Motor Authority is reporting that General Motors' VP of Global Product Develpment, Jim Queen, revealed in an interview with Motor Trend that the next-generation C7 Corvette will produce up to 700 naturally-aspirated horsepower in its top trim. We haven't been able to find the interview on Motor Trend's website or in the current March issue of the magazine, and the April issue has yet to arrive in either digital or dead tree form, so we can't corroborate the information at the moment.
The news of a 700 horsepower Corvette certainly isn't shocking at this point, considering the 2008 Dodge Viper will be packing at least 600 horspower by the time the C7 arrives, if not more, and GM product czar Bob Lutz told reporters at the Chicago Auto Show that a 600-horsepower Corvette would arrive by summer of 2009. He was most likely referring to the C6-based Corvette SS that's been making news on the internet lately. That car appears to be a supercharged version of the current Vette's motor, so it's interesting that they're going for 700 horsepower in the C7 without the use of forced induction.

Queen also confirmed that rumors about an all-wheel drive Corvette are false and that the iconic sports car, along with the Cadillac XLR, would remain on their own unique platform.

[Source: Motor Authority]

UPDATE: After conferring with Motor Trend and finding the original source, it's clear that GM's Jim McQueen did NOT say the C7 Corvette will produce up to 700 hp. The original article's author, MT's Paul Horrell, merely extrapolated on his own and made an educated guess that the C7 might produce that much power, probably considering that the C6 SS would already be producing in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower. The stuff about no all-wheel drive and maintaining a unique platform still stands, though.

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