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2014 Chevrolet Corvette: Still a Mystery, But Details Leak Out

The 7th-generation 'Vette is still a ways off, but Popular Mechanics knows a bit about it.

By Sam Smith Sep 26, 2011 7:03AM
Stingray Concept © General MotorsFirst things first: The car you see here is not the next Corvette. It is a concept car called the Stingray; it was built by General Motors in 2009. It's a hundred kinds of hot, but it is not going to see production.

No matter. We needed something to illustrate this post, and the Stingray was as good as anything. For one thing, it's a good approximation of what the next Corvette would look like if we lived in a perfect world. For another, it's about as realistic as any of the speculative next-'Vette illustrations floating around the Internet. If we're lucky, a few of the Stingray's styling cues and its basic proportions will see showrooms, but little else will. The car is both too impractical and too costly to make work in the real world.

But the point here -- and I do have one -- is that the next Corvette, due in 2014, remains a mystery. This is pretty common. GM tends to keep a tight lid on the model's development; by the same token, when details leak out, it's a big deal. 

A few weeks ago, Popular Mechanics published a Web story that was largely overlooked by the enthusiast media and blogs. Turns out the magazine hit the Woodward Dream Cruise in August and went digging for new-Corvette dirt. Here's what they found. 

Stingray Concept © General MotorsThe Pop Mech piece is here. It's a short, moderately entertaining story that chronicles one writer's attempt to learn more about the upcoming Corvette by walking down Woodward. Some of this information has been seen elsewhere, but it's nice to have it all in one place:


Platform code: Y1XX. Production start: Summer 2013. Model year: 2014.
Supplier tooling is reportedly ramping up for a start of production in the May-June-July period of 2013. The seventh-generation Corvette is built around a platform coded internally as Y1XX and will initially be sold as a 2014 model-year car. 

Design, interior: Better, less 'old-guy.'
Square taillights are rumored, as are Ferrari-style quarter windows a la the second-generation (C2) Corvette. The external central rib seen on the Stingray and C2 "split-window" coupe is likely to make an appearance. Seating and interior trim are said to be much improved over the current car, which isn't saying much. The seats and interior in the current Corvette need work. Everything feels nice, but certainly not expensive-sports-car nice. Expect that to change, with the car's interior finally competitive with offerings from Europe.

Drivetrain: Economical, fun. 
The '14 Corvette should be the first car to use the fifth-generation, all-new Chevrolet small-block V8 engines. Push rods are likely for packaging reasons, the base V8 should shrink from 6.2 to 5.5 liters. A turbocharged V6 is also rumored, as is a turbocharged V8. An 8-speed automatic is in development; no twin-clutch gearbox is planned, but a 6-speed manual will be offered as an option. Engine in front, gearbox in the back.

There's more in the Pop Mech article, but frankly, it's almost better to know less. With cars like the Corvette, speculation is the fun part; it's also the part most likely to start a verbal sparring match with GM executives. (The link in the previous sentence refers to an Automobile Magazine piece that was either so accurate or so inaccurate that it put Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter on the public offensive. Fun stuff.)

I've driven a lot of Corvettes over the years, and every time I climb into one, I find myself wondering what comes next for the brand. You dump the clutch, you light the tires up, you wonder how it could get any better. Sure, every Corvette is a flawed car, and every new 'Vette is better than the last. But at a time when more and more automobiles are dead-eyed caricatures of cars that came before -- or, in the case of a few family sedans, kitchen appliances -- the Corvette stands alone, delightfully imperfect, always just a little bit unrefined. In other words, it has personality, and it sounds like that won't change any time soon.

2014 can't come soon enough. 


467Comments
Oct 4, 2011 8:13AM
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The Corvette is a beautiful high performance automobile. The problem is that with any high performance automobile you can not drive it the way it was designed and built to be driven without loosing your driver's license.

Oct 1, 2011 9:56AM
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Fine automobile but what else can you expect from Corvette. Notice all of the negative comments from the losers that cannot afford a fine Corvette so they drive their japanese junk and badmouth America. Do you people not see how shameful you are!!!!
Nov 17, 2011 12:33AM
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Most writers and owners think the interior of a Corvette should be really fancy.  I have a '07 Z06, my 18th Corvette, the first since 1980.  It is blindingly fast, so much more than the previous ones I have owned, including a '66 427, no power anything and a '68, 427, (living in Dallas should have taught me that I would die with out A/C, but I wanted one of the first and it didn't have it,  However they couldn't touch the speed and handling of this Z06.  It is a really inexpensive car compared to it's performance competitors, so if the interior is plain, that is OK.  And I have never seen a car that was a beast that had a bunch of dials, switches, displays on it.  At speed, you don't need to be fooling with that crap.  It is a great car and a helluva value.  A Corvette is not a $300,000 sports car, it wasn't and isn't intended to be, and it never will be I hope.  I have had 44 cars, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, '66  427 AC Cobra, 455 everything, V-12 XKEs, big block Mustang, on and on.  Ihad very little money, but a real interest in cars.  A Corvette is a great deal.
Sep 30, 2011 12:06PM
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I'm looking forward to the C7.  I own a C6 and love it...lots of fun to drive, easy on the gas and the wife loves it.  I'm one of those Middle Aged guys who drives a Vette...but have owned fast cars for 35 years...so for those who say it's a mid life crisis...I like to think of it as natural progression.  Yes, I drive at the speed limit.....when your in a Vette, trust me you have nothing to prove.

 

Any one who compares a Vette with a Mustang...you have never owned a Vette...for if you had you would not own a Mustang...I've owned both in my life.

 

Vette...the original American Idol! :)

Nov 17, 2011 12:21PM
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Thank goodness it will never be a Ferrari, that would lower the Corvette appeal.

 

This is America............................

 

Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet

Sep 26, 2011 6:43PM
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The Corvette was and is the sweetest pruduct to come from Chevy.  Let's just hope that the next gen doesn't disappoint. 

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I JUST PURCHASED A C-5 IN JULY, AND i LOVE IT. THE FUNNEST TIME A GUY CAN HAVE WITH HIS CLOTHES ON. I READ A STAISTIC NOT TO LONG AGO THAT 80% OF CORVETTE OWNERS ARE OVER 50. I AM ONLY 40 YEARS OLD SO I FEEL PRETTY GOOD. THE ONLY REASON THAT STAT IS TRUE IS BECAUSE THEY COST SO MUCH. I HAD A HARD TIME TRYING TO FIND ONE THAT  I COULD AFFORD AS WELL. MY WIFE HATES IT, I GUESS THAT IS WHY I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
Sep 27, 2011 9:20AM
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"Corvette stands alone, delightfully imperfect, always just a little bit unrefined. In other words, it has personality"

I own a low mileage 2006 Vette.  There's a slight rattle in the driver's door panel, there's a relay somewhere in the upper passenger footwell under the glove box that clicks everytime I step on the brake, and when I drive with the top off, it rattles in it's mounting brackets in the rear.  As far as I'm concerned, these little flaws makes it unique, and make it mine.

A fun story for the Vette guys:

My neighbor bought a new Camaro.  He asked me one day in the driveway, "I get people trying to race me a lot since I bought my car, that must happen to you CONSTANTLY, huh?"   I replied, "Nope, never.  They know they'll lose!"   (Just one more reason why I love my Vette.)

 

 

Sep 26, 2011 10:31AM
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I don't know, considering that this car is just about certain to have a big sat nav touch screen, adding a backup camera is a no-brainer. Considering how bad the visibility is in the exotics like Lambo's etc. , the visibility in a split window can't be any worse.  I like the idea, but not the execution in this particular rendering.

 

Shrimp roll, the Vette was known as "stingray" during it's 2nd and 3rd generations, as "Sting Ray" or "Stingray". I forget which years used which version of the name.

 

I agree with you about the Vette being a great bang for the buck and advanced for it's time (IRS, Disk brakes), but you can't compare it to the Mustang, they've never been in the same class. The Vette has always been quite a bit more money and a more prestigious car. It's kind of like comparing a Taurus to a Mercedes S Class. 

Nov 17, 2011 5:13AM
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The Corvette is, and always will be, a great American Iconic car.  Doesn't matter if you like it or dislike it.  That's what it is.  I've owned only one Corvette, a 1966 327 convertible, but it was so much fun.  And Corvettes are so much better today.  Ford owners will claim this or that, MOPAR and GM too, and all those who drive fast foreign cars.  If you just like cars, this will be a nice car regardless of who made it.  No, the new one won't be the sexy concept car pictured, but bang for the buck, it's a bargain and will humble a great many more expensive cars.  Maybe people didn't like the '87 Buick Gran National either, but ever raced against one. Their pretty quick, even by today's standards.  And it was a Buick.  Everyone has their opinion and that's what makes it all good.  I wish I had more money to buy a new one, or a ZR1.  Now that's a nice, and fast, ride.   
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