If the level of interest being shown for the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette were to translate into sales it’s likely the vehicle often referred to as “America’s sports car” would handily top the charts.
And now, with spy shots and technical details beginning to leak out into the media, Chevy is getting ready to pull back the curtains and show the world what it’s come up with for the 2014 model, known to aficionados as the C7.
The world will get its first official look at the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette on January 13, 2013 during a preview at the Detroit Auto Show. But Chevy is already offering a few tempting details – and a look at the logo for what is only the seventh version of the sports car in its 60-year history.
“We set out to build a world-challenging sports car with design, refinement, efficiency and drive engagement that is second to none,” declares Tadge Juechter, the program’s chief designer. “The result is a truly all-new Corvette.”
Insiders have cautioned that the new 2-seater won’t be as radical a remake as once had been rumored. There’s no move to a mid-engine powertrain layout, for example. But Chevy still is betting that what was once a product largely limited in demand to the North American market will soon gain much greater appeal worldwide, allowing the C7 to establish such sports car powerhouses as Porsche and even Ferrari.
The maker says only two parts will carry over from the existing model: a cabin air filter and the rear latch for the C7’s roof panel.
Among the big questions is what Chevrolet will offer under the hood. The maker will reveal plans for an updated small-block V-8 during a news conference next week. The 2014 ‘Vette is expected to get more power even though that big engine will be downsized in the base car – with larger versions of the V-8 planned for the next-gen Corvette Z06 and ZR1 variants, as is the case today. The latest small-block should migrate to direct injection and higher compression ratios, according to inside reports.
But, at least early on, GM insiders were hinting of plans to tackle European competitors more directly with more high-tech engines, perhaps a forced-induction V-6. That now may be on hold for the eighth-generation Corvette – for which a more radical design strategy is being considered.
Recent spy shots have shown that the basic dimensions of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will align with the outgoing model, but there will be some notable visual tweaks. Underneath carefully placed camouflage there appear to be new vent louvers, or perhaps even a scoop, on the hood. The latest images suggest Chevy is opting for that ever more common design cue of LED running lamps around the headlights. And there may be some subtle tweaks to the traditional, round taillamps. Some renderings actually suggest the new ‘Vette will adopt a more squared-off taillight shape in line with that of the wildly popular Camaro.
Also engendering continued debate is whether the trunk lid for the 2014 Corvette will actually adopt a more fastback shape than the last several generations.
What GM has said is that the interior will get a radical interior makeover – addressing the one part of the Corvette that even its most loyal fans have typically lamented with past generations. Notably, that part of the program is being personally overseen by GM’s global design chief Ed Welburn, the executive recently told TheDetroitBureau.com.
Welburn appears to have had a hand in the development of a new, more modern logo for the Chevy sports car, as well, which GM is showing as part of a multi-stage media campaign culminating with next January’s official Corvette unveiling. The revised “Crossed Flags” logo was unveiled at Road Atlanta to mark a sweep by Corvette Racing of the 2012 production-based American Le Mans Series GT championships.
“This all-new, seventh-generation Corvette deserved an all-new emblem,” Welburn said in a statement. “The new crossed flag design reflects the character of the next Corvette. The flags are much more modern, more technical and more detailed than before — underscoring the comprehensive redesign of the entire car.”
Production of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will begin during the third-quarter of next year with the first cars reaching showrooms soon afterwards.
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