Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gold
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: 350 AUTO
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, United States
General Motors has announced a large investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee facility. The former home of Saturn production will be getting a $167 million addition to a previously announced $183 million, to cover a pair of new midsize vehicles. The investment is expected to create 1,800 jobs at the factory.
That $350 million is being divvied up for a pair of programs at Spring Hill. The first will take the bulk of the money ($223 million) and create 1,000 of the 1,800 jobs, while the other will take the remaining $127 million and generate the leftover 800 positions. But GM says the investment will cover "midsize vehicle programs." So what could they be?
The leading candidate in our minds is a new crossover for Buick, called the Anthem, that will slot between the Encore and Enclave, but will be slightly smaller than the Equinox and Terrain. As we've explained, the new model will likely be the first product to sport GM's new D2UX platform, which will eventually replace both the Delta and Theta platforms. Spring Hill is already building the Equinox, so there could be some credence to this theory.
The Performance Data Recorder with Valet Mode available on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray seems like a fantastic tool for many owners. Whether they are taking 720p video while lapping the track in their new 'Vette, or just want to protect their purchase from inconsiderate joyriders, the system offers a lot of functionality in one package. However, one of the PDR's features might get buyers in trouble with the law, and it has nothing to do with recording some illicit high-speed driving on a favorite back road. The problem hinges on the various state laws concerning a person's right to privacy.
According to a letter posted by Jalopnik, Chevy dealers are asking 2015 Corvette owners not to use the Valet Mode portion of the PDR because it records audio in the cabin, in addition to performance specs. That's a problem because privacy laws vary from state to state with some requiring just one side's consent to tape sound and others requiring all parties to agree. According Jalopnik, 15 states mandate everyone's permission beforehand, but it's not clear whether these numbers are up to date. (Actually, the report varies, saying 13 states in some places and 15 in a list.)
According to the letter, Chevy is already working on a software update for the near future to rectify the issue. It's possible that simply adding a warning to drivers and the ability to turn off the audio recording function in Valet Mode might solve the problem. Obviously, this doesn't preclude Corvette drivers from using the performance aspect of the PDR, and owners are free tape lap after lap at the track.
When Mark Reuss was in LA recently, he sat down to have a few words with the scribes at the Los Angeles Times. When the issue of a hybrid Corvette came up, Reuss answered with "Don't laugh." The General Motors president is a complete fan of the possibility, calling it "attractive" and "really fun," believing it would improve GM expertise and that "people would love it."
Naturally, the president being supportive of an idea doesn't give indication that a hybrid Corvette is on the way. However, with supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari giving hybrid tech a solid, if remote, place in the performance car world, the inexorable trickle-down of technology means we shouldn't be surprised if and when it does happen.
And now that we have that non-negative half-answer to a speculative question, it would be irresponsible for us not to commence rumormilling for the C8 Corvette. Taking Reuss at his word, the C8 will obviously be a hybrid with all-wheel-drive - the left side wheels driven with electric motors, the right side with the mid-mounted, four-cylinder diesel engine. With coefficient of drag of just .16, figure on a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of under 2 seconds and an all-electric range of something like 30 miles at top speed. Don't forget, folks, you read it here first.