By on October 18, 2012

The first Chevrolet Corvette C7 will roll off the company’s Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly line on June 30th, 2013 – 60 years to the day after the first Corvette was built. Or at least that’s what Reuters is reporting, based on supplier information.

While Reuters quotes “…two suppliers familiar with the automaker’s plans but are not authorized to speak on behalf of GM,” the official line from General Motors, according to Automotive News, is that production will begin in August or September of 2013. But a six-month retooling process is scheduled to begin in February, and the timing coincides perfectly with the June 30th anniversary.

Orders for the C6 car will cease in December, with the C7 debuting right before the 2013 North American International Auto Show press days. The new car is said to be smaller and lighter, with a more upscale interior. Only two parts have been carried over from the C6 Corvette, as GM is attempting to appeal to younger buyers who would normally gravitate towards foreign sports cars.

GM will announce details on their new generation of small-block V8 engines on October 24th, but they did release the newly re-designed Corvette logo, shown above.

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26 Comments on “Corvette C7 To Bow In January, Production Begins June 30th – Or September....”


  • avatar

    It needs to be good. We shall see.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    Do corvettes have any significant overseas market?

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      I know that in the UK, the market is almost nil. In a country where tax is based on how much CO2 you produce and fuel is exorbitantly expensive, V8 American cars don’t exactly sell like wildfire.

      • 0 avatar
        BigMeats

        Makes sense. They don’t sell particularly well where I live in the US, either. Locally, though, the reason seems to be more of a vestigial fondness for trucks from our rural and industrial roots.

        Anyone, myself included, who could afford the Corvette would rather have a big pickup or truck-derived SUV. Plus, we’re in the snowbelt.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      BigMeats…

      No.

      Example: # Corvettes sold in the UK in 2010? Two.

      Big reasons: stiff UK import taxation; no right-hand steering wheel version; must be custom-ordered (not sitting on lots) through Vauxhall; perceived as cheap and plasticly, with poor interior; intense competition from already existing, “superior” sporty European brands (e.g, Porsche, Audi, MB, Jaguar, etc.). But the pricing would still be good: about £50,000 plus or minus.

      In Germany, of course, Corvettes are perceived as just plain non-competitive for many of the reasons above, plus the demands of the performance-car buyers for excellent fit&finish and outstanding interiors.

      But used (CPO) Corvettes seem to be favorite toys for wealthy families in Austria and Switzerland to give as presents to boys graduating from the Gymnasium. So, you will see them on the roads in Europe occasionally.

      Ironically, however, you don’t see them that much in other countries in the western hemisphere, except Canada. But there are some SA dealerships: ex: Brazil, Mexico. Earlier this year, I think I read that GM wanted to open up Corvette dealerships in South Korea to try the overseas thing under more favorable conditions than in Europe. Don’t know how that is going.

      I tried to get overseas sales information from Corvette/GM directly, but just got a run-around and various overseas phone numbers to call… not a very satisfactory response.

      If anyone out there in TTAC-land has any better sales info on Corvettes world wide, please chime in…

      ————-

  • avatar
    drewtam

    The C5 & C6 generation have revitalized the Corvette brand. Solid performers for the money. Although they are beyond my means, I am excited to see what the C7 holds in store.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    “Smaller and Lighter” is usually a crazy backwards alternative universe to GM. GM traditionally has the porker in any market segment. I hope the C7 really is smaller and lighter and GM kicks some ass with their halo car.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinker

      One wants GM, and the Corvette to do well, but one is pretty much always disappointed, too. My budget never reached the height of a rather expensive and impractical means of transport that required cubic yards of cash, to drive and maintain the machine.

      I guess I’m a part of Willard’s 47%.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Is a Corvette impractical and more expensive compared to Impala? Yes. For someone looking at used 911′s, Z3/M3, or a 370Z? No. Yes, your insurance will go up, yes it has a V8. Once you pay the entry price to play, they do not need cubic yards of cash to maintain.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        I can’t see any aspect of the cost of ownership of a Corvette, other than the purchase price, being higher than a V8 Impala. Even the insurance is cheap. I priced out insurance on a Corvette and it was significantly cheaper than other cars. Demographics help it a lot. Teenagers are more likely to drive like idiots in a Scion tC (my agent said that was one of the cars with the highest premium he’s seen) than experienced drivers in Corvettes.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    One thing positive that you can say about the Vette is that it resisted the bloat that has run amok in the automotive industry

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    I think it’s sadly telling of Corvette’s status among car cognoscenti that this post has so far garnered only 9 comments including this one.

    In the same amount of time anything of similar performance from BMW, Mercedes or Porsche would probably have 40+. And although I’m still a n00b here, I can see that TTAC elicits comments from a very diverse readership. Apparently ‘Vettes are quaint anachronisms?

    I don’t know…. I’ve only cared for trucks and lately little sippy-cars for when I don’t want to feed my truck.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      There is just not a lot to say about a release date, an actual
      review gets more comments:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/capsule-review-2013-corvette-427/

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      BigMeats…

      I am not surprised at your observation. I have said it before on TTAC: if Corvette can manage to sell internationally, like other major sports cars (e.g., Porsche Boxster/911; BMW Z4; MB AMG C6; Mazda MX-5 Miata), then you will know it has “arrived” by accolades other than yours or mine.

      I for one am very much looking forward to the C7, and yes, I know they won’t have been able to go “full bore” with mid-rear engine placement, but if they can only:
      1) Improve the Interior – GREATLY – especially the seats. (Hey, if Viper can do it, why not Corvette?);
      2) Improve the suspension and ride quality. (America’s roads are NOT getting any better – does McLaren MP4-12C sound like a good suspension role mode?)
      3) Improve the weight distribution to an honest 47/53 (F/R). (If Aston Martin can do that, why not Corvette? – needs more traction back there to keep that massive HP tied into something other than vaporizing tires and doing donuts.)

      So, cheer them on and hope they come through. My Z4 is getting “old”, and I would like to see a Corvette smiling at me in the morning….

      BTW: I have PU trucks too — love them — especially the punishment they can take in potholes and broken pavement — and still ride like a dream.

      —————-

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        The magnetic suspension is probably the best in the business. Why else would Ferrari of all companies license that technology?

        I might agree with the interior. While I don’t think it’s as bad as people say, it’s certainly not as good as a car priced like this should be. Partially I think the excuse is, “it’s a Chevy” but that no longer is enough of an excuse. Corvette’s are supposed to be supercar type performance without the supercar price, but even there they are now nearly as expensive.

        As for the weight distribution, ehh that’s certainly a factor, but I’d rather just see lap times go down than focus on one metric as a defining factor of a cars performance.

      • 0 avatar
        BigMeats

        Thank you and racer-esq. for your replies.
        I’m completely out of my league here at TTAC, learned to drive in a pickup and got hooked for life. But I find the expertise of so many commenters here irresistible, particularly for news of global markets.

        I just found it curious that Corvettes are conspicuous for their absence amidst so much discussion of performance cars. Someone unfamiliar with this class of vehicles is left wondering “So, what’s wrong with Corvettes?” I know they used to be criticized as merely heavy, crude straight-line accelerators, but surely that can’t still be the case. Plenty of the coveted German cars enthused about here are heavy gas-guzzlers, too.

        But since I have no vehicular axe to grind, I just enjoy reading about them all.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        daveainchina…

        Magneto-rheological suspension dampers are not bad. As you suggest, Ferrari would not be using them otherwise. And there are other cars that use them too: Acura MDX, Audi TT and R8, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac CTS-V, DTS, XLR, SRX, STS, Camaro ZL1, and Holden HSV Commodore. Here is how they work: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/how-magnetorheological-suspension-works-8947.html

        But is this the best? Well, I don’t know. They certainly are compact and have good placement efficiency in a confined chassis environment (like Corvette’s). The tend to give a very firm ride in colder temperatures.

        It is notable, however, that some other top performance-car manufacturers have found an equivalent or possibly superior solution to providing an “advanced” suspension:

        1) McLaren MP4-12C can ride over railroad tracks like a Lincoln Continental and corner like an F1 racer. It has a computer-controlled hydraulic system, and will level the chassis during turns and be vertically tight, while providing a large range-of-travel for comfort. It has no need for anti-roll bars. Corvette has not been able to do all that (yet), and its transverse composite leaf spring isn’t helping. Here is a nice “walk-around” of the McLaren suspension, step-by-step:
        http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/09/2012-mclaren-mp4-12c-suspension-walkaround.html

        2) Porsche 911 Carrera S has AEM, PASM, and PDCC options actively to control engine mounts (to counter vehicle roll and mass-shifting); to actively and continuously regulate damping forces at each corner of the vehicle according to driving style and road conditions; and to level the car in tight cornering. Again these capabilities are beyond what Corvette offered in the C6; hopefully that will change for the C7. Here are better descriptions of Porsche’s suspension options (with diagrams): http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/911/911-carrera-s/detail/chassis/

        3) Lamborghini Aventador uses F1-style, large-travel coil-overs that rotate transversely around a bell-crank, and the ride is reported to be quite good while handling is exceptional, of course. (I have not driven one.) The transversely mounted coil-overs are ideal for a low-nose vehicle. Here is a walk-around of the Aventador’s suspension innards:
        http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2011/09/2012-lamborghini-aventador-suspension-walkaround.html

        —————–

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        Ok let me qualify that, I think it’s the best you can get without going to exotic money levels.

        Near as I can tell it gives the best ride for the $$$ ie bang for the buck. No one else is close from every magazine I’ve read.

        Yes the McClaren and lambo are certainly up there, the porsche is a huge combination of systems working together and also works very very well.

        Out of all of them though, I only think the McClaren really exceeds the suspension. The others are very very good no doubt. But I don’t think the Porsche and the Lambo (especially the Lambo) are so good at going over the rough stuff as the GM Magnetic suspension.

        The Mclaren hydraulic suspension I suspect requires a lot more maintenance.

        Still the fact that GM has a technology that is arguably the best in the world and does say a lot about what the company is capable of. Now if they would only execute like that on a regular basis we can all go home happy.

        (thanks for the links, but I know how they work)

      • 0 avatar
        Mikemannn

        re: MaGicAl MAGneTiC suspension…

        I work for an Acura dealer and have literally 100s of MDX dampers that were replaced under warranty for premature failure sitting in my warranty department. They retail at near a thousand bucks a pop. Some have been replaced more than once. There has been three revisions to the repair bulletin, and new parts manufactured as a final, “permanent” replacement. I dunno who’s paying in the end (Delphi?) but wow, if these are the best in the world….

        It seems all the tech Honda’s shared with GM over the years have been the subject of at least one ‘facepalm’ per.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Mikemannn and daveainchina…

        I am not surprised at the magneto-rheological damper (MRD’s) failure problems. I had heard that too, but did not mention it here. There is some pretty “fussy” physical chemistry and tight engineering going on that reportedly is extremely susceptible to very cold weather coupled with bumpy roads on a continual basis. Maintaining the little iron particles as a non-acqueous emulsion is a BIG issue, and they can settle out or coagulate and become useless, even with artificial agitation. The particles themselves are abrasives (ever hear of jeweler’s rouge?), and tend to wear out the seals on moving components, causing leaks.

        MRD’s would not be my preferred suspension system, and if you can use Porsche as a yardstick: if they were that good, Porsche would be using them, since 911′s get used in all types of conditions, driving modes, and durations. What may work well for a Ferrari in Italy in summer for touring purposes, may not work quite as well in Minnesota in January for commuting. And at 1,000 bucks-a-crack for replacements…..?

        I think we also need to distinguish between the price of the three cars I mentioned above and the cost of those suspension methods. My point in using those cars as examples was not to suggest buying the cars to get the suspensions, but only to say that if they can do those suspensions, so can Corvette,—-and probably a lot more inexpensively too. I don’t know how much the McLaren suspension would cost as a separate item, but if it’s even $5K, I would be surprised. The materials involved are not exotic, and the inherent technology is well known. Their method reminds me of the 1960′s Citroën DS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_DS

        —————-

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      There’s not much to say until the actual car is revealed and then driven. Right now it’s all conjecture and innuendo.

      I personally think this generation of Corvette will be the best so far and will go along way towards addressing the concerns and complaints that owners and enthusiasts have been voicing for the past eight years. And I also thing the Gen V small block will be a hammer.

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        In today’s world, why are we still calling it a small-block? Why not just GenV V-8?

        Does GM still put the Big Block in a car? I’m not even sure they put it in trucks anymore do they?

        I know you can buy it as a crate motor, I’m just wondering why you would considering the LS motors are so good.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        daveainchina…

        Dave…

        I am curious. Are you really in China? If so, whereabouts? (^_^)..

        ———

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        I’m in Shanghai and have been here for nearly 3 years. I’m quite familiar with China at this point.


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