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Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High-Revving Turbo V8

“We have to target a very different sort of buyer.”

by on May.25, 2011

Coming at you: GM will adopt a European-style, small-block, turbocharged V8 for the next-gen Corvette.

This exclusive report (c) TheDetroitBureau.com.  It has been updated to reflect additional details.

Anxious to attract the sort of high-performance buyers increasingly drawn to European sports cars from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini, General Motors is planning some major changes for the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette – starting with a high-revving, small-displacement powertrain, that will substitute for the big V8s traditionally found under the hood of the Chevy 2-seater.

TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that GM has approved the use of a very European-style V8 that will be only slightly larger than 3 liters in displacement.  The engine will be of an overhead-cam, rather than traditional overhead-valve design, using a dry sump oil system that’s particularly well-suited to high-performance road courses rather than straight-line acceleration. The engine is expected to feature a narrow 80.5 mm bore and a long stroke, more like a Ferrari or Lamborghini powertrain than the approach used for traditional Motor City metal.

The Inside Story!

A very senior GM executive also confirmed that the new engine will be turbocharged, which will help yield a broad torque curve and maximum performance under a variety of driving conditions.  The engine is expected to deliver in excess of 400 horsepower, which means a specific output in the range of 125 horsepower per liter.  That’s the sort of number that would help the next-gen Vette stack up well against the likes of a Porsche 911 or Lamborghini Gallardo.

The engine is likely to be extremely high-revving, perhaps climbing to a near-Formula One-class 10,000 RPMs, suggested one source involved in the project.

The revelation tracks in line with a recent comment by General Motors’ North American President Mark Reuss, who recently promised that the so-called C7 Corvette, due to market in less than two years, will be “completely different” from the very American sports cars that have come before it.  Since its launch in 1953, Corvette has been governed by the philosophy, “there’s no replacement for displacement.”

While Reuss and other senior executives have declined to discuss plans for the next Corvette publicly, several well-placed sources have given TheDetroitBureau.com a good sense of what’s to come.  The small V8 underscores what one of those insiders says is the desire to “target a very different sort of buyer for the next Corvette.  Let’s face it, the current customer is getting old.”  But without making significant changes, that source acknowledged, younger sports car fans will continue to be “conquested” by more modern, high-tech imports.

Significantly, Corvette won’t abandon its more classic powertrain roots entirely.  There will be several different types of engines offered for the C7, including a more classic, big-block OHV V8 designed to appeal to traditionalists.

In fact, some of the design cues of the new car will be borrowed from early generations.  There have even been rumors of the C7 going with the split window of the very collectible 1963 Corvette, though TheDetroitBureau.com has not been able to confirm that detail has been given the go.

Meanwhile, expect the interior to be much more modern than the current car’s, which GM’s global design chief Ed Welburn admits, “is a disappointment.”  The styling boss, a long-time Corvette fan himself, says he is personally overseeing the development of the C7 interior and promises it will be “absolutely world-class.”

Adopting a mid-engine layout, rather than the long-running front-engine design, is considered a strong possibility, though it would be a significant engineering shift for GM.  Nonetheless, sources say that wouldn’t be entirely out of line, as the Corvette has often served as the technological test bed for the maker.

GM adopted the then-radical approach of using a fiberglass body when the original 1953 Corvette was launched.  The sports car has introduced plenty of other features, over the years, including the MagneRide suspension, which uses a magnetically controlled fluid to continuously vary suspension settings to match road conditions and driving behavior.

When migrating from the fifth-generation Corvette to today’s C6 model, GM trimmed weight and brought the sports car’s overall size down to something closer to that of a current Porsche 911.  Anticipate further cuts in mass for the upcoming remake of Chevy’s halo car.

GM is investing $131 million in the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the Corvette to prepare for the C7 launch.

The use of the new small-displacement V8 is likely to have some knock-on effects at GM, said one of TheDetroitBureau’s sources.  As with current Corvette powertrain technology, the high-tech engine will find its way into the Cadillac line-up, it appears, where it would help that brand’s V-Series evolve into a more sophisticated offering, rather than the brute-force line-up it is today.

The switch to a smaller, turbocharged V8 isn’t exclusive to GM, incidentally.  Ford made the move with its big F-Series pickup for 2011, offering a downsized EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 — which delivers the same sort of towing power as the F-150′s biggest V8, while yielding significant fuel economy improvements.

Mike Levine, a contributor to TheDetroit Bureau.com, and editor of PickupTrucks.com, contributed to this report.

 

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20 Responses to “Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High-Revving Turbo V8”

  1. [...] For what it’s worth, we’d rather see them take all that green they’re supposedly spending on this new small V8 and use it to upgrade the current engines. If they can tweak a 3.0 liter V8 up to 125 horsepower per liter, imagine what they could do with the Z06′s 7.0 liter LS7…okay, it’s not as simple as it sounds, but we bet a turbocharged, higher-revving LS7 could easily put down 700 horsepower or more. [Shout-out to The Detroit Bureau!] [...]

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  3. [...] next generation Corvette. The first C7s expected are expected to arrive as a 2014 model. Source: TheDetroitBureau via Autoblog Related: [RUMORS] Automotive News Proclaims 2012 as Last Full Year of C6 Corvette [...]

  4. [...] Source:TheDetroitBureau via Autoblog [...]

  5. [...] more: Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High … Posted in Corvette, News Tags: chevrolet, chevrolet-corvette, corvette, general-motors, hood, [...]

  6. [...] The Detroit Bureau Also Don't Miss:Mid-Engine Corvette C7 Rumors Resurface Over QuoteRumormill: C7 Corvette Will Debut [...]

  7. [...] Corvette with a turbocharged V8 engine to be available in about two to three years from now.Source: TheDetroitBureau.comAKPC_IDS += "16226,"; Related Posts:Chevrolet Corvette mid-engine V6 possibility2011 Hyundai i45 [...]

  8. [...] The Detroit Bureau reports that the C7 Corvette’s European-style V8 could weigh in at just over 3.0 liters and use an overhead-cam setup with a dry sump oil system. With help of a turbocharger, GM sources seem to expect that this engine will produce somewhere north of 400 horsepower. Could a Corvette ever compete? [...]

  9. [...] will “target a very different sort of buyer.” That’s an interesting statement. The Detroit Bureau says it has the scoop on what the change of buyer will entail in a practical [...]

  10. [...] today, entitled "Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High-Revving Turbo V8," the DetroitBureau.com website states the [...]

  11. [...] Don’t start leaving flaming bags filled with dog poo in front of General Motors headquarters just yet, though. The report says the big OHV V8s found in current Corvettes should soldier on, giving buyers a choice of which engine they want. As for where either engine will sit, TDB says the mid-engined option remains a “strong possibility.” Somehow, that mid-engined Corvette rumor is like Harold Camping’s doomsday predictions: no matter how many times it’s incorrect, some people still want to believe. [via The Detroit Bureau] [...]

  12. Paul A. Eisenstein says:

    Folks,
    Let me clarify something: my understanding is that the C7 Vette almost certainly WON’T be mid-engine, though that’s still under discussion for the C8 (yep, GM is already looking that far ahead).
    But considering the fact that the rumor of a mid-engine C7 won’t die, as several of you note, we felt it needed mention.
    The small 3+-liter V8 is not a rumor. It was clearly and solidly confirmed by several of the most senior folks at GM and several others connected with the program itself.
    Paul A. Eisenstein
    Publisher, TheDetroitBureau.com

    • C6 driver says:

      Paul, It seems this engine is a V8 version of the new Ilmor/Chevy Indycar lump. When I fist read about the new unit I thought that it might well show up in the C7 in one form or another. Makes a certain amout of sense using the Indy lump as a testbed.

  13. [...] today, entitled "Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High-Revving Turbo V8," the DetroitBureau.com website states the [...]

  14. [...] that the car will “target a very different sort of buyer.” That’s an interesting statement. The Detroit Bureau says it has the scoop on what the change of buyer will entail in a practical [...]

  15. [...] “Next Corvette to Target Euro-Supercar Fans With Small, High-Revving Turbo V8,” the DetroitBureau.com website states the [...]

  16. [...] [Πηγή: TheDetroitBureau.com]     Κατηγορίες: Chevrolet GM  Tags: 2013 Corvette2014 CorvetteC7C7 CorvetteChevroletChevrolet CorvetteChevyCorvetteCorvette turbo V8general motorsGMGM Corvettegm turbonext-generation Corvetteturbochargedturbocharged V8 CorvetteV8 CorvetteVette Παλαιότερο Άρθρο » [...]

  17. [...] that in the end, are more show than go. I suppose this is why I was a bit taken back a bit when The Detroit Bureau reported that the next generation C7 Corvette was going to feature a small displacement turbo [...]

  18. Anonymous says:

    [...] a boat house, split window, V6, smaller displacement, no leaf springs….it's a feeding frenzy. The Detroit Bureau is even publishing rumors — from a "senior GM executive" — will be a 400+ horsepower [...]