Bob Lutz Thinks That A Corvette SUV is a Great Idea, And I Think He's Right
With the C8 Corvette less than two weeks away, every member of the automotive press are eagerly awaiting the newest generation of America's Dream Machine. But there's more to be excited about than just the C8 Corvette. Former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz thinks that there is room in the world for a Corvette SUV.
Lutz spoke to Automotive News about the idea, saying that:
"[If I were still at GM], what I would do is develop a dedicated architecture, super lightweight, super powerful, Porsche Cayenne–like, only much better and a little bigger, medium-volume Corvette SUV. Target worldwide 20,000 to 30,000 units, and price it starting at $100,000. Gorgeous interior. No V-6 powertrain. No low-end version. It has to be the stellar premium sport-utility made in the United States, and the Corvette brand could pull that off."
This idea, despite the fact that it is entirely sacrilegious, isn't the worst thing I've heard in a while, so I'm willing to at least meet it halfway. FCA has already proven that Americans want ridiculously powerful SUVs and that people would be willing to spend nearly six figures on a high-performance SUV in the form of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
That 707 horsepower, all-wheel-drive brick is carving America's racetracks as you read this. There's also the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio which has a sticker price of $80,000 and a Ferrari-developed V6 making 505 horsepower.
A little bit lower on their performance SUV totem pole is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and the Dodge Durango SRT. These two brute utes both carry sticker prices of more than $60,000 and are packing 475 horsepower. For reference, a base C7 Corvette starts around $55,000 and has 460 horsepower. A Corvette SUV would be a great rival for those two vehicles alone, not to mention that it would probably undercut the prices of the German performance SUVs too.
Now that "questioning if the market is there" is out of the way, we have to talk about the logistics for all of this.
At the moment, GM doesn't have an SUV you can to the track by any means. The Blazer RS looks the part, but its 300-ish horsepower V6 is GM's bread and butter, and isn't even the hottest SUV in its class (all hail the Edge ST). The Tahoe RST has got a lot of performance goodies and a 6.2-liter, 420 horsepower V8, but I wouldn't trust the Tahoe's chassis to do anything but win a drag race, even with the magnetic ride control. It's just too big, and it's pretty hefty too.
There is also no current name for Chevrolet to use that comes to mind that doesn't tarnish the memories of older Chevys (I'm looking at you, Blazer and TrailBlazer) and they can't call it the Corvette VCross or some terrible Crossover jargon, because everyone will hate it. The idea of turning a name like TrailBlazer into something like the TrackBlazer is out of the question, because then they'd be mimicking Jeep. Though the idea of a TrackBlazer SS sounds absolutely awesome, and so wonderfully American.
That's personally where I think the idea of a Corvette SUV comes to a halt. Trying to figure out what to name it, and then building an SUV chassis capable of outperforming the competitors from FCA.
I personally think that this would be a great time to build something like this for Cadillac too if they are so hellbent to change their lineup again. Some sort of luxury performance SUV from Cadillac could compete against the luxury performance SUVs from the Germans.
I say go for it.
Do you think GM should create something like this? What should it be called? Would it have the same presence as the Trackhawk and other performance SUVs? Comment Below!