2009 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept
This month we’re remembering the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept, something we (perhaps somewhat controversially!) reckon might have made a better-looking C7 or C8…
This stunning concept made its debut at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show and offered a glimpse of an alternative Corvette C7 or C8 even, had GM chosen to take a different direction to the one it did with the C7 and then its current mid-engined C8 offering. In many ways this concept chimes more with current automotive engineering values, offering as it did a hybrid powertrain, with a V8 engine featuring cylinder deactivation and mild hybrid technology. Introduced four years before the C7, the Stingray concept not only showcased the last front-engined Corvette, but it echoed the legendary 1963 Corvette Stingray, with its split rear window treatment, as well as the 1959 Stingray Racer.
The concept came about as the result of an internal design challenge for a retro-styled but modern Corvette and it was designed with reverse clamshell hood and scissor doors that were push-button operated. With its tapered roof line, prominent quad exhausts and wide hips, this stunning-looking concept appears to be moving when standing still and it still looks as impressive today as it did when it was unveiled 12 years ago.
Inside, the designers had responded to negative reviews about the C6’s interior and produced an interior with lots of carbon fibre and ultra-comfortable body-hugging seats and the obligatory infotainment system with configurable instrument cluster. GM said of the concept: “Interactive touch controls allow the driver to customise the power and efficiency of his or her ride and share it with friends via the incar camera system and advanced telemetrics.”
Engine-wise, the Corvette Stingray was envisioned with a high-performance electrified set-up for around town driving, combined with a V8 engine with cylinder deactivation for a so-called ‘mild hybrid’ system that was quite the fashion at the time. As a concept car it was more a styling exercise than a technical showcase, with the exact engine/drive train specs left to GM’s marketing to describe what was envisioned. Would it have made a better-looking C7 or C8? Well, beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no missing this Stingray, that’s for sure!
1959 Stingray Racer. Distinctive split rear windscreen.