Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

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Thread: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

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    Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…



    Because I think it's going to be a Cadillac.

    Using a couple of the discussions we've had here on GMI regarding the potential for a mid-engine Corvette (or not Corvette), I explored a feeling that what we've been hearing about is likely to be a Cadillac.

    Last week conjecture broke; finally, after 50 years of wild speculation and even wilder concepts, the mid-engine Corvette would finally reach approval sometime during 2016.

    This week more conjecture says not quite. Thanks to a well placed source it’s not going to be a Corvette at all. And if you think about it from a branding perspective, if it’s not going to be a Corvette what could it be but a Cadillac?

    First things first it can’t be a Chevrolet because if it won’t be a Corvette how can it be a Chevrolet? Buick. Really, so Buick gets the halo car and totally undermines Johan de Nysschen’s Manhattan project? Opel doesn’t have the cache, ditto Vauxhall and Holden is irrelevant outside of Oceania. Sorry.

    So Cadillac.
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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    Buick Wildcat?




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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    I suspect there will be platform sharing.

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    Quote Originally Posted by spd98 View Post
    I suspect there will be platform sharing.
    Perhaps. If the relationship is similar to Audi-Lamborghini. But that angle I feel is totally dependent on GM taking Corvette away from Chevy and making it a stand alone brand. Something I'm not so sure they're keen on.
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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    Waste of resources yet I believe it will multi divisional

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    I can definitely see a NSX/E-Tron type car utilizing the latest Voltec technology and a twin-turbo v6/8.
    Straights are for fast cars, corners are for fast drivers.

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    oldsmobile_aerotech_conceptshort_and_long_tail_forms.jpg

    Time to bring back Oldsmobile and continue the Aerotech!

    Seriously, seems reasonable to give this product to Cadillac or have Corvettes (both mid engined and front engined models) sold as an independent brand and/or in Cadillac dealerships.

    GM could decide a few different ways to go with this.
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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    More conjecture, opinions and fantasy. Wake me when there are some facts!

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    All the new super/hyper cars have dual clutches in them. Would GM need to have one in this new Caddy?

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    I think Cadillac will be much better served by building the Elmiraj vs. building a mid-engined sports car. I think a sports car will be really cool, but I don't think it will create as big of a splash as the Elmiraj would.

    Back to the topic, mid-engined cars are so distinctive looking, I think it will be hard to differentiate a Cadillac and Chevy version to the point they shouldn't build both off the same platform. The Cadillac will become an overpriced Corvette, or the mid-engined Corvette will be the cheap/castrated version of the Cadillac if they reduce its performace so Cadillac can be the top dog.

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    I think Cadillac will be much better served by building the Elmiraj vs. building a mid-engined sports car. I think a sports car will be really cool, but I don't think it will create as big of a splash as the Elmiraj would.

    Back to the topic, mid-engined cars are so distinctive looking, I think it will be hard to differentiate a Cadillac and Chevy version to the point they shouldn't build both off the same platform. The Cadillac will become an overpriced Corvette, or the mid-engined Corvette will be the cheap/castrated version of the Cadillac if they reduce its performace so Cadillac can be the top dog.
    Wasn't the point that there won't be a Corvette version? This should be a Cadillac exclusive. The best example is Audi. There is a Volkswagen analog for every Audi except for the R8.
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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    It would be interesting to see this car be shared between Cadillac and Corvette (as opposed to Chevrolet) in the same way that the Audi R8 and Lambo Huracan co-exist. But I think it'll wind up being a a Corvette. More specifically, I think it'll be a launching product for the Corvette Division of General Motors.

    Logically, GM must make the Corvette a global brand if it is going to showcase the car on the global stage. Racing success cannot merely lead to niche overseas sales numbers done through exotic/specialty dealer networks. Where GM exists, Corvette Division must be allowed to exist.

    As far as such a product being a waste of resources: given GM's recent profit reports I believe it is a project they can afford to do. More to the point, if they do go ahead with it I would much prefer to see them keep it in-house as opposed to, say, farming out tub construction. Build it, learn from it, apply the lessons learned.

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    It only makes sense as a Corvette version. Corvette is an established performance name.

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    I would "assume" it will be Caddy
    BUT a Buick-Opel-Holden 3 way would be interesting but NONE of those brands have the "history" OR the market pricing to pull it off

    I DO have a hard time with it being a CADDY on the IMAGE front and where the brand is POINTED

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    Re: Why the Mid-Engined Corvette Won’t be a Corvette…

    Long term, a mid-engined platform is going to happen. JDN wants it, and so does the Corvette team. Financially and logistically, it makes sense to produce such a vehicle and have both Corvette and Cadillac share the same basic underpinnings.

    That said, could they get both? Could it be both exclusive to Cadillac AND shared by both brands? In short, Yes.

    What I could foresee is that Cadillac would have the platform exclusively for a few years, to launch a mid-engined offering and gain wide recognition for their halo sports car. Later, after Caddy has had the product/platform to "itself" for a couple of years, I could see Corvette jumping on board with an additional Corvette branded product (i.e. a mid-engined Corvette to supplement -- and not replace -- the current front-engined Corvette).

    A few thoughts on this:

    *Corvette is valuable nameplate that, in my humble opinion, must expand beyond it's traditional role as a single-product offering. It is also a revenue source that has been completely under-realized by GM. I've written about this before in a few places on GMI, but the bottom line is if GM wants to make the most of their assets, Corvette should become it's own brand with an expanded range. In doing so, the company could not only better square-off against dedicated sports-car rivals at Porsche (or Maserati, Aston Martin, etc), but also allow GM to reap huge profits and attract new customers. As such, adding a mid-engine Corvette (and creating a stand-alone Corvette brand that continues a loose association with Chevrolet) can add huge economic realities to any mid-engine platform program.

    Taking this a step or two further, any stand alone Corvette brand could also share a select number of platforms with Cadillac. As Cadillac pushes into new territories, a limited Corvette range could help make any planned Cadillac products more feasible and likely to be built if the R&D costs are spread to another vehicle program. If JDN wants to truly flush out Caddy's lineup beyond core-products, and into niches with limited volume (think of "low volume" Caddy niche products to compete against offerings like the Audi TT, BMW Z4, SLK/SLC, etc), then making a solid business case is vital and necessary.

    *JDN wants his own Audi R8 and he knows that something this sophisticated can't be shared by one division alone for cost reasons. If he's copying Audi's playbook, then he has to look to VW AG as a whole to figure out how to make this work.

    At VW AG, the need for an R8 rival was premised on using the Lambo Gallardo's platform. In allowing Lambo to introduce the product first, Lambo gained recognition for it, and it stood out as an "in-house" product. This allowed Lambo to push the brand into a new segment while also "protecting the perception" that the R8 was based on a Lambo --- and not vice-versa. That's huge since it meant that not only was the R8 a more credible sports car, but that the Lambo used a dedicated platform which was later lent to a corporate cousin.

    That last bit is incredibly important and it's the way forward in this scenario for Caddy and Corvette. If Caddy gets the platform first, and Corvette jumps on board later, then it looks like Caddy lent it's assets to Corvette, rather than a vice-versa. Think about the perception they're trying to cultivate at Cadillac and it's easy to see why they have to have their product stand alone first. If the reverse were true, then you'd have a very expensive Cadillac sports car based on a "lower-end" Corvette. The perception among rich customers would that that Cadillac merely "tarted up" a Corvette for Caddy-duty. This could potentially harm that image they're trying to create. It's not a knock against the Corvette, but merely a perception that they're trying to nurture as it seeks to chase rich, well-off customers.

    Much like VW, this has also played out elsewhere. Take a look at the Giorgio platform at Alfa Romeo; it will spawn a raft of products for Alfa (and Maserati), but it's also supposed to be eventually shared with Dodge and other FCA products so as to make financial sense. In allowing Alfa to use it "exclusively" for a few years, it helps to create the perception that future Dodge's are "based on a pricey Alfa platform", rather than basing a slew of Alfas on a "ho-hum" Dodge platform.
    Last edited by nadepalma; 02-05-2016 at 03:21 PM.
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