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    Corvette SUV Coming?

    Maybe this will become part of the Corvette line, A Corvette SUV. According to "Maximum Bob," (Bob Lutz), this is what is needed, and it would be a big hit if priced right, taking away a good number of Porsche SUV sales. Might it look something like this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitNews
    What if GM built a Corvette SUV?

    What if Chevrolet made a Corvette SUV?

    Maybe that’s not so far-fetched. Corvette is a singular car within Chevrolet, and in many ways is a performance brand unto itself. Almost every performance brand now has its own crossover; the most prominent of which is Porsche’s money-machine, the Cayenne.

    If Corvette did make an SUV, what would it look like? Detroit News presentation editor Jamie Hollar drew his own concept car, shown here. And The Detroit News talked to ex-GM big wigs, auto analysts and car enthusiasts for their ideas on what the high-performance SUV should be.

    Since the first Jeep sport utility appeared in 1984, the automotive landscape has been transformed by high-riding, five-door SUVs with visibility and utility to spare. Even legendary performance brands that once built only ground-hugging sports cars have jumped in. Beginning with Porsche in 2003, SUVs have become a performance-maker’s goldmine. Nearly every performance badge wants a piece of the lucrative ute market.

    Notably absent is the Corvette, America’s V-8-powered workingman’s superhero.

    Though technically a Chevrolet product, the Corvette long ago became an iconic nameplate that’s equal to Europe’s elite sports car names. It’s faster than the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Alfa Romeo 4C and Lamborghini Huracan. And while those brands have all exploited their athletic images to expand into sport utilities — the Jaguar F-Pace, Alfa Stelvio and Lamborghini Urus — the Corvette remains a one-off.

    “There’s certainly precedent for non-traditional SUV makers to jump into the market,” says Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Every time one of them has jumped in, it has worked.”

    With nearly two-thirds of Porsche buyers opting for SUVs, Porsche makes up a whopping one-third of Volkswagen Group’s profits while generating only 2.3 percent of its sales, according to MotleyFool.com. “The idea of a Porsche SUV still rubs sports-car purists the wrong way, but it has been a spectacularly profitable product for the brand,” says John Rosevear, senior auto specialist for the website.

    GM executives won’t talk about future vehicles — and even if they did, there’s no evidence a sport utility is in the works. But everywhere we went, car fans loved the idea. The consensus was if Corvette were to build it, it would be a home run.

    So let’s give this dream car concept a name. We called our concept the Corvette XC7: “X” for crossover, “C7” for the sports car’s seventh-generation architecture.

    “XC7 and X06 (mirroring the high-performance version’s Z06 name) are great starters for naming,” says Tom Wallace, the retired GM engineer who ran Chevrolet’s Corvette program from 2006-08. “Stingray is off limits.”

    It would be essential that any Corvette crossover share the sports car’s DNA.

    “Front engine, rear drive, with AWD option. Lots of aluminum in the structure,” muses Wallace. “Aluminum is mandatory to support the theme that Corvette embraces to be the lightest vehicle in its class. The two V-8s from the Corvette stable are also a must.”

    That means the 460-horse V-8 shared with the base C7 sports car — or for the Z06 version, the supercharged 650-horsepower V-8 for what might be the fastest SUV ever built. Considering the rear-wheel drive Z06 sports car is slightly slower from 0-60 than its all-wheel drive 540-horsepower Porsche Turbo rival, an all-wheel drive X06 crossover should be competitive with the all-wheel drive Cayenne Turbo’s 3.8-second, 0-60 romp.

    “Maximum Bob” Lutz, the ex-vice president of GM product design who is revered for bringing back The General’s design mojo, agrees with Wallace’s assessment: “Like the Cayenne, the appeal of the ’Vette SUV would be RWD proportions. It should, in fact, have a silhouette not too different from a Cayenne.”

    Start with the C7’s dramatic, sculpted lines created by Tom Peters and widely recognized as one of the best designs in Corvette’s 54 years. All performance SUVs are essentially vertically stretched, five-door versions of familiar sports coupes, giving them an inherently heavy look compared to low-slung two-seaters.

    But angular designs like our mock XC7 or Lamborghini’s Urus show that it’s possible to break with the soap-bar shapes of the Porsche Cayenne and Maserati Levante. With Corvette’s trademark shark nose, scooped hood and quad exhaust pipes, it would drip with menace.

    Inside, the XC7 would share the C7’s acclaimed interior: comfortable seats, stitched dash and quality trim materials. Naturally, the signature “oh, crap” passenger grab-handles from the sports car would carry over (for those times when dad is seized by the need for speed).

    Other parts like transmissions and all-wheel drive systems could come from common GM parts bins, which has been key in keeping Corvette costs down over the years. “To engineer the vehicle, I would have to combine some of the Corvette team with some of the SUV team,” says Wallace.

    Price? “More than the $40,000 Cadillac XT5, but about 10 grand below” a $60,000 base V-6 Cayenne, suggests Lutz.

    But the chassis might be a deal breaker. “To be successful, this vehicle would require an all-new RWD/AWD architecture, which currently does not exist,” says Lutz. “That’s high investment for relatively low volume.”

    Porsche was able to “lunch off” the VW Touareg chassis, which enabled Porsche to package its V-8 engine longitudinally. GM’s new C1XX platform is the backbone for the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia utilities; it has been lauded for its stiffness and light weight. But its front-wheel drive, transverse engine layout appears ill-suited for our ambitious XC7.

    “The Corvette ute probably would be a stand-alone architecture (or a major modification of an existing architecture), so volume would be critical to call it a business success,” Wallace believes.

    Cost aside, Lutz says there is another obstacle to an XC7: “The reason a Corvette SUV won’t happen is the business case would be tough. Besides cannibalizing ‘normal’ Corvettes, it can also be expected to damage GMC and certainly the Cadillac XT5.”

    And yet, Lutz acknowledges the unique draw of the Corvette: “Corvette is a powerful brand that should be developed. Go upmarket with a mid-engine sedan using big Cadillac CT6 architecture, and maybe eventually something like Cayenne. They would split it off from Chevrolet — nobody makes that connection anyway.”

    Kelley Blue Book’s Brauer says financial analysts would grill GM on creating another brand so soon after it axed Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn in bankruptcy. “But history would suggest there is no downside to a performance brand expanding into SUVs,” he says. “Non-Corvette owners who couldn’t justify a two-seat sports car could finally put a Corvette badge in their garage.”

    With the formula laid out here, Wallace says he has no doubt “the product would be a smash hit.”

    “Product excellence usually leads to business success,” he says. He grins. “Let’s convince GM to do it!”

    Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

    Our experts agreed the News’ mock XC7 would share the C7’s acclaimed interior: comfortable seats, stitched dash and quality trim materials. (Photo: Detroit News photo illustration / GM)
    Corvette XC7 SUV concept

    VEHICLE TYPE

    FRONT-ENGINE, ALL-WHEEL DRIVE, FIVE-PASSENGER, 5-DOOR SUV

    Power plant

    6.2-liter, push-rod V-8 (XC7); 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 (X06)

    Transmission

    10-speed automatic; 8-speed automatic

    Weight

    Est. 4,100 pounds (AWD)

    Price

    $50,000 base est. ($75,000 for X06 performance version)

    Power

    460 horsepower, 465 pound-feet of torque (V-8); 650 horsepower, 650 pound-feet of torque (supercharged V-8)

    Performance

    0-60 mph, 3.6 seconds (X06 with supercharged V-8 est.)

    Fuel economy

    Thirsty

    Report card

    HIGHS

    ICONIC BRAND EXPANDS TO UTES; 460-HORSE V-8. ’NUFF SAID

    Lows

    Expensive new platform; might cannibalize Cadillac SUV sales

    Design your own Corvette SUV

    What do you think a Corvette SUV should look like?

    Create your own design and enter The Detroit News design contest. Our team of judges — ex-Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace, Detroit News auto columnist Henry Payne and Detroit News presentation editor Jamie Hollar — will pick a winner. Top entries will be published in The Detroit News and at detroitnews.com.

    Entries can be done in any medium: computer rendering, pencil sketch, watercolor, whatever you prefer. Send a high-resolution copy by email to Henry Payne at hpayne@detroitnews.com.
    What if GM built a Corvette SUV?
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    It probably would be a success. I know many traditional purists will believe it is heresy, but one only needs to look at the success of other sports cars doing so to know the SUV versions can be smashing hits if done correctly.
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    Yes, I agree that it has a good chance at success.

    It would also counter the current slump in car sales, versus the recent increased sales of trucks and SUVs (given the relatively low gas prices we've been enjoying of late).

    U.S. consumers continue to make it clear they have very little interest in cars but continue to have a voracious desire to buy SUVs and pickups, a trend that is increasingly creating winners and losers among automotive manufacturers.

    In February, brands with hot-selling crossovers, SUVs and pickups posted sales gains while those overly exposed to cars struggled unless they boosted incentives to help clear out inventory.
    U.S. consumers shun cars in favor of SUVs, trucks but industry remains strong
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    JLG
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    Nice concept... Looks good. This would be a good alternative for those Corvette lovers who need an suv for handicap reasons or other. More space, seats, etc. This suv would also decrease the regular corvette sales IMO.
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    IMHO from a consumer standpoint i think it will water down the corvette brand. I don't like the idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer_X View Post
    IMHO from a consumer standpoint i think it will water down the corvette brand. I don't like the idea.
    Yes, the same was said about the Cayenne when it was first proposed, but it has turned-out to be one of Porsche's best-sellers.

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    Would I buy a Corvette SUV? Personally, I don't think so...
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    "Delta t = 23"

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    I can't get too excited about this. Unlike Porsche, it's not as if GM doesn't make attractive SUV's. Let's keep the Corvette the strictly iconic sports car it is meant to be.
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    My Silverado is getting very old and I no longer tow a trailer so this sounds good for me. I would probably buy one IF it turned out to be the right car. I was looking at the Caddy SUVs. I can wait.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet C View Post
    My Silverado is getting very old and I no longer tow a trailer so this sounds good for me. I would probably buy one IF it turned out to be the right car. I was looking at the Caddy SUVs. I can wait.
    And we will get yours signed by Tadge, Harlan and so many more of your Corvette team friends!
    Last edited by elegant; 03-27-2017 at 12:54 PM.
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    Consumer request will certainly drive the idea. Didn't i see something re a Lambo SUV? Guess its inevitable.
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    Call me a traditional purist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet C View Post
    My Silverado is getting very old and I no longer tow a trailer so this sounds good for me. I would probably buy one IF it turned out to be the right car. I was looking at the Caddy SUVs. I can wait.
    My wife and I also looked at a Cadillac SRX SUV for her. We, too, passed because we did not like the interior. Instead we got her a GMC Acadia.

    I can't speak for the new Cadillac XT5 since we have never been in one. I suppose they may be better than the SRX.

    Anyway, my point is that I could see her in this type of Corvette SUV, if they offer one when the Acadia is ready to be replaced.
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    [QUOTE=Mobius;554425]Yes, the same was said about the Cayenne when it was first proposed, but it has turned-out to be one of Porsche's best-sellers.

    And yes, it watered down the Porsche brand from a sport car enthusiasts perspective.
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    that would be one way to get yourself an AWD Corvette!
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    I vote No. Is this a poll? It would dilute the Corvette.

    Plenty of SUVs to pick from.
    Henry427 likes this.

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