The Corvette Z06 is an Unqualified Success for GM. Is the Blue Devil next?
The Corvette team over at GM must be getting used to good press, as the accolades for the new Z06 keep pouring in. Even the curmudgeonly Jeremy Clarkson seemed smitten by the “Zed-oh-six” in this recent Top Gear segment:
The C6R racecar continues to dominate the GT1 class in the American Le Mans Series, while brisk sales of the C6 and Z06 continue to bring a smile to the beleaguered brass at GM.
Now there’s news from AutoWeek that the oft-rumored “Blue Devil” super-Corvette — reportedly boasting close to 600hp and aimed at the pinnacle of supercar exotics, like the Ferrari Enzo and Carrera GT — may have been given the green light for production.
The Corvette has always been an affordable, everyman’s sports car that — for the price — can dust cars costing several times as much. The Z06 takes that even further, boasting performance that can shame the likes of the Ferrari 360, Pagani Zonda and other exotics.
That could make the Blue Devil an interesting challenge for GM, as the Corvette’s hallmarks have always been — in the words of new Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace, as quoted in a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer article — “styling, performance and . . . affordability“.
Would wealthy types who normally plunk down their spare change and pocket lint for a $300,000 exotic consider a super Corvette, even if it did match the Enzo’s quarter mile times or cost a third of what a Maserati MC-12 does? Status, exclusivity and cachet are a big deal for this crowd, so the Corvette’s most potent feature — its awesome price to performance ratio, even in $100K Blue Devil form — may not be a factor to those consumers.
There’s no doubt that the talented Corvette engineering team can make the Blue Devil a reality, but chasing the Enzo and the Carrera GT — while simultaneously keeping the ‘vette true to its roots by being affordable enough for joe six-pack to realistically dream about saving up to buy one — may be the more difficult challenge. (Photo: Worldcarfans.com)