DETROIT (WWJ) — General Motors has taken the wraps off of the long-awaited seventh generation Corvette.
“We changed everything,” said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Jeuchter. “We redesigned pretty much every part on the car to make it better.”
GM says the new Corvette will have 450 horsepower, with better fuel economy than the current sixth generation version.
It will also carry the classic Stingray name, for the first time in fifty years.
“Like the ’63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today’s advancements in design, technology and engineering.”
But Reuss, who has owned many Corvettes over his life, says this is about a lot more than sheet metal.
“What you see here today is spiritual and emotional for the whole company.”
Reuss says the Corvette was a vehicle that GM workers could rally around as they moved from bankruptcy to a newly profitable company.
“A lot of people needed something to really believe in here,” he said. “This car is something that all of us in the company believe in.”
Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Corvette Stingray at a special invitation only event on the eve of the North American International Auto Show. It will be part of a special auto show display that includes all seven generations of the vehicle.
GM says the 2014 Corvette Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation Corvette. Highlights released by the company include:
- An interior that includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support – and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens.
- Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time.
- An all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel.
- Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio.
- A sculptured exterior features advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability.
- Track-capable Z51 Performance Package including: an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.
“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over.”
Many analysts see the new Corvette as one of the most talked about new vehicles at this year’s auto show.
“The new, seventh-generation Corvette is the main attraction at the Detroit Auto Show this year,” said Jesse Toprak, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. “Even with so much hoopla with the Volt, the Corvette is Chevrolet’s iconic vehicle. The new Corvette will bring the buzz back to Chevrolet.”
GM has put $131 million into its Bowling Green Kentucky plant to prepare for this summer’s start of production of the 2014 Corvette Stingray. It should be in dealerships by the fall.
VIDEO: Jeff Gilbert goes behind the scenes with the new Corvette.