GM Drawing On Global Designers For C7 Chevrolet Corvette

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The next-generation C7 Chevrolet Corvette may feature a design penned in Europe or China or anywhere else in the world General Motors has a design studio, according to one of the automaker’s top execs.

That’s the word from GM's vice president of global design, Ed Welburn, who revealed to Automotive News that the automaker’s design studios from across the world have submitted design studies for the C7 Corvette, which is expected to bow in around late 2012.

More than ten design studies have been submitted, some of which have been described by Welburn as “absolutely phenomenal”.

This is the first time that input from designers outside the U.S. is being taken seriously by GM. The reasoning is that a more international flavor will enable the new Corvette to sell better in Europe and attract younger buyers here in the U.S. who typically favor imports.

"We have challenges in the States with the Corvette," Welburn explained. "The average age of the customer is really rising." According to J.D. Power and Associates, the current average age of a Corvette buyer is 54 and sales of the model last year are down 48 percent from 2008 levels.

Some key areas Welburn hopes to address with the new design is the Corvette’s proportions, which he wants to make smaller and more aggressive, as well as its interior, which in the current model is universally slammed for poor quality.

One thing we do know is that the C7 Chevrolet Corvette will get a split rear window along with some other vintage styling cues--expect some influences from the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept pictured above.

As for its powertrain, click here for our previous report and included computer-generated preview rendering.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]

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Comments (15)
  1. I've bought many new Vettes. If GM intends for me to buy another one, it better not look like this.

  2. Well if they plan on making a new styling for the Corvette, they should make it better than a look-a-like on a rough around. If they don't, it will be playing Jack and Monica faster than a bookies runner. The Tik Tok dance won't be able to save it then. Get it right GM!

  3. Hmm... Interested to see how this turns out.

  4. The issue is an aging demographic that can afford a high-tech, expensive Corvette. GM will compound the problem by designing a fanboy racer that older guys don't want. The obvious solution is to continue the Corvette as the top-of-the-line american sports car, and use the Solstice platform to build an entry level ($40K) car for these younger guys who want a flashier design. Make it small like the original Corvette, maybe a turbo 4 like the GXP w direct injection. Corvette is not a brand but if they give it a naval vessel name like Cutter, they can build off of the Corvette name.

  5. I have had several Corvettes as well, as for this design - I would buy this in a heartbeat, but please lose the split window or at least make it optional.

  6. They had better be careful... Corvette has always been uniquely "American" in it's styling, and that has been it's appeal. I know many things "America" are not well-received internationally now, but I don't think the Corvette fits in that category. Not sure I see the point in making it yet another generic origami-inspired supercar.

  7. Make it lighter, give it a DSG style transmission, DI engines and make the look closer to that of the Sting Ray and I will be happy.

  8. R2Dad and Denton are right. The Vette is already awesome, but it's too expensive. Drop a few hundred pounds, improve the already great fuel economy, sharpen up the interior design to keep it competitive and it'll be fine as a retiree's dream car. Then make a separate, cheaper sports car for the rest of us to drive while we still have some hair left.

  9. GM will not build another sports car, they will tell you to go with the Camaro (I know, I know it is not a sports car but GM will not build another 2 seater so you know this will be their response). If GM does build another sports car however I bet it will be a Caddy on the new Alpha platform.

  10. As far as I know GM is considering at least three scenarios for the C7, and GM Design is still some time away from boiling down competing proposals for the car....

  11. Poor judgement on GM's part. The Corvette was based on pure American ingeniuty. This would be a disgrace to the American legend. Why would they sell the Corvette's soul to some overseas designer. This is why GM is going down the drain. They have no American identity....they just sell themselves to the highest bidder. They have no idea what the American sports car buyer wants, which is why their sales are down. Consumers are saying...why not buy a Ford, they have their stuff together. So much for the American car legacy. Selfish unionization should be to blame for its death. Man would GM's founders be rolling in their graves to see this.

  12. I think that the Corvette should be designed by America. Its an American legend and should stay that way. I like the new design. I think that it takes alot of design cues from previous years and makes the car look good. I remember when the 1984 Corvette came out and there were alot of people that didnt like the design. I think that anytime something changes that it takes alittle bit to get used to the way it has changed. I think it will be a great car.

  13. I've wanted a Corvette my whole life and am probably 5 years away from affording one. If it looks anything like these ones my wife won't have to worry about me spending the money. I like progress but don't stray to far from the C6... keep it an American design

  14. The U.S. Tax Payers and Government help GM from certain disaster, and as a show of thanks they go over seas for the Master Plan for the possibly next great AMERICAN Mussel car. I didn't realize that the Heartbeat was not only out of the box But out of AMERICA.

  15. Keep it the same old Corvette! No DCT or Automatic on the desirable models - Z06 and ZR1! Not a lady's car. It is a car for the "man's man" only. You cannot handle a stick; go look at a Porsche or a Ferrari! You have to qualify before hand to buy into the Corvette high end club!

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