With decades of history, the Corvette brand is a name that symbolizes words like powerful, premium, or pricey, but usually not the word practical. Bob Lutz, the former vice-chairman of General Motors, the parent company of Chevy, thinks Chevy should change that. Lutz recently stated in an interview with Automotive News that he thinks that Chevy should introduce a premium-only Corvette SUV that costs around $100,000.
This isn’t the first time that Bob Lutz had stated a seemingly strange idea, such as when he said that the Chevy Volt should’ve been a truck a few years ago. Compared to the idea of a Corvette, that of a slim and sleek sports car, a Corvette SUV may seem strange at first. However, there are several reasons why a Corvette SUV may actually be a great idea, and it has to do with the appeal of the Corvette brand, the practicality of the SUV body style, and the need for premium SUVs in the marketplace.
The Corvette Appeal
The appeal of a Corvette is hard to quantify, but with a history spanning decades and the moniker of being “America’s Sports Car” according to CNBC, the Corvette brand is one that’s almost synonymous with the American driving experience. Using that brand power and expanding it into the premium SUV market with a Corvette SUV is a bold move, but fans of Corvettes could turn out and show a lot of interest in it. Lutz’s idea of having a pricey and premium-only Corvette SUV would also create a rarity and uniqueness to the car and that will also make it more appealing to drivers.
Practicality of SUVs
Corvettes are synonymous with many people’s idea of a sports car as the usual Corvette is small, stylish, and can go at a very high speed. However, according to AutoTrader, SUVs are overtaking the sports car market because SUVs offer similar performance while having a lot more amenities that only a larger vehicle body can offer. When your SUV has a 500 hp engine, a top speed of 170 mph, and can go 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds like Alfa Romeo’s premium SUV, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio can, your vehicle’s performance isn’t sacrificed at all by having a larger body.
The Stelvio in particular also has many of the features that a lot of other SUVs has, such as seating for five people, plenty of legroom, and more than enough cargo room for a family or any other group. Assuming a Corvette SUV has similar practical features and can achieve a similar performance as the Stelvio, then the Corvette SUV becomes a great practical and powerful premium option for drivers.
A Market for Premium SUVs
Lutz suggested a $100,000 premium SUV without any cheaper options available and a worldwide target of about 30,000 units at most. This is a great way to differentiate a Corvette SUV from others as the market for premium SUVs is a small market and thus, it gives more room for Chevy to break into. According to GoodCarBadCar, small premium SUVs like the Stelvio have sold over 130,000 units so far in 2019 and medium-sized premium SUVs like the Tesla Model X have sold over 185,000 units so far in the year.
This relatively low volume of sales compared to other car markets means that the brand power of Chevy’s Corvette SUV would allow it to quickly differentiate itself from the competition. Most of the other premium SUVs in the market right now do not have the brand power that the Corvette has and so a Corvette SUV would easily become the center of conversations. This is all speculation right now, but if Chevy does it right, then a Corvette SUV could become very successful.