AD #2582 – GM Likely to Make C7 Corvette Alongside C8, Ford Q1 Earnings Decent, Hellephant Crate Engine Costs $30,000

April 26th, 2019 at 11:37am

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Runtime: 7:44

0:07 Ford Q1 Earnings Decent
1:04 Tesla to Launch Own Insurance
1:35 GM Likely to Make C7 Corvette Alongside C8
2:31 Renault To Propose Joint Holding Company with Nissan
3:16 Nissan Adopts GT-R Production Technique for Altima
3:57 Mitsubishi Discontinues Pajero In Japan
4:24 Nikola Motor Creates Electric Jet Ski
4:57 Hellephant Crate Engine Costs $30,000
5:35 Will OEMs Bring EV Component Production In-House?

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71 Comments to “AD #2582 – GM Likely to Make C7 Corvette Alongside C8, Ford Q1 Earnings Decent, Hellephant Crate Engine Costs $30,000”

  1. Barry T Says:

    I wonder if one of the reasons Tesla owners suffer high insurance rates is related to difficulties with parts & services to accomplish a repair. If so, Tesla would have some “skin in the game” to fix some of those problems.

  2. Barry T Says:

    Also – yes – happy Hemi day 4/26! No accident to have a Hellephant story today. Sadly no Autoline over the weekend for 4/27 and 4/28 LOL

  3. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Another part of the Tesla insurance story might be the cost of repair of their vehicles (and time from presenting a car for repair and getting it back). I just viewed a youtube on repair for Tesla on The Fast Lane: start at 10:30

    Estimate was over 6000 dollars and a month (or so) to get it back.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    @3 I talked to a Tesla owner that had the same experience, took months.
    Seems like a smart thing for GM to make both Vettes, not much to loose. If sales of the 7 fall of a cliff then you stop making them but for now give it a shot.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    The Ford Shelby has been getting spray in liners on their engine blocks since 2016.

  6. George Ricci Says:

    In this video at 5:30 –
    Mark Reuss says “this is the end of the C7″ in reference to the C7 ZR1. So they are not going to be building the C7 alongside the C8.

    Also think about the cost building Dual clutch transaxle and Twin Turbo DOHC V8 engine(future performance model). The cost would be to high for the Corvette program all by itself to absorb. So this is where the Cadillac XLR replacement model comes into to play.

  7. MJB Says:

    One place where electric jet skis would be quite welcomed is inland all-sports lakes, of which we have a lot here in Michigan. And for homeowners living lakefront, an otherwise tranquil evening sitting by the water can be marred by the constant buzz of gas-powered jet ski throttles.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With Borg Warner’s EV powertrain plans, it looks like EVs may be a little like gas cars in the 1920s, when most car brands bought all of their powertrain components from vendors. Continental and Lycoming supplied engines for most cars, other than the “major” brands. BW and one or two other companies could end up supplying the EV powertrain parts for almost everyone.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    A. Hackett’s Ford: Revenue, $40+ Bill, Profit, $1.1 B. Rate of return, 2.5%. My bank offers a lousy savings account, 100% risk free, with a better interest rate than this pathetic 2.5%. And the stock went .. up? I guess it had no more downside, so low that it was…

    B. Hellcat engine, $30,000? Really? Why? Is it lined with unobtainium? Laughably expensive. Everybody and his mother-in-law have zillion HP engines these days, and this unrefined one sure is not the best of them. By comparison, my friend’s 3.5 6 in his BMW 735i was a mere $8,000.

    C. What is your evidence that the mid-engined Vette would be so much more expensive than the current one? I agree with GM keeping building both, because they are different animals and have different buyers, as long as the demand is there, but I do not expect the mid engined Vette to be too expensive, after all is it still a Chevy and it will be affordable. GM tried overpricing Caddys in the past, and even that was disastrous (not just the Volt clone the ELR, but also various 2-seaters, from the ancient Allante to the more recent Merc SL rival, what was its stupid alphanumeric name, the XLR?)

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    5 Cont- The only problem with spray liners is if your score the cylinder walls then you need liners or a new Block. Only few shops left that do machining.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    an electric jets makes a lot of sense, the limited range of the battery wouldn’t matter for most as 20mins on a jetski a year is usually enough.

  12. Mike Thaman Says:

    So…Nissan is going to resurrect a cylinder technique similar to the one Vega used in its “famous” aluminum engine in 1971. .2 mm seems a little thin to me !

  13. buildmore2doors Says:

    I watched the Bollinger AAH segment and was wondering if the vehicle is going to have any safety systems, such as airbags, since it is now going to be street legal. Not sure what Class 3 allows you to get away with but the way Bollinger was talking during his interview it sounded like he wasn’t planning on putting much in the vehicle for occupant survival in the case of a collision. John, did you get the sense that it wouldn’t have much in the way of occupant protection?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I don’t know if this “new” process is similar to the one the Vega used, but there are a lot of linerless aluminum cylinders, from companies like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    11 lol that’s about right! Still seems odd to me, mixing electricity and watercraft. The noise reduction would be a great benefit.

  16. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    A question for more knowledgeable people than myself, wasn’t there a year or 2 that either Yamaha outboard engines or mercury outboard engines made some engines for corvettes?

  17. Larry D. Says:

    This is a slide show with lots of informative charts, data and photos. Was looking for world EV sales and their growth, which has been exponential the last 5-10 years.

  18. JWH Says:

    #15 – LT-5 in 1990 to 1994 was built by Mercury Marine.

  19. Drew Says:

    I sold my Yamaha PWCs last year. My criteria for keeping or selling a motorized toy is related to the battery. If I spend more time replacing or charging the battery than using the toy (PWC, ATV, motorcycle), then it’s time for someone else to use it. But a BEV toy will require me to change my keep/sell criterion.

    With regards to a BEV PWC, I hope they can be safely enjoyed. Two potential issues: 1. If heavy, it’ll be a challenge to right-up if/when it flips; 2. Unlike road vehicles, nearly all other watercraft do not have rearview/sideview mirrors… abrupt lead boat course changes may be a collision hazard if the “quiet” BEV PWC is trailing too closely (illegally too closely).

  20. Drew Says:

    @15 – It was the ZR-1… nicknamed Kit no of the Hill… with a Mercury Marine-assembled 4-valve version of the Vette’s V8. The car also had a wider track… tires and body panels.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Those ZR-1s were pricey, about $60K base in the ’90s, but they were exceptional performers, for the time.

  22. XA351GT Says:

    Well let’s just say I saw this coming with Renault/Nissan. This was nothing more than japan sending a very strong message to the French that they want their money not their control. I felt the gestapo tactics of release ,arrest ,release arrest was to send that message loud and clear.

    The Corvette saga. It appears that GM has a very bad case of SASS ( Short Attention Span Syndrome) They tried this Caddy Corvette idea before (XLR)to luke warm results building both C8 and C7 can only mean they are not all that sure how the buying public will react to their Chevy NSX. they sold if I remember correctly only 800 ,C7s last month. Why would that warrant 2 shifts? Also how many are already at dealerships waiting on adopters?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 There are a lot of C7s at dealers. Yesterday, I received a mail ad from a Miami dealer that said they had 144 of them in stock. That’s a lot of Corvettes for one dealer.

    As far as the Cadillac Corvette, the XLR, with the Northstar engine, didn’t perform as well as the Chevy version. Also, I’d heard the the retractable hardtop had some issues, I don’t remember what, but basically, the Chevy version was a better car.

  24. Drew Says:

    @21 – Sports car sales often reach their “half life” within 18 months. Too often, an OEM reacts to the strong initial sales by adding capacity (in effort to ease dealer price gouging)… but by the time the capacity comes on-board, the launch euphoria has subsided.

    So, GM may be adding capacity upfront to meet initial high demand and to abate dealer price gouging. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2nd shift vanishes in 2-3 years or gets re-purposed.

    I just hope GM has corporate memory from their past brand mismanagement. In the 1980s, they rode the Cutlass brand into the ground by naming disparate vehicles “Cutlass”… Cutlass Calais, Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Supreme, Cutlass Cruiser. Will the real Cutlass please stand up? Will the real Corvette please stand up?

  25. ArtG Says:

    12. Nissan isn’t “resurrecting” anything. PTWA is in no way similar to what GM used for the Vega and certainly wasn’t around in 1970. It was co-developed by Ford and another company decades later. The Vega blocks were cast from a special alloy containing a high percentage of silicon. Cylinder wall etching exposed the silicon to produce a wear surface. The two processes have absolutely nothing to do with each other and were developed around 40 years apart.

  26. BobD Says:

    On the C7 continuing… If you read the article that was linked to the above transcript, it says, “The final production seventh generation Corvette will be auctioned off this summer with proceeds benefitting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.” That sounds pretty definite that the C7 production will end prior to the C8 SOP.

  27. GM Veteran Says:

    Ford profit and return on investment far exceeded that posted by Tesla. And, Ford pays its stockholders a dividend that provides a return of approximately 6.5%. With Tesla stock hitting new lows for the year, sales tanking, huge losses and no dividend, I will take an investment position in Ford over Tesla any day.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    26 Sure. You probably would buy GM and Chrysler shares in 2007 too, and you would have lots all your $] as they, NOT Tesla, went bankrupt (Chrysler for the Nth time) and blamed everybody BUT themselves for their miserable performance.

    I am too much of a bargain hunter to recommend stocks like Tesla, and on top of this, why risk your savings on ONE stock, no matter how bright its future may look, like all these fools working for also bankrupt ENRON who put ALL their pension money on ENRON stock. Econ illiterate! (Diversify! Why saddle yourself with ‘systematic’ risk? Buy an index (minimum expenses) mutual fund, add regular increments every month, and never waste a second caring if the stock markets are up or down. Life is too short.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    27 correction Unfortunately, you would not have “lots” LOL but “LOST” all your $ if you put your $ into GM and Chrysler in 2007. And the way Ford is recently horribly mismanaged, I would not be surprised if one day it too goes broke.

  30. Lambo2015 Says:

    It will be interesting to see how the sales of the Corvette get split, as I have heard rumblings among the die-hard Corvette fans that a mid-engine version was basically sacrilegious. For some reason there is a feeling that mid-engine would not be true to the Corvette heritage and was basically GM following Ferrari and Lamborghini’s lead.
    So I think GM is afraid of losing some repeat buyers if they only offer the mid-engine version. Personally I think it still will be a bargain for the performance it offers.
    I can already see Car and Driver pitting the mid-engine Vette against the Ford GT.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    28 con’d moral: “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones” I get a huge kick every time some envious onetime big 3 type here, especially if they come from Bankrupt GM or Chrysler, criticizes the ONLY US Auto Company which dominates its industry (Pure EVs or BEVs) as TESLA does, and has such phenomenal products AND achievements. It sure is not your father’s “Oldsmobile”!

  32. Larry D. Says:

    29 The mid-engine should attract new buyers to Corvette. Depending how well made and priced it is, it may even attract people who buy italian exotic mid-engined cars. (especially those who buy used ones, priced about the same as a new mid-engine Vette). How much this new demand is is a big question, maybe they did their homework at GM and found out.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Porsche uses PTWA for their opposed 4 and 6 cylinder engines. See section 1.2.3.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    PS one more reason I’d never buy Ford stock especially is that the Ford Family, while owning a tiny amount of all Ford shares, has the majority of VOTING shares. It is an unacceptable situation.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Yeah, for the most part, the “half life” of sports cars is not very long, with the Toyobaru being a prime example. There are a few exceptions, like Porsche 911 which sells a low, but fairly consistent 8-10K a year, and Boxster/Cayman which sells in lower volume, but fairly consistent numbers over the last few years. Corvette sales are alway hot with each new generation, and taper off a lot, when a generation nears the end of its run.

    25 Yeah, we read days, or weeks ago on this very site that the last C7 had been, or would soon be built, and would be auctioned off for charity.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bought 100 shares of Ford stock about 20 years ago, when it seemed a good deal at ~$10/share. It’s now at ~$10. I have received dividends most of those years, but I don’t plan to buy any more Ford, or any other stock, except in mutual or index funds. The F is the last individual stock I have bought.

  37. ArtG Says:

    32. Yes. It’s also widely used in the aerospace industry. Engine remanufacturers, including Ford, use it to salvage otherwise unusable blocks as well.

  38. Bob White Says:

    You guys are making the wrong assumption. THE C7 IS DEAD!!!! IT’S OVER FOR OLD SCHOOL AND BRING ON THE NEW

    In a Thursday announcement, General Motors said the final C7 Corvette will be produced this summer and the car will head to a Barrett-Jackson auction for a charitable cause. GM CEO Mary Barra said during an annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Footsteps to the Future gala that the final C7 Corvette will benefit the charity GM has supported for years.

    Read more:

  39. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Sean: Make that a diamond encrusted HONE,not a drill bit. Just sayin’…

  40. ChuckGrenci Says:

    My take on the addition of a second shift for Corvette production is that being a new model, and with the rumor that the C8 will be comparably priced with the C7, Chevrolet wants product available when the model debuts. A second shift was used with the introduction of the all new Vette in ’84.

  41. Buck Matt Says:

    Will not be a C7 along with the C8.
    BG Assembly has had 2 shifts before when Corvette sales were alot higher volume. I believe there were 2 shifts for the C6 but discontinued about 2009 from recession.

  42. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    Thanks for the knowledge you guys have when I ask a question to the guys whom knew mercury marine was engine builder for certain corvettes, thanks agin.

  43. Drew Says:

    @29 – We often assume all mid-engined vehicles are configured like the C8 and Ford GT with the engine in the rear. But there are also front-mounted, mid-engine vehicles like the original AC Cobra, some classic Corvettes, and most front-engined Ferrari’s… to name a few.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    41 True! Just that when you hear mid-engine most people envision the rear engine configuration.

    37 Well since the C7 is dead all those unsold ones sitting on lots when the C8 hits dealers might be had for a bargain. Of course dealers will try and spin it as a collector last model with the front engine configuration, but I’m guessing most buyers will want the new model.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 The Miami dealer I received the mail ad from, Bomnin, has zero option C7s for $44,717. They probably add on a couple thousand in “dealer prep and title work,” but that’s still a lot off of retail.

  46. merv Says:

    will the c7 c8 be built side by side? call Don Sherman

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 A friend had a 1964 Dodge van with the engine between the driver and passenger. That’s mid-engine.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44, See 25, 34, and maybe others. The C7 is being REPLACED by the C8, not being built concurrently, unless the information we are getting is really wrong.

  49. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The last C7 has been reported that it will be auctioned for charity and Mark Reuss has been on record that the C7 and C8 will not be produced concurrently.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    37 Interesting. Sure starts a new era. I wonder how similar the C8 will be to the C7 to justify keeping the “Corvette” name.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    48 Maybe now they can make the Camaro a sportier car that is quite similar to the C7. They used to share engines before anyway. For those that still don’t like the mid-engine configuration.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49 The current Camaro drives very “sporty,” if properly equipped. The 1LE package includes big brakes, performance suspension, bigger, summer-only tires and other tweaks that put it near Corvette territory in track performance. The 1LE package is available with engines from the 2.0 turbo to the 650 hp supercharged V8 used in the Corvette Z06.

  53. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The 1LE in the top engine’d Camaro is sporty as Kit suggest; might I add, more than sporty (it’s a beast on the track and street).

    And Ferrari again manages to mess up in qualifying (at Baku); this time Leclerc, with the fastest car crashes out in Q2 and Vettel falls to both M/B’s again. I’m still a Ferrari fan, but these ARE trying times (at least for me). :)

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This F1 season is starting off even more one sided than the last few years, with Merc almost double 2nd place in constructor’s, and driver points just as one sided. It’s early in the season, so it could get more interesting, but it’s not looking that way, so far.

  55. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Kit, concur, though at least there is a lot active racing in the middle of the pack (but sure is getting tiring with so little competition upfront. All week long you hear that Ferrari is the fastest car (which actually means, to me, that it is on par with M/B) then M/B with not much of an whimper shows its stuff; perhaps you’re right and the season may evolve. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.

  56. Bob Wilson Says:

    Congratulations John on your Model 3, YouTube (see link.) You’ve accurately captured some of the initial, AutoPilot learning experience.

    At 6:11, the video captures a badly patched exit ramp and that is a weakness of AutoPilot. Using the built-in, dash cam, I’ve found a few, reproducible cases where bad or ambiguous lane lines can confuse it.

    AutoPilot drivers soon learn to take over with bad lane lines which becomes second nature. Also, AutoPilot does not ‘lead’ entering an exit like a human driver but often decides at the last second to steer into an exit ramp. This can surprise new drivers which makes manually entering or exiting a divided highway more fun (“Machines will not replace us!”)

    My collection of AutoPilot anomalies is available:

  57. Larry D. Says:

    49-53 I am aware, I did mention the Camaro shares engines w the Corvette, it is a sporty or sports coupe like the Mustang, but you never see comparisons between the Camaro, the Mustang, and the Porsche 911 or an entry-level Ferrari or Lambo (those were the 8-cyl in the past, vs the top v 12s). You always saw Porsche 911 vs Corvette, and Mustang vs Camaro.

    The Camaro looks heavy, like the Challenger, but in today’s obese car environment, it actually is not that heavy, but could benefit from some extra weight loss if it replaces the front-engined Corvette. Also the styling.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54 Interesting stuff about “autopilot.”

    53 There seems to be a major flaw with the VSC system, when it can cost Leclerc about 40 seconds.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55 You don’t see comparisons between Camaro and Porsche 911, or any Ferrari, because of price, and above all else, image. This article puts a good perspective on actual performance of a Camaro SS 1LE. That’s the one with the handling/brake package, and the same engine as a base Corvette.

    Go about halfway down the article, where they get to the handling part of the test, where the Camaro competes well with cars costing several times as much, and with much more exotic pedigrees.

    As far as weight, the Camaro, at 3730 pounds, is 460 pounds lighter than the Challenger, and 120 lighter than the Mustang. These are CR’s published weights, all for V8/manual transmission cars. For comparison, their 911 Carrera S weighed 3240, and their base Corvette, 3470.

  60. Larry D. Says:

    54 Excellent Video, John. If I was surprised by anything, actually, is by how well the Model 3 is put together, you normally never expect this level of perfection from some amateur automaker that has barely started a mass produced model.

    The loaner John used has the blue color I liked in the Model 3 parked behind me in the public library the other day. The rear of the car looks excellent in white too.

    They should warn the buyers very loudly and clearly about what the autopilot can do and not do in its current version, and I still expect some careless owners to get in trouble by expecting way too much of it.

    The interior looked great, the minimalist approach is the wisest, if you cannot do a full luxury “British Club” wood and leather interior, you better keep it simple and very tasteful.

    Overall, it’s a big home run, much better than I would expect. And the younger generation who have their noses stuck in their i-phones and tablets, will feel right at home using it (and being satisfied they are saving the planet too)

  61. Larry D. Says:

    57 that’s not a cheap base Camaro either. How many of these are sold. It is not just the image, but also the styling, and the Camaro may satisfy some high school teens with high hormone levels, (as may the Charger and the Challenger) but it is not like the Corvette (which is ALSO twice as cheap as the 911 and four times as cheap as the entry level Ferrari) or the 911.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59 Yeah, it takes a fairly expensive Camaro, ~$46K, to compete with $300K exotics on a race track. I think they should have built a Cadillac ATS Coupe equipped like the Camaro in that test. Since the car is the same platform, they should have been able to make it perform similarly, but with less “juvenile” styling.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57 I don’t know how many of those Camaros are sold, but anyone who wants one can factory order it and get it in about 6 weeks.

    58 That black/white interior is $1000 extra on a Model 3 “standard range plus,” but it would be worth it to me. It looks pretty good, at least in photos, and I like the blue color.

    I still think Tesla should call their semi-autonomous driving system something other than “autopilot.” A name like that instills too much confidence in some people.

  64. Bob Wilson Says:

    61 – Instead of “autopilot”, “copilot” or more accurately, “student driver” … the human. The human driver has a learning curve figuring out how autopilot handles driving.

    With limited, side vision left or right, autopilot responds to what is immediately around it, ~8 feet, a lane width. An exit having a solid, right hand, lane marker curve away won’t support a turn-signal initiated lane change. But when the ‘dashed lines’ show up, the the car will safely change onto the exit lane.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62 The inconsistency of lane markings in the US adds to the complexity of doing fully autonomous driving. Even with today’s technomogy, this stuff is not easy.

  66. Larry D. Says:

    “Top Gear, the bastion of British “petrol head” performance car journalism, declares that the Tesla Model 3 Performance has dethroned the long-seated legendary BMW M3 as the ultimate performance sedan.

    Here is some of what they had to say comparing the BMW to the Tesla:
    “when you floor it, the (BMW’s) throttle response is glacial by comparison, and the accompanying racket isn’t quite as glorious as you remember — more of a distraction… Where the BMW’s comfort and refinement is conceded quite a bit to unlock its track potential, the Tesla is utterly uncompromised…”

    Let there be no doubt- Electric vehicles are not the future, they are the present, they are the superior option, and Tesla builds the best ones.

    Viva rEVolution!”…/tesla-model-3-performance-crus…/

  67. Larry D. Says:

    the link in 64 gave me a ‘not found’, so,

    Here is the complete video of the Tesla 3 ANNIHILATING THE FORMIDABLE BMW M3, on the track, by 3 to 1, where the only contest the M3 won was the ‘drifting’ one.

    This Model 3 Tesla is actually $1k cheaper than the M3, and weighs a colossal 600+ pounds MORE than the M3, and still beats its ass!

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    64 The link doesn’t work.

    It would be interesting to know how a Model 3 Performance would do with the same drivers on the track used for the test I linked in #57. It would only run a few laps on a charge, but enough to see what it would do compared to other cars.

  69. Larry D. Says:

    66 I noted it in 65, where I posted the top gear track test video. Seen it?

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    67 Yes, you posted 65, while I was trying the bad link with different devices.

  71. Stephen Says:

    With McLaren/Audi A8 launching mid-engine cars to compete with Ferrari and the 911, the C8 might have some chance of competing with low-end 911s. At it is, Porsche-Ferrari-Lambo-McLaren (even the NSX) can sell at higher prices (with the top Vettes offering similar performance) and still command used prices higher than any Corvette even with lower service costs. Outside the US, the Vette only sells to US fans and germans who wanted something different to Italian-German supercars. Only BMW-Merc offer competitive front engine supercars (apart from the Ferrari California).
    The pajero might be gone from the US but like the Mitsu outlander, it remained a supreme cross-country vehicle on par with the Landcruiser/Outlander long after LandRover ceased to offer reliable Jeeps once the Japanese showed how unreliable a LR defender was.Warlords/Drugbarons/charities/hunting estate and many a farmer and horse owner will miss this workhorse.