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 |  May 26 2011, 6:30 AM

Looks like somebody at General Motors got the memo about Corvette owners being aging, denim-swathed lotharios. And to better target the sort of young trendsetters posing in Porsches, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis, GM is planning to give some European substance to the Corvette in the form of a smaller turbo V8.

That somebody is Mark Reuss, by the way—GM’s North American president who stated that the seventh-generation C7 Corvette will be “completely different” than the current model. He helped approve plans for a smaller-displacement, higher-revving V8 that would shake up many of the key characteristics that have defined the Corvette over the years. For example, instead of pushrods and overhead valves the new V8 would be an OHC. Instead of the adage “there’s no replacement for displacement,” the V8′s size would be cut down from 6.0 liters to half that size.

And for the first time in its 60 years, the ‘Vette would get turbo motivation—for a flat torque curve and more usable performance in different driving conditions. In total, the new engine should deliver 400 horsepower minimum, and at a projected 3 liters it would churn out 125 horsepower per liter while revving as far as 10,000 RPM.

With these high-tech powertrain advancements, Reuss wants to “target a very different sort of buyer for the next Corvette.  Let’s face it, the current customer is getting old.” Still, the traditional OHV engine will be offered with more engine choices across the board than there are now. And as far as styling goes, it would be kept traditional and draw cues from legendary bygone models. Lastly, the oft-criticized interior will be “world-class,” says Ed Welburn, GM’s global design chief who is personally overseeing its interior redesign.

Now would be a good time to revisit those fun mid-engine rumors that have fueled Corvette concepts since the 80s. What’s next—Porsche captures the displaced, aging baby boomers by giving the next 911 a HEMI engine mounted way up front somewhere? Stranger thing have happened in the automotive world, and enthusiasts have burned down castle gates over less.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]