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Auto blogThu, 14 Feb 2013 10:55:00 EST
It won't be long before we see the official, production-ready Chevrolet SS sedan (hint: it will be revealed this weekend). And to tide us over until all of the official details are released about the US-spec version, we have this: the Holden VF Commodore SS V show car, a performance-oriented brother to the Calais V that debuted earlier in the week.
What we really want to know about the SS V is what lies underhood, but General Motors' Australian arm is keeping that under wraps until the Chevy model breaks cover this weekend. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the SS V will be a serious performer, with all sorts of aggressive cues driving that home on the car's exterior. Take a look at those 20-inch billet aluminum wheels that hide big Brembo brake calipers up front, the sculpted hood and front fascia, the wide air intakes with LED running lights and the quad exhaust pipes out back. It's like the Pontiac G8 GXP never even left us.
Inside, there's a sporty-looking interior with aluminum accents that mix in with black leather and suede surfaces, all tied together in the middle with an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. It looks great, and again, while we don't know anything regarding powertrain details, it makes us oh-so happy to see a manual shifter smack dab in the middle of the center console.
It seems to be commonplace that when a new Corvette is in development, rumors swirl about a possible mid-engine layout. As is the case of Chevy's most recent C7 Corvette, these rumors never pan out.
In any case, the idea for a 'Vette with an engine mounted behind the driver can probably all be traced back to a single car, the 1964 XP-819 prototype. Built as an "engineering exercise" back in 1964, the prototype was designed with a rear-mounted engine. History tells us that the idea of a rear-engine Corvette fizzled, and the XP-819 was eventually cut up into pieces and stored at a shop in Daytona Beach, FL.
After sitting for untold years, a restoration project started on the car, and while it isn't yet fully completed, the current owner of the car, Mid America Motorworks, will have the car on display at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as a "driveable chassis" with hopes of having a fully completed car ready to bring to next year's show.
We've just received an early peek at the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible here at the Geneva Motor Show. General Motors was kind enough to let us attend the final dress-rehearsal for its press conference scheduled for tomorrow's opening media day, and we've come away with a good look at the droptop C7 in person.
In the metal, the new Corvette Convertible seems somehow less avant-garde than the Coupe, even in Z51 Performance Package guise. That's not necessarily a bad thing - more of an observation. That initial impression may be because the C7's new greenhouse is one of its most prominent departures from Corvettes past. While we didn't get to see the top erected, there's no rear side window in the stock images that Chevy has already released, suggesting the C7 convertible's profile will look a lot like its C6 predecessor. And with the new power tonneau cover in place, there are also no rear ducts that come as part of the Z51 package (they've been moved under the car).
As with its predecessor, the tonneau is a handsome double-bubble piece, and the body-color "waterfall" element into the cabin between the seats has made it to the new model as well. Thus, the overall look with the top down should be a bit more familiar to prior-gen C6 owners - if you're one of those put off by the C7's new shape, you'll probably appreciate the convertible bodystyle more than the coupe.