Balsa wood sandwiched between carbon fiber for the floorboards, super lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber body panels, up to 638 horsepower - sounds like some sort of Italian handbuilt supercar right? Nope, it's the good ol' Chevrolet Corvette, and an even more advanced version, the next-gen C7, is due out in 2012 as a 2013 model.
Not a lot is known for certain about the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, but as is the way of the web, speculation is already flying. A few key details are thought to be pinned down, however.
The traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout will remain, as will the car's extensive use of advanced weight-saving materials. Things that are still up in the air include a possible new supercharged base engine for better emissions and efficiency while maintaining Corvette-level power.
Ramping up the technology in the next Corvette is also a likely priority. For 2010, the company made launch control a standard feature, but it will take more than that to hang with the Vette's German and Japanese competition. To help keep pace with the times, a dual-clutch gearbox is thought to be under consideration.
Also still unknown is the styling direction General Motors plans for the car. There is some evidence that the Stingray Concept from this year's Chicago Motor Show could point the way forward, but countervailing reports hint that GM may be going in a different, yet unknown, direction.
Whatever the exterior of the car looks like, however, it will almost certainly be an incremental improvement on the current C6 Corvette, much like the C6 built on the solid foundation of the C5.