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CORVETTE TODAY #154 - Meet Betty Skelton, First Woman Of Firsts

We honor the first woman inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame, Betty Skelton. Cindy Sisson, CEO of GSEvents and Pam Miller, Co-Producers of the documentary Betty Skelton, to highlight Betty's illustrious career.; The list of Betty's accomplishments are too many to list here. She broke barriers that no woman had crossed prior to her. After watching and/or listening to this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you'll understand why Betty is the first woman to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame. Enjoy this insightful episode about Betty Skelton on CORVETTE TODAY! Listen to the podcast, watch the YouTube video, join the Facebook group, sign up for email notifications and shop in the Merchandise Store at:
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2023 Corvette Info Including E-Ray, SR & Z06 Pricing, SR & Z06 Visualizers, 70th Anniversary Info, Press Releases for SR & Z06 & Their Build & Price, Order Guides & Visualizers

2023 Corvette Brochure:
E-Ray Visualizer:
Official E-Ray Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
Official GM E-Ray Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...and-visualizer
+ 25 KEY E-Ray Components/Factors:
E-Ray Leaked Info/Visualizer: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...tte-e-ray-leak
Z51 & Z06 GM Track Specs: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ecommendations
Z06 Order Guide:
Z06 MSRP and Options Pricing: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...freight-charge
2023 SR Build & Price: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...up-and-running
*2023 SR & Z06 Official Owners Manual:; and,
* 2023 GM Bash Major Seminar with HQ video: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ore-bash-video
*2023 Stingray Visualizer:
*2023 Stingray (ONLY Order Guide:
*70th Anniversary Combined Press Release For SR & Z06: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...iversary-model
*Z06 Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
*Z06 Reveal Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...eveal-pictures
*Z06 Visualizer:
Order Guide (unofficial): https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-action-center
*Z06 vs Z07 Aero Components: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...s-similarities
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Bob Lutz Re ME, 3+ Years Ago

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  • Bob Lutz Re ME, 3+ Years Ago

    While we are waiting for real ME news, I find it interesting to re-read the past, especially when such true notables as Bob Lutz, as he did in 2015, pontificated on the ME Corvette.

    Low and behold, most his ideas are coming true, such as no ME manual transmission.

    Let’s hope however, he was way off base on his talking about it costing $120K. I bet he was talking about a loaded Z06 equivalent, for he did say to “suck the doors off” the competition.

    Originally posted by roadandtrack
    Making The Case For the Mid-Engine Corvette (By Bob Lutz; January 15, 2015)

    Price it around $120K, and then suck the doors off everybody!

    I first saw rough plans for a mid-engine Corvette around 2003. That's when we were starting to think seriously about a replacement for the C6. GM's head of engineering, Jim Queen, came to see me and said,

    "The next one's got to be mid-engine."

    Tadge Juechter had a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating, very credibly, that the C6 ZR1 was at the limit of usable rear-wheel-drive performance. The problemwas really the front-mid-engine layout—we couldn't get the engine low enough and far back enough for proper weight transfer to the rear wheels under acceleration.

    These 10 cars paved the way for the mid-engine Corvette

    I didn't want to move out of our price class, but Tadge explained that while the transmission would cost more, the list price would increase by no more than $5000. Imagine an American-built car with the proportions of a Lamborghini at that price point …that's pretty appealing.

    READ MORE: The dirt on the secret, mid-engine C8 Corvette

    Rick Wagoner's reaction was the same as mine: "Oh, no, no. We're not going mid-engine." He was a great fan of the ZR1—the car's code name was "Blue Devil" because Rick had played basketball for Duke—and he felt that was about as good as it gets. He thought a little more power next time would fill the bill. Problem is, lap times would be no better using the same architecture, even with, say, 750 hp. The car would just be a handful, à la Dodge Hellcat. But after seeing Tadge's presentation, Rick said, "Well, that's pretty convincing."

    We did two full-size mid-engine clay models around 2004—a Corvette and a Cadillac XLR replacement, each with entirely different bodies. We weren't sure whether they'd both use the small-block, or if the XLR would have a twin-turbo Northstar, but they were both gorgeous. We started working on it.


    Around 2005, GM started having budget problems, so the mid-engine project got deferred; by 2007 or 2008, it was obvious that we were not going to have the money. A whole bunch of stuff got canceled. Impala was delayed. XLR was canceled. Camaro convertible was delayed. The CTS was delayed. For the C7, the Corvette team didn't get $900 million. Instead, it got the nominal sum of $250 million and "do the best you can." There's no way we were going to get a production-volume mid-engine car for $250 million.

    So, as is so often the case in these situations, there's hand-wringing and weeping on the part of the engineers. Usually, after a three-week sulk period, they go back to the drawing board and say, "Wait a minute, there might be something we can do here."


    They wound up doing what Tadge said was absolutely necessary, moving the engine back another two, two and a half inches—which wasn't possible with the C6—and that's why the C7 has an inch more wheelbase, and get this, wonderful balance. Then we were saying, "Wouldn't it be nice if there was a mid-engine car called the Zora, north of 700 hp?"

    Now, realize that inside an auto company, if the guys are creative at all, there are sensational ideas that internal car guys and designers want to do. We looked at a smaller, more youth-oriented Corvette for a lower price point—something with an I-4 or turbocharged V-6. We actually had Chevrolet versions of the Solstice modeled, and a lot of us were enthusiastic about a European-styled and Euro-sized car. But you look at the available engineering and capital budget, and the number of mouths to feed. You have to decide what's more important. Keeping the pickups and sport-utilities modern, to generate cash, is frankly more important than introducing something that enthusiasts will love.

    If Corvette were a separate company, you could play all kinds of tunes, like Porsche. You'd make a Corvette SUV. You'd make a sedan. You'd have a front-engine car and you'd have a mid-engine car. It's become a very powerful subbrand, the most profitable per unit of all GM passenger cars (including Cadillac), so I think it would stand the mid-engine continuation of the front-engine car.

    Instead of the old strategy, which was to replace the front-engine car, you'd do the Corvette in a mid-engine version. You'd price that at about $120,000, half that of the European stuff, and then suck the doors off everybody. And that would not be a $1 billion project; minus an XLR replacement, I think you'd probably be talking $500 million to $600 million. Downside is, it'd be hard to justify a manual transmission. With an automatic, you get rid of the clutch, which is a wear item and would have to be an expensive hydraulic-assisted type.


    I hope GM does it, and I hope they use the name Zora. That name sounds great and would pay homage to one of the most brilliant engineers GM ever had, the father of the Corvette. I'm absolutely convinced they'll get it right. The Corvette team's objective is always getting a top model that has a better horsepower-per-pound ratio than anything on the planet. They benchmark everybody, including McLaren and so forth. The C8 will be lighter than the C7, and if they do the Zora, it'll be ultralightweight.

    All things considered, I'd put the chances of a mid-engine Corvette at better than 50 percent. Mary Barra is all for exciting things. I don't think [ex-CEO] Dan Akerson would fully comprehend the value of a mid-engine Corvette, but she understands. She's really the first CEO that doesn't come out of the treasury office. With Mary in charge and Mark Reuss at product development, my guess is that, if work has indeed started on the Zora, it started six months ago.

    Oh, and those renderings that have recently popped up? [GM's global design chief] Ed Welburn's comment was, "If you look at them, you immediately know why those guys aren't working for GM design."
    Last edited by John; 07-29-2018, 06:13 PM.
    2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    I believe a great portion of the cost of development of the rear mid engine corvette was cast away with old GM.

    new GM just didn’t have the funding at the time the seventh gen was being developed to go forward with the rear mid engine for a 2014 model year release...

    now they do..

    i also believe the cadillac division funded a great portion of the bowling green plant expansion to have the opportunity or choice to get a rear mid engine platform.

    halo vehicles have moved from two seat sports cars to soft off roaders like the Lamborghini cadillac May pass on their version of the c8but development costs were shared between divisions none the less...

    i dont expect standard c8 corvettes will cost much more than today’s c7 comparative models


    • #3
      Great information JBsC6. Thank you. Cadillac has much bigger issues right now, certainly far greater priorities than spending even more millions for just designed a ME shell, a ME interior for the Corvette ME’s chassis, then of course additionally then fine tune the suspension, testing etc. I have always posted that the earliest we might see a Cadillac ME is 2022, and doubtful if before 2023, and as you pointed out if they choose to do so. For sake of discussion how many Cadillac ME’s will they build per year even if they chose to proceed? Perhaps 2,000 units for a few years. They have such huge wholes in their current line up, that an ME is way, way down their priority list.

      Cadillac is getting some part of their BGA investment back with the greatly expanded Powertrain Build Center building motors for the CT6 and for their upcoming halo car. Moreover, the development of the 4.2L, DOHC, hot vee, TT V8 (the LT11) has been done by Corvette Powertrain staff (not Cadillac’s). A know this because a friend of my who has 40 years with Corvette Powertrain, works inside BGA grounds, contacted me the day the aforementioned Cadillac LT11 was revealed at the New York Auto Show and said, “now you know what I have been exclusively doing the last two years that I could not earlier share with you. The motor at NYAS has his “built by X Y” name on its plaque.
      2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


      • #4
        The hot v Cadillac twin turbo was originally a leader in the concept that eventually german manufacturers brought to production sooner...

        great packaging technology and one we will likely as mentioned see in higher performance versions of the corvette.

        rumors are flying 5.5 liters..with twin turbos about...

        id be happy with just a 6-2 liter lt1 with a slightly hotter profile cam for close to five hundred hp...

        of course after the first year of production the twin turbo will come out and we will all pine for and many will eventually trade in their first model year for the latest and greatest....

        im of the mindset right now,,,that a five hundred hp dct rear mid engine c8 z51 type model would suit me just fine....

        the crazy hp models that will follow I’m sure will be great and the big question many have is will GM offer up yet a third generation wide body hot rod version or will GM just do something entirely different with powertrain s to signify a higher performance model..

        some wonder if the atandard c8 will offer the lt1 derivative with even a A10 torque converter transmission to control costs for the base model...

        or will gm just offer a manual and a dct...throughout the lineup..

        one thing im confident of is the seven speed manual transmission will continue as standard equipment for the dieharts


        • #5
          As many with C7 Z06’s have commented/personally know, getting the power down except on an especially warm day/warm tires, for the Z06 is a challenge. Having the ME’s motor close to right over its rear/drive wheels, will greatly enable traction. Add in a high qualify ZF, DCT (or a Tremec), with the ME’s much-tumored 500 HP, LT1+, will probably functionally mean coming out of a corner or accelerating from a dead stop, the acceleration equivalent of roughly 550 HP in comparison to a FE Corvette.

          It would therefore not surprise me to see a 3.4 0-to-60 time for the entry ME.
          2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


          • #6
            Zero to sixty in 3.4 seconds in a dct equipped standard c8 rear mid engine makes a lot of sense and would make many of us more than happy.

            dct s launch hard..

            porsches manual transmission versus dct model of the same designation shows that 3.4 is easily possible for a dct torque monster 500 hp rear mid engine corvette.

            porsches 911 base 370 hp model with manual transmission is 4.0 to sixty mph


            • #7
              370 hp model 911 car and driver article

              4.0 to sixty with 370 hp

              rear engine rear weight bias helps launch big time

              Last edited by JB; 07-30-2018, 08:28 PM.


              • #8
                Porsche 911s PDK 3.1 to60mph



                • #9
                  3.4 seconds would be just fine with me also. Doubt the average 7M, Z06 driver consistently gets that result.
                  2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


                  • #10
                    A number of things about Mr. Lutz's comments that were substantially expected, if not routine:

                    1) Mary Berra is a different kind of CEO. Her eyes are truly on the bottom line but she is apparently excited about the potential of shaking up the European old school with a little American ingenuity.
                    2) His price point is not unlike one that a large number of us have been suggesting for the long haul. The estimates well below $100k are fraught with ignorance of the cost of many of the engineering marvels implied to be included on this sensational vehicle.
                    3) Chevrolet/GM must have seriously reduced the perceived cost of development as it's only been a few short years since Mr. Lutz was CEO.
                    4) Is it possible that he was the one that began the development of the car as the photographs of the test cars being seen around the country certainly suggest this has been designed and put together for some time. Exposure to the actual car must be quickly forthcoming.
                    ZORA patron, Forum Founding Member, Senior Contributor, proud owner of an early 2020 HTC and general nice guy!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Itomn
                      Exposure to the actual car must be quickly forthcoming.
                      Let’s toast to that!
                      2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.