Let’s play a game of what-if for a minute.
I’ll set the stage for you. Think of the cars in the stables of Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, or any other luxury/performance automaker. What do they all have in common? A full range of automobiles that meet the needs of specific target markets, of course.
Some of the bigger automakers now even have family haulers and SUVs. That was nearly unheard of when Porsche introduced the Cayenne SUV, but today it’s standard fare, even for the likes of Bentley and Lamborghini.
Now think about General Motors. The U.S. automaker owns Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, and Cadillac, but doesn’t currently have a luxury performance brand to compete at the top of the auto market.
But it could have one waiting in the wings.
Bob Lutz was once a name that dominated these pages in the months and years leading up to GM’s 2009 bankruptcy. Since his retirement, the automotive mogul and former GM executive has stayed pretty quiet, but he’s always been, and remains, a passionate advocate for performance cars. Especially the Corvette.
The Corvette brand is fascinating, because it’s the one Chevy that doesn’t seem like a Chevy. Corvette is a name that can, and often does, stand on its own.
That, according to Lutz, is what gives Corvette the potential to become its own brand and even spawn a series of performance vehicles, an SUV included.
The people over at The Detroit News took some time to envision what a Corvette lineup of vehicles might look like, and the general consensus is, if GM built a Corvette SUV, people would buy it. The article said of the fictional SUV,
Start with the C7’s dramatic, sculpted lines created by Tom Peters and widely recognized as one of the best designs in Corvette’s 54 years. All performance SUVs are essentially vertically stretched, five-door versions of familiar sports coupes, giving them an inherently heavy look compared to low-slung two-seaters.
But angular designs like our mock XC7 or Lamborghini’s Urus show that it’s possible to break with the soap-bar shapes of the Porsche Cayenne and Maserati Levante. With Corvette’s trademark shark nose, scooped hood and quad exhaust pipes, it would drip with menace.
Lutz is fully on board with the idea, however the one small hangup is that he no longer works for General Motors. A Corvette SUV would benefit from the GM parts bin but would also require an all-new architecture, which the accountants aren’t likely to be too happy with. Plus, the theoretical vehicle would probably take sales away from Cadillac and GMC. Strike two.
The likelihood of a separate Corvette brand isn’t strong, but it’s an enticing idea that would be fun to see become reality.
How likely would you be to buy a Corvette-branded performance SUV?