong possibility,” though that would require an entirely new platform. A turbo V6 is more likely to be offered as an option to the V8, which may get downsized from 6.2 liters to 5.5, but still produce in the 440-hp range.
Ed Wellburn, GM’s VP for design, has called the present cockpit “a disappointment” and promised the new C7 interior will be “absolutely world class.”
GM announced last week it would invest $131 million in its Bowling Green, Ky., plant to produce the new car. I think it would be foolish to go midengine, with all the engineering and development problems that would entail. Let the car have a flashy new look, an efficient V6 for power, and keep producing 4.2-second 0-60 mph times.
And keep the base price in the $50K range. Corvettes have always held their value pretty well, but I am seeing some substantial bargains on DealFinder.
Does the Corvette still maintain its iconic status? Why so, or why not?