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    Rumorpile: A More Affordable Corvette In The Works?


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 27, 2013

    Are you wanting the new C7 Corvette Stingray, but are a bit wary of the pricetag? A new report says GM is prepping a lower-cost Corvette.

    Motor Trend is reporting that General Motor is working a low-cost model of the the C7 Corvette due out in 2015. The new model, called Corvette Coupe will be very different from the Corvette Stingray. For starters, the name will not have Stingray anywhere at all. The Corvette Coupe will also have changes to the front fascia and fender, and rear diffuser.

    Power will not come from the Stingray's 6.2L V-8. Instead, the Corvette Coupe will use a 5.3L V8 engine with direct injection producing 400 horsepower.

    We'll be keeping on eye on this to see if this comes true or not.

    Source: Motor Trend

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Just an idea floating in my head that I'm going to share here... GM should have taken advantage of the new Corvette and embarked on the opportunity to create the "Corvette" brand within the Chevrolet dealership network. Instead of the Chevrolet Corvette, it could have spawned the Corvette by Chevrolet brand with the Stringray model being the first offering. Then to capitalize on the interest of the previous Kappa 2-seater consumers, used the Alpha platform to spawn a more affordable (aka, not cheaper) secnd model. Since GM will be restricting sales of the new Corvette to large volume dealers, these dealers could have made a boutique for the new Corvette Stingray and eventual Corvette Alpha model (possibly named Mako). No new separate showrooms, no separate sales or service staff, but a more defined approach to selling this halo brand. Selling a cheapened Stingray (5.3L V8, fixed roof, different styling - i.e. more basic looking) will degrade the status symbol the new Stingray will be. Instead, having a smaller 2-seater based on the Alpha platform could allow for more "Corvette" owners in a different category (not selling to the price over status consumer that this Corvette Coupe will likely attract).

    Just my :2cents:

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    Here is the issues at hand.

    The goal of the Corvette group are two with the C7.

    #1 is to double sales from last years 12,000 units. They state they can get by with 12,000 but if they continue to drop they could face issues with the business case for the C8

    #2 They want to increase appeal to younger buyers and owners of other brands. To offer a lower priced model will open the door to many people who can only afford a used Vette. It also opens the door to more advanced expensive models with better features that sell at lower volumes.

    The key it to do this right. They need to make this car so while it is a Vette there is no mistaking it for a Z06 or Stingray. The Vette today has really become a brand within a brand and I think Chevy is looking for ways to expand the brand to more potential buyers.

    Also a lower priced model like this would appeal to weekend racers, track time drivers and auto crossers. Keep the car simple fast, lighter and cheaper. In other words get back to what a true sports car once was and not hurt sales of the top end models. Many of the younger buyers and racers would be more than happy to build these cars with performance parts and add as much power and suspension improvements as they desire. They can build a car GM could never offer.

    While there has been talk of a smaller cheaper sports car at Chevy the truth is do they need two sports cars when you have a Corvette? Just make a special package that has more appeal to other buyers not interested in a $75,000 Vette.

    The 911 for years has been a sports car for the masses in many versions from a base car to a full blown awd twin turbo model that sells well into the 6 figures. Porsche managed and marketed it right and it only added sales to the line. GM can do this but they have to give the base car it's own appeal.

    Add to this the smaller sub Alpha Turbo coupe would help fill a need below the Camaro and the Camaro will still offer the performance if you need more than two seats.

    I am willing to see just what is planned as if done correctly this could really be a good thing. If mismanaged it could back fire.

    This is a chance where Chevy can offer that low end car for racing that many have asked for years. Also the owner base of the Vette is much like what Cadillac saw as they get older and die off and are not being replaced by younger owners. The young buyers are now going else where as they are not automatic Vette lover like we had in the past and two not all of them can afford the inflated prices. While the Vette is a good car for the money it is still not cheap to buy like you could in the past. The price of performance is how fast you want to be is based on how much are you willing to spend.

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    I do not support this idea at this point. The car loses its specialness. And it should always and forever remain a Chevrolet Corvette.

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    i support the notion of a base car, but also question if less displacement is the way to go. maybe keep the 6.2 but detune it just slightly. of course a 5.3 with only 400hp is no slouch. I am ok with this. Guys, we need the corvette to not just be for old farts. Price needs to come down to sell a few.

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    The Corvette will always be special so I see no issue there. We are talking about adding about 5,000-10,000 cars to the mix.

    As for the engine more power is there you just have to pay more. I am sure they can keep the weight down and lets face it 375-400 HP is not any kind of a dog on the road and if that is not enough just slap a Magnusson Supercharger or Edlebrock Charger on it.

    A car like this would be a boon to my line of work. We will see some parts for the C7 Vette in the next year but we already have a ton of new parts for the Toyota F86.

    If anything I see the decontented car as being the best to modify for the most performance. No electronic suspension and electric exhaust to deal with etc. I see it as a canvas real car guys can build their own Vette on. To me this is the kind of car that will let you take the Vette back to its roots if you like. In the old days people used to race their Vettes at the track and strip and then drive it home.

    My boss started his company buying parts for his 67 427 Vette he still own. He drag raced it for years and it was restored back to mostly stock last year. It has a lot more power under the hood than stock and the Chevy rally's are 17". You see little of that today with a stock Vette.

    Also having a kid with braces coming and collage a little later it may be my best shot at getting a new Vette anytime soon.

    I also see the tuners all over this one as they can offer a cheaper car with a lot of power at a lesser price than many of their other creations. Imagine what Lingenfelter could do? The original Shelby was just a base Mustang at one point.

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    One aspect of this I'm sure of.

    It absolutely, positively, has to be a "just right" offering.

    Right now, I'm thinking about what that might be.

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    any idea how freaking easy it will be for the aftermarket to come up with mods for a GM 5.3 V8 in the Corvette? The ability to cross-sell to the Silverado, Sierra, Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon guys alone would be enough.. the extra sales from the Vette would be gravy.... plus whatever else the 5.3 ends up in (SS, Caprice, Holdens, Camaro)

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    This idea is not without precedent..remember the plethora of engine options available on the mid-60s-early 70s Corvettes? Usually a small block and a big block, each with two or three different levels of tune. No reason why this can't be true again.

    A C7 with a 400hp 5.3 should perform at least as well as a 2005 C6. Similar output to the LS2 but in a lighter body. I wouldn't be so quick to call this car a slouch.

    Only thing I disagree with...I'd still call this car a Singray.

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    I like this, I think GM could do a family of V8's here.

    Base level 5.3L V8

    Mid level 6.2L V8

    Mid Level + 6.2L V8 Supercharged

    Performance level 8.1L V8 Supercharged

    Yes I know the LS9 is a Supercharged 6.2, but there is something to be said for size and after seeing a few Supercharged 8.1L V8's, you can build a monster that can kill everything else. This could give you 4 sweet rides.

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    any idea how freaking easy it will be for the aftermarket to come up with mods for a GM 5.3 V8 in the Corvette? The ability to cross-sell to the Silverado, Sierra, Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon guys alone would be enough.. the extra sales from the Vette would be gravy.... plus whatever else the 5.3 ends up in (SS, Caprice, Holdens, Camaro)

    I really do not see any cross selling here with the engine.

    But yes the upgrade in the aftermarket would be great and GM could even offer many dealer installed SPO parts that would keep it with the warranty for those who worry about these things and make a buck or two for the dealers. We sell a ton of parts for the LS engines as it is and will do the same for the LT engine once the parts are ready

    I do know they are working on a LT4 package but unsure what car will get it. I have heard it will be the ZO6

    The key here is different level of performance cars has never hurt most of them. Camaro, Bird, Mustang etc all have had expanded sales with different models at different price ranges.

    The key here is price as to make it low enough to appeal to more buyers for sales but high enough to include content that would make it still worth buying. You discontent it too much and you will only attract the weekend racers for a few hundred sales.

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    This idea is not without precedent..remember the plethora of engine options available on the mid-60s-early 70s Corvettes? Usually a small block and a big block, each with two or three different levels of tune. No reason why this can't be true again.

    A C7 with a 400hp 5.3 should perform at least as well as a 2005 C6. Similar output to the LS2 but in a lighter body. I wouldn't be so quick to call this car a slouch.

    Only thing I disagree with...I'd still call this car a Singray.

    About where my thinking sits at the moment.

    But the details will really tell the tale.

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    I see today the SRT group are now going to offer discontented products to lower cost and expand sales. I guess that GM is not the only one thinking this.

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    There should be a cheaper Corvette, the Corvette was always more about affordable performance, and recently the price has been going up and up. The Corvette needs to sell, and you don't survive on Z06's and ZR-1's. GM knows Corvette sales are down and their average buyer age is way up.

    I don't like the truck engine, but they have used one for 30 years anyway, so Corvette fans won't care. I'd rather see a turbo V6 but they probably won't go that route. Even with 350 hp, with a 6 or more speed transmission, and the Corvette's weight it should do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, that is still pretty quick.

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    Here is the issues at hand.

    #1 is to double sales from last years 12,000 units. They state they can get by with 12,000 but if they continue to drop they could face issues with the business case for the C8

    Corvette calendar year sales for '11 were 13164, they rose to 14132 for '12, so they're going in the right direction if indeed 12K is some sort of 'line'.

    Meanwhile porsche 911 sales were just 8528 for '12, according to this site's posted sales numbers. When the cayenne debuted, it was widely reported that porsche as a whole 'needed' the SUV to stay afloat, and indeed it supposedly is generating the capital to keep the money-losing 911 afloat.

    A more basic base model is not a bad idea as long as it works in concert with the Corvette aura. It will not move the needle much WRT buyer age or sales volume, but sales volume should be (distantly) secondary to product & profit. Even IF the Corvette flirts with the red ink, GM, and Chevrolet more specifically, can more than offset that red with profit from elsewhere. As iconic & class-leading as the car is, it's future should be locked in for eternity. If it wasn't shot behind the ear in 1979, it sure as hell is safe in 2015. If there's a question there from within GM, that person needs to be reassigned to the unemployment line.

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    I see today the SRT group are now going to offer discontented products to lower cost and expand sales. I guess that GM is not the only one thinking this.

    chrysler's mission is to make their brands hazy, and i think there is some evil scheme so they can sell their 'brands' at more dealers or something.

    One thing corvette should diversify on, introduce an all wheel drive model.

    Edited by regfootball
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    I did see the number were adjusted since I saw the other posted that Tadge gave on this.

    Either way this is a car that used to sell 20K-30K units as an average for many years. As time has gone on it has continued to drop. more and more for an average.

    Yes Porsche would not be here if it were just the 911 only.

    the fact is contrary to your conjecture the Icon status is good but still not enough to make the Vette fight for its life on several occasions in the past and according to Tadge fight again if he can not increase sales. In these competitive times nothing is sacred anymore. If you read the Dave McClelland book Inside the Corvette you will find it has not always been an easy ride for the Vette and it has had to fight for its life several times. Tadge today as the leader of the Vette team stressed in his interview that they can not afford to lose anymore sales if they expect to have a future. His goal to double production is to secure the future and not let the car be left in jeopardy on his watch,

    Even if it does not get killed off the loss of extra funding would be a major issue for any future product development. The goal now it to get this thing back on track as work for looking into the C8 has already been looked at. From what was stated before the C7 is not expected to be here as long as past C models and they would like to get a C8 here much sooner. If sales do not increase and GM still needed money in many other higher volume areas it would constrict the money going to a low volume project like the vette.

    I used to think the Icon title was enough but I have since seen from those in the Vette program that it is not a give for a free pass any more than any other car at GM. They may have more people fighting for it from the Vette team but again they still have to make the same business case to GM as everyone else and they really want to see a return on the dollar invested. Even other past Vette leaders have pointed this out.

    Now they do get a little more attention and have a little more fight than most model teams but they still have to earn their place. Volume, Profits and image, no one rides free.

    Also to consider the Vette team does not want to go to a V6 but Tadge stated there is a contingency plan in place if it has to be done. Could this lower priced car be put in place so that if they have to do it they can replace the V8 with a V6 later on and still offer the higher end cars and not tarnish the image totally. I am not sure if this is the plan but we have other factors that we much consider that we are not apprised of to think about.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    A V6 Vette, and an AWD Vette are simply nonsense.

    There would be zero gained, and much lost.

    Agree with the V6,

    But disagree with AWD.

    With the LS9 or if you put in a 8.1L supercharged monster with 1000HP, AWD would truly give you the grip to get the ponies to the ground without vaporizing your tires. I have driven many AWD auto's and can truly say they are superior to RWD only when pushed to the limits.

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    A V6 Vette, and an AWD Vette are simply nonsense.

    There would be zero gained, and much lost.

    AWD is the only reason the GT-R can do what it can do.

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