WSJ: What Makes the Chevrolet Corvette Appealing?
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how it believes the Corvette?perhaps growing irrelevant during its long journey to some people (though certainly not to the legions of enthusiasts who worship the ground it rolls on)?has suddenly become cool again with the introduction of the C7.
WSJ says a strange thing has suddenly happened to Corvette on its 60-year-old trip to irrelevance for some: It became relevant again.
?For example, the car’s half-century-old design concept?a lightweight space-frame chassis with a plastic composite body?has at last found the materials and precision construction techniques necessary to make it reasonably buildable,? says the old newspaper, perhaps needing to look in the mirror itself at relevance, in this age of the Internet.
Admits the WSJ: ?New Corvettes are tough, lightweight, rock-solid machines, immune to the cowl shake that plagued older models. The C7 Corvette?which revives the Stingray name and will likely start around $50,000?replaces the former steel chassis with an advanced welded-aluminum structure. It also increases the use of costly carbon-fiber body panels (the hood and roof) and other composite materials, to save weight. Exotic car makers around the world are, if not imitating the Corvette’s construction method, duplicating it in principle.?
The Journal believes there is ?risk in the Corvette’s brand of ancestor worship. For instance, it’s not at all clear how the Corvette formula will survive ever-stricter fuel-economy standards. A turbo-V6 Corvette hybrid may seem unthinkable, but it will probably happen. Will the myth unravel right there??
While there admittedly have been constants in the life of the Corvette?front-engine; V8-powered; rear drive; with plastic (and more recently carbon) composite body panels; a fastback roofline and rakish windscreen angle; and a luxurious axle-to-dash length, as the WSJ points out?we like to think that the Corvette has always been about a willingness to adapt to the changing times, to become the best car it can be for the time it is being made. If the future does indeed hold a V6 turbo, we have no doubt that the Corvette will have the best V6 turbo ever built, at an affordable cost.
We do like the conclusion of the Wall Street Journal article: ?And even if you never plan to set foot in a Corvette, you should be glad. Historically, whenever Corvette prospers, so does America.?
For the good of America, then, let’s hope the C7 enjoys record sales.
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