Every year or so — maybe more often, I have trouble keeping track — a report will float the idea of making a Corvette SUV or crossover, or perhaps even making Corvette a standalone brand in the GM stable. A report this week suggests both are in the mix, as well as a Corvette-inspired electric car. Again: Please leave the Corvette alone.
The report originated from Bloomberg and quotes the usual anonymous people familiar with the matter. It sounds like GM might be serious this time!
General Motors is working on a strategy to build at least one new electric vehicle inspired by its Corvette sports car, potentially expanding the brand from a single performance model into a family of vehicles, people familiar with the matter said. If the plan is approved, the most likely model to emerge later this decade would be a marriage of a crossover and a sports car.
GM has designers working on several Corvette-brand concept vehicles that target a wider range of buyers, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plan has not been publicly unveiled. These seek to blend Corvette’s reputation for high-performance driving and rakish styling with creature comforts such as more interior room and storage, the people said.
A GM spokesman declined to comment.
Surely GM has a Corvette crossover ready to bring to market soon...wait... someone’s tapping me on my shoulder and telling me to keep reading.
A Corvette crossover could go on sale as soon as 2025 but probably after that, one of the people said.
Anyway, this is the part of the blog where I wonder if leaking this information to the press is a trial balloon, since the idea of Chevy imitating Ford’s strategy of taking its sports car brand and slapping it on an electric crossover is a little on the nose.
And while Mustang is a mass-market sports car, and always has been, the Corvette is America’s Sports Car, and at its peak in the late ’60s and early ’70s was undeniably the biggest footprint in the car world. Even back then, Mustang wasn’t competing with Corvette; it was competing with Camaro, the Corvette flying high above.
What I’m trying to say is that cashing in on Mustang’s name for an electric crossover is one thing, and cashing in on the mighty Corvette’s name for an electric crossover is a whole other. I’m not saying that the Corvette can never be anything other than a piston-engine sports car, but Chevy should think long and hard about what that other is.
Because I could see, for example, the C9 as a cool-as-hell fully electric Corvette that goes toe-to-toe with the second-generation Tesla Roadster. That would be a battle worthy of the Corvette name. But throwing away almost 70 years of brand equity for a Corvette-inspired electric crossover? No! Get that noise out of here! And leave the Corvette alone.
A Camaro-inspired electric crossover? Now we’re talking.