The Fourvette Concept Corvette

Every so often the powers that be at GM come up with a Corvette notion that is four doors and family friendly. The very perception is enough to make even the strongest stomach Corvette fanatic sick, but low and behold the Fourvette is born.

This time the notion of a four door Corvette is more than just words and GM has actually made a concept car version of what the production Fourvette might look like. Hopefully this is as far as the Fourvette goes, but it certainly isn’t the end of the sickness you will feel in the pit of your stomach when you hear the next tid bit of info on the Fourvette.

In addition to the four doors, the Fourvette will include a six cylinder engine. This is supposedly to market to the women of America, but if they can drive the big soccer mom V8 SUVs, why can’t they drive a V8 Corvette? A more fitting question is why they are even considering such a vehicle?

Here’s the problem. Last year Porsche came out with a four door called the Panamera and although it looks like a stretched out turtle, the sales are unbelievable. So unbelievable that GM is thinking of following suit. However, the birth of the Fourvette could be the death of the Corvette.

Owning a Corvette has always been something that you do as a reward for yourself. You don’t buy a Vette so that you can load up the kids and take them to soccer practice right before you go to the grocery store. In fact the mere sight of a baby seat inside a Corvette would be enough to put you into exile with your Corvette club.

Now it seems that GM may want to curb all that the Corvette has come to be in it’s almost 60 years of existence and redefine it as a family car. So the great American icon will become the greater family icon? Not to say that women can’t own Corvettes, but why does the Corvette have to be four doors and six cylinders?

Hopefully this is as far as it goes and perhaps GM is only doing this to gain a little bit of notoriety and some publicity. The last time that a four door Corvette went to concept was back in 1963 and if not for the pictures of that four door Corvette, no one would have believed the story. While it is up for debate as to why that model never made it to the production line, the fact remains that it never made it to the production line.

In 1963 GM was wise enough back then to destroy that version of the four door Corvette and say, “What four door, we don’t have any four door,” so hopefully they will be just as wise with the Fourvette. While the name is nifty, the notion of an actual four door Corvette being put into production is anything but. While a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture of the Fourvette is only worth three; no thank you.

New Concepts in Car Insurance – Pay as You Drive

You can pay as you talk with a cell phone plan, so why not pay as you drive auto insurance? It sounds like a good idea; but would pay as you drive auto insurance work for you?

The idea behind pay as you drive auto insurance is simple. Basically its this- if you do not drive very much, you will not pay high insurance premiums. Advocates for this type of insurance policy think that there are many merits to this type of program. Less air pollution, lower gas consumption, and lower costs to the consumer among them.

What if you car pool to work, or take public transit? You are not using your car very much so why are you paying high premiums. With a pay as you drive auto insurance premiums you would be able to quite literally pay as you go. Another situation where this plan would be of benefit is that of many retirees who have winter homes in temperate climates, the ‘snowbirds’ living in Florida or Arizona six months of the year and six months in New York or Toronto for example.

Essentially the insurance companies would set an average driving amount for each car type. It could then be broken down into a cents per mile basis. If you wanted to us the pay as you drive auto insurance system you could purchase a set number of miles and you would be covered for insurance during this period.

Pay as you drive auto insurance is an excellent idea for those individuals who do not use their car very much or try to find cost saving methods or environment saving alternatives. Currently this type of program is not yet available, but there are supporters in many states who are hoping to change that soon.

Groups including Environmental Defense, the Conservation Law Foundation and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working to organize a national cooperative that would work with insurance companies to offer deep discounts for low-mileage drivers; halfway a step toward PAYD (Pay As You Drive) insurance.

General Motors and On-Star Offers PAYD Rates. In mid-2004 General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) Insurance began offering mileage-based discounts to OnStar subscribers located in some states. The OnStar system reports a vehicle’s odometer readings at the beginning and end of the policy term to verify mileage. Motorist who drive less than specified annual mileage can receive insurance premium discounts of up to 40%.

PAYD programs are also currently available in Israel, South Africa and Holland. PAYD is gaining momentum, and will be coming to your area soon.

1977 Chevrolet Aerovette Concept Car

In 1977 GM came out with another version of the Four-Rotor Car and dubbed it the Aerovette. The Aerovette had the same lines as the original design and this time GM pulled out all the stops when making the prototype.

That’s because for all intensive purposes, GM fully intended on producing the Aerovette beginning in 1980. However due to a myriad of complications, the idea never made it past the prototype stage.

The Areovette was shaped in a rectangular way so it would slice through the air with little wind resistance as the name “aero” might suggest. The Aerovette was beautifully detailed both inside and out and the interior was fully engineered which was more proof that the car was intended for production.

The doors of the Areovette opened out and up and were the same “Gullwing” design as the famed Mercedes 300SL Coupe. But the Aerovette doors actually more articulated versus the Mercedes design and that allowed for greater function in tighter parking spots which was a major drawback of the design in the past.

If the Aerovette would have made it to the public it would have had a steel frame that made for extra durability. The suspension was due to come off of the actual Shark Corvette as Zora Duntov suggested that this would be an extreme cost savings measure. The mid-engine Vette was probably going to feature GM’s famed and go to 350 V-8 engine and the transmissions were to be the same as the conventional Vette as well.

In fact, for all that went into the Aerovette, the new style Vette would have been just about in line with what the regular Corvette was going for. GM estimated that the Aerovette would have sold in 1980 for about $15,000 to $18,000 and this was very close to the regular Corvette even though the gullwing doors would have added to the cost significantly.

Unfortunately though, the Chevrolet Aerovette Concept Car was not meant to be and was done in by its biggest supports leaving GM. Both Duntov and Mitchell had already retired and that left the ultimate call to go to other top dogs at GM, one of whom was Dave McLellan. However, McLellan liked the front engine Corvette design much more than he did the Aerovette’s mid engine and that factor was one that had the concept car remain a concept.

Perhaps though the biggest factor that helped make that fateful decision was money. At the time many imports such as Fiat and Porsche had mid engine models and none of them were fairing well in the United States market. Meanwhile Datsun had been selling their 240Z front engine cars in the US at a fast pace, which the brass at GM took instant note of. When it came right down to it, the mid-engine Areovette was deemed too big a risk by McLellan and the other hot shots at GM and would therefore only secure its place in Corvette history as the overachieving concept car that could have been but never was.