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Chev Corvette steers clear of Detroit show

Detroit irony: GM has favoured the annual Detroit motor show with the launch of previous Corvettes, but not this time with the mid-engine C8.

Blow to Detroit motor show as Chevrolet takes its Corvette supercar debut elsewhere

13 Dec 2018

CHEVROLET appears set to snub its hometown motor show in Detroit by launching its all-new mid-engine Corvette at another event a few months later in 2019.
News reports from Motown say a General Motors spokesman has confirmed that Chevrolet will debut no new models at the annual Detroit show’s official press preview day on Monday January 15, joining a long list of companies to sit out the show’s song and dance routine this year.
Instead of launching the new C8 Corvette at the Detroit show like its predecessors, Chevrolet is planning to unveil it elsewhere in the northern spring, according to The Detroit News.
It remains to be seen if the car will make it to Australia in factory right-hand-drive form, but Holden managing director Dave Buttner raised hopes when he told GoAuto: “Watch this space.”
The long-awaited Corvette would undoubtedly have been the star of the show had it fronted up next year, with speculation about GM’s two-door sports flagship reaching fever pitch in recent months as a multitude of spy shots of test mules surfaced.
The latest model has been designed to take the performance-car fight up to Europe’s supercars, with up to 745kW of power reportedly on tap from a blown 5.5-litre V8 slotted behind the two seats.
This is well above the 563kW of the current Corvette ZR1 that employs a supercharged LT5 6.2-litre V8.
Hybrid powertrain variants are also rumoured.
The new-generation car has been a long time coming, as its development was delayed by the global financial crisis in 2008 when GM fell into chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Instead, Chevrolet went with another front-engine, rear-wheel drive Corvette, the C7, that made its debut at the Detroit show in 2013.
The latest ’Vette’s no-show at Detroit is just the latest blow to the show that once was arguably the most important automotive expo in the world.
The list of exhibitors shrank dramatically last year as motor companies switched to other events such as the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – held the week before the Detroit show – or opted to launch their new models on the internet.
German car companies are planning to stay away this year, and while the full list of exhibitors is yet to be published, several others are expected to skip the event.
The malaise is a worldwide trend, with the Paris show bereft of new metal this year. All eyes will be on the Geneva and Frankfurt shows in Europe to see if the decline continues.
Organisers of Detroit’s show – officially named the North American International Auto Show – plan to shift to a June slot from 2020 to escape both the harsh Detroit winter and a clash with CES.
The switch opens up possibilities of taking some of displays outside the Cobo exhibition hall – a no-no in winter when blizzards and icy winds can strike.
The show might also be tied to the Detroit grand prix and other motor events to attract more motoring fans.

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