The current Chevrolet Corvette is probably the best Corvette to date. The 197 mph Z06 is also probably the best-valued supercar in the world. So, how on earth does GM surpass this with the 2012 C7 model which is planned to be released in 2011 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet?
That is a good question, and GM executives are planning the replacement right now and asking themselves the exact same thing. GM may be suffering at the moment in the current economic conditions. However, they will not and are not going to let one of America’s longest lasting nameplates to linger too long without a replacement.
At least that is the current plan. Some sources believe that it will be impossible for GM to bring out the new Corvette in 2012. Some are predicting delays until 2013. Others are predicting the earliest that we will see the C7 is 2015, if we see a new model at all. If the new model is delayed until the 2013 model year the current C6 Corvette will be the second longest running model in Corvette history.
The current economic situation is not the only problem GM has as far as the new 2012 Corvette is concerned. The 2007 federal fuel economy standards law dictates that the corporate average fuel economy must be 35 mpg by 2020. This mandate will affect the options GM has with the layout and hardware choices for the new C7.
GM is said to be considering three different propels for the new 2012 Corvette. Whichever design is chosen, the new vehicle will have to have better fuel economy and will have a higher performance than the outgoing model. GM is rumored to be considering a twin-turbocharged V6 direct-injection or a smaller V8 for the new model. Some even think that a mid-engine Corvette is being considered by engineers at GM. However, this option is likely to be too expensive and offers very little weight savings anyway.
Hopefully, GM will survive in one form or another after this current economic crisis is over. The Corvette has too much history to let it just expire as a model. Even if the new C7 is delayed from 2011 to 2015 and is not brought out in time for Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary, let us hope that GM continues to work on the icon that has excited us so much over the years.