Chevy Corvette developers 'impressed' by Porsche Cayenne success

A retired GM engineer's comments have reignited rumors of a Corvette-badged SUV.

A high-riding Chevrolet Corvette may seem like sacrilege to some buyers, however the team in charge of developing the venerable sports car apparently took time to investigate Porsche's Cayenne business model.

The Cayenne likely surprised many industry insiders when it quickly grew in popularity and eclipsed all of Porsche's cars in terms of sales volume. The same format was successfully repeated with the smaller Macan. Together, the SUVs now outsell the 911 by a four-to-one margin.

Speaking to The Detroit News, Tom Wallace, the retired GM engineer who oversaw Corvette development from 2006-2008, said that his team "studied the Porsche business model" and were "generally impressed," particularly with the Cayenne's stellar growth.

"The fact that they have done the Cayenne and stuck with it is a vote of confidence that such a vehicle can be a success," he added.

GM has not yet indicated any plans to fulfill rumors of a high-riding 'Vette, which would likely require a new or extensively modified platform architecture. Wallace noted that sales volumes would be "critical" in justifying such development expenses.

The company may be waiting to see if the new mid-engine C8 Corvette attracts enough new attention to the brand.

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