This Is the 2024 Corvette Nomad: A conversation with General Motors leadership

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Looks like we should be careful what we wish for.

Three years ago, John Stoll (rhymes with “troll” in this case) suggested in these pages that General Motors needed an SUV in the Corvette lineup. Fourteen months ago, insiders at GM told Bloomberg that such a vehicle was on the way. Now, courtesy of spy shooter Gideon Félix, we have images of just such a vehicle testing at the fabled Nürburgring.

Armed with these images and other internal documents given to Hagerty by a member of our Hagerty Drivers Club who works at General Motors, we asked for and received a short interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and General Motors President Mark Reuss. A transcription of the interview is below, along with information on the engine that will power what is going to be called the “Nomad”. (Surprise: they won’t all be EVs!)

Jack Baruth: Tadge, Mark, thank you for sitting down with us.

Tadge Juechter: Happy to do it. We know just how many members of our Corvette family are insuring with Hagerty. That’s why we wanted to set the record straight, ah, dispel some of these rumors that are out there. You know… the Nomad’s an EV, the Nomad is front-wheel-drive …

Mark Reuss (interrupting) All that bulls***.

JB: (chuckles) All right. Well, Tadge, since you’ve let the electric elephant in the room…

TJ: Before we get to that, I want to talk about how we got to this point. I think everybody understands now that…

MR: (interrupting) Not this guy.

TJ: I’m sorry, Mark?

MR: This guy. This guy doesn’t understand. (Points at JB.) All of you in the media. You think that it’s no big deal to do clean-sheet projects. You’re always trying to figure out what “platform” something is on. Well, in 2022 everything is on a modular platform. Because we have to spend six months of supercomputer time on crash simulations every time we move a firewall, and because we need factories to be adjustable so they can change to meet production demands on a month’s notice. Well, guess what. Nomad is on a platform, okay? It’s on Delta. D2XX to be exact. And because doing Nomad on D2XX addresses a lot of engineering problems in advance, we were able to bring it to market in a hurry. There’s no “clean sheet” now. We’re making this platform work. But if you think it limits Nomad in any way, you’re full of ****.

TJ: Okay, well, strictly speaking Mark is right. Nomad is on D2XX, which in this market we also use in a different… form… for, ah, the Equinox/Terrain product. But VW does something similar. Their MLB sits under a lot of products, including Urus. And we do see Nomad as a Urus fighter, a Q8 fighter. So we’ve done a lot of performance work on the platform. Can I walk you through it?

JB: Absolutely.

TJ: Okay. Now we all knew that Nomad had to offer an electric option if it was going to remain relevant, so the Nomad and Nomad Stingray will be electric. I think the numbers are very good. We are targeting 310 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque for Nomad. That base vehicle is going to use front axles only, with what we are calling Performance Twist Suspension Design in back. We’ve completely re-engineered the rear twist beam, and — get this — we have added the traditional Corvette DNA of transverse fiberglass leaf springs.

JB: Alright, so at least one of the Nomads is basically front-wheel-drive. That was the rumor.

MR: (inaudible)

JB: Mark?

MR: Just don’t print something about… THE CORVETTE IS A CITATION or something like that. I don’t want to open the magazine and see…

JB: Mark, this is for digital, not print. We’re trying to, ah, scoop the competition here.

MR: Well in that case why isn’t Cammisa here? Isn’t he the digital guy?

JB: Jason, ah, leads our popular YouTube channel, but this is for Web and…

MR: (interrupting) Glad I missed breakfast for this ****. Web. Yay. Look, Tadge, we’re going to be on a website. Hey, will this be on your Pinterest page, too?

TJ: (nervous laugh) Okay, folks, let’s try to, ah, get back onto topic here, because the Nomad Stingray product is actually going to raise some eyebrows, we are looking at 470 horsepower projected. That’s C8 level power. And the torque is going to be instant, amazing, through a full AWD powertrain.

Corvette SUV Spy Shot rear
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JB: So it’s… basically a Mach-e GT? Because…

MR: (interrupting) F***ing idiot. Guess what? That’s the right amount of power for the size and weight of the vehicle. Which is going to beat the competing product in terms of power to weight and driving dynamics. Because we’ve taken three inches out of the Equinox wheelbase and cut two hundred pounds. This is going to be a performance car. Write that down on your MySpace, buddy.

JB: I just don’t see how an electric variant of the GMC Terrain is going to match up with the Tesla Plaid.

TJ: You know, that’s simplifying things quite a bit. Nomad has eighty percent unique body panels, forty-five percent unique interior, compared to Terrain Denali. And we have done a lot to ensure that it’s going to sound like a Corvette. Our partners at Bose have electrostatic panels in the fenders and under the rear bumper that can play traditional V8 audio at up to 110dB. The GPS will keep you from doing it in residential neighborhoods, that’s just for compliance though. And if you choose the Performance Integrated Sound System, you’ll basically be able to choose your Heritage Tone. They’re all in there, from 1953 Blue Flame to 2022 C8 Z06. Plus Influencer Audio.

JB: Can you, uh, expand on that?

TJ: Well, we went back and asked, “Who are the most influential car people of a particular era?” So if you choose 1953 for your external audio, the internal can be Dinah Shore. It’s a simulation so she can read your OnStar news or just sing, you know, “See The USA”. Turn the knob to 1998, and you’ve got the LS1 heartbeat with Dale Earnhardt. 2022, it’s flat-crank music and Emelia Hartford saying stuff like, “Wow, this is lit!” People are going to love it.

MR: (interrupting) I think her Instagram is bigger than yours.

JB: Mine personally, or Hagerty’s? Because, you know, I don’t approve everybody who requests…

MR: (interrupting) Oh, then, I’ll tell Cindy Crawford not to bother making the request, you misshapen toad. Can we wrap this up? I have to attend a meeting where we talk about building cars for a vibrant, exciting future. Sorry if that messes up your, blog or whatever.

TJ: Well, let’s get right to the news the enthusiasts will want to hear. Not everybody wants an EV yet, you know, there are some people who just can’t let go of the past. So I’m pleased to announce that Nomad will, in fact, have a true-blue Chevrolet V8 available. For the people who don’t want to play an electric soundtrack. (Smiles.)

JB: Thank God.

TJ:(Laughs) Did you really think we’d let our core buyers down? General Motors respects heritage. Corvette is an expression of that. So we knew we needed a heritage powertrain, one that says we can, you know, look backwards and forwards at the same time.

MR: Janus.

JB: Mark?

MR: Janus. Janus. The two-faced god of transitions and change. I guess they didn’t cover that at Columbus State Community College.

JB: I, ah, went to Miami Uni…

MR: (interrupting) Hick. You remember back at the CTS-V coupe launch, when you were walking into the bathroom at Stewart Airport and I shoved you into a toilet cubicle using just my shoulder?

JB: That’s, ah, not how I remember…

MR: (interrupting) Maybe you want to try your luck again and see what happens. (Leans forward, whispers) Just give me an excuse.

TJ: (in placating tones) Like I was saying, the V-8.

MR: Yeah, give him all the details, the five people who read his blog are gonna love it. Next time, bring the Rebuilding Redline guy with you so I can talk to someone who looks like they can pick up a piston without shivering from the effort.

TJ: Okay, so the new engine, which we are calling LT44, brings back that classic 5.3-liter displacement that Chevrolet buyers loved in transverse applications, and updates it for CVT duty. We haven’t released power ratings yet but I think it will compare quite favorably with the original LS4, right in that neighborhood. And with the optional Boomin’ Remote Active Audio Program, you’ll be able to play the audio of a C8 Z06 over the sound of the LT44. So it sounds like you have two engines in this Nomad, which is called Nomad Grand Sport. Quarter-mile times are going to be right around what we see the Z51.

JB: C8 Z51, or C7 Z51?

TJ: C4.

JB: (Takes a breath.) So there are three Corvette Nomads. Base Nomad is FWD electric…

TJ: Yes.

JB: The Stingray has Mach-e GT power…

MR: (interrupting) I swear to God.

JB: …and the Nomad Grand Sport has 300 horsepower from a transverse V-8, turning the front wheels via a… CVT.

TJ: Yes. And we have a unique steering wheel to Nomad, in two of the three trim levels.

MR: If the salad looks like that again today, I’ll break your jaw. (Gestures) Sorry, I’m on the phone with DoorDash.

JB: Tadge, Mark, thank you for your time.

TJ: Happy to do it. We know your members are going to love this new car. Their grandchildren will love it, too.

JB: Well, you know, we actually connect with a broad variety of automotive enthusiasts, all ages and enthusiasms, they’re all valid, whether it’s a 25-year-old with his first “youngtimer” or a seasoned aficionado carefully curating an irreplaceable collection of Grand Prix machinery…

MR: I’m going to put you head-first into the dumpster outside that door if you don’t shut up. I’m off the phone now. I mean you.

JB: Okay, in that case I just have one more thing to say… (Sound of scuffling, a door being flung open, and a deep, resonant metallic thud.)

* * *
See you next April 1!

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