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Budget Corvette - yay or nay?

2013-03-15 13:20

60 YEARS OF CORVETTE: The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray made its global debut at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show celebrating 60 years of the iconic sports car.

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Covers off Corvette Stingray

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DETROIT, Michigan - According to a source inside General Motors, Chevrolet could be planning to build a less expensive entry-level Corvette that would cost less than the equivalent of R458 000.

The current Corvette retails in the US from R458 000 to R1-million. According to a source within GM, Chev could launch the (slightly) less expensive model in 2015.

"Clearly there's a lot of opportunity with Corvette. It's good for General Motors to be thinking out of the box a bit."

The 2013 Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine years, made its global debut at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show in celebrating 60 years of the iconic sports car. Called the C7 by fans, it is the seventh  generation of the American-made sports car and will go on sale by September 2013.

An entry-level Corvette would have a less powerful 5.3 V8 and lack a number of features found in the Stingray such as auto climate control, the automaker said. It also be offered only as a coupe.

GM DENIES IT ALL

GM spokesman Monte Doran denied there were such plans: "We haven't even announced pricing for the Stingray yet, so it's a little premature to talk about what's coming next. At this moment, we don't have any plans to offer something below the Stingray."

Officials with suppliers for the Corvette, who asked not to be identified, said they had not heard of plans for a less expensive, entry-level model. One added suppliers would need to know at least two years ahead of time in order to ensure they could provide the necessary parts in volume.

GM has gradually expanded its Corvette offerings over the last nine years, adding increasingly more powerful and expensive versions. An entry-level model would simply be the next step as it's something the automaker has considered in the past.

A former GM executive, who asked not to be identified, said: "It's something we discussed from time to time. It would be a 'nice to have.' There will always be more pressing uses for capital and resources. Besides, there's Camaro. How many sports cars does one division need?"

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