Is A Corvette Inspired Crossover Really A Bad Thing?
The Corvette has been an American icon since 1953, with each new generation displaying GM’s greatest efforts to push its performance and technological boundaries. While each generation is a large upgrade from its previous generation, it’s safe to say that people are always skeptical and annoyed with change. Some people said the C7 Corvette wasn’t a Vette anymore because it ditched the iconic round tail-light design. More controversy came with the C8’s switch to a mid-engine platform. Maybe some people think such changes stop it from being a Corvette, but change is inevitable, and if the Corvette doesn’t evolve, it cannot become a better sports car.
In lieu with a brand evolving, some have questioned if GM would ever branch Corvette off into its own brand, similar to what Porsche did with its model lineup many years ago. While it seems a bit difficult to imagine a lineup of various Corvettes, a Crossover “Corvette” has been in discussion for many years, again surrounded by controversy. When you take a step back and really think about it though, perhaps that isn’t a bad thing, and here is why.
The Corvette is in a sense the “Halo” vehicle for Chevrolet, and while the nameplate won’t be going away anytime soon, it sets a baseline for the future of the rest of the brand. For years Corvette technology and performance engineering has trickled its way down the lineup to lesser vehicles for their improvement as well, but in today’s headspace, automakers are focusing on crossovers a lot more than traditional sedans. C8 Corvette design and engineering enhancements may find their way into many future Chevrolet vehicles, but a sportier crossover would allow GM to play with performance and technology in a different headspace.
Of course, no such crossover ever would be a Corvette in its entirety, at least in my opinion. It would instead be a distant cousin, worthy of wearing the checkered flag emblem, the same as found on the Corvette, but it would not be in fact called a Corvette. Keeping in mind GM’s focus on fish inspired Corvette names, they could easily find a new name for this type of vehicle without tarnishing the Corvette name, such as “Miray” or “Mantaray.”
Name aside, a Corvette inspired crossover would have all wheel drive, a V8 engine, sporty driving dynamics, distinctive interior and exterior styling, and GM’s newest technology in action. Much like the Lamborghini Urus has done for the brand, a Corvette SUV gives sports car enthusiasts a good all season alternative, as most know a sports car isn’t something you want to drive in the winter months if you live in a climate that gets below freezing and has snow. An SUV is also VERY different from a sports car, so efforts will have to be made, different from challenges the C8 faced, during development to make it a superior vehicle.
Another well given point, Corvette has been trying to attract a younger audience for many years, but has done so with little to no avail. The average age range for Corvette buyers is still a middle aged, 50 year old man, so despite the Corvette having great looks and performance to boot, it’s still rare to see someone under 35 driving one. GM has said that they want to influence the Corvette lifestyle, and one way to easily expand this is to bring new offerings to the table. The new mid engine C8 “supposedly” appeals to a younger buyer base than most past Corvettes due to its move to the new platform, although we are yet to see the exact demographic until plenty of C8s are out on the road over the next few
A Corvette inspired Crossover could do something great for GM, especially if the brand is shifting to EVs. This could be one of the final ICE vehicles for enthusiasts, so as electric vehicles come to market, there will still be a few final gas propelled vehicles to keep the die-hards happy until they are converted to electric. There are rumors that GM is indeed developing a Vette inspired SUV, we will just have to wait to see if they are true!