Bowling Green Corvette Plant Shuts Down Public Tours for 18 Months
Potentially signaling a retooling for new, unrevealed Corvette model
Something's fishy in Kentucky. According to Bowling Green Daily News, the Chevrolet Corvette production facility is suspending tours for a year and a half. GM says this closure is so the longstanding plant can undergo "extensive work." In other words, let the conspiracy theories flow free - this could signal that a drastically new Corvette model is on the horizon.
As to what this new model might entail, that remains pure speculation. We've already seen the a camouflaged test mule blasting around the Nürburgring and Laguna Seca, both times wearing some aero features that are far removed from anything currently rolling out of Kentucky.
There's also the matter of rumors surrounding an all-new engine for the ZR1. On the Nürburgring and Laguna Seca videos, the test mule emitted an exhaust tonality unlike any other 'Vette we've heard in the past. Thanks to an internal document leaked from GM, we know a 6.2-liter DOHC V-8 is on its way, but we've yet to receive confirmation as to which model it will debut in, so this tour shutdown is as good of a time as any to retool the powertrain area.
Beyond that, the sizable duration of the public blackout might indicate something more clandestine is in the works. At this point, the mid-engined Corvette is all but confirmed, and there is a slim chance this extended closure marks the plant's shift toward the new layout. Still, it's unlikely the automaker would go to all the trouble of converting production lines to a model that hasn't even been officially confirmed yet, so our money remains with the forthcoming ZR1 and DOHC V-8.
Following a handful of removed tour dates in May, the plant shuts its doors to the public on June 16, reopening 18 months later.