First look at the midengine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Tim Sutton
GM insiders tell us a Corvette brand will eventually include a sedan and an SUV or crossover
General Motors intends to leverage the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette for even greater profit than a midengine Stingray might generate on its own. The corporation is planning a new Corvette brand that will eventually include a sedan and an SUV or crossover, according to GM insiders. It will also create its second Corvette-based Cadillac sports car.
Executives at the C8 reveal in Tustin, California, including GM president Mark Reuss and Jim Campbell, vice-president of performance vehicles and motorsports, wouldn’t address either plan. But the executives did not explicitly deny them, either.
"I can't say anything one way or the other," said Campbell.
"Probably not going to see that," said Reuss.
A view from the rear of the just-unveiled midengine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Tim Sutton
We’ll see. The concept of a Corvette brand isn’t a novel idea, and in today’s hyper-competitive auto industry, it might not even be surprising. In the last decade or so, Toyota launched a line of several Prius models from its original Prius Hybrid. Dodge created its Ram Truck brand from the former Dodge Ram pickup, and Hyundai is building its upscale Genesis luxury brand from a name it introduced in North America with its Hyundai Genesis coupe and sedan. Ford is said to be developing a Mustang-badged crossover.
About 62 years into its uninterrupted run, the Corvette remains one of Chevy’s most valuable properties and one of its most admired models around the world. It’s no fluke that the C8 will be the first Corvette built at the factory with right-hand drive.
The midengine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray looks good in white, too. Tim Sutton
A ‘Vette-based Cadillac wouldn’t be a first, either. The Cadillac XLR was built on the C6 chassis at the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was powered by Cadillac’s overhead-cam Northstar V8 and introduced a host of new technologies to the Cadillac line, including radar-guided adaptive cruise control. We’d expect a C8-based Cadillac to get the turbocharged, OHC Blackwing V8 introduced in the CT6-V sedan. In its existing state, the 4.2-liter Blackwing (550 hp, 627 lb-ft) beats the LT2 small-block in the base C8 Stingray (495 hp, 470 lb-ft).
While the XLR wasn’t an utter failure in the marketplace, it wasn’t exactly a smash, either. Sales peaked in 2005 at just over 3,700. The sports car of Cadillacs averaged 2,600 units a year during its 2004-09 run.
Both the Corvette brand and the Cadillac C8 are still in the planning stages, according to the sources -- and could still easily be axed if the stuff hits the fan big during the next industry downturn. Nonetheless, you might be able to choose your next ‘Vette-based sports car with overhead cams and turbos, and by 2023, you could be able to take your kids to soccer practice in a Corvette SUV.