When Chevrolet redesigned the Corvette for the 1963 model year, it created one of the sport car’s most iconic design elements—the split rear window. But, as good as that thin piece of metal bisecting the back window looked, buyers complained it hurt rear visibility and Chevy did away with it the following model year.
In retrospect, that split rear window was an epic design that people now love, even if it did create a blind spot. And that’s exactly why Chevy nearly brought it back when it redesigned the Corvette for 2020.
“We looked at a (split window)…it was too literal…and however way we did it, it came across as forced,” former Chevrolet Performance Exterior Design Director Tom Peters told Muscle Cars & Trucks in a Tuesday interview.
Although an actual split window wouldn’t work with the new Corvette’s design, Peters’ team managed to emulated the famed design cue with some clever styling tricks.
Peters noted that the theme of a split window starts with the roof, flows into the glass that breaks subtly in the middle, incorporates a spine-like line on the engine cover, and finally lines up with the Stingray emblem at the back of the hatch. Taken all together, onlookers can connect the dots to create their own split-window theme.
Peters, who also designed the C6 and C7 Corvettes, is now retired from General Motors, but he made sure to include a little bit of history in his final project.
The all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, with its not-quite-there split window, is scheduled to go on sale late this year and carry a starting price of less than $60,000.