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Long Just a Rumor, Mid-Engine Corvette May Soon Become Reality

And is a Cadillac supercar also in the works?

by on Aug.04, 2016

A rendering of a possible mid-engine Corvette from Car & Driver, which has long chased the story.

In the classic Humphrey Bogart film, The Maltese Falcon, detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the chase for a jewel-encrusted bird, it’s “the stuff that dreams are made of,” he says. For sports car fans, especially those who’ve long waited to see General Motors finally deliver a true world-beater, the stuff of dreams is the long-rumored, mid-engine Corvette.

The search has long consumed veteran Detroit journalists like Don Sherman who remains convinced the project is real. And there are growing signs he is right – at least if a flurry of recent whispers and rumors, as well as articles and reports in outlets as diverse as the Detroit News and Car & Driver prove accurate.

There is an unusual twist to this long-running tail being bandied about. Might the mid-engine prototype spotted a number of times in recent months not actually be earmarked for Chevrolet, however? Might this supposedly ultimate Corvette actually be destined to serve as the halo car for the Cadillac brand, a challenge to the likes of the newly updated Audi R8 and reborn Acura NSX?

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For their part, General Motors officials remain mum. The stock answer is that the automaker doesn’t discuss future projects. And, the reality is, even some of the company’s more senior officials don’t really know. As several current and former Corvette project members stress, that is a highly compartmentalized team operating in its own little world.


Dodge Killing Off Viper Again

Slow sales led to repeated production cuts.

by on Jun.22, 2016

The Dodge Viper will end its run this year.

For the second time since 2010, Fiat Chrysler is killing off the Dodge Viper sports car.

Reintroduced in 2012 to much fanfare, the Viper received strong reviews, but relatively few buyers ponied up the initial MSRP of $97,395. Dodge later cut the price but sluggish sales forced it to repeatedly put production on hold.

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“The Dodge Viper has had a great run and, 25 years after it was first introduced, it leaves the super car world reaching for the records it continues to set,” Tim Kuniskis, the head of the Dodge brand, said in a statement.


Chevy Speeds into Geneva with Corvette Grand Sport

Latest ‘Vette variant blends best of Stingray and Z06.

by on Mar.02, 2016

The new Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

For the most part, American automakers have been keeping a painfully low profile at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, leaving it to overseas competitors. But even though the brand has largely abandoned the European market, Chevrolet did have something to show off during a show with a heavy emphasis on power and performance.

Think of the new Corvette Grand Sport as a hybrid of the “base” Stingray and the steroid-laden Z06. Picking up on some classic design cues and adding better brakes and wider wheels, among other things, the Grand Sport promises to fill a nice gap between the two current models.

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“We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” Tadge Juechter, the chief engineer on the Corvette program, said ahead of the new model’s debut at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

The Grand Sport retains the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 found in the Corvette Stingray. And like that model, it will turn out 460 horsepower.


Victory, Defeat – and Plenty of Surprises – at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Another tequila sunrise to start the 2016 racing season.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Luis Filipe Derani celebrates after driving the last leg in the ESM team's Honda at the Rolex 24.

It wasn’t champagne flowing in Florida Sunday afternoon — nor milk, the beverage of choice for Indianapolis 500 winners. After 22-year-old Luis Filipe Derani shot across the finish line to wrap up the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the drink of choice was tequila.

No surprise, for Derani and his four co-drivers claimed an unprecedented victory behind the wheel of the Honda-powered Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports prototype, a full 26 seconds ahead of their nearest competitors.

Racing News!

It was the first time ever that a P2-class race car had claimed victory in what is generally seen as America’s most grueling endurance race – and a prelude to the summer’s main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Words can’t describe it,” said ESM co-driver Scott Sharp, a previous Daytona winner. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s amazing.”


Muscle Car Sales Charging Up in America

Buyers pony up cash despite challenges of ownership.

by on Jun.30, 2015

Muscle car sales, including those of the Dodge Challenger, are on the rise in the U.S.

If it appears that there are more Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers on the roads around town, it’s not a figment of your imagination: American muscle cars are big sellers these days.

According to Experian Automotive, muscle car sales are up more than 35% in the last nine years with the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro leading the charge. Through May Ford sold 56,571 Mustangs; Chevy sold 33,982 Camaros, according to Autodata Corp. The Dodge Challenger is in third place, with 30,166 sold.

Power and Performance News!

“The love of the Mustang combined with the reintroduction of the Camaro, Challenger and Charger has sparked a resurgence of the muscle car,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive statistics. (more…)

Porsche, GMC – and the Chevrolet Corvette – Top 2014 Ideal Vehicle List

GM and Ford score most segment wins.

by on Aug.21, 2014

The new Chevrolet Corvette was the single most "Ideal Vehicle" according to owners.

For the second consecutive year, Porsche has been named the “Ideal Vehicle” brand by American consumers, though the individual vehicle that tops the list is the all-new Chevrolet Corvette.

General Motors, in fact, had more top-ranked models in the 2014 Ideal Vehicle Awards, or IVA, than any other manufacturer but Ford Motor Co. this year. And despite the Detroit maker’s ongoing recall issues, its GMC truck marque was named the “Most Ideal Popular Brand” in a survey conducted by California consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc.

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Significantly, a quarter of the top-ranked models in the 2014 IVA are all-new or, like the ‘Vette, have been completely redesigned for 2014.

“Winning an IVA in their first year of release shows that these newly redesigned vehicles have hit the mark with their owners, but it also shows that the designers did their research to know how to best meet the needs and expectations of their core group of buyers,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.


GM Unleashes its Most Powerful Production Car Ever with 650 HP Corvette Z06

Maker claims more punch than a Porsche 911 Turbo S or Ferrari F12.

by on Jun.06, 2014

GM Product Chief Mark Reuss reveals the Corvette Z06 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

We’ve always been told to “err on the safe side,” a good mantra for automakers who have, over the years, had a habit of over-promising and under-delivering when it comes to performance numbers.

The folks at Chevrolet clearly wanted to under-promise and over-deliver, it turns out, when they suggested the new Corvette Z06 would deliver “at least 625 horsepower” during the sports car’s Detroit Auto Show debut last January. It turns out that the newly released numbers for the Z06’s LT4 engine stretch all the way up to 650 hp and a full 650 pound-feet of torque. To save you the effort of looking that up, this is the most powerful production car General Motors has ever delivered to the public.

We Perform!

“The LT4 Small Block sets a new benchmark for power and torque at GM,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president, GM Powertrain Engineering. “The engine also puts the new Corvette Z06 on par with the most powerful supercars offered in America, while delivering performance with impeccable manners that make it suitable for daily driving.”

By comparison, the “base” 2014 Corvette Stingray makes “only” 450 horsepower – boosting that to 460 hp with the Z51 performance package – and 465 lb-ft of torque.


Chevrolet Turns Loose the Latest Z06 Convertible

First Z06 drop top since ’63 puts out 625 hp.

by on Apr.11, 2014

The all-new, 2015 Corvette Z06 will be one of the most capable convertibles on the market, offering 625 hp, and a zero-to-60 mph time under 3.5 seconds.

Chevrolet today unleashed a beast that Corvette mavens haven’t seen in more than 40 years: a Z06 Corvette convertible.

The first Z06 drop top available straight from the factory since 1963, its LT4 6.2-liter V8 puts out 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque with a zero to 60 time under 3.5 seconds. It is the most powerful convertible the Bow-Tie manufacturer has ever produced.

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“The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. “Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible.” (more…)

Viper Defanged as Chrysler Halts Production

Slow sales lead to two-month plant shutdown.

by on Mar.19, 2014

Storm clouds brewing for Viper as sales plunge?

It may be one of the fastest cars on the market, but the SRT Viper has also proven to be one of the slowest off dealer lots, and unexpectedly weak sales have forced parent Chrysler to shut down production for nearly three months – though some sources suggest that could stretch on until well into the summer.

The Viper has never been a high-volume product, especially when compared to General Motors’ Chevrolet Corvette. But demand has lagged unexpectedly since the Viper nameplate was revived last year after several years out of production.

High-Performance News!

Total sales came to just 591 in 2013 and have been on a downward trend this winter – even as Chevy struggles to keep up with demand for the all-new, seventh-generation “C7” Corvette.

Officially, production of the Viper is set to go on hiatus at the end of the week of April 14, with the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant scheduled to start back up during the week of June 23. That move follows an earlier production cut announced last autumn due to weak sales.


Chevrolet Won’t Be Leaving Europe Entirely

Corvette and possibly other models to remain in market.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Still Europe-bound, the C7 Corvette.

Chevrolet plans to maintain at least a small presence in Europe, despite this week’s announcement that it will pull out in the wake of a poor reception for a brand traditionally seen as classically American.

The Corvette, in particular, will continue to be sold on the Continent even after the Chevrolet distribution network is shut down, was advised.

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“Vette and some other iconic Chevrolets (to be named later) will still be sold thru Opel or Cadillac dealers. They will be marketed as Chevrolets,” explained Mike Albano, Chevy’s chief spokesman in the U.S., explained by e-mail.