There’s been another flurry of Corvette news on the waves of the internet lately, and although the extolled narratives are still mostly speculation, we’ve read some hypothesizing about the future of GM’s sports car, that’s clearly off the mark.
So, as avid followers of the Corvette and the happenings at Bowling Green, here’s our seasoned spin on the state of the Corvette and it’s future models, ya know, to set the record straight.
The On Again Off Again, Spits and Spurts Production Thing at Bowling Green.
The Corvette factory in Kentucky will re-open the first week of November 2017, after a brand new paint system is incorporated into the manufacturing line. Arguably, Bowling Green as we knew it, “died” when they closed it for this state-of-the-art paint upgrade a couple of months ago, and every ‘Vette that rolls off the line from now on, will be from a “new” factory and process.
GM killed factory tours this summer for 18 months and conveniently synced it’s re-opening in time for the 2020 model intro. They might as well have leaked the date the C8/Mid-Engine/CadVette will debut.
Aside from the new paint booth, GM is doubling the floor space in the factory as well with an investment of almost two-thirds of a billion–with a “B”– dollars in Bowling Green Assembly.
We’ve also read some folks speculating that the C8 would begin production when Bowling Green re-opens in a week or so.
Not true, the 2019 C7 Zr1 is the next new model intro we’ll see from Corvette.
ZR1 Will Debut in Detroit in 2018 Probably In Pilot Production NOW.
With the 2017 North American International Auto Show–NAIAS–roughly two months out, we’ll eat a bug if Chevrolet isn’t already sitting on a bunch of production ZR1s ready to roll out for the mother of all car shows in Detroit.
We’ve been teased and taunted by arm chair speculation on the internet, but aside from tipping it’s hand by revealing when it would re-open the Corvette factory to public tours, Mother GM has been pinched and tight lipped as well.
Nonetheless, signs that Chevrolet is at the end of gestation and “in labor” with the C7 ZR1, are the scantily clad mules that are running around suburban Detroit. The C7 ZR1–essentially a Corvette version of Camaro ZL1 with the 1LE package–are fully cooked and ready to go.
GM is relying heavily on the ZR1 car to take the aging C7 platform to the fountain of youth, rejuvenating interest for the marque with an associated sales increase. Enough to bide it’s time until the revolutionary C8 debuts.
The “Mysterious,” Truncated 2018 Model Year.
As mentioned before, the C7 is in it’s “third act,” of a three act play. After selling almost 75k copies in 2015 and 2016, GM is sitting on a mountain of unsold Corvettes and as anyone looking for a new C7 can attest, there’s a fire sale going on your local Chevrolet dealer.
Corvette–and Camaro–have been hovering around 200 days of sell-through stock, when 60 days is the norm.
So, what a better way to cull the herd than to have a truncated 2018 model year that brings supply in parity with demand? As an added bonus, they can run the “new” Bowling Green factory at a leisurely pace and perfect the new-fangled paint system.
As an added twist, the 9700 units Chevrolet announced it would build for 2018 is the lowest production figure in years for Corvette, so if you’re into that, grab an ’18 model before it’s too late.
The Mid-Engine Corvette, Pics and Vids
We’ve seen a bevy of mid-engine beauties circling suburban Detroit and GM’s supercar is looking production ready. We STILL don’t know if it’s a Corvette or a Cadillac or if their will be two versions of the mid-engine car, one for the Bow Tie brand and and another for the
Wreath and Crest division. But, we’ll just lob that out there and let you dissect.
One thing’s for certain, we still can’t get our heads around re-writing the Corvette blueprint with a sole, mid-engine model, and we think that it being a Cadillac would solve that problem.
Either way, we reiterate that the C8/CadVette’s debut will occur around the time Bowling Green re-opens for public tours, around fourth quarter of 2018. Look for the C8 to debut in Detroit, January 2019, as a 2020 model.
In the meantime, see Road and Track’s video of the C8 in the wild.
The ZR1 will have a large displacement–2600cc or bigger–supercharger on top of an LT based V8 motor pushing out at least 750hp, named the LT5. If the DOHC motor rumors are true–which we suspect they are–it will debut on the C8.
GM Electrification News
Speaking of power plants, the Corvette has been the tip-of-the-spear for GM performance for decades and that will include alternative propulsion. With General Motors announcing it will go all-electric, the Corvette will be on the front of that bandwagon.
We’re sorry for any cognitive dissonance guys, but GM’s mid-engine supercar will debut with either in-line electric motors or hybrid drive system via GM’s extensive experience with Volt and Bolt. Expect blinding acceleration and a new era in Corvette performance.
The Pics Of Corvette Body Panels
First there was a salesman that said he had pics of the C8’s rear fenders and now Corvette Blogger via Corvette Forum has more body panels–front and rear fascias to be exact.
Here at Corvette Online, we have burnished our best “scoop reporting” skills, paying homage to Jimmy Olsen, Clarke Kent and that pesky minx, Lois Lane, and have come up with exactly zilch from any of our contacts in the industry.
Why? Because GM has been tighter than a frogs patoot regarding anything about the future of Corvette. What’s a bigger story that these pics is whether or not GM’s “KGB” has come a-knockin’ on these guy’s door…
For now, that’s the 411 on the C8. All of this is speculation at this point. If you think we’re off base here, tell us why in the comments.