The Assignment:Draw the next CorvetteSince no spy pictures of the C7 Corvette exist, we decided to give America's next generation of car designers a chance to weigh in on what they think it should look like. We approached Mark West, a professor at Detroit's College for Creative Studies, who invited his students to participate. Shown here are five of the students' best sketches, evaluated by design editor Robert Cumberford.
[ Nic Stone ] Handsomely drawn, dramatic, and very nice. This is excessively conservative but very, very good.
[ Mykola Kindratyshyn ] The imaginative headlamps and the well-balanced composition are worthy of more development.
[ Mahdi Chowdhury ] Some nice ideas, like the floating lamps under the nose, the racing-car-fuselage power bulge, and the fighter-plane canopy - which would be tough, but not impossible, to realize.
[ Josiah LaColla ] An exciting lower body with nicely crossed hard edges defining ducted radiator outlets and brake scoops. A mid-engine Vette would be nice, but this design could fit the classic format, too.
[ Timothy O'Donnell ] The triangular headlamp covers are interesting and would be highly distinctive on the road.
Mid-engine 200-mph C7R Zora Arkus-Duntov's dream machine.
Le Mans rule makers are expected to scramble the deck for 2010, resulting in a new top category tentatively called LMP1 Evo. In essence, this is the merger of today's LMP1 and GT1 classes, with two goals in mind. The first goal is to reduce speeds to less than the 145-mph lap average exceeded in last year's twenty-four-hour race. The second is to shift appearances from fendered formula cars to racy road cars.
Evo racers will be coupes with wide windshields and side pontoons six inches higher than those fitted to today's LMP1 cars. Minimum cabin width and height are increased by 3.9 inches and 2.4 inches, respectively. Taking advantage of the rules change, Chevy will race a mid-engine Corvette at Le Mans in two years, finally fulfilling Zora Arkus-Duntov's fondest aspiration.