Here's what we know: GM is considering at least three scenarios for the C7, and GM Design is still some time away from boiling down competing proposals (at least five were in the mix at one point) for the car. That means the car, originally planned for the 2011 model year (to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet), will likely launch as a 2012 model and may even slip further, depending on how the new CAFE regulations pan out.
1. Evolution, not revolution
An evolutionary car would continue improvements made by the C6 over the C5 and take advantage of emerging technologies for more gains in performance, handling, ride, cost, and, of course, fuel economy.
2. Let's chase Ferrari
GM vice chairman Bob Lutz reportedly has been pushing for a mid-engine C7. Two directions have emerged. The more realistic plan has Chevrolet building only an upmarket, mid-engine Corvette, while the other calls for two models: a conventional front-engine C7 and the mid-engine car and splitting Corvette off from Chevy to make it a prestige brand. Under either plan, the next Corvette will have a radically different design from the current car.
3. The hail Mary play
The worst-case scenario (apart from doing nothing and letting Corvette die in 2020) calls for the C7 to be based off a new version of the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky Kappa architecture.
"[T]he thrill of high performance driving is unmatched by anything that doesn't have rear-wheel drive, bags of torque and a nice transmission." That's why "Maximum" Bob Lutz thinks the Holden Commodore could bring the U.S. a "four-door Corvette."
In addition to Reuss's comments yesterday on a new El Camino, Lutz went on to tell The Age "[T]here's a possibility of a premium Chevrolet sedan that would be sold in limited numbers. Think of it as a kind of four-door Corvette"