In decades past, GM executives have limited certain powertrain alternatives in order to protect the performance position of the Corvette. In fact, as the muscle car phenomenon was developing in the 1960’s, this kind of restriction was exactly what spawned the original ZL1 Camaro.
Recently, the folks over at Corvette New Blog took a look at the potential conflict between the current Corvette and the newly-announced ZL1 Camaro. It makes for an interesting discussion. While pricing for the ZL1 has not been officially released, it seems that the most persistent rumors place it around $47K. While that undercuts the current Shelby GT500 somewhat, it also places the 550 hp Camaro just under the current base Corvette, which starts at $48,950.
That, of course, raises the question: To what extent will ZL1 sales affect Corvette sales? While they are very different cars in some respects, they are quite similar in a number of others. Without a doubt, the performance comparisons will be endlessly debated among enthusiasts, who like Hotspur in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, would argue “…on the ninth part of a hair.”
More to the point is a larger question of why this is being allowed to happen in the first place. Any attempt to answer at this time is nothing but complete speculation over the current thinking in GM management. Given that we’ll not see the ZL1 for some time yet, and the possibility that the C7 Corvette could publicly emerge by then, it may all be a moot point. Then again, what else shall we do while impatiently awaiting two such legendary cars to arrive?