An interview with Jim Campbell in Vette Magazine reveals some of the thinking that will lead to the next Vette. Jim is Vice President of Performance Vehicles at General Motors.
Jim had been Corvette Brand Manager in the late 1990's, and he continues to exude passion about the storied marque. In the October issue, Walt Thurn shares answers he received from Jim to a number of questions that we enthusiasts keep asking.
Q: Why is Chevrolet returning to IndyCar racing?
A: Chevrolet has a long history at Indy. Our founder, Louis Chevrolet, used Indy as a test track. The 2012 rules mirror what we are putting into our production cars. This includes smaller-displacement engines, direct injection, turbocharging, and E85 as a fuel source. These are the technologies that we are applying to our products today and tomorrow; it is a perfect fit for us.
Q: In 2012 the current Corvette will be six years old. With production volumes at an all-time low, is the brand under threat of extinction?
A: Last year Corvette improved its market share in a shrinking segment. GM has a tremendous passion for Corvette. Gas prices will continue to be under pressure in the future. Our goal is to find ways to improve efficiency while still offering great performance. We fully support continuing the Corvette brand.
Q: What is your next-generation wish list?
A: Corvette is a halo brand that has tremendous value for the company.... We will keep Corvette at the forefront of performance, technology, and innovation. That is the car's heritage and what fuels our owners' passion for the car. The design of future Corvettes is driven by this objective.
Translation: Corvette is still a money-maker for Chevrolet, and is worth the continued investment for continual improvement. The C7 will apply innovative technologies such as smaller displacement engines, direct injection, turbocharging, and E85 (like the 5.5L engine we have been reading about). Expect lots of upgrades and improvements in many areas of the car.