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    New Vette rumours

     

    Next Corvette Will Be Powered by Small, High-Revving Turbo V-8

     

    “We have to target a very different sort of buyer.”

     

    (it's about time... Smiley)

    Anxious to attract the sort of high-performance buyers increasingly drawn to European sports cars from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini, General Motors is planning some major changes for the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette – starting with a high-revving, small-displacement powertrain, that will substitute for the big V-8s traditionally found under the hood of the Chevy two-seater.

    GM has approved the use of a very European-style V-8 that will be only slightly larger than 3 liters in displacement.  The engine will be an overhead-cam, rather than traditional overhead-valve design, using a dry sump oil system that’s particularly well suited to high-performance road courses rather than straight-line acceleration. The engine is expected to feature a narrow 80.5 mm bore and a long stroke, more like a Ferrari or Lamborghini powertrain than the approach used for traditional Motor City metal.

    A very senior GM executive also confirmed that the new engine will be turbocharged, which will help yield a broad torque curve and maximum performance under a variety of driving conditions. The engine is expected to deliver in excess of 400 horsepower, which means a specific output in the range of 125 horsepower per liter. That’s the sort of number that would help the next-generation Vette stack up well against the likes of a Porsche 911 or Lamborghini Gallardo.

    The engine is likely to be extremely high-revving, perhaps climbing to a near-Formula One-class 10,000 RPMs, suggested one source involved in the project.

    The revelation tracks in line with a recent comment by General Motors’ North American President Mark Reuss, who recently promised that the so-called C7 Corvette, due to market in less than two years, will be “completely different” from the very American sports cars that have come before it. Since its launch in 1953, Corvette has been governed by the philosophy, “there’s no replacement for displacement.”

    While Reuss and other senior executives have declined to discuss plans for the next Corvette publicly, several well-placed sources have given TheDetroitBureau.com a good sense of what’s to come. The small V-8 underscores what one of those insiders says is the desire to “target a very different sort of buyer for the next Corvette. Let’s face it, the current customer is getting old.” But without making significant changes, that source acknowledged, younger sports car fans will continue to be “conquested” by more modern, high-tech imports.

    Significantly, Corvette won’t abandon its more classic powertrain roots entirely.  There will be several different types of engines offered for the C7, including a more classic, big-block OHV V-8 designed to appeal to traditionalists.

    In fact, some of the design cues of the new car will be borrowed from early generations. There have even been rumors of the C7 going with the split window of the very collectible 1963 Corvette, though TheDetroitBureau.com has not been able to confirm that that particular detail has been given the go.

    Meanwhile, expect the interior to be much more modern than the current car’s, which GM’s global design chief Ed Welburn admits “is a disappointment.” The styling boss, a long-time Corvette fan himself, says he is personally overseeing the development of the C7 interior and promises it will be “absolutely world-class.”

    Adopting a mid-engine layout, rather than the long-running front-engine design, is considered a strong possibility, though it would be a significant engineering shift for GM. Nonetheless, sources say that wouldn’t be entirely out of line, as the Corvette has often served as the technological test bed for the maker.

    GM adopted the then-radical approach of using a fiberglass body when the original 1953 Corvette was launched. The sports car has introduced plenty of other features over the years, including the MagneRide suspension, which uses a magnetically controlled fluid to continuously vary suspension settings to match road conditions and driving behavior.

    When migrating from the fifth-generation Corvette to today’s C6 model, GM trimmed weight and brought the sports car’s overall size down to something closer to that of a current Porsche 911. Anticipate further cuts in mass for the upcoming remake of Chevy’s halo car.

    GM is investing $131 million in the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the Corvette to prepare for the C7 launch.

    The use of the new small-displacement V-8 is likely to have some knock-on effects at GM, said one source. As with current Corvette powertrain technology, the high-tech engine will find its way into the Cadillac line-up, it appears, where it would help that brand’s V-Series evolve into a more sophisticated offering, rather than the brute-force line-up it is today.

    The switch to a smaller, turbocharged V-8 isn’t exclusive to GM, incidentally. Ford made the move with its big F-Series pickup for 2011, offering a downsized EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 — which delivers the same sort of towing power as the F-150′s biggest V-8, while yielding significant fuel economy improvements.

     

    -----------------------

    Sounds like it will be quite the car. Smiley


    Re: New Vette rumours

    I hope they don't do a mid-engine. Their last attempts at a mid engine car, Corvair and Fiero, were disasters.

    Change the engine, yes.

    Lighten some of the big hunk of a mill over the front with something smaller and lighter, yes.

    Split rear window, no. Leave the past in the past. The retro-modern design trend is tired and played out. Come with a fresh modern (not ugly or techo crazy, just modern) design.

    Lighten the overall car, curb weight fully laden <sub 3,100lbs and they will have a winner.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Heist:

    I hope they don't do a mid-engine. Their last attempts at a mid engine car, Corvair and Fiero, were disasters.

    Change the engine, yes.

    Lighten some of the big hunk of a mill over the front with something smaller and lighter, yes.

    Split rear window, no. Leave the past in the past. The retro-modern design trend is tired and played out. Come with a fresh modern (not ugly or techo crazy, just modern) design.

    Lighten the overall car, curb weight fully laden <sub 3,100lbs and they will have a winner.

    +1 re. the mid-engine.   I am convinced that for sports cars expected to sell in larger numbers, and often serve daily use, front engine is still the best - preferably front-mid engine with transaxle as the present Corvette and Merc. SLS use.   The thread on the Cayman section, re. why the Cayman is a failure, is more evidence that mid-engines have limited appeal - the Cayman is likely the most daily-usable mid-engine ever sold, and it still can't really sell well; though perhaps this is affected by its place in the Porsche hierarchy.  

    Re. weight, Corvette has actually been among the lighter cars in its class, but lighter still is obviously better.   Overall it would be fantastic if a rejuvenated GM could put some real resources into the Corvette and bring it into real consideration for enthusiasts.  Will leave it for Spyderidol to comment on the racing implications.... Smiley 

    Final thought - GM also need a new transmission to go with the new V8 - the existing 6-speed is agricultural by modern standards. 


    --

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Heist:

    Split rear window, no. Leave the past in the past. The retro-modern design trend is tired and played out. Come with a fresh modern (not ugly or techo crazy, just modern) design.

     

    Totally agree. If they are designing this car to appeal to buyers of Euro cars, the retro styling would be a bad idea, plus, it's been done. For a company trying to reinvent itself and with their plans to appeal to more buyers, go all new, smaller and lighter.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    My little brother's C6 with 400hp and 400ft/lbs and 6 speed manual will only be going up in

    value with a new high revving v-8 turbo in the mix. I had been hoping for a used car bargain. GM will again be screwing me and themselves at the same time. I would wish them good luck, but why? It won't turn out well.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Gladstone:

    My little brother's C6 with 400hp and 400ft/lbs and 6 speed manual will only be going up in

    value with a new high revving v-8 turbo in the mix. I had been hoping for a used car bargain. GM will again be screwing me and themselves at the same time. I would wish them good luck, but why? It won't turn out well.

     

    Well:

    "Significantly, Corvette won’t abandon its more classic powertrain roots entirely.  There will be several different types of engines offered for the C7, including a more classic, big-block OHV V-8 designed to appeal to traditionalists."

    You may still be in luck. I wonder what this move will mean for the ZR-1 and Z-06 models?

     


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Gladstone:

    My little brother's C6 with 400hp and 400ft/lbs and 6 speed manual will only be going up in value with a new high revving v-8 turbo in the mix.

    I wouldn't count on that.  Maybe a ZR-1 or Z06 someday (but probably not), but not a regular C6...


    --

    73 Carrera RS 2.7 Carbon Fiber replica (1,890 lbs).  Former: 73 911S, Two 951S's, 996 C2, 993 C2, 98 Ferrari 550 Maranello


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Grant:
    Gladstone:

    My little brother's C6 with 400hp and 400ft/lbs and 6 speed manual will only be going up in value with a new high revving v-8 turbo in the mix.

    I wouldn't count on that.  Maybe a ZR-1 or Z06 someday (but probably not), but not a regular C6...

    Agree. The standard C6s have already dropped in value to make them inexpensive enough to own two of them for the equivalent price of a used 997 911S.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    4trac:

    Final thought - GM also need a new transmission to go with the new V8 - the existing 6-speed is agricultural by modern standards. 

    GM was working on their own version of a dual clutch transmission system for the ZR-1, but they couldn't get it to handle the torque the engine was delivering so they decided to use a standard 6-Speed until they could further refine the design.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Upon re-reading my prior post, I must say that I apparently missed my afternoon nap. So grouchy in tone and poorly worded!

    I meant to say that the current model would increase relative to the value it would have had, and not actually increase in value. Even that is a bit extreme to say. I just feel that a small high-reving turbo v-8 will be difficult to keep below the weight of the current aluminum pushrod v-8 engine. The last thing the car needs is more weight up front.

     


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Gladstone:

    Upon re-reading my prior post, I must say that I apparently missed my afternoon nap. So grouchy in tone and poorly worded!

    I meant to say that the current model would increase relative to the value it would have had, and not actually increase in value. Even that is a bit extreme to say. I just feel that a small high-reving turbo v-8 will be difficult to keep below the weight of the current aluminum pushrod v-8 engine. The last thing the car needs is more weight up front.

     

     

    They're cutting the displacement size by over half from 7.0l > 3.0l and ditching all the pushrod and roller rockers / follower stuff. That will easily reduce the physical size of the block by 30% and probably cut the total engine weight by the same amount even when you for factor in the new turbo, piping, and intercooler.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Heist:

     

    They're ....ditching all the pushrod and roller rockers / follower stuff. That will easily reduce the physical size of the block by 30% and probably cut the total engine weight by the same amount even when you for factor in the new turbo, piping, and intercooler.


    I  thought OHC valve train was heavier / taller  than OHV .

    Weight reduction of  3L turbo power would come from  the smaller block , but with added weight of turbos/plumbing/intercoolers etc


    Re: New Vette rumours

    MKW:
    Heist:

     

    They're ....ditching all the pushrod and roller rockers / follower stuff. That will easily reduce the physical size of the block by 30% and probably cut the total engine weight by the same amount even when you for factor in the new turbo, piping, and intercooler.


    I  thought OHC valve train was heavier / taller  than OHV .

    Weight reduction of  3L turbo power would come from  the smaller block , but with added weight of turbos/plumbing/intercoolers etc

     The heads of an OHC motor can be substantially larger and heavier than an OHV design, especially if you are talking about a small block Chevrolet which uses a compact in-line valve design.  We should probably be judging engine performance on a power to weight ratio rather than a power to internal displacement.

     

    5.jpg


    Re: New Vette rumours

    MKW:


    I thought OHC valve train was heavier / taller than OHV .

    Weight reduction of 3L turbo power would come from the smaller block , but with added weight of turbos/plumbing/intercoolers etc

     

    GM Austin:
    The heads of an OHC motor can be substantially larger and heavier than an OHV design, especially if you are talking about a small block Chevrolet which uses a compact in-line valve design.  We should probably be judging engine performance on a power to weight ratio rather than a power to internal displacement.

    Bingo Smiley

    Geoff


    --

    2001 Corolla LE - 0-60: Yes.

    2009 Corvette Z06 - 0-60: Ooooh yes.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    I wasn't talking about the height of the engine, I was talking about the length of the block. Width difference now is negligible considering most 6's have gone narrow angle.

     


    Re: New Vette rumours

    A Corvette with a small displacement turbo V8 doesn't meet the brands emotional expectation for its market.

    Corvettes are not about elegeant competence and advanced engineering. They are more about motor, edgy handling and almost middle class interiors.

    If they try to build a euro type sports car they will completely and totally fail. Their DNA is blue collar, not the Ritz.

    They might as well wait to be told by the Government to produce the Corvette Volt:  High Voltage.


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Lol, but somehow I agree. As much as I would not chose the current Corvette, I do think it's a sweet car. Hope they will remain with their niche and not totally become a design exercise.


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Personally I wish they could build a small displacement V-8 without a turbo that cranks out 500 HP at 8500 RPM - ala F430 sound and fame.  It would not need big v-8 punch just a screeming sound to get the surrounding panties in an uproar.  (I have had a nice nap)

    Then they could save weight, add a PDK and launch control.  With high revs they could easily shift to 2nd at 60mph and have a blazing 0-60.

    Cheers Gladstone - hope you get your nap.  And YES - the C6 vettes will drop big after the new (any new) model is announced.  Just like my '05 997S will in a few months.  sigh (I am keeping it forever)

     

     

     


    Re: New Vette rumours

     And now in news, pigs are flying. Won't Happen. Not a chance.  


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Leawood911:

    With high revs they could easily shift to 2nd at 60mph and have a blazing 0-60.

     


    With a small displacement normally aspirated motor, you'd really rather have lower gearing to take advantage of torque multiplication for best 0-60.  Shifting at 45mph would be faster, even with the additional time to shift.


    --
     

    73 Carrera RS 2.7 Carbon Fiber replica (1,890 lbs).  Former: 73 911S, Two 951S's, 996 C2, 993 C2, 98 Ferrari 550 Maranello


    Re: New Vette rumours

    Grant:
    Leawood911:

    With high revs they could easily shift to 2nd at 60mph and have a blazing 0-60.

     


    With a small displacement normally aspirated motor, you'd really rather have lower gearing to take advantage of torque multiplication for best 0-60.  Shifting at 45mph would be faster, even with the additional time to shift.


    Exactly. Drag racers typically have very low differential gearing.

    Re: New Vette rumours

    Grant:
    Leawood911:

    With high revs they could easily shift to 2nd at 60mph and have a blazing 0-60.

     


    With a small displacement normally aspirated motor, you'd really rather have lower gearing to take advantage of torque multiplication for best 0-60......... 

     

     ..... as well as getting into the higher torque available at the flywheel at higher engine revs that much sooner. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: New Vette rumours

    I stand corrected - give it 7 speeds and let it hit 61 in 2nd at 8500 rpm. You must agree though that the GT3 has a relatively high 1st gear given its RPM and and low thrust vs. HP. Still, skip the turbo at least for the base model and build one screamin' high rev motor that sounds great.

    Re: New Vette rumours

    Leawood911:
    You must agree though that the GT3 has a relatively high 1st gear given its RPM and and low thrust vs. HP.

    Yes, that is a compromise that is often required in a "road racer" where it's imperative to have the gears closely stacked (narrow power band), yet the top speed is being preserved at close to 200mph.  Something has to give and actually the GT3 would huglely benefit from 7 closely spaced gears (unlike PDK which has 7th tossed on top for economy only).  Hopefully, we'll see that with the 991.  Then it can have both lower and closer gears (for example, the current 2nd to 3rd gap is too wide) as well as keeping 200mph gearing.


    --
     

    73 Carrera RS 2.7 Carbon Fiber replica (1,890 lbs).  Former: 73 911S, Two 951S's, 996 C2, 993 C2, 98 Ferrari 550 Maranello


     
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