Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Corvette Central: Revamped C7, radical mid-engined C8 in GM's plans

28 posts in this topic

Corvette Central: Revamped C7, radical mid-engined C8 in GM's plans

By JULIAN RENDELL

General Motors is mulling a radical re-engineering for the Chevrolet Corvette, centered on a more fuel-efficient, mid-engined V6 powertrain, a lightweight alloy body and a more compact footprint.

The idea is to re-energize GM's ambition for the Corvette, with fundamental changes that will make it into a contemporary global supercar. The changes are penciled into GM's product plan for the next major model change, the C8, with an on-sale date around 2016. Both coupe and convertible models are planned.

The C7 had been the focus of plans for a mid-engined model capable of matching Europe's most exotic supercars. The mid-engined C7 got as far as engineering development but was canceled when the global credit crunch hit and GM faced financial woes that eventually led to the company's trip through bankruptcy court.

As a result, GM recast its Corvette plans around a more modest revamp of today's C6 into the C7 version, essentially a stopgap until the world-beating C8 arrives.

"That [the C7] will be the last of the traditional, old-style Corvettes," a senior GM insider told AutoWeek.

That will buy GM time while it works on a revolutionary new concept for the C8 Corvette that can blend fuel-economy and emissions improvements with the required level of supercar performance and handling.

Engineers are likely to shrink the C8 Corvette's footprint to cut weight and aerodynamic drag and reduce its visual bulk, which also will help with sales outside the United States.

Likely to shock Corvette purists is the suggestion that a V6 will replace a V8 in the C8, although 440 hp courtesy of twin turbochargers ought to calm fears of reduced power output.

With a traditional C7 on the horizon and a world-challenging all-new C8 in the wings, the survival of GM's greatest sports car likely will depend on its adaptability more than on its longevity.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100317/CARNEWS/100319875#ixzz0iThXy7ky

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting mixed signals from the above.

GM wants the then C7/now C8 to be more 'globally contemporary' with other (assumedly mid-engined) exotic supercars, but it appears that configuration is tied in with an assumption of increased sales. I don't see the connection.

What current mid-engined car comes close to the current Corvette's U.S.-only sales ??

Only one with any volume (I have no idea what) would be porsche...

There's just a leap of logic up there, IMO - someone 'splain.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet More Rumors Of Mid-Engine, V-6 C8 Corvette

By Nelson Ireson

Car Expert

March 17th, 2010

Rumors of a mid-engine layout for the C7 Corvette have been laid to rest by GM, but that's not stopping the mill from postulating on the properties of the C8 generation. The latest whispers circulating the dark alleys of the automotive underworld: a mid-engine, V-6-powered Corvette.

The V-6 rumor has made the rounds before, as well, as the speculative motivator of the C7 ZR1, though that, too, is unlikely for the next-gen car. The C8, however, may yet see such innovation, if GM can break from the traditional mold of the Corvette and its V-8-loving fan base.

It's important to remember that the first Corvettes were not eight-cylinder cars. They were, in fact, powered by a 235 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine. The V-8 wasn't introduced until 1955. But since then, it has become the iconic powerplant of the car and the Corvette nameplate, so doing away with it for a V-6--even a twin-turbo mill--will take some convincing. Other speculation has involved the addition of all-wheel drive.

A mid-engine layout is even more troublesome, both in terms of using an evolution of the current--and excellent--Corvette platform, and in terms of production and cost. A mid-engine layout would require a lot of newly-engineered and very special-purpose parts and equipment, with the cost unable to be shared to any other vehicle in the GM stable.

Nevertheless, the rumors persist, and we can't say we wouldn't be intrigued to see an American, mid-engine supercar return to the scene. The Corvette already delivers some of the best performance figures in the world in the shape of the ZR1, while doing it at an incredible price. Could a mid-engine car take the Corvette to the next level? Or would it merely trash a tradition of brawny, brilliant American front-loaders with proportions that would scarcely, if at all, resemble the long-hood, large-fender Corvettes we've all known for the last 57 years?

link:

http://www.motorauthority.com/blog/1043518_yet-more-rumors-of-mid-engine-v-6-c8-corvette

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the v6 ME car would be a good case for the "vette" brand... not saying i agree with it. but makes me think buick bengal in terms of size, just a tad bigger. but if it was a model of it's own, would like to see turboed NG 3 and 3.6L's as the engines. if the vette has to have a v6, better be a TT 3.6L or whatever they do to it make it larger or smaller.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is pure speculation when it comes to C8. Every time Corvette comes for a new design, mid-engine thoughts crop up. GM does not even have complete picture for the C7 other than its F-R layout, making comments about powertrain and other details of C8, which will be another 8-9 years down the road is speculation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure on the mid engine as it will be a risk.

But the V6 will at some point be a prime option due to the goverment. I think they should put it off as long as possible but with 2.0-2.9 liter cars making up 63% of the market now it will be hard to slow the death of the V8.

The V8 once was a dominate engine and now will be something you see on only a few models in the not to distant future.

I think they want to see how far they can take the Vette in a new direction with out killing off the traditional buyers.

Just read in Dave Mclellan's book Inside the Corvette. I noted that GM design pushed hard to get the Vette team and Chevy to accpet a proposal to do a space frame mid engine Vette. It was turned down by both. The idea was reserected into the Fiero tough watered down a bit from what the Vette could have been.

As long as Chevy makes a car that can compete with the best at prices near sports car entry level they will do ok. Just don't water the performance down. We don't need a Chevy Cayman.

As large as GM is they can supply their car with things for less than most small sports car mfg's can. They need to keep using this to their advantage. The sharing of engines will be key V8 or V6. The formation of a source of low price Carbon body parts will be key and if they can share this with other cars like Cadillac etc it will trickle down.

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it would be a big mistake to change the the corvette to mid engine.

its just that is what the corvette is, a Cadillac Cien could be the mid engined vehicle

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mid engined would be a big mistake. I have a feeling though that a V6 is coming to the Corvette. GM is killing off the V8 in the name of CAFE or just because they are cheap. Aurora, Bonneville GXP, GMT360 SUVs, Monte Carlo SS/Impala SS, LaCrosse Super, Grand PRix GXP, GTO, G8, XLR, Sigma SRX all dead. STS, DTS, Lucerne are likely dead after the 2010 model year and the Northstar goes with them. It looks like in a year or two only the Camaro, Corvette and CTS-V will offer V8s in addition to the GMT900s. And if the Camaro goes to alpha as expected, the Camaro V8 days are probably numbered.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the V-8 is part & parcel of the Corvette's heritage, but I still wonder what the bottom line reaction would be for a same-performance-level --say-- twin-turbo V-6.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think offering a turbo V6 as the base engine doesn't hurt, as long as there is a V8 option. But then again, the Corvette doesn't need more power, it needs work on styling, interior, pricing, etc. Sales aren't down 48% because of the car's 0-60 time, there are lots of other areas to address. But if the Corvette became V6 only that would be lame.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YOU may not like the styling... tho that would only be a failure to recognize the iconic, IMO.

Pricing is better than just about anything else in its class.

Interior is arguable as far as the reviewers opinion goes; I wasn't overly impressed, but there absolutely are worse out there.

Sales are still better than anything else in it's class, and that's not in spite of 'a bunch of other things to address'.

Edited by balthazar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They trot this nonsense out every time we are due for a new Vette.

Grain of salt, folks, grain of salt.

Now a Cien would be another story...

Edited by Camino LS6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I see, hear and read the V6 in the C8 and no V8 is more of a goal and less of an option.

The new C8 will be more of a change since the 1963 C2. They are looking to not making Vette owners happy but world sports car buyers happy with a world class car with no heritage items that dtract from its goal. While we may see a gil or round tail lights the transverse leaf and V8 look to have a good shot of being gone.

With a world market this will open the door to many more sales and if they lose some of the past die hards so be it. I think if ths car is as good they would like it to be much of the heritage things will be over looked. If it out handels a Ferrari the trans leaf will not be missed and if it will run a 0-60 in 3.0 no will will miss the V8 and if it out stops a Porsche no one will be ashamed to be seen in it.

As for the engine I started to think about the signals GM is sending.

Alpha platform has never been stated as a V8 car. The V6 Turbo in Leno's car is one sign of their thinking.

Cadillac showing the XTC with a 3.6 V6 and no V8...... Will the CTS V move to the Vette V6?

The Vette the holy of holy V8 cars moved away from the V8? This would be the last car I would expect GM to use a V8 in. As of now it looks as if they have other plans.

The only thing they have not sent a signal on is the trucks. The only thing they have shown us is a greater interest in Diesel. They keep making them more powerful and better mileage. How long till we see them as a option in the 1/2 ton trucks?

It is looking more and more like GM wants to cut the V8 as much as they can by 2016. Today 64% of all cars are 2.0-2.9 liter and this trend will only continue.

I have warned the Turbo 4-6 engines will be the work horse of the future.

I hate to say it but no matter all the claims on Mileage and other things the LS has to offer the future plans just seem to have little focus on them for new products. In a day of 300 HP 4 cylinders and 400+ HP V6 engines that have the ability to get even better mileage with out many of the hybrid tricks the V8 will be a rare item. I still feel the V8 will be around but it will not be common by any means like it is today.

I look for GM to focus on perfromance numbers in the Vette and let them speak for the car. Lets face it even Ferrari has for the most given up on the gated shifter and other halmarks of the brand. Only the red and the prancing horse remain from the past for the most part.

Thge buyers of the future are no so nostalgia driven. The younger buyers of cars like the WRX and other like modern performance cars could care less on cylinder count and worry more about performace numbers. To them fast is fast and today is the good old days not 1967.

The big heritage thing for the Vette to keep is the world class performance at a value price. This is where the volume is and Volume is what keeps the Vette affordable and alive. The base car today keeps the Vette alive not the ZR1 or Z06. It is the base and Grans Sport that make the others possible.

I don't like or agree with some of this but it is just what I think I see happening and the message GM is sending. 2016 and later are going to be tough on a wounded industry with the goverment regs we have and the more we will get. They are not done yet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such a bleak outlook, Hyper.

Fortunately, I don't share it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such a bleak outlook, Hyper.

Fortunately, I don't share it.

I don't want to see it but at this point how many new V8 cars is GM planning or even hinting at? You know the truth that the Vette would be the last car GM would remove the V8 from but that is not what they are talk. The V6 may have not made it in the past but today times are different.

I would like just one hint at a new V8 car and right now there is not a trace.

The automotive future has changed and for performance to survive things will have to be done differently. Sorry but Reality sucks! GM has to play the cards delt to them.

With companies like Aston making a FWD Nissan or Porsche and Ferrari working on hybrids everyone is looking for a new direction. The world is changing and not in a way you or I like.

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Vette is just a bit more secure than you indicate.

1) The trucks will require V8s damn near forever.

2) The Vette is a drop in the CAFE bucket: inconsequential in that regard.

As for other V8 cars, they also will be too few to impact CAFE in a very meaningful way.

My final cause for optimism is that V6s have very little advantage mileagewise over V8s.

So yeah, the sea of 4-bangers will get deeper and wider - but I won't be buying them. That's fine with me as long as what I want is still offered.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue I see in hyper's post is: the Corvette is not a V-8 for heritage reasons, but for performance reasons. A 400-HP (V6) is a downgrade from the current BASE car, and there are a few HP levels above that as we kno. Not going to see 600+ from a V6.

Going downmarket, performance-wise, which is 90% of the appeal of a car like the Corvette, is akin to what was done in the late '70s, and it will hurt the global reputation, which is the stated goal. Regardless of what hints may be floating around right now, those are the facts of the market segment.

And let's please not mention the tranverse spring again as if it was an issue or factor in need of 'fixing'... there's no basis for that, certainly not in reality but also not in perception.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Vette is just a bit more secure than you indicate.

1) The trucks will require V8s damn near forever.

2) The Vette is a drop in the CAFE bucket: inconsequential in that regard.

As for other V8 cars, they also will be too few to impact CAFE in a very meaningful way.

My final cause for optimism is that V6s have very little advantage mileagewise over V8s.

So yeah, the sea of 4-bangers will get deeper and wider - but I won't be buying them. That's fine with me as long as what I want is still offered.

That is just it your world is changing.

The reality is smaller turbo engines today can be made as powerful but more efficent no matter how you spin it.

Also the issue is they are looking to reinvent the Vette for people that do not care so much for traditon. They want the best they can get for the money not hinged on heritager issues.

Think of the new Vette as going through the change the Harley V Rod went throught. While it is still a v twin the entire bike is something that appeals to a much wider group and has sold very well.

Like I said these are just observations I have made and like em or not that is all we have till we are given something more. I never thoght GM would even hint at a V6 let alone speak out for it.

As of now there is no V8 mentioned anywhere in the GM line up to come in future product. Also other like Ford and many others have stated they have considered removing the V8 from their cars.

I agree the future looks bleak unless there are some changes.

Besides a Vette in Europe would need to be smaller and more efficent if to sell in any volume. People over there want power and do not get hung up on cylinder counts. Most were 6 and 4 cylinders Not many V8 Porsches sold over how many years? That is if you don't count the SUV'and Sedan. The 928 was only a drop in the bucket.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"Besides a Vette in Europe would need to be smaller and more efficent if to sell in any volume."<<

Again- Corvette is in the low end of other hi-po sports cars in external dimensions.

Corvette ~ 174.6

porsche 911 ~ 175.6

porsche Cayman~ 172.3

ferrai F430~ 177.6

ferrari 599~ 183.7

A-M DB9~ 185.5

A-M vantage~ 172.5

maser GT coupe~ 192.2

nissan gtr~ 183.1

audi r8~ 174.6

So no- it does not "need" to be smaller to compete.... unless everything larger ALSO "needs" to be smaller to compete, too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you will find many of these cars will shrink in size and weight in the next 10 years. The green movment has them all scared in Europe. It is only going to get worse I am sad to say.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think hyper's right. Think about it... there are rumors that an upcoming Charger R/T will simply be a turbo V6. Ford has mentioned possibly losing the V8, and has shown a strong case with the TT V6. GM has shown the Jay Leno TT V6 Camaro.

Aside from trucks/SUVs, how many GM vehicles have a V8 in 2010? Camaro, Corvette, Lucerne Super, DTS, XLR, CTS-V. I don't see the Super or DTS being around too much longer, which kind of spells the end of the Northstar. That basically leaves the Camaro, Corvette, and the V-Series.

For performance purposes, I honestly see them putting a small V6 in the upper-level Buicks, a TT V6 or small turbo V8 in the V-Series cars, a bigger (3.6ish) turbo in the base Corvette as well as whatever they put in the V-Series cars for the Z06 and ZR1, and the same base engines for the Camaro as the Corvette while being detuned. Even this new 5.5L V8 seems big to me.. I see 4.8L being about the biggest they'll go with for a next gen V8. And I do see them having a new V8 afterward, packing it with technology, and putting a blower on it to put them in the Corvette, V-Series, and maybe Camaro.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"I think you will find many of these cars will shrink in size and weight in the next 10 years."<<

Corvette at least has already shrunk & lightened, maintaining it's weight for much longer than the industry norm.

The others for the most part have only gotten larger & heavier. They have a lot more to change.

I just object to calling out the Corvette as if something is wrong with it and everyone else is 'getting it right'.

There's a great challenge lying ahead- where automakers are installing battery packs and computer systems to drive the car by itself, where design has stagnated and technology now sells 'the new'... yet all cars are too heavy and must be lightened.

An enterprising full-line makers needs to get a 'Minimalist Car' on the market to test the water for automotive frugality on all fronts in this vein. I don't think there's much room for 'progress' on this front without decisive content downgrading.

Edited by balthazar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0