Drive Type: Automatic
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Bagged Patina Shop Truck Slammed Air Ride
Citrus Heights, California, United States
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette really grinds Peter De Lorenzo's gears. Or, more accurately, the self-anointed Auto Extremist has an issue with what he sees as mismanagement of the legendary sports car by General Motors executives. In a new editorial on his website, De Lorenzo argues it's time to split Corvette off from Chevrolet to create an all-new brand, complete with a model range with at least three new takes on the sports car. Capable of fully leveraging the successes of the Corvette Racing program and brandishing the full might of GM's technical prowess, the Corvette brand would theoretically give Porsche something to sweat over.
Sure, that sounds like a party, but given GM's troubled track record when it comes to launching (let alone managing) brands, we say that's slippery slope that could just as easily end with the whole Corvette franchise in the scrap bin. Either way, the notion is certainly an interesting one. Head over to Auto Extremist to take in the full editorial, and then let us know what you think in Comments. Should GM split off its most storied nameplate?
Edmunds has worked up a piece that tries to figure out just how much the global Chevrolet Corvette economy is worth, a spitballed guesstimate putting the number at more than $2.5 billion with the proviso that the number is probably low. It starts by taking Corvette's new car sales of 14,132 units last year, which would equate to $714,725,900 (including destination) assuming ever car sold was a base coupe with no options. In the final tally, a little extra padding gets that number up to $750,000,000.
But that's not all. Consider this: Many of the almost 1.4 million Corvettes produced over the model's history are still on the road. There are new parts being produced and aftermarket companies like Mid-America Motorworks deaing business, that single Illinois company doing more than $40 million a year in sales. There are the Corvette events large and small, restorers who do nothing but Corvettes, salvage yards that deal only in used Corvette parts and the Corvette magazines where owners find all this stuff.
And then there are the Corvette-themed tchotchkes, every single one of which provides a tiny contribution to the huge licensing royalties that General Motors collects every year. The article admits there's no way to come to an accurate number, but it just goes to show how valuable one specific model can be to a company.
This year's 12 Hours of Sebring wasn't exactly a foregone conclusion because we're still talking about racing, and anything can happen when the speeds are as high as the adrenaline and the desire. But we're still talking about Audi bringing it's two top-spec racers - and its huge budget and its nearly neurotic attention to detail - to a race that it uses as a test bed for The 24 Hours of Le Mans and as a way to open the endurance racing season with a victory.
Besides, 12 hours is a long time, especially at Sebring, and things didn't go all Audi's way. On top of that, although it was a pretty quiet race, behind the Audis things got even grimier, with plenty of battles, plenty of mechanical issues, and the new BMW Z4 GTE and Viper GTS-R being race tested. Oh, and that brand new chromed-out DeltaWing...