Corvette Leaving European New Car Market in August
LT1 V8 in the Corvette and the Camaro will be illegal under new European Union emission regulations.
According to Motoring Research, on August 31, 2019, new emission regulations will take effect in the European Union and the United Kingdom and when they do, the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro will no longer be legal for the new car sales market. Both of these vehicles are offered in Europe only with the 6.2-liter LT1 and since that engine does not meet the new emission laws, dealerships will not be able to sell either car in new form.
The good news is that Europeans who want a Corvette or Camaro will still be able to buy a used car, as they are not illegal for road use, they just don’t meet new car sales requirements. In the long run, this will make used cars harder to get as well, since there are fewer new units being sold into the European market.
These laws could also prevent the C8 Corvette from being sold in Europe, but we will have to wait for the formal debut of the mid-engine Chevy to determine whether or not it will be legal for new car sales in the E.U and U.K.
Corvette Racing Away from Europe
Unfortunately, the original report doesn’t explain why the 6.2-liter LT1 does not meet emission requirements in the European Union of the United Kingdom. We don’t know if it is simply an issue of engine size or if the LT1 creates too many harmful gases, but in any case, dealerships will not be permitted to sell new cars with that engine starting on August 31. This means that the Corvette and Camaro will both be erased from the new car market.
There have been rumors that the C8 Corvette will have a new 5.5-liter, turbocharged V8 that could meet European emission requirements, but there are also rumors that the LT1 will be carried over into the mid-engine Chevy. If that is the case, the odds are good that General Motors won’t bother to send any C8 cars to European dealerships, but if the engine is smaller, there is a possibility that the ‘Vette could return.
In the meantime, Europeans have until August 30, 2019 to buy a new Corvette or Camaro from their local Chevrolet dealership.
Minor Impact on Dealers
While this is bad news for Europeans who had planned on buying a C7 Corvette late this year or a new C8 in the near future, the removal of the two LT1-powered cars from the European market won’t have a big impact on dealerships or the majority of drivers. Only one dealership in the United Kingdom – Ian Allan Motors of Virginia Water – offers both the Camaro and the Corvette. In fact, that dealership currently has the last batch of LT1 cars that were shipped from the United States, but they aren’t offered at more dealerships because they don’t sell all that well.
The Camaro starts at £39,995 and the Corvette starting at £67,000, with those numbers converting to roughly $51,000 and $85,000 based on the current rates, so only a small percentage of the British population is looking to spend that kind of money on a new car. More importantly, Chevrolet doesn’t offered the Corvette or the Camaro with right-hand-drive, and with that layout being the norm in the U.K, driving one of these Chevy performance cars requires an unusual driving position. In much the same way that driving a right-drive car in the United States would be odd, the case is the same for those Europeans who drive on the left and sit on the right.
When you add up the high purchase price, the high gas prices and the awkward driving position, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that neither of these cars do very well in the new car market, but starting in September, they won’t be available at all in European new car dealerships.