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Watch Out Europe!
Chevrolet may have something new in-store
The rumors, the photos, the gossip -- all of it’s finally leading to what may be true. That General Motors might release a mid-engine Corvette. But what would a rear engine platform mean for the brand and the company? Here’s our speculation.
To this point, one would think that Corvette sales would be going well, since the latest C7 platform has proven to be the best handling, most powerful and aggressive looking “Vette” since the major re-format way back in 1982.
Plus for the first time, the manufacturer actually incorporated functional features such as brake air-cooling vents, under hood engine vent cooling, active exhaust system and more. Overall the features and functions of this model are leaps and bounds over its C6 predecessor.
But according to “GM Authority,”(2) C7 sales have decreased 49% in 2017. This is most likely due to the platform coming to the end of its product life-cycle, which means for product managers and marketing teams at GM – it’s time for a change.
Also, many industry sources say that GM has pushed the limits of grip with the current platform. But with the recent Z06 pulling off a 1.2 skid pad rating, and a nearly 200 mph top speed -- others could disagree.
Lastly is pricing. Currently you can pick up a “Grand Sport” version of the C7 for just around $63,000 MSRP. Up your game, search around, and you could have a Z06 for around $80k. That may seem steep for an American sports car, but compared to its European mid-engine competitors with less performance -- it’s a steal.
So what would a mid-engine corvette mean for the company? First is revitalized energy for the brand. A mid-engine platform could lure European sport car fanatics, into consideration, therefore opening up new market of opportunity.
Next would be the increase of pricing due to a new design and pushing the car closer to the likes of European super-cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini; although this could cannibalize the “blue collar” American who would normally be able to somewhat afford an American icon.
So that puts GM looking at a crossroad. At one corner there is a journey into super-car looks, performance and global embracement, and the other is the continuation of an American rear wheel drive icon – that created the benchmark of middle class performance.
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