• May 6, 2009
According to Fritz Henderson, the recently-appointed CEO of General Motors, the future holds exciting things for Chevrolet's iconic sportscar. This news comes despite the admission late last year that development of the next-gen C7 Corvette platform was put on "indefinite hold, with no official or set timetable."

In a bit of good news for Corvette fans, Henderson asserts that the "Corvette pays its rent," meaning that it's a money-making operation for The General. Obviously, the longer the automaker can rely on the current C6 architecture, the more profitable it will likely be.

There's still no indication of when we'll see a new architecture underpinning the Corvette, but Henderson is quick to point out that the current C6 chassis is still an excellent unit to build off and one that's fully competitive with the best sportscars from around the world. Disagree? You've obviously never gotten behind the wheel of the latest ZR1.

[Source: Autoweek]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I dunno that Corvette pays for itself. It's a halo vehicle...I'd have to see the books. The ones GM uses for itself...not the cooked ones it shows to the IRS and the TARP weenies.

      I'd bet Corvette DOESN'T pay for itself...it's a marketing vehicle (and a damn good one too...not be hatin' it!).
        • 5 Years Ago
        These statements where people are personifying Corvette: "it pays it's rent", "takes care of itself" wouldn't exactly make me proud to own this product. Those are nice qualities in a PERSON, but for a product; honestly I'd like to hear the that company producing it spends so much time assembling it, and overspends so much on materials that they lose money. That would be the product I'd be proud to have bought, and would communicate that I have business sense in the things that I own and in my own finances, rather than I'm supporting a company that has business sense.

        Having said all that I don't think there is anything wrong with the C6.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only reason the Corvette exists today is that it has always paid for itself, and continues to do so.
        • 5 Years Ago
        not that it was a money maker, but they also used the Corvette Chasis for the Cadillac XLR as well.

        So that had to help with the costs a little. I know not much... but every little bit helps.

        The Corvette platform must be a hell of a nice platform is they can somehow keep the weight down in the 3,000lb range and still have 20" rims etc.

        I can understand Ferrari getting the weight down because they can employ weight saving measures (carbon fiber, magnesium, etc) that costs a boat load. But for Corvette to be able to do it, it's an achievement and testament that they CAN do what they set their minds to!
        • 5 Years Ago
        LMB, I certainly don't disagree with the numbers of automated transmissions in modern performance vehicles. For me, it is only "tragic" because I think it sort of goes against the spirit of hardcore vehicles; that's me, anyway. I like feeling like I'm really driving something, rather than just going along for the ride.

        While I will never deny the numerical superiority of the latest torque converter design, or the greatest dual clutch tranny, or whatnot... I still like the pure feeling of three pedals and a real shifter. As a tech nerd I love seeing advanced technologies, but as something that I want to enjoy - definitely still love a screaming (or burbling!) motor, three pedals, and flicking through the gears. Even in heavy traffic, I still love a manual transmission.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Paul - nice analysis...you hit the nail on the head regarding the Vette. Before the collapse of the auto-market.....30-40k Vettes were sold each and every year and they tend to only make incremental updates to the car. So the development is done up front and they go 7+ years between updated models.

        I do disagree with your use of the term "autotragic". The auto tranny in the Vette performs quite efficiently....the autos are just as fast as a well driven stick. Heck, that auto tranny also does well on the track as evidenced by the CTS-V Nurburgring video(same tranny as the Vette's).

        With that being said.....my Vette is a stick....no auto for me...LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would disagree with that. Unlike the halo vehicles of other automakers, plenty of Vettes get sold. Unfortunately, most of them are the base model with autotragic, generally sold to the 50+ segment who don't know much about cars, or the female 45+ segment (although the same configuration usually gets a convertible top).

        This is the big seller for GM. Come to Florida, where you see plenty all the time. Then there is also the hardcore Vette crowd, generally populated by the sub-30 crowd. These are the vehicles which generally resemble a batmobile and have a dominating presence next to you at the stoplight, and don't play around.

        It doesn't sell as much as maybe a Malibu or Suburban, sure, but it also isn't as cheap as these vehicles. There's also the huge aftermarket crowd who buys all those used Corvettes out there - which someone had to buy new at some point in time.

        I believe with the way the Vette is produced, marketed, and sold (price wise), its probably been one of GM's best overall vehicles. It's good that they haven't abandoned it like so many other vehicles, and then wondered why it failed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree. The current C6 Chassis is still very adequate. No need to rush.

      But at least give me some good Recaros.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This. A light exterior refresh and an interior redesign (with some killer seats) would make it a brand new car to me. No need to update the platform.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM's future aside for a second, the only problem I've ever had with the 'Vette is the interior looks and feels no better than a Cobalt's. GM's interiors improve with every new vehicle they launch these days, so I'd put money on that issue being solved.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I sat in one a few weeks ago. ???

        I'm also not a fan of the 911's interior, but I was also referring to the design, but I'm extremely, EXTREMELY picky about that sort of thing. The only thing that really bothers me is the center console. For example, there's absolutely no reason the radio should stick out that far on a $100,000+ vehicle.

        http://www.zcars.com.au/images/corvette-zr1-interior12.jpg

        Again, nobody will agree with me on this, but like I said, I'm EXTREMELY picky about these kinds of things. Other than that, I really like the 'Vette, particularly when the C6's front end was designed. I'll always pine for a Stingray though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You apparently haven't been in a Vette lately or a Cobalt at all.

        People exaggerate about the Corvette interior so much it's ridiculous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldn't necessarily call the future of any GM product "secure" right now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand why GM has the urge to start with a clean slate for the C7 Vette? The chassis is one of the the best, if not the best, sports car platforms available today! For any amount of money!

      What GM needs to do is evolve the exterior design and redesign the interior to look more uber-sports car. Use the money saved to develop unique seats and steering wheel... polish off the rough edges so to speak.
      They could also tune the steering and chassis feel in the base and Z06 models... and maybe offer optional PS2 Cup tires with a sports package or something...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good news, I still think GM should tone down on the special editions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this makes me happy. My day is much improved for knowing this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fritz Henderson doesn't know what GM will be doing tomorrow, let alone next year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Red
      4:38PM (5/06/2009)
      I sat in one a few weeks ago. ???

      I'm also not a fan of the 911's interior, but I was also referring to the design, but I'm extremely, EXTREMELY picky about that sort of thing. The only thing that really bothers me is the center console. For example, there's absolutely no reason the radio should stick out that far on a $100,000+ vehicle.
      ----------------

      Oh you sat in one :-)

      Like you saw some chick bending over and got a woody, you'll never get her or the ability to own a world class Corvette.

      Total BS, but that is what all the joystickers say, the interior is not nice like your picking out a new purse.

      Almost all of the interior is leather except the HVAC/Radio area and anyone who really wants a world winning sports car can giving a flying flip about interior and more about the car having the balls to win races.

      Corvette - the only car in the whole world since 1953 still existing today that has won more races ( grassroots or pro) then all the other makes combined.

      GM has always used the Corvette as a testpig for new power/drive/trains and suspension and then moves those functions to the other brands so the car overall has gotten a money return from the Corvette.
      Add all the free marketing press and the car is a winner for GM

      Interesting GM even in the bad times sold more then 40,000 more cars last month then the liars of toy ota did says real Americans know the value of American cars like the Corvette have been around for over 50 years and will be here long after the riceballs and euro junk are gone

        • 5 Years Ago
        @Pi
        Well... the Vette might not be a 599GBT or SLR. However the Z06 has an aluminum and magnesium chassis and mostly carbon fiber body panels in a $70k car!!! and the ZR1's body is all carbon fiber!!!
        And don't give me that crap about 90's Korean sedan... the Vette has a nicely made interior that might not win a beauty contest against $200k+ cars, but is very pleasant to be in and very ergonomic.

        Are you hating on the Vette because you have to drive a 90's Korean sedan to work every day???
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Corvette has been rear-drive, V-8, two seater sports car for 50 years. Hasn't changed since '53. Read and comprehend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Like anyone thought the vette would be killed off.

      The vette is Gm's prized halo car. Hell the vette is part of the reason Pontiac declined so much(no car was allowed to surpass or touch the vette in terms of performance.

      GM would have to be beyond desperate to kill it off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From 1953-1996 the Vette only had four different generations. Four generations in 42 years, but from 1997-present we've already had two. I say let the C6 percolate longer, refine it more, and not worry about updating it. BMW has made the same basic looking car for decades and somehow still calls them "updated", so I feel GM should do the same.

      On a side note, Atomic Orange Metallic ZR1s make me feel funny in a special spot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        MONTE, you know the C6 is just an evolution of the C5, right? Sure, the engineers will puff up about all the changes they made, but set the naked chassis side-by-side and you'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart. C6 is the percolated, refined C5... and the basic engineering is so good that I bet C7 is just a refined C6.

        In fact, the economic downturn may be a blessing in disguise for Corvette. Before the bottom fell out of the market, there was so much panic over fuel economy standards that there was serious talk that the next Vette be much smaller -- think Saturn Sky with Cadillac V6 -- never mind that even at its peak of 35,000 units per year the Vette is practically a rounding error on GM's CAFE numbers, especially with an already-remarkable 26mpg hwy.

        Now, such radical changes are out of scope, and we can be hopeful that cooler heads have prevailed by the time the next-generation Corvette gets greenlit.
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