While we’ve heard “If you can afford the current Corvette, you can afford the 2014 model” several dozen times, the fact is that the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette is going to be a more expensive beast. Or is it?
According to our sister publication, Motor Trend, a budget version could come in close to, if not less than, the current Corvette hardtop’s $50,595 to slot underneath what we’ve been told will be a Corvette Stingray starting at $55,000 or so. Called the Corvette Coupe, the budget model is proposed to have a 5.3-liter V-8 with less than 400 horsepower versus the Corvette Stingray’s 450-horsepower, 6.2-liter LT1 V-8. GM engineers have stated that they looked at a twin-turbocharged V-6 for a base-model Corvette at one point, but it provided no better fuel economy than the V-8 set for the car. That six-cylinder is anticipated to wind up in the rumored Cadillac ATS-V, though.
Chevrolet is also looking at changing front and rear bumper designs, as well as the front fenders, to differentiate it from the Corvette Stingray.
This would not be the first time Chevrolet has introduced a “cheap” Vette in recent years. Originally, the fifth-generation Corvette, which went on sale in 1997, had a stripped out version called the Corvette Hardtop. It was the cheapest and lightest version, and it was supposed to come with a smaller engine to get the price as far under $40,000 as Chevy could make it. Alas, engineers discovered it made the perfect platform for building a faster version of the Corvette from, making it into the eventual Corvette Z06 instead of making it miserly.
While there’s likely some truth to the speculation, we’re interested to see if this one becomes true. Chevrolet has already had plenty of Camaro buyers opt for the brand’s pony car as an entry-level gateway into an American sports car. We have a hard time believing that Chevrolet would dare compete with itself and the track-ready Camaro 1LE it already sells at a sub-$50,000 price point. But then again, Chevrolet marketers could know something we don’t. We’ll wait and see in good time if Chevy dares bring its newly upmarket Corvette back down to the budget-brand levels it has so desperately tried to escape for the last 30 years.
The 2014 Corvette will hit showrooms late this year, giving us an idea of just how much it’s going to cost, from base model all the way up to a loaded Z51. From there, it’ll be a little clearer what Chevrolet’s intentions are with the seventh-generation sports car.
Source: Motor Trend