The Corvette team's new assignment "doesn't really change anything" for Corvette.
Late last month, we reported that General Motors had made the decision to essentially disband its Corvette development team, sending those engineers to go work on autonomous and battery-electric vehicles - products that GM likely sees as more pivotal to its future success. Even at the time, we reported that programs related to the current C8-generation 'Vette - most notably, the Z06 and ZR1 variants - wouldn't be derailed by the move, as GM reassured us that the team would complete current projects.
That said, the very future of the Corvette brand was called into question.
Now, the Corvette's Executive Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter, has set the record straight in an interview during this year's socially distanced Corvettes at Carlisle event. "The big news for Corvette is that it doesn't really change anything that we're doing."
Juechter characterized the organizational change as a simple relocation "from one part of the organization to the other" for the entire Chevrolet Corvette team, after which Juechter will report to a new supervisor - one who also happens to oversee GM's BEV programs. The thinking, he says, is actually to expand the Corvette team's role, and put them in a position to inject some of the Corvette's "exciting, joyful, dynamic driving experience" into future BEVs.
Far from a vote of no confidence in the Corvette, the move is actually "a sign that the leadership of the company really respects what the Corvette [team] has done over the last couple of generations."
"The bottom line is that the C8 plan that we made up a long time ago... none of that has changed," Juechter says. "Our planned models, and the V8 hearts, will beat in them as we had planned for the C8 generation."
More tantalizing still, Tadge Juechter said that the move would allow Ed Piatek, the Corvette's current Chief Engineer, to help define future electric products and create "some real drivers' cars amongst the BEVs." That could mean a future pure-electric Corvette, ready to take on the forthcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster, with the opportunity for future electric drivers' cars, as well.
The next few years could get very interesting.