1970's concept: Rotary powered Corvette

12-09-2006, 11:05 PM


"Untold millions of dollars were spent developing the smooth, compact power units that made their debut in a pair of exotic, mid-engined, Corvette-badged show cars in 1973. They seemed to point to the future but, behind the scenes, GM's engineers were struggling with a technology that was too dirty for the latest emissions regulations and no less thirsty than the gas-guzzling V8 it was intended to replace."

"So, after their show debuts, General Motors effectively buried the two-rotor and four-rotor Corvettes and hoped the world would forget about them. As most people did."

----Fast forward a decade.----

"...He rang to tell me that the next day they were going to crush a Corvette that had been stored on the roof of his 10-storey building..."


"I went into this enormous lift that would have taken a truck. When it spilt me out at the top I saw this big crate, in which the car had been standing for 10 years. It was absolutely perfect. It even smelt new inside."

"Since 1997 it has been fitted with a Mazda 13B rotary unit."

12-15-2006, 05:42 PM
Amazing! I never even heard about this. I wonder if GM will bring it back......??

01-11-2007, 05:47 PM
Sadly, GM's killing of it's rotary engine project, dealt a death blow to American Motors Corporation(AMC). AMC was developing the Pacer as a rotary engined vehicle of futuristic looks, and had a working agreement with G.M. to put the G.M. rotary in the Pacer. When G.M. killed the project, AMC had to to some very last-minute underhood redesigns to shoe-horn in their inline OHV 258 Cid six, and later the optional 304 Cid V8 AMC powerplant.

Sometimes I've thought in retrospect that G.M. really set-up AMC in a calculated way to kill them as the number 4 U.S. vehicle maker. Inevitably, AMC slid downhill afterwards, doing a desperate merger with France's Renault, and then the subsequent watering-down of their car line with Renault designed cars utilizing badge-engineering to pass as AMC cars. AMC's last gasp was their Eagle Premier, which was killed by Chrysler when Chrysler went for AMC's Juggler and bought them out to just get AMC's very successful Jeep division. The Eagle Premier did get sold for a short time through Chrysler Eagle dealers, and also as a badge engineered Dodge Monaco. It was a fairly sound car that AMC had put together, but it was too little too late.

To this day, I've regretted GM's killing of the rotary project, as it would have distinguished the Corvette line in a very special way. Besides that, the rotary would probably have received much more R&R by now and who know's what it might have evolved into as a vehicular powerplant in the 21 century. Only Mazda has stayed with the rotary engine for powering vehicles. With the added R&R resources of G.M., I think there could have been some monumental break throughs by now for this type of engine, in the area of fuel economy, oil consumption, and emissions controls.

01-12-2007, 09:38 AM

01-15-2007, 01:50 PM
idk, but lotus worked with chevy in the early 90s or late 80s to produce another mid engine concept

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