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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.

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Woodward Dream Cruise Can Celebrate Past and Present

Forget the ‘60s; the best muscle cars ever are being built today.

by on Aug.10, 2015

The latest version of Chevy's Corvette Stingray can get up to 31 mpg while making 455-hp.

The roar is back. All this week, you can expect to see countless classic hot rods, muscle cars and other exotics cruising Detroit’s main drag as the Motor City gets ready for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

This will mark the 20th anniversary of an improbable event that took shape almost by accident when a small car club in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale decided to change things up. Rather than having its members park their cars for their annual gathering, organizers decided it would be more fun to cruise up and down Woodward Avenue. Word got out and almost 250,000 people lined the eight-lane boulevard to watch. In recent years, that has grown to as many as 1.5 million, with an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic cars cruising Woodward.

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“It gets bigger and bigger every year,” noted regular Dream Cruise fan Bob Wissman, who recalled spending plenty of time riding around with friends in their Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs as a teenager back in the 1960s.

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First Drive: 2015 Corvette Z06

World-class performance, unexpectedly affordable price.

by on Jan.07, 2015

Chevy is offering the Z06 in coupe and convertible configurations, with stick and auto transmissions.

It’s an unusually chilly morning out in the Nevada desert, and as we buckle our helmets, strap on our seatbelts and make a few final adjustments, we get a last-minute warning: the track is chill and the pavement cold. It might get a little slippery if we go balls-to-the-wall on the first couple laps.

But it doesn’t take long to throw caution to the wind as we shoot through the corners and back out onto the front straight at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, an hour outside Las Vegas. With a neck-snapping 650-horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque bursting out from under its hood, the new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is not only one of the fastest cars you can find, it’s also one of the most forgiving.

Performance!

It’s the sort of sports car that makes an average driver feel like a hero, and a serious performance enthusiast push further than they might ever have thought possible. What’s all the more impressive is that it comes at a price tag that Euro-snobs might snicker at, less than $80,000 to start with – nudging up to around $110,000 for an absolutely fully loaded Z07 version.

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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…)

Chevy Introduces Corvette Performance Data Recorder

“Like having a 32-GB crew chief” onboard.

by on Jan.05, 2014

The Performance Data Recorder follows Corvette Racing Team driver Tommy Milner turning a lap around Florida's Sebring Raceway.

Whether you’re a serious racer hoping to improve your lap times or just want to see how well you can handle the curves on a weekend run through the country, Chevrolet is offering Corvette buyers a way to get some fast feedback.

The automaker is using the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to introduce its new Corvette Performance Data Recorder. The maker claims the optional device is the first in the industry to integrate audio, video and the ability to capture real-time vehicle telemetry.  The information can be viewed from the car – when parked, of course – or downloaded to a personal computer. It can even be analyzed to improve a driver’s technique.

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“The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level motorsports telemetry system,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Drivers can easily record and share their experiences driving down the Tail of the Dragon or lapping Road Atlanta. In addition, with the included telemetry software users can analyze their laps in incredible detail, and find opportunities to improve their driving and lap times.”

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First Official Look: 2014 C7 Corvette Convertible

Droptop to make official debut in Geneva – anchoring Chevy’s global push.

by on Mar.02, 2013

The first official look at the new Chevrolet "C7" Corvette Convertible.

It was the star of the hometown car show but now General Motors hopes to prove its new, seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette has international appeal as it drops the top on the so-called “C7” by introducing the convertible edition at the coming week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Though a few hazy “spy shots” have surfaced in recent weeks, these are the first official images of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible and they reveal that GM designers and engineers went to great lengths to maintain the striking shape of the coupe that was first introduced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Indeed, in a conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com, Tadge Juechter, the chief engineer on the C7 Corvette program stressed that it “was designed with the convertible in mind.” That’s unlike the way GM and many other automakers have traditionally approached the development of a ragtop.

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How the C7 Corvette Came Back From the Brink

Return of the Stingray.

by on Jan.13, 2013

After a series of delays, Chevrolet is finally ready to roll out the seventh-generation Corvette.

Copyright 2013. TheDetroitBureau.com

They were the darkest of days, all the more so in the design studios at General Motors where a small team had been assembled and given the less than humble task of building the world’s best sports car.

True, the Chevrolet Corvette has always been an icon of American design, but this time, Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and design director Tom Peters had to take things the next step, producing a vehicle that could challenge and beat the best the Germans and Italians could throw at it.

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There was only one problem: the U.S. economy was in meltdown, the automotive market facing its worst downturn in more than half a century and General Motors, rapidly running out of cash, seemed all but certain to declare bankruptcy.  And when it did in June 1, 2009, the lights went out.  Even with the likelihood of a federal bailout, it was anything but certain the long-awaited C7 Corvette would ever make it to market.

But tonight, at a well-attended ceremony at an old warehouse in a run-down section of Detroit, Juechter and Peters will get the honor of pulling the wraps off a 2014 Chevy Corvette that is already being hailed as the best American sports car of the past half century, perhaps the best ever.

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Corvetitis – How an Unlikely Concept Became “America’s Sports Car”

A dream car prepares for the Woodward Dream Cruise.

by on Jul.17, 2012

Perhaps the most popular Corvette model ever, the 1963 "Split-Window."

Okay, we’re about half way between the Chevrolet Corvette’s 59th birthday, June 30, and the Woodward Dream Cruise, August 18—at which there likely will be more Corvettes parading than any other model.

For one thing, America’s only mass-production sports car has never changed its name, unless you count the abbreviated ‘Vette moniker, or the Stingray designation used on a few ‘60s models. That helps, in an industry where Chevy II became Nova, Chevelle became Malibu and a lot of once-familiar car names like Plymouth, Pontiac and Mercury just disappeared.

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I can claim to have been on hand for the original viewing of the Corvette as an Autoshow Queen at GM’s Motorama in New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in January 1953.  I’m sure it was the sensation of the show, but in all honesty—sorry for the disappointment—I have no memory of it whatsoever.  At college, I had a friend who was also a car nut, but of the more exotic type.  He matched my humble Plymouth sedan with his baby blue Sunbeam Alpine, identical to the car Grace Kelly drove in “To Catch a Thief.”

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Chevy Aiming To Top 1 Million In Europe

An American in Paris?

by on Oct.06, 2010

The Chevrolet Orlando is one of four new models the brand is launching at the Paris Motor Show.

It takes a bit of an effort to find for potential French buyers to find the Orlando crossover, one of four  new models wearing the Chevrolet badge debuting at this year’s Paris Motor Show.  Orlando and the rest are hidden in Hall 5, a good walk from the main pavilion where more mainstream brands, notably including the French domestics, Renault, Peugeot and Citroen, are on display.

Nonetheless, there’s been a steady stream of show-goers making the trek, underscoring Chevy’s surprising performance since it launched as a serious brand in the European market less than a decade ago.

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And it is encouraging the General Motors division to set its sights high.  By mid-decade, say company officials, they hope to more than double volume to over 1 million annually in Europe.

“Paris 2010 is a once-in-a-lifetime show for Chevrolet with four world premieres,” said Wayne Brannon, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe, as the maker quickly rolled out the Orlando, Aveo, Captiva and Cruze hatchback during its brief, 15-minute press preview.

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Milestones: First Porsche Overall Win at Le Mans

After 4,607.811 kilometers, Porsche took first 40 years ago.

by on Jun.11, 2010

The Zuffenhausen sports carmaker had been racing at the Sarthe circuit since 1951.

It was 40 years ago this weekend that Porsche claimed its first overall win at the world’s oldest endurance race, the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Hans Herrmann and Richard Atwood driving number 23 were first across the finish line in a 917 KH from Porsche Salzburg. Gerard Larrousse and Willy Kauhsen in the Martini Porsche 917 took second, trailed by Rudi Lins and Helmut Marko in a Porsche 908/02.

It was an impressive sweep for Porsche, which had been racing on the Sarthe street circuit since 1951, with numerous class wins because of Porsche’s lightweight and aerodynamic design, as well as reliability.

Porsche had come tantalizingly near to winning outright before. In 1969, in the closest Le Mans race ever, Herrmann and Larrousse in a Porsche 908 finished just 75 meters – about one second – behind the Ford GT 40 of Jacky Ickx.

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