Bob Lutz Thinks Corvette Should Be a Brand

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bob lutz thinks corvette should be a brand

Former General Motors vice chairman and product development bigwig Bob Lutz has always had lots to say about the Chevrolet Corvette, and advanced age hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm for the model and its potential.

Even in the pre-recession, pre-bankruptcy days, a pre-retirement Lutz opined that the ‘Vette nameplate could host more than just a sports car. Back then, Lutz wasn’t saying that Corvette should be spun off as its own make, but he is now.

In an exercise in hypothetical product planning, The Detroit News envisioned a future — renderings and all — in which the Corvette brand spawns a sport SUV, a la Porsche and just about every other high-performance, premium automaker.

Such a creation could prove a money-maker for GM, especially if the automaker abides by the ‘Vette tradition of using plenty of off-the-shelf parts, the publication figures. Calling it the XC7, writer Henry Payne assembled advice from ex-GM brass on how the utility vehicle could succeed. What automaker wouldn’t want the bragging rights of a 650-horsepower, Z06-powered do-anything wagon?

Both Lutz and former Corvette program head Tom Wallace agree on the basics. A lightweight body structure, rear-drive proportions and optional all-wheel drive are no-brainers for a sport SUV, as are the Corvette’s engines. Lutz clearly has Porsche on the brain.

“Like the Cayenne, the appeal of the ’Vette SUV would be RWD proportions. It should, in fact, have a silhouette not too different from a Cayenne,” he said. Its price would also need to undercut the Europeans.

While he admits that the need to develop a suitable platform for such a vehicle could sink the project, not to mention the sales damage it could do to Cadillac and GMC, Lutz remains bullish on the Corvette’s brand power. If not an SUV, then something else.

“Corvette is a powerful brand that should be developed,” he said. “Go upmarket with a mid-engine sedan using big Cadillac CT6 architecture, and maybe eventually something like Cayenne. They would split it off from Chevrolet — nobody makes that connection anyway.”

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Mar 28, 2017

    I agree with him. Escalade should be its own brand too. Prius should be a separate brand for Toyota too. I tell you hwut.... I see Corvette as a more viable brand than Cadillac, at least on the passenger car side.

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Mar 28, 2017

    ...And I think Bob Lutz should stick to running VLF into the ground before (finally) retiring. He's earned it.

  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.