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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?
That was fast. Mere days after showing a Police Concept based on the 2015 Tahoe at the SEMA Show, Chevrolet has announced that it will build a PPV model based on the SUV to do battle with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility (Explorer) and Dodge Durango Special Service.
You'll recall that the Tahoe has been police staple for several years, predating both the Explorer and Durango police variants, so the fact that the new model would spawn a police variant is hardly surprising. Like the civilian model, the 2015 PPV benefits from a more efficient 5.3-liter, direct-injection V8 that pumps out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It also features more high-strength steel, offering better crash protection, on top of optional safety items like lane departure warning, forward collision alert and a Safety Alert Seat.
The press release is rather light on police-specific items, aside from the auxiliary battery, which keeps the myriad of electronics in a modern police car running even when the engine isn't. Lightbars, 17-inch steel wheels on Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires and a push bar round out the mods for the Tahoe PPV. The cabin features a revised center console and room for laptop and other equipment mounts.
We've been on the fence with NASCAR for some time now. On one hand, it's some of the closest racing anywhere in motorsports, with actual passing and door-handle-to-door-handle action as a matter of course. But on the other, it's become template racing - a personality-driven sport more about the drivers than any sort of loyalty to a particular automaker. The Car Of Tomorrow format really rammed that message home, with a racecar's identity coming down to little more than headlamp stickers slapped on the nose. That's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but we've wondered for some time what's in it for the automakers, who pay big money to stay in a series that has had little increasingly little do with street car sales, let alone innovation.
Apparently General Motors was beginning to wonder the same thing. In a new ESPN report, Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, suggests that GM would have seriously considered leaving NASCAR if it wasn't for the move away from the COT to the new Gen 6 racer. According to Hendrick, GM North America boss Mark Reuss spearheaded the charge away from the 2007 COT and toward a racecar with clearer automaker ties - cars like the new Chevrolet SS racer shown above. Learn more about the fight for a closer-to-production look in the ESPN story at the link.
Now, if we could just get more rear-wheel drive V8 coupes into showrooms....