1986 Indy Concept
2012 Carlisle Blue Concept
2011 Jake Edition Concept
2011 Z06-X Concept
2009 Stingray Concept
2005 SEMA Z51 Concept
2005 SEMA Street Concept
2002 Moray Concept
2002 White Shark Concept
2001 Tiger Shark Concept
1993 CERV IV b Concept
1992 CERV IV a Concept
1992 Sting Ray III Concept
1991 ZR-1 Spyder
1991 ZR-1 Snake Skinner Concept
1990 Cerv III Concept
1990 Bertone Nivola Concept
1990 ZR-12 Concept
1989 ZR-2 Concept
1989 DR-1 Concept
1986 EX-4607
1986 Indy Concept
1984 Bertone Ramarro Concept
1984 C4 Concepts
1980 Tubro Concept
1979 Turbo Concept
1977 Aero-Vette Concept
1973 XP-895 Concept
1973 XP-897 Concept
1973 XP-898 Concept
1973 XP-882 4-Rotor Concept
1970 XP-882 Mid-Engined Concept
1970 Scirocco Showcar
1969 Manta Ray Concept
1969 Astro III Concept
1968 Astro-Vette Concept
1968 Astro II Concept
1967 Astro I Concept
1966 Mid Engine Concept
1965 Mako Shark II Concept
1964 XP-833 Banshee Concept
1964 XP-819 Rear Engine Concept
1964 GS-II Concept
1964 CERV II Concept
1964 Update Concept
1964 World's Fair Concept
1963 Corvette Rodine Concept
1963 Wedge Concept
1962 XP-720 Concept
1962 XP-720 2+2 Concept
1961 Mako Shark Concept
1959 CERV I Concept
1959 Sting Ray Concept
1958 XP-700 Concept
1957 Corvette SS Show Car Concept
1957 XP-64 Corvette SS Concept
1957 XP-84 Q Concept
1956 Impalla Concept
1956 SR2 Lookalike
1956 SR-2 Concept
1955 Biscayne Concept
1955 LeSalle II Concept
1955 EX-87
1954 Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 Hardtop Concept
1954 Styling Concept
1954 Nomad Concept
1952 XP-122 Concept
1951 Buick LeSabre Concept


Few cars have served as inspiration or basis for concept cars as often as the Corvette has. This tradition dates back to the second half of the 1950s and served to show future design directions and General Motors' latest technology. At the 1990 North American International Auto Show in Detroit the finest and one of the last of the great concepts was launched; the CERV III. The name is a reference to the first two 'Corporate Experimental Racing Vehicles' designed by the great Zora Arkus-Duntov many years before to explore the possibility of a Corvette entry at Le Mans. Even though the CERV III was not intended to go racing, it packed technology found only in the most advanced racing cars of the day.

The world got a first glimpse at what was to come in 1986 when the Corvette Indy Concept was launched. At the time it was considered to serve principally as a show-case for the newly developed Ilmor/Chevrolet Indy racing engine. In fact it was the first result of a partnership between Chevrolet engineers and the British F1 team and sportscar manufacturer Lotus. Even though the mid-engined Indy Concept shown to the public was nothing more than a full scale mock-up, work was under way to build the first fully functioning car back in England. It was completed late in 1986 and a second example in January of 1987. Although they resembled the Indy Concept, they were mainly built to test all the advanced mechanicals that would go into the third and final car.

In good Corvette tradition the CERV III featured a separate body and chassis, but that is about where the similarities stopped. Especially the chassis and suspension were heavily influenced by Lotus. The British company's familiar backbone chassis was used with the engine as a fully stressed member. Constructed from the then very exotic carbon fibre, the backbone weighed a mere 17kg. Suspension was by double wishbones all-round with fully adaptable hydraulic dampers; the titanium springs only served to maintain ride-height when the car was stationary. Vented discs were used with a form of anti-lock braking system, which the driver could override by hitting the brake-paddle even harder. The steering was also state of the art as it featured a second rack for the rear wheels.

Mounted transversely behind the passenger compartment was a twin turbo-charged and strengthened version of the LT5 engine developed jointly by Lotus and General Motors. This quad-cam engine appeared in naturally aspirated form in the Corvette ZR1 introduced in 1989. In the back of the CERV III, it produced a staggering 650 bhp. The power was transferred to all four wheels through a three and two speed automatic gearbox working in sync. It was a somewhat unusual, but effective way to create a six speed gearbox. The carbon fibre propshaft for the front wheels actually ran through the centre section of the backbone chassis. All of the car's highly advanced systems were constantly monitored and adjusted by a computer mounted in the nose.

What was most obviously carried over from the 1986 Indy Concept was the exterior styling. A closer comparison will reveal that many details were changed to make the design suitable for a fully functioning car. What remained was the elegant and very smooth shape, which was considerably more civilized than the designs of contemporary Italian supercars. With a highly impressive drag coefficient of 0.277, the claimed top speed of 362 km/h does not sound completely unfeasible. Naturally carbon fibre was used for the body, but the designers had a few more tricks up their sleeves. To make the CERV III more easily serviceable than the regular mid-engined cars, they placed the body on four hydraulic struts and fitted quick releases for all electric wires and fluid hoses; the entire body could be lifted off for maintenance.

Needless to say the Corvette CERV III Concept was the star of the 1990 Detroit Show. Between its four wheel drive, four wheel steering, adaptable suspension, carbon fibre body and chassis, and 650 bhp engine, it was the most advanced and fastest street legal car ever produced. It was also no surprise that it remained a one-off and only a limited amount of the technology was ever used on production cars. Sadly, it was one of the very last in a long line of 'Corvette' concept cars. Today it resides in the General Motors Heritage Center, where it is treated with great care and commonly referred to as the $1 million Corvette. The original 1986 Indy Concept is also on display at the Heritage Center along with many of the other Corvette concepts.

More Pictures Here

Corvette Concepts is not associated with GM or Chevrolet Motors Division
This site is best viewed with Mozilla Firefox