The name "Blue Devil” is a backhanded compliment directed at GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagnor, who hails from Duke University and is known as a avid fan of the school’s “Blue Devils” team.
Befitting the standing of the Corvette line as America’s premier production sports car, GM has promised that the Blue Devil Corvette SS z07 power plant will be at least 650 horsepower and might even top 700 horsepower. That will be delivered by taking the standard 6.2 liter GM V-8 off the shelf and supercharging it with a combination turbocharger and intercooler, as has been done for the Cadillac STS-V.
This is tremendous power the 2009 Corvette is boosted to the ranks of ultra high-performance cars. By comparison, the BMW Series 7 throws out just 260 horsepower off a V-12 power train but goes from 0 to 60 MPH in under 10 seconds and easily cruises in excess of 100 MPH.
That much power is clearly made for breaking speed limits on America’s highways. This may be why early “pack mule” prototypes had to be shipped to Europe to go head to head against, for example, Ferrari’s.
Whether the power train can take that much torque is an open question that will likely be answered early in 2008 after Chevrolet showcases the Blue Devil Corvette SS z07 at the January North American International, a traditional venue for Corvette launches, and releases test units to car magazines. But it looks to be a realistic promise since a non-turbocharged 7.0 liter version of that monstrous power plant is standard for the 2007 Corvette Z07 and already attains 505 horsepower.
The fact is, Chevrolet dealers are already taking orders for the 1,500 units that will be available throughout 2008. This looks like GM’s way of testing the waters for an ultra-high performance Blue Devil Corvette SS z07 that the company ominously promises will list at a “median between $100,000 and $125,000.
Total production run will be 3,000 units up to end-2009. Even if demand reaches 2,000 Blue Devil Corvette SS z07’s a year, that is about all that can be hand-built at GM’s Performance Center.
Clearly, GM/Chevrolet have a lot of stake in the Blue Devil Corvette SS z07. Whatever the final CAFÉ rules turn out to be, this 2009 Corvette threatens to send corporate average fuel economy averages sky-high.
GM has already scaled back on plans for other high-performance models. Even at low volumes, however, the prestige and image benefits of the Blue Devil Corvette SS z07 are simply too good to give up.