C8 Corvette rumored to launch next summer at dedicated event

Bob Lutz predicts pricing close to C7, hotter six-figure versions to follow

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GM Authority returns with more insider trading on the C8 Chevrolet Corvette. The site, which recently reported that America's sports car will be delayed six months over an electrical issue, says now that the launch won't come at an auto show. Citing "sources close to the matter," GMA says we're looking at a summer reveal, "perhaps May at the earliest," at a dedicated event where the 'Vette won't share its new look on life with any other vehicle. Seems only fitting, since two years ago Chevrolet launched the latest Camaro at a standalone event in May in Detroit.

Price has been an even more confusing topic than the launch date, with numbers from $70,000 to $170,000 making claims. Seems that three months ago, Bob Lutz told Autoline the C8 would run roughly $5,000 more than the current C7. With 2019 C7 prices having just risen for the new year, the entry Stingray Coupe starts at $56,995 out-the-door, putting a Lutz-based estimate around $62,000.

The Bob has revised his figures, though. The Mid-Engined Corvette Forum got hold of Road and Track's December 2018/January 2019 issue, and posted a snippet from Lutz's "Ask Bob" column. He writes, "I expect the goal is to sell the C8, version for version, at a little more than the C7." We don't know how Lutz defines "a little?" If Chevy can get the cap the starting bid at $70,000, that feels like win in spite of a 25-percent price jump. There's a healthy gap to the C7's price, which will sell beside the C8 for a while, and that buys a 6.2-liter mid-engined V8 with more than 455 horsepower. Besides, the 992-series Porsche 911 starts at $110,000.

More expensive versions will come, though. In the same column, Lutz wrote, "The superfast variants will come out two to three years later and cost more than $100,000." Those roaring trims are predicted to include the much-discussed twin-turbo DOHC V8, and a hybridized model with four-figure horsepower and all-wheel drive thanks to an electrified front axle.

On a side note, Hagerty ran a story in October interviewing three previous Corvette chief engineers whose tenures ran back to 1975, when Zora Arkus-Duntov retired. They talk about why the mid-engined Corvette has taken so long, from GM skepticism to core-customer apathy. There are a few revelations, such as when Dave McLellan says it was clear Chevrolet designed the C8 first, then designed the C7 to be an obvious evolutionary step from the C6. And Dave Hill, sounding just like Porsche 911 boss August Achleitner, says of the C8's automatic gearbox, "Traditional customers will certainly resent that change because the manual-shift cars are fun to drive. But I believe that machines often outdo humans..."

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