Chevy’s had great success building higher-performance, higher price versions of the Corvette over the last half-decade or so. There’s a nice progression of models: the Grand Sport is a bit more tenacious than the stock Corvette, then the Z06 is a bit wilder than the Grand Sport, and the ZR1 is even nuttier than the Z06. It’s a strategy we fully expect to see Chevrolet continue with for the C7 generation car. Only problem is, unless Chevy decides they want to start chasing the McLaren P1 with a 900 horsepower ZXX or something, there’s nowhere further to push the ‘Vette. The only place to go…is down.
And that may be exactly what they’re planning for the C7 Corvette. According to Motor Trend, Chevrolet’s new Corvette Stingray may be the first Corvette out of the gate, but that doesn’t mean it’s destined to be the base model for the entire lifespan. This base Corvette would lose the Stingray name, along with the 6.2 liter LT1 V8 under the hood of the ‘Ray. In its place, reportedly, would sit a Corvette version of Chevrolet’s 5.3 liter V8 (similar to the one in the new GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado) pumping out less than 400 horsepower. It would also have slight changes to the exterior style and aerodynamics, as well. In essence, this development would pretty much mean that the Corvette Stingray would become the replacement for the outgoing Grand Sport model.
The most noticeable change to bargain-hunters would be the price, though; all that de-contenting would probably bring the Corvette down below $50,000 for an entry-level car. (It’d probably also improve the car’s average fuel economy, which would be a boost for Chevrolet.) The idea of cheapening the Corvette strikes us as a bit of an odd thing to do, considering the effort Chevrolet has gone into making the car more luxurious over the years, but they do need to move units off the lot, and anything that keeps the Corvette’s name around without diluting its spirit is fine by us. [via Motor Trend]