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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
MSNBC.com



DETROIT - When General Motors Corp. pulls the cover off a new supercharged version of the Corvette at the Detroit auto show next month, it will unveil a performance car designed to rival or better even the fastest, most expensive exotic cars from Europe.

But the Corvette's chief engineer says the 2009 Corvette ZR1 may be the last in a long tradition of Detroit performance cars, endangered by stronger federal fuel economy regulations and limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

"High-performance vehicles such as this may actually be legislated out of existence," Tadge Juechter said at a recent showing of the ZR1, which is designed to have around 620 horsepower.
"It could really be an endangered species," he said.

Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst with the consulting firm Global Insight, said predicting the death of the muscle car might be premature.

The Corvette, he said, is fuel efficient when compared with its competitors. Although fuel economy figures weren't released for the ZR1, the current 505-horsepower Corvette ZO6 gets an estimated 15 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway, according to GM.

The ZR1, he said, gets around the same mileage as a Chevrolet pickup truck, and GM won't be getting out of the pickup business because of gas mileage standards.

"I think it's a little over-dramatization," Bragman said. "GM wants to sell big, high-performance, fun cars. And typically that's what Americans want to buy."

Performance cars of the future may be powered by smaller engines or electric motors, he said, but they won't die.
No surprises here. I'm sure GM could pump out cars that can raise the averages but I'd say the days of the gas powered HP wars are ending. Future contenders are going to have to switch over to more green friendly methods. Not that a war between electric cars is any less fierce to me.

Thoughts? Personally If they can get 700 hp from a 4-cyl engine combined with an electric motor then I'd be all over that car. I think some people just need to get over the V8-V12 worship.

Not that I ever expect Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls etc to convert. They'll just eat whatever fines and tack it into the price.
 

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Look back at the late '70s through the early '80s. This same song and dance about how "government regulations" will kill off performance cars was being quoted everywhere. It took less that a decade for everything to go "back to normal". When there is the chance to profit they will always find a way to "make it happen".
 

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Well seeing how the automotive world has a "new" Mustang, GTO and Charger, as well as the soon to be released Camaro and Challenger, I would say that muscle cars are making more of a comeback then ever before.
 

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It's all going to be based on sales, but judging solely on the number of new vettes I see on the roads on a day to day basis, I'm going to put my money on the survival of the mighty corvette.
 

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There are sooooooooo many corvettes and muscle cars around where I live. Tho most of the owners are over 50 years of age........ They will never die, trust me on that, muscle cars will expand. Its just that so many street racing movies got stupid as* ricers in the car scene, they watched tokyo drift and thought that in order to have a fast car, you have to go with JDM. I love JDM's, but you have to give credit to american muscle cars, theyre amazing machines, if they had race wars:muscles against jdm

the muscles would dominate........ The end, is not coming anytime soon
 

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I believe the article is stating that the ZR-1 may be the last of the breed, not the Corvette itself. Note that Tadge Juechter said that "High-performance vehicles such as this may actually be legislated out of existence," obviously referring to the ZR-1.

The Corvette is a halo car for GM. There have been those in GM who had advocated for Corvette to be a separate division of GM, branching off from Chevrolet. GM will keep the Corvette brand going just like it did in the dark, gloomy days of the mid 1970's.

We may see Corvettes that offer better fuel economy and lower emissions with performance on a par of a regular Corvette in the future, but I don't believe that GM will completely eliminate the Corvette. Personally, I wouldn't mind a Corvette that is dimensionally much smaller and lighter with a more efficient drivetrain. Corvettes are too big and have too much avois du pois in my opinion. They should be sized more like a sports car should be rather than the leviathans that they are.
 
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