• Jan 22nd 2008 at 7:29AM
  • 47
The new CAFE regulations might spell the end for big V8s, but future Corvettes will be packing a similar performance punch with a smaller footprint. Automotive News sat down with the Corvette's vehicle line exec, Tom Wallace, to discuss the future of the iconic coupe and he said that a 700 hp 'Vette is off the table. Instead, Chevy is looking to lighten the Corvette's weight and utilize a smaller V8 in order to keep the same power-to-weight ratio of the current generation models. Although Wallace didn't get into details, that didn't stop AN from speculating that the next Corvette could go on a 300 to 400 pound diet and get motivation from a 4.7-liter V8 (making 150 hp less). However, Wallace's own words are more telling, saying that the next 'Vette could be "more fuel efficient [and] even nimbler than it was before.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the answer here is lighter weight with a smaller, higher revving V8. Weight in the engine would have to go down, just to allow the engine to rev freer, and the LS-series is already fairly lightweight. Horsepower numbers would not have to drop, but overall torque could, especially if the car goes under 3000lbs. The small-block Chevy is a torque monster, so a reduction even by 1.5 liters and/or 100lb-ft would still put it on-par or better than the competition in that department. Raise the rev limiter to 7500+ and you'll make that horsepower back, with no loss of fuel economy. It would also still have that great small-block sound, just a little bit more eager.

      The C6 is already getting some attention and competing with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari; imagine what would happen if GM developed a higher-revving engine in a lighter package of the C7. The Corvette would absolutely dominate.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Almost a sort of return to its roots, the Corvette in 1955 receive the 265 ci (4.3L) V8 who replaced the "Stovebolt" inline-6 when the Corvette was introduced in 1953. A 4.7L will be around the size of 283 ci.

      The engine could use more aluminium, magnesium or CGI (compacted graphite iron) to shed some pounds, then I wonder if they could add a turbocharger version of this engine who could use E85 fuel as well like the Saab BioPower engines?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have always been a bit off-put by the size of a Vette. I have not drove a newer one, but it just seems like it would be .... "bulkier" to drive. Chop some inches off and use more aluminum (are they still using steel for the frame and such?), and shedding a couple hundred pounds should not be that big of a problem. Carbon fiber is not the only way to reduce weight. Reduce the size of the car, and you start shedding pounds. The Vette just seems like it is soooo long (from a visually point of view, imo).

      I am not an engineer, this are just my feeble minded thoughts, so maybe I am wrong about the weight reduction.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        The corvette is a two seater. The 911 has kiddie seats.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The current C6 is actually smaller than a new Porche 911. It's much smaller than my old LS1 Trans Am.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man this article makes me thinks of the 70's and 80's all over again. I'm glad I've got my Vette now. I don't like the sound of the future Vette. I want my V8 big and I love the size of the car now. I won't argue with the weight loss (that would be a good thing), but at what cost? If they have to make the Vette tiny with a V6, I'll pass.

      I'm trying to figure out how to afford a 67 with a 427...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does GM really sell enough Corvettes to bring down their CAFE average by any more than a 10th of a mpg?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I dont see why this is a bad thing....Iam just imagining a 3rd generation rx7 with a 350hp ls1....That would give you almost exactly what they are talking about. 150hp less then the z06 atleast 32mpg highway and weight in the neighborhood of 2500 pounds.I dont know why any of this is bad

      I do consider it a sin for the Corvette to not have pushrods or a v8 though. It is what the Corvette is.

      Why is it a bad thing to have a lighter better handling car that gets good gas mileage???
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Vette isn't a sports car in the tiny and nimble sense, and it never has been. It's a grand tourer.

        A 700 lb shrink would no doubt make you a perfectly good small sports car, but it wouldn't be a Vette anymore.

      • 7 Years Ago
      If you remember GM was moving the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky to Bowling Green. The new vette will proably be about the same size. It will be on the new alpha platform. By shinking the vette chassis they could use a smaller V-8. The Saturn would use the 3.6L V-6 and the Pontiac a four banger. GM could build 3 cars off this platform, thus saving costs
      • 7 Years Ago
      Offer a supercharged V6 hybrid model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really hope that GM doesn't head in the direction indicated by the article. If the Corvette really drops 150hp and only drops 300-400lbs it will castrate the poor thing. It would gain over a second in quarter-mile times and it's 0-60 would be at least a second slower I imagine. That's like Evo times. I'd be expecting a lot more out of a $48,000 performance car.

      I wonder how much GM really expects to gain in mpg? The '08 Vette is already getting 16/26 according to the EPA. Past models have achieved 19/28 with ~400hp. I just don't see it getting that much better without a drastic technology change.

      Concentrate on the econo-boxes and leave the sports cars alone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think that the time is right to bring back the 283 and 327 displacements...4 Cam 32V modern engines...maybe even v10's....

      Cause trust me, if they start downgrading power...they're gonna have a riot....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Power/weight is the key. If they can drop the power AND 0-60 at the same time, it'll be fine.

        Oh, and lighter weight will likely drop slalom time and pump up skidpad numbers to boot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "4 Cam 32V modern engines" weigh more and require more space under the hood than the LS Series with no gains in power or MPG while costing a lot more to produce and maintain as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        While all of that may be true...there are ways (none cheap) around this.

        And perhaps there can be two vettes...a Green Vette and a Red Vette.

        A la the Mustang GT and SVO of 1985....

        SVO had it all (sorta) - 5 lugs, better weight dist....turbo/intercooled motor that responded VERY well to mods...rear discs, cool hood/rear spoiler...

        for many reasons, I think it was the better car. Of course they sold like three-day-old fish.

        But this could be a very good option for the vette...Blown DI Small V6...lightweight MANUAL seats...balsa floors...smaller forged wheels...hardtop only...

        OR red vette...5.3 Pushrod LS series....
      • 7 Years Ago
      This "corporate average" thing makes little sense to me. For manufacturers of expensive, fast cars that don't make small ones, it seems unfair.

      Why doesn't Corvette just buy some Tata Nanos, and everyone who buys a Corvette has to buy a Corvette Nano as well. Effectively a few thousand dollars tax. The average fuel economy for all cars sold will meet the regulation.

      The proper sensible thing would be to put a tax on the production of new cars that are not fuel efficient.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That is because your idea makes sense. The government has a gas guzzler tax, but there are so many loop holes that it is pretty pointless.

        The underlying thing here is that the government wants to get people to buy more efficient cars without taxing the voters purchase. No law maker that would ever want to get re-elected would ever put forth the idea of a strict gas guzzler tax and / or raising the gas tax.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For those who say the Corvette is too big as it is, especially compared to the 911:

      Overall Length: Corvette 174.6 911 176.3
      Width: Corvette 72.6 911 72.9
      Height: Corvette 49.0 911 51.2
      Weight Corvette 3217 911 3494

      The Z06 weighs 3162 lbs...
        • 7 Years Ago
        And the 'base' 911 starts at $73,500, or $27,400 more than the 'base' Vette. Then again, you can spend $123,695 on a 911 Turbo, which, when tested by Car and Driver, was slower than a Z06, had a longer braking distance than a Z06 and was 1.7 seconds slower on the road course than the Z06. The Z06 also pulled better numbers on the skidpad. So, yes, the 911 does have a turbo flat six. It also doesn't outperform a Corvette with a normally asperated pushrod V8 that costs $50,000 less.
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