Let’s talk frankly for the moment about the Corvette’s timeline and how GM just might have screwed it up a little bit somewhere between 2005 and the present. Because let’s face it, the C5 was probably the last Vette that we could honestly look back at, historically, and with a breath of astonishment after a slight pause say something cool like, “Damn, this is an engineering milestone!”
In ’97 that’s pretty much what we did, and the reason was because there was a big jump that was made from the C4 lineup, which lasted for some twelve years and the C5 that would end up changing the face of the sports car marque for quite a while. It did this on at least a couple of levels, namely the fact that the LS motor changed the whole small-block thing and made backyard V8s a high tech commodity for the first time since tuned port injection.
But the C5 also had nice contours and even a 200-mile-per-hour speedo, and who the hell had ever seen that in an RPO Vette?! But once the C6 generation came along, it’s like there was this weird-ass vibe that crept in the air, a vibe that said, “Is GM seriously trying to make something that’s like a Ferrari, like seriously?!
As we discovered with the introduction of a virtual gauge cluster that debuted with Cadillac, along with a few composite sketches of what could be the C7, Chevy in particular was and still is getting ready to cook-up something for the new Vette that is nothing short of straight-out radical, and we’re all dying to see their next “trick” in action.
We’re not the only ones, because people in Europe like Vettes too, after all. One company based out of The Netherlands is Ugur Sahin Design, founded in ’07 as a company that seeks to combine visual “emotion” with real, industrial manufacturing processes.
Ugur Sahin serves a closely-knit clientele, and for them they offer services ranging from creative research to 3D design and product engineering. For Ugur Sahin, modern technology and advanced engineering combine to create fresh and modern interpretations of automotive classics.
The design that they offer that most closely resembles what the C7 was revealed to be is their “Z03″ concept car, a Vette-based design that almost incorporates the Ferrari 458 Italia’s lines with some stereotypical Vette styling characteristics. One of the first that you may notice is the lack of a rear hatch, and to our eyes, the actual C7’s rear hatch looks somewhat like a Chrysler Crossfire.
Ferrari’s curvaceousness rubs-off, however at the nose of the Z03, and this should not come as too surprising to anyone since Corvettes have always been about curves. And while we’re not entirely sure if any of the C7s will share the current ZR1’s see-through hood, it could be a very good possibility since Ugur Sahin incorporates a variant of it into their Z03.
Ugur Sahin Design's 'Z03' concept car has several styling cues that closely resemble the C7.
Another area of interest is in the roof and C-pillars, since those of the C7 seem to closely resemble Ferrari’s 599. Along with an unmistakable hatchback – if that’s really the word – design, the Z03 also mimic’s the 599’s side vents, whether or not those vents are functional, and these cues are even more pronounced in the Z03 then they are in the C7.
Corvette is a sports car that is unique in the sense that it’s all-American while maintaining a history of Euro coach-building that made an already great design even better. We found that out even with the Italian-built SV9 Competizione that was one of the most beautiful examples of this kind of cross-culturalism, but also one of the most short-lived.
Italy tried quite a few years back, with the SV9 to build their own interpretation of the Vette legacy; do you think that Ugur Sahin will be the overseas vendor to pull-off the whole “Euro-Vette” fusion successfully once it’s time for the 7th-Gen’s release?!