Is there a Corvette SUV in the future?
Everyone knows the success story of Porsche's SUVs that FAR outsell the 911 and the 917 (Boxsters). Ferrari is working on a new SUV to be named Purosangue. Lamborghini sells the Urus. Ford will soon release a Mustang themed SUV - details like the chassis are unknown at this time.
During the recent GM Wallstreet Analyst call, one analyst asked if GM wanted to follow the trend with a utility modeled after the Corvette. Mary Bara, GM CEO, sidestepped the question by saying, "I appreciate that you think our Corvette franchise is very strong." She went on to say that the current focus is to get the Corvette C8 into the dealerships.
Obviously, the C8 chassis would NOT be used as a crossover platform for an SUV.....unless it was to be an all electric SUV - not likely. Porsche wasn't daunted by the fact that the 911 uses a rear engine. They worked with VW to use a core of an SUV that Porsche was able to SIGNIFICANTLY modify into a great handling, great performing SUV(s). Sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't and THAT's why they demand a premium price and get it in good sales volumes. Sacrilege? 911 sales haven't suffered, so I guess the Porsche loyal are ok with it. In fact, one has to wonder how many garages have a 911 sitting next to one of their SUVs.
Regardless GM has a few SUVs on the market already. NONE OF THEM handle well nor do any have performance stats worth mentioning on this site (or any other sit for that matter).
MOST notably, IMO, is the complete absence of a Cadillac SUV V series model. For a brand that starred the BMW in the eye until it out handled it, the SUVs are being completely neglected. WHY? Are there internal discussions concerning a choice between a Cad SUV-V versus a Corvette SUV? Or maybe they are waiting for an all electric high performance SUV to be an SUV HALO model for GM?
I heard someone suggest using the C7 chassis as a Crossover jumping off point for a Corvette SUV. Tadge as said that the level of bonding in high tech attachment was elevated on the C7 chassis. Sounds like the adaptations would be costly.
Using an existing platform...say a Cad XT5 would be possible, but for Corvette handling standards (NOT trying to match any of the past 3or4 generations, but be as good as the best Porsche today) the chassis would need to be stiffened. This would add a lot of weight.
I think that the next generation of Cad XT5 could be designed upfront with a more rigid chassis that would lend itself to higher performance standards. IF that happens, who gets the Hi-Perf SUV - Cad or Corvette? ...or both?
THAT might be why Bara hasn't said "No Corvette SUV." That door hasn't closed yet.
I stayed at the on-track hotel at my last HPDE at VIR, and the couple next to me showed up with a Porsche SUV pulling a GT3 on a trailer. I guess if you've got that kind of disposable income, why not?
I'm not sure whether any other company, especially GM/Corvette can rely on the same level of brand-loyalty as Porsche to support SUV sales.
Perhaps if GM can offer a Corvette-branded SUV that's equally capable and competitive as the others you mentioned, but at a far lower price, then they may have something. Although, I believe it will need to have very good track capabilities, not just be a straight-line drag-monster.
Ford Mustang SUV
For those of you who might have missed it, this week Ford debuted their Mach-e Mustang SUV. It's Ford's first all electric car with a range of 300 miles. The entry level model at $44k hit 60 MPH in 5.5 seconds and the $61k top of the line GT gets there in 3.5 seconds.
'So what,' you say? ...or maybe you don't. Maybe you already got the point. ONCE MORE, ANOTHER performance car (albeit a lame car) has lent it's name to an SUV. Is Corvette becoming the minority of sports cars NOT to have a sister SUV sharing it's name? Well maybe not yet...not ever for some. I can't imagine an Mx-5 / Miata SUV, nor a Z4 SUV, nor a Challenger (if Mustang is a sports car, so is a Challenger) SUV. But at one time it seemed ludicrous to suggest that Porsche, Jaguar, Lamborghini or Ferrari would offer SUVs. Yet each does and they usually sell better than the original model.
The performance bar for a Mustang SUV might be fairly low; go straight quickly and don't crash leaving shows and meets. A "Corvette SUV" would have a much tougher...higher performance bar. However, there is NOTHING (IMO) that Porsche can do, that GM cannot do better IF THEY WANT TO. Only time will tell if we ever have a Corvette SUV to criticize/analyze.
Maybe a Corvette SUV really is around the corner LT. The Mustang started offering right-hand drive, and now I see the C8 is available in right-hand drive as well. Different price points, I know, but I'm sure GM doesn't want to "give up" any overseas sales to Ford. Some folks abroad actually LIKE the American automotive experience. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a "Corvette" branded SUV within 3 years.
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