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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    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 [email protected] 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 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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    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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    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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    The V6 contingency is what Tadge stated and I am only the messenger Since he is in charge of this party and really wants to stay with the V8, I suspect he knows much more than anyone here what he may have to deal with in the future hence the Contingency. Like it or not guys on this program know more about the topic than we vs. other programs.

    AWD to me is so over done. It is great on cars like the Veyron where they have more power than the car needs or can put down. The parasitic loss and added weight are non factors. On cars like the Vette they are still able to use their power and put it down with out the need. Winter driving not really a factor since few people drive Vette in the cold or snow more due to salt and stone chips vs traction.

    AWD is nice for winter driving for people with few slippery road skills but letting it hang out and drifting a Vette only enhances the fun. When I was auto Crossing a Z06 letting the rear drift out was the whole point. Taking the driver out of a sports car just for numbers is counter productive on the fun to drive meter.

    The GT86 has smaller tires to let the drive slide it around vs. just planting it. With the lower power they chose to keep the driver engaged.

    As for the V6 like it or not it may be an option at some point even if it is only for overseas markets. If what I hear is true the Mustang that is going global will only get a Ecoboost Turbo V6 in Europe no V8.

    In dealing with higher and higher CAFE regs and global markets all the cards will be on the table for the C8.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    So you know more and considered all the factors known to a 33 year engineer like Tadge Juechter and know better?

    The is more at stake here than just MPG. What if the V8 at some point in the next 15 years is pulled from all cars at GM? Odds are against it but in that time span things can happen fast enough to change that.

    Juechter wants and will keep the V8 as long as he can but even some things are out of his control. There is a lot more in play here and it may come to the point they may be faced with this.


    While I think the odds are still in our favore with the v8 things can change and change fast. As for Europe and else where taxes and other issues with engine size come into play and a V6 Turbo may play well in other parts of the world and sell even more Vettes.

    Please look big picture.

    The bottom line is if the lead engineer in the Vette team is concerned enough to have a V6 contingency plan then there is a possibility he feel good and well he may need one and has a damn good reason to be ready.

    Sorry if I do not trust you may have all the fact but I know Juechter does to I will yield to his discursion. I think he may just have an inside edge on what is in play and what this car may face.


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    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 27, 2013

    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.

    How's that supposed to be cheaper? Displacement reductions save zero dollars in terms of production costs. If they really want to make a "cheaper" corvette, the simple thing to do will be to drop VVT, drop cylinder deactivation and drop Direct Injection. Displacement stays so tooling and reciprocating assemblies can be common for economies of scale. Going to a V6 makes even less sense. Any V6 powerful enough for a vette -- even an entry vette -- would have to have two turbos and an intercooler assembly (or two of them). Any bi-turbo V6 will cost more than the V8. But honestly, I don't think they will touch the engine.

    Simply eliminating the removable roof panel (which most drivers don't care for anyway) is a given. I'll actually pay extra for a fixed roof since I have zero desire for the sun and very much prefer additional stiffness and elimination of a source of leaks and noise. Switching from carbon fiber back to fiber glass for the hood, eliminating magnetorologic shocks, dumping the variable muffler system and going to smaller wheels w/ taller sidewall tires will save enough money to drop the price tag to "early" C6 levels. Want to save more money? The stitched leather dash can be replaced by Cruze style fabric coverings and the leather seats can be decent vinyl instead (contemporary vinyl can be pretty good actually and they use it on about 1/2 the BMW 3-series or C-class sold). Next comes the stuff that start to hurt desirability but are not particularly essential -- dropping power seat adjustments (which actually saves weight), dropping powered steering wheel adjustments, dropping seat heaters (the base BMW 528 doesn't have it either), dropping auto-dimming mirrors, dropping Navigation, going to halogen projectors instead of HID and, yes, eliminating non-regulatory airbags (you only need the two front ones to meet regulatory requirements).

    The point here is that all of the aforementioned save money to help make the car more affordable. Changing displacement does not. In fact, changing displacement actually adds to the overall cost of corvette production by adding a discrete engine model (which cannot be the Vortec version because the intake manifold would have been too tall).

    Edited by dwightlooi
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    One interesting aspect of this is the blurring of the lines between independent models, option packages, and stand-alone options. This new lower-cost model brings to five the number of Corvette sub-models and starts to beg the question of the logic behind having so many distinct versions vs. doing the same thing via the line-item option list on a car with such low volume. It makes me wonder if there might be a point at which allowing a wider range of checklist options might be a better overall approach - even from the manufacturer's vantage point. Separate certification for five distinct sub-models of a sportscar that only sells around 12-17,000 units has to get a bit expensive. Then there is the need to differentiate the sub-models via specific trim and functional bits with bespoke parts for each. And, if they have to do artificial things like using the 5.3 and withholding the "Stingray" moniker to "position" the sub-model, line-item options start to look like a more attractive method.

    Edited by Camino LS6
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    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 27, 2013

    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.

    How's that supposed to be cheaper? Displacement reductions save zero dollars in terms of production costs. If they really want to make a "cheaper" corvette, the simple thing to do will be to drop VVT, drop cylinder deactivation and drop Direct Injection. Displacement stays so tooling and reciprocating assemblies can be common for economies of scale. Going to a V6 makes even less sense. Any V6 powerful enough for a vette -- even an entry vette -- would have to have two turbos and an intercooler assembly (or two of them). Any bi-turbo V6 will cost more than the V8. But honestly, I don't think they will touch the engine.

    Simply eliminating the removable roof panel (which most drivers don't care for anyway) is a given. I'll actually pay extra for a fixed roof since I have zero desire for the sun and very much prefer additional stiffness and elimination of a source of leaks and noise. Switching from carbon fiber back to fiber glass for the hood, eliminating magnetorologic shocks, dumping the variable muffler system and going to smaller wheels w/ taller sidewall tires will save enough money to drop the price tag to "early" C6 levels. Want to save more money? The stitched leather dash can be replaced by Cruze style fabric coverings and the leather seats can be decent vinyl instead (contemporary vinyl can be pretty good actually and they use it on about 1/2 the BMW 3-series or C-class sold). Next comes the stuff that start to hurt desirability but are not particularly essential -- dropping power seat adjustments (which actually saves weight), dropping powered steering wheel adjustments, dropping seat heaters (the base BMW 528 doesn't have it either), dropping auto-dimming mirrors, dropping Navigation, going to halogen projectors instead of HID and, yes, eliminating non-regulatory airbags (you only need the two front ones to meet regulatory requirements).

    The point here is that all of the aforementioned save money to help make the car more affordable. Changing displacement does not. In fact, changing displacement actually adds to the overall cost of corvette production by adding a discrete engine model (which cannot be the Vortec version because the intake manifold would have been too tall).

    Again you miss the big picture!

    The Idea of a smaller engine with less power is pure marketing. The idea is to make the more profitable car more attractive to not just the guy who what's the real leather seats over cloth but also to the guy who wants more power.

    Profits are in the cars with the most options and the one key option that is a driving force to get people to spend more money is power. Hence the more powerful engine in the higher content car. This is more than just prices and cost it is about peoples buying habits and how to drive them into spending more money.

    The lower model is still there for those who can do the work themselves or if that is all they can afford like the LT2 Camaro. Low end cars are for profits by volume the high end cars are for pure profits at low volume. this is how the luxury segment is making 55% of the automakers profits. with only 1/5 of the cars sold.

    It is simple you put the large engine in the cheap car and you kill profits or sell twice as many cars. Not an easy task in a 2 seat market.

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    One interesting aspect of this is the blurring of the lines between independent models, option packages, and stand-alone options. This new lower-cost model brings to five the number of Corvette sub-models and starts to beg the question of the logic behind having so many distinct versions vs. doing the same thing via the line-item option list on a car with such low volume. It makes me wonder if there might be a point at which allowing a wider range of checklist options might be a better overall approach - even from the manufacturer's vantage point. Separate certification for five distinct sub-models of a sportscar that only sells around 12-17,000 units has to get a bit expensive. Then there is the need to differentiate the sub-models via specific trim and functional bits with bespoke parts for each. And, if they have to do artificial things like using the 5.3 and withholding the "Stingray" moniker to "position" the sub-model, line-item options start to look like a more attractive method.

    The cost here are not all that much since all models are based on the same car. Only in this case the engines are the once added cost to have more than one for certification.

    Discontenting the cars cost little but does cut into profits. The trick is to create an attractive package that will still appeal to a large enough group of buyers that they will sell in volumes great enough to make it worth while. No everyone wants a radio/AC delete car so you still need to give them something but at a lower cost.

    The thing with the Vette is it went from a single model to two and now even more. As the content and performance has climbed it has gone in to challenge even more expensive cars. Right now it is fighting with cars twice its price at a good value but has lost that entry level buyer they always had in the past. I hear many old timers who talk of the days they bought a Vette new right out of high school on money they made on their own. Some were even going to collage and working and still bought one. Today few younger people can even think of this unless they got a job out of High School writing programming for video games.

    It is no wonder many younger people care less and less for the Vette as they do not ever see owning one in their future unless they win the lottery. House payments, kids, lease on the mini van will take that all away and leave them with enough they can maybe buy a Subaru or some other cheaper performance car. Factor in also that the Vette is really a third car and luxury for most as it is seldom a daily driver for 90% of the owners. Lack of room etc. relegates it to the weekend car.

    Selling a Million Dollar super car is easy. You sell 1500 over 3 years and people are lined up waiting. The profits are great even at low numbers. But a low price sports car under $100.000 is nearly as difficult as reaching the moon. Yes it can be done but it is hard to do at low volumes under 15,000 unit sold. The Vette is a rare breed as it has done it for so lone but even it is facing a challenge anymore. If Vette sales ever drop below 10,000 units for more than one year things may not be as easy for them. Several Vette directors have publicly stated that there are no free passes on this car just because it is a Vette and they still have to show a profit and earn their keep.

    Ford did well when they offered the Mustang in the Shelby, GT and 5.0 coupe This combo offered the car to many buyers and they paid for what they could afford. In the Vette the engines can be used as the Ace to drive the buyers into spending more since the rest of the car is pretty locked in mechanically less some of the enhancements like Magnetic Shocks etc. You will still get the same tranny and rear end. You will still have the same frame and other hard points.

    Either way the car today is in need of more volume and you are not going to increase in the areas of the Z06 and ZR1 so other things need to be looked at. Once the bounce of the new C7 has worn of you need to capture sales from other makes or present people unable to afford the Vette today to retain volume.

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    A great many parts are different between the sub-models beyond the engine, and they are spread over a very low-volume.

    One has to question that wisdom when looking for a stable volume while maintaining profit.

    Old habits die hard, and conventional thinking can be like wearing blinders. In the case of Corvette, it would pay to at least look at other ways to offer the variety without so many sub-models.

    The devil would of course be in the details. but the hide-bound corporate SOP may not serve them well in this instance.

    Looking at other methods is called for here, I think.

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    I think I'd be tempted to fold the proposed Corvette Coupe, the Corvette Stingray, and the Corvette GS into a single model: the Corvette Stingray.

    I'd then use the same body panels and the Stingray name on all of them and differentiate with option packages and stand alone options on a very basic standard Stingray.

    The very base car could offer a ZoK package that preps it for SCCA-style racing while also offering a place to start for an affordable street car.

    If they want to offer the 5.3, I'd make it the standard on all three packages with the 6.2 available across the board. That way, those who want a low-optioned race car can choose the 6.2 if their application calls for it, and those who just want a nice, comfortable, automatic cruiser can opt for the 5.3 if they like.

    For the standard Stingray, I'd offer the usual corporate option packages as standard equipment with stand-alone upgrades available. This car is the meat of the market and where the weekend cruisers and convertible buyers are.

    Same for the GS, with the exception being the 6.2 and a suspension upgrade being standard.

    Zo6 and ZR-1 would be as they are now relative to the rest and based on a single basic body and hardware package.

    They key is the base car. I would promote it as the ZoK rather than the "Corvette Coupe" or "The low-cost car" . It needs to be a Stingray in all the ways that really matter while providing the bang for the buck reputation that Corvette has earned over the years. Way basic, but with a long list of upgrades available. And I'd race it anywhere it could get exposure.

    So what you'd have is two distinct versions of Corvette with a range of possible equipment for each.



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

    There would be zero gained, and much lost.


    Very, very short sighted. Very. JMO

    I know AWD is your holy grail, but I think a much better home for it would be a car like the SS rather than the Vette.

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    Too bad you are not privy to all the info GM holds.

    Some how thinking changes when you hold all the facts, figures and demographics. It is a whole lot different than just running GM web.

    Next time you are with Scott ask him just what all goes into planning like this. Make sure you have 4 hours and you are buying him something to drink.

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    Too bad you are not privy to all the info GM holds.

    Some how thinking changes when you hold all the facts, figures and demographics. It is a whole lot different than just running GM web.

    Next time you are with Scott ask him just what all goes into planning like this. Make sure you have 4 hours and you are buying him something to drink.

    None of us here hold all the facts - but it sure would be fun if we did.

    Still, that doesn't stop what we think from being valid.

    As for Scott, I believe that he no longer drinks.

    And I am a veteran of such talks.

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    Wouldn't surprise me if we see the 3.6 liter V6 in the Corvette one day, and without turbos. GM dumped V8s out of Cadillac in a hurry in favor of a 3.6 liter V6, they took the V6s out of Buicks in favor of 2.4 liter 4-bangers. The Impala is getting a 4-cylinder for the first time ever. I can see them putting a 330 hp 3.6 liter V6 in the Corvette hard top priced at $46k looking for sales, and forcing people to pay $55k for a "Stingray."

    This is how the "new GM" works. The ATS got a 200 hp 4-cylinder just to advertise a low entry price and make people pony up more money for the engine you want. The biggest Buick sedan has an engine from the Chevy HHR, the biggest Cadillac has a 300 hp V6, not a V8. The next Camaro is getting a 4-cyldiner. Don't think they won't do it to the Corvette too.

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    Too bad you are not privy to all the info GM holds.

    Some how thinking changes when you hold all the facts, figures and demographics. It is a whole lot different than just running GM web.

    Next time you are with Scott ask him just what all goes into planning like this. Make sure you have 4 hours and you are buying him something to drink.

    None of us here hold all the facts - but it sure would be fun if we did.

    Still, that doesn't stop what we think from being valid.

    As for Scott, I believe that he no longer drinks.

    And I am a veteran of such talks.

    He has stopped from Alcohol but you can still buy him a beverage. A man gets thirsty when dispensing facts. LOL!

    I know you have sat in but with some of the things you come up with at times makes me think you need to sit down again and really see where GM is at today and not look from where they were a few years ago. Things now for better or worse are different and to predict where they are going you have to use their present thinking.

    All I can say is one shift in the light truck market based on reactions to government regulations and the gas V8 could be out the door pretty fast. With the larger truck mostly going Diesel now and few cars using them GM could make a fast shift in the market.

    Unlike you most people today do not own a V8 and more than half of them have never owned a V8. The ground under the future of the V8 is much like a sink hole. It may hold up for 5 years, 10 years or 15 but at any time it could all of sudden change and drop like a sink hole.

    Today all the cards are on the table and the V8 is not holding a trump hand. The Ace they have is the 1/2 ton truck and it can be lost at any time if the wrong things fall in place.

    I am not trying to be doom and gloom but this is the reality of todays market. We no longer have millions of sedans and coupe supporting this engine and we do have smaller engines that can produce more than enough to power the smaller and lighter cars of the future. I think GM will hold on as long as they can but the clock is ticking and one day the time will run out.

    The LT1 is better on fuel but it is not enough.

    So many things that we took for granted for years like bench seats, wagons, coupes and other past popular things are now gone. Nothing is sacred with automakers and even the buying public. The loss of Pontiac almost went with out a whimper by most.

    The Vette guys faced a similar situation in the past. In the late 70's GM had planned the killing of the V8 and they were looking for options. Chevy put a V12 BMW engine in a Caprice. The Vette boys put two V6 engines in a Citation to see if they could get two motors and AWD to work. I think we are back to this kind of thinking as if and when the hammer drops they need to be ready. Till then we will have a V8.

    The real goal now is to sell more volume and to do so you are not going to see a long term increase in Z06 or ZR1 models. Also with the car going to Europe and China engine size is a taxing matter. Smaller engines will come into play and we will see it first overseas.

    On Top Gear this week they stated word in England is the Mustang will not be coming with a V8 over there. Just the smaller twin Turbo and 4 in Europe. It will be interesting to see if this holds true. IF it does it will be very telling of Fords thinking.

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    Ugh.

    Your responses are always a novel, chock full of off-topic subjects not pertinent to the subject at hand.

    That, and assumptions about what I think rather than what I've said.

    It has gotten old.

    We are here to speculate, express our ideas and hopes, and have a discussion of what could be, not to listen to pronouncements of "how it is" and that it is time to accept what you see as some inevitable future.

    To put it more colloquially, lighten up Francis! You're pissing in my cornflakes!

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    One interesting aspect of this is the blurring of the lines between independent models, option packages, and stand-alone options. This new lower-cost model brings to five the number of Corvette sub-models and starts to beg the question of the logic behind having so many distinct versions vs. doing the same thing via the line-item option list on a car with such low volume. It makes me wonder if there might be a point at which allowing a wider range of checklist options might be a better overall approach - even from the manufacturer's vantage point. Separate certification for five distinct sub-models of a sportscar that only sells around 12-17,000 units has to get a bit expensive. Then there is the need to differentiate the sub-models via specific trim and functional bits with bespoke parts for each. And, if they have to do artificial things like using the 5.3 and withholding the "Stingray" moniker to "position" the sub-model, line-item options start to look like a more attractive method.

    The cost here are not all that much since all models are based on the same car. Only in this case the engines are the once added cost to have more than one for certification.

    Discontenting the cars cost little but does cut into profits. The trick is to create an attractive package that will still appeal to a large enough group of buyers that they will sell in volumes great enough to make it worth while. No everyone wants a radio/AC delete car so you still need to give them something but at a lower cost.

    The thing with the Vette is it went from a single model to two and now even more. As the content and performance has climbed it has gone in to challenge even more expensive cars. Right now it is fighting with cars twice its price at a good value but has lost that entry level buyer they always had in the past. I hear many old timers who talk of the days they bought a Vette new right out of high school on money they made on their own. Some were even going to collage and working and still bought one. Today few younger people can even think of this unless they got a job out of High School writing programming for video games.

    It is no wonder many younger people care less and less for the Vette as they do not ever see owning one in their future unless they win the lottery. House payments, kids, lease on the mini van will take that all away and leave them with enough they can maybe buy a Subaru or some other cheaper performance car. Factor in also that the Vette is really a third car and luxury for most as it is seldom a daily driver for 90% of the owners. Lack of room etc. relegates it to the weekend car.

    Selling a Million Dollar super car is easy. You sell 1500 over 3 years and people are lined up waiting. The profits are great even at low numbers. But a low price sports car under $100.000 is nearly as difficult as reaching the moon. Yes it can be done but it is hard to do at low volumes under 15,000 unit sold. The Vette is a rare breed as it has done it for so lone but even it is facing a challenge anymore. If Vette sales ever drop below 10,000 units for more than one year things may not be as easy for them. Several Vette directors have publicly stated that there are no free passes on this car just because it is a Vette and they still have to show a profit and earn their keep.

    Ford did well when they offered the Mustang in the Shelby, GT and 5.0 coupe This combo offered the car to many buyers and they paid for what they could afford. In the Vette the engines can be used as the Ace to drive the buyers into spending more since the rest of the car is pretty locked in mechanically less some of the enhancements like Magnetic Shocks etc. You will still get the same tranny and rear end. You will still have the same frame and other hard points.

    Either way the car today is in need of more volume and you are not going to increase in the areas of the Z06 and ZR1 so other things need to be looked at. Once the bounce of the new C7 has worn of you need to capture sales from other makes or present people unable to afford the Vette today to retain volume.

    Interesting to note, Miata sold 364 units last month. Recreational cars in general are a huge challenge. Crossovers are what is being bought. I bet most makes, their 2 top sellers are SUV's / crossovers that sell and make so much money, they subsidize the development and offering now of not only Corvettes and miatas, but even at some point you have to ask the question if its even on the table to have to keep offering so many different sedans.

    By saying that I just mean it's that much more imperative that Corvette bump up volume now and prove that a new C8 is worth it. You know GM would rather sell more crossovers.

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    One interesting aspect of this is the blurring of the lines between independent models, option packages, and stand-alone options. This new lower-cost model brings to five the number of Corvette sub-models and starts to beg the question of the logic behind having so many distinct versions vs. doing the same thing via the line-item option list on a car with such low volume. It makes me wonder if there might be a point at which allowing a wider range of checklist options might be a better overall approach - even from the manufacturer's vantage point. Separate certification for five distinct sub-models of a sportscar that only sells around 12-17,000 units has to get a bit expensive. Then there is the need to differentiate the sub-models via specific trim and functional bits with bespoke parts for each. And, if they have to do artificial things like using the 5.3 and withholding the "Stingray" moniker to "position" the sub-model, line-item options start to look like a more attractive method.

    The cost here are not all that much since all models are based on the same car. Only in this case the engines are the once added cost to have more than one for certification.

    Discontenting the cars cost little but does cut into profits. The trick is to create an attractive package that will still appeal to a large enough group of buyers that they will sell in volumes great enough to make it worth while. No everyone wants a radio/AC delete car so you still need to give them something but at a lower cost.

    The thing with the Vette is it went from a single model to two and now even more. As the content and performance has climbed it has gone in to challenge even more expensive cars. Right now it is fighting with cars twice its price at a good value but has lost that entry level buyer they always had in the past. I hear many old timers who talk of the days they bought a Vette new right out of high school on money they made on their own. Some were even going to collage and working and still bought one. Today few younger people can even think of this unless they got a job out of High School writing programming for video games.

    It is no wonder many younger people care less and less for the Vette as they do not ever see owning one in their future unless they win the lottery. House payments, kids, lease on the mini van will take that all away and leave them with enough they can maybe buy a Subaru or some other cheaper performance car. Factor in also that the Vette is really a third car and luxury for most as it is seldom a daily driver for 90% of the owners. Lack of room etc. relegates it to the weekend car.

    Selling a Million Dollar super car is easy. You sell 1500 over 3 years and people are lined up waiting. The profits are great even at low numbers. But a low price sports car under $100.000 is nearly as difficult as reaching the moon. Yes it can be done but it is hard to do at low volumes under 15,000 unit sold. The Vette is a rare breed as it has done it for so lone but even it is facing a challenge anymore. If Vette sales ever drop below 10,000 units for more than one year things may not be as easy for them. Several Vette directors have publicly stated that there are no free passes on this car just because it is a Vette and they still have to show a profit and earn their keep.

    Ford did well when they offered the Mustang in the Shelby, GT and 5.0 coupe This combo offered the car to many buyers and they paid for what they could afford. In the Vette the engines can be used as the Ace to drive the buyers into spending more since the rest of the car is pretty locked in mechanically less some of the enhancements like Magnetic Shocks etc. You will still get the same tranny and rear end. You will still have the same frame and other hard points.

    Either way the car today is in need of more volume and you are not going to increase in the areas of the Z06 and ZR1 so other things need to be looked at. Once the bounce of the new C7 has worn of you need to capture sales from other makes or present people unable to afford the Vette today to retain volume.

    Interesting to note, Miata sold 364 units last month. Recreational cars in general are a huge challenge. Crossovers are what is being bought. I bet most makes, their 2 top sellers are SUV's / crossovers that sell and make so much money, they subsidize the development and offering now of not only Corvettes and miatas, but even at some point you have to ask the question if its even on the table to have to keep offering so many different sedans.

    By saying that I just mean it's that much more imperative that Corvette bump up volume now and prove that a new C8 is worth it. You know GM would rather sell more crossovers.

    At least someone understand the big picture as it is and not as we wished it to be.

    With Cross Overs it is not just the volumes but the profits per vehicle. With so many in the higher price Luxury range they can pull more profits per unit than even a pick up truck.

    Is it no wonder so many sports car makers are building a SUV or thinking about building one.

    The market has fundamentally changed and the Vette needs to find a way and place to remain relevant to more buyers and new buyers. Moving globally will be a great help but it means changes that some may have a hard time dealing with. Some flakes will get soggy for some in the minority.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    This thread is not about crossovers.

    It is not about sedans.

    Nor V6 engines

    Nor AWD

    It is about a possible lower-cost Corvette.

    It's not about Europe, nor China.

    It's about a proposed sub-model for Corvette. which:

    -Would use the 5,3 V8 rather than the 6.2 V8

    -Have new fascias front and rear

    -Use different headlights

    -Not carry the "Stingray" name

    I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems to me those things are what we ought to be discussing here.

    The idea of a lower cost Corvette is an interesting idea, maybe even a great idea, but the recipe indicated by the article is certainly suspect. The headlights might save a buck or two, but the new fascias and engine can only add cost to production. And the idea of trying to market a new sub-model as less than worthy of the "Stingray" name can only be a handicap.

    It sounds as if the car is being set-up to fail rather than succeed.

    If the goal is a less expensive Vette that will boost sales, then the specifics need to change.

    That, is what I have been saying here.

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    You are Micro and we are looking Macro.

    Sorry the future is global. The case in point is the Miata has lived on only because of a global market as has other cars like the Mini. Even Ferrari would wither and die if they only lived on Europe or Italy.

    Don't think for a minute that the Roadster intro in Geneva is only for a tease of Europe with Chevrolet now there as a global brand.

    I agree specifics many need to change but we have so few specifics at this point how could we argue anything on that point? We need more info before we option by option. As of now you can only speculate about the target markets that they will look at and can help. Also we need to be wary of the many out side factors that effect the Vette.

    Obervations of other sports car makers can help us learn how they are working to cope as they face the same issues. The Italian market as well as the Euro market for Supercars is struggling big now. Could a powerful cheaper Vette gain ground there?

    This deal is more than just arguing what engine size on a car that we do not even know what engine it will have yet. Also you need to think what is good for the Vette in the market and not just what is acceptable to you. They could sell you a car now it's those who they can sell one too that is a concern.

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    Maybe some specific questions would help here.

    Does adding the 5.3 make sense?

    If it does make sense generally, does it then make sense to restrict it to just the new sub-model where it will sell, what? Maybe 5,000 units?

    And given that low-unit total, do new fascias offer any viable case for a reasonable ROI?

    And how will withholding the "Stingray" name affect the perception of the new sub-model?

    What other features might be beneficial for this new model?

    What features should be unavailable? Optional?

    How should it be promoted?

    Would it be held back from dealers who are not "high volume" as has been announced for the Stingray?

    Much to discuss, if you ask me.

    EDIT: And one more thing - Now is exactly the right time to discuss it, before it is set in stone.

    Edited by Camino LS6
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    To answer your questions.

    1. Yes , it would give incentive to those who want more engine to still spend more money on more profitable models or they can save and take less engine. This is no different than a Camaro SS as you can not get a V8 in a LT2.

    2, Yes restricted to the base model again would move those with the money to buy the more expensive car and leave this to those who want to spend less or can afford more. They do not offer the SLA V8 in a LT2 do they? And do not say they should as this is marketing and the key is to make the customer find a reason to spend more for a higher profit model.

    3 Not sure what you mean by ROI but a fascia change is cheap even at low volume if you can fit it to the present platform. Hell even my HHR SS got new front and rear on a vehicle that only sold around an average of

    3000 units per year. GM has even done special fascias for even smaller numbers with no issue.

    4 It would change the perception of the Stingray more as it would be seen as a step up vs just a Corvette. I would expect a option code would be used to give it a cool factor if not another name. Manta Ray? Don't make this a bigger deal than it is.

    5. A good non electronic handling package. The ability to order the racing seat option if you want it. A selection of radio's you can choose from. Also a Brake option. I would keep it simple and make most simple add on performance options for the weekend racers. I would offer them as a low cost performance office package and leave it as that. This is the car that most will add their own parts too like a Corsa, tires etc. I would include a performance dash but a lesser version.

    6 Not available would be expensive systems like the Brembo brakes, Carbon Fiber, any of the larger engines and the magnetic shock package. No heads up, no later additions of a targa or convertible.

    7. It would be sold as the less expensive Vette you can build to your own spec and afford. The price for the most part will sell it on its own. Might make a SPO parts group available for this cart that would not void the warranty to draw the younger set that like to do their own work. Right now few in their 20's can buy a Vette and if they do they can't afford to make changes. This age group likes to personalize.

    This is only a small shot of the big picture. things like this.

    With the Vette going global what would appeal to other markets in a affordable car?

    What options would they expect?

    How many cars does GM expect to sell in this model?

    What are GM's goals here?

    What is their thinking on marketing?

    Sorry our thinking was directed at your questions so much as we had our own thinking going.

    I would not worry about things set in stone as I am sure that concrete has already been set by this point. It is unlikely we will change anything here anyways.

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