More Spy Photos of the C7 Corvette in Testing Camo Have Been Captured
It had been a few months since anyone had seen a C7 in the wild, but it looks like right now GM is playing these a little more loosely as this weekend saw two different major publications capture and release images of the C7 Corvette in the wild, in some manner or another.
The first, and honestly more exciting, instance came on Friday when Automobile Mag released a set of on-track testing photos captured by the automotive spy photographers extraordinaire over at KGP Photography. The images clearly indicate a lot of what we have come to expect from the vehicle from other mock-ups and spy photos before it. The feature the very distinct Corvette lines, and a wide, squared off front fascia area. Perhaps most interesting in these photos is the rear end, where the lights are obscured by camoflauge that features round hole areas. Maybe the rounded ports are there to obscure the fact that the C7 Corvette will have rectangular, Camaro-like lights–a much derided decision since Jalopnik first reported that the vehicle would feature them–or maybe they’re indicative of the actual design of the lights underneath. It’s hard to tell, and we can’t be certain until the C7 Corvette is officially unveiled. This unveiling will almost certainly happen in 2013, and most likely at the GM Favored Detroit Auto Show in January.
Click the thumbnails for full size images, courtesy of AutomobileMag.com and Jalopnik:
The second set of images are much more amateur than the KGP Photography ones, and while they divulge less, they do offer some great insight. These photos, first off, show what appear to be 8 C7 Corvettes in one place. This is huge, as it shows that the development has gotten to the point where they have that many test C7’s out there. It’s also big news following the recent string of hirings by GM to retrofit their Bowling Green, Kentucky plant–where Corvettes are built–with new technology for the production of the C7. What this all indicates is that the C7 Corvette is very close to beginning production, which means the spy photos we’re seeing are very close to the finished product.
Of course, what would a new round of photos be without further speculation and rumors. GM has remained tight lipped about specific details of the future of the Corvette moving forward in to 2014, but, we can safely assume a few things, and look at rumors of a few others. One thing is for certain: GM is working to ensure that this next generation Corvette is as light as possible. Some rumors have pointed to this indicating GM’s move to an aluminum tubular frame, as opposed to a steel one, in effort to shave pounds off of the vehicle. This rumor, however, seems unlikely as the cost of aluminum is much higher than steel and may be cost viable at the Corvette’s standard price range entry point.
As for the engine, the rumors are wide and varied. Some places have reported a V8 with a displacement as low as 5.0L, while others seem to think that the 6.0-6.2L range is more likely. Whatever the case, the next engine will feature fuel-saving technologies such as: direct injection, variable valve timing and active fuel management. This next generation small block V8 engine will gain a new designation, and some people have even suggested that GM would use the LT1 designation for it again, although, the confusion that would cause between their early-90’s V8 of the same name and the modern engine make it seem unlikely. Maybe they’ll return the LS designation, but continue with their use of letters instead of numbers, as seen on the LSA. Whatever the case, the lighter C7 Corvette should see a HP:Weight ratio vastly improved over the current-gen, and, with GM’s incredible new suspension technologies, improved track times across the board. There are also abundant rumors out there towards the including of a 7 or 8 speed automatic transmission, utilized as a fuel-saving means.
Of course, these performance changes are almost certainly not the biggest or most important ones that the C7 will see, as GM is due to provide a complete overhaul to Corvette interior in effort to combat the current-generation model’s most maligned aspect. This overhaul will almost certainly feature both analog and adjustable electronic gauges, integrated in to their new DIC, to improve driver feel and experience. There are also rumors that a 9-speaker Bose stereo is in the works, with some publications (like the Corvette Forum news cycle) indicating possibilities of a factory-installed rear subwoofer. Bluetooth, and wireless iPod connectivity, as well as improved comfort features, should place the C7 interior near the quality of the Cadillac line–an improvement that would seemingly ensure that the C7 Corvette interior is free from much derision.
No matter what the case, we’re close to completely knowing and understanding the exterior look of the C7 Corvette, and it’s similar to the Jalopnik rendering we saw much earlier in the year. At this point, only the tail lights seem to be up for questioning on the exterior, as the vehicle is getting close to production beginning and should begin hitting the auto show circuit in less than half a year’s time. What do you think: based on what we’ve seen of the C7 Corvette and what we know about it, how excited for this vehicle are you? Some people aren’t fans of the exterior look, while I’ve heard others in the blogosphere openly applaud it. I, for one, am being won-over by the C7 Corvette look quickly, especially if it features an interior on par with what has been reported thus far, and am holding out hope for true, round, Corvette-style rear lights instead of Camaro-esque rectangular ones.