Ever since there has been a Corvette there has been speculation as to what the future of the Corvette will hold. For almost 60 years now both enthusiasts and critics alike have tried to take a stab at what they feel is going to be the next generation of the Corvette and the C7 generation which is rumored to come out on Corvette’s 60 year anniversary in 2013 is no different.
Recently Chevy decided to debut its Stingray concept car at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show and the appearance by the very same car in the movie Transformers 2, Revenge of the Fallen as Autobot Sideswipe has all lead to wild speculation that the Stingray will be the next generation of the Vette. However according to the designer of the new Camaro and the Stingray concept car Tom Peters, the Stingray is not the C7. On the other hand he did say that you could expect to see influences from the Stingray in the C6 as well as the Camaro going forward. Still this leaves many wondering, is this just a ploy to throw off everyone’s scent, or is the Stingray truly just a concept?
The outside of the Stingray is said to have almost all of its inspiration taken directly from the first Stingray race car that Bill Mitchell built back in 1959 (though Mitchell’s race car did not feature vertical “Lambo-syle” doors) and the inside is simply a tech Heaven. The interior features a dual cockpit design that has a steering wheel featuring two spherical balls. The right sphere controls the shared functions of the car such as navigation, climate control, and entertainment. On the center is a console that has a display screen featuring the control of five setting including entertainment, laptop mode, climate control, navigation, and race. These are the same features that are able to be controlled by the spherical balls on the steering wheel. The display is touch operated and extremely vivid in detail.
But it is what is under the hood of the Stingray concept that has raised more than just one eyebrow. The Stingray that was on display at the Chicago Auto Show featured a powerful V-8 coupled with hybrid technology and the ability to have cylinders shut down when necessary. According to the design, the driver would have the choice of going all out with the LS engine or switching and going totally electric.
Five modes dictate how the feel and control of the Stingray will be in relation to handling, shifting and braking. According to GM, if such a power plant existed you would be able to go from eco-friendly to flat out as a matter of personal preference. However, even though the concept car has a “Hybrid Stingray” badge on it, don’t expect the C7 to be a hybrid. According to GM, this just represents a futuristic way of thinking and is in no way setting the Corvette up to become a hybrid.
So for now at least, the wait continues. GM is famous for throwing many curve balls and change-ups at the Corvette Nation just to get them off track a bit and the same may very well be going on here. Then again, maybe the all new C7 Corvette is hiding in plain sight right before your very eyes. 2013 will certainly tell the tale as the new Corvette hits the showrooms and will certainly be an unbelievable year for the world famous sports car that is the Corvette.