Next Corvette will debut at the Detroit auto show on January 13

2014 Corvette logoChevrolet will unveil the next generation of its most iconic car, the Corvette, at the Detroit auto show on January 13, 2013. This new ‘Vette will be the seventh generation of the car, and enthusiasts are already referring to it as the C7.

The timing seems right. The current generation Corvette C6 has been in production for nearly 10 years and, while it’s still a great car, the competition is moving on. Camouflaged test mules have been spotted in recent months, and Chevy suspended public tours at its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant so it could retool for the C7.

Those who are in love with the current Corvette needn’t worry, because the C7 appears to be more evolution than revolution. Chevy is not revealing anything other than the car’s Crossed Flags logo (which was redesigned to go with the new car) until January, but spy photos indicate a car with the same basic proportions as the current Corvette.

The long hood, short rear deck, and fastback remain, so the C7 should be easy to recognize as a Corvette. Some of the C6’s curves may be blunted a bit to bring the car in line with Chevy’s current design language, and the C7 may ditch round taillights for square ones to match the Camaro and Malibu.

The biggest change will probably be under the hood. The C7 will be powered by a small block V8, as Corvettes have been since time immemorial, but it will be a brand new engine. Chevy is calling this redesigned V8 the Gen V; it reportedly displaces 5.5 liters (the C6 has a 6.2-liter engine) and features new-to-‘Vette technologies such as direct injection and variable valve timing.

All will be revealed when the C7 makes its debut on January 13. Before its official auto show unveiling, Chevy will have a small launch party for the ‘Vette in downtown Detroit. Ticket sales will benefit the National Corvette Museum.

Like most carmakers these days, Chevy will try to build suspension with teasers. has a countdown clock and a series of videos that will be released in the weeks leading up to January 13, 2013.

Production of the Corvette C6 is already winding down. The C7 will begin production in the third quarter of 2013 as a 2014 model.

There are dozens of new car launches every year, but some are more exciting than others. The Corvette doesn’t operate on the same four-year product cycle as other cars, so when Chevy sees fit to build a new one, automotive enthusiasts take notice.