Monday, January 14, 2013

The C7 Corvette is Born!

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Unless you've been living in a cave, then you know that General Motors has been cooking up the new generation Corvette, which was revealed this past Sunday evening. It's easily one of the most anticipated model releases of the year, bringing quite a bit of pressure for the huge automaker that has been lambasted by media outlets and the public in general for its reliance on a government bailout (and not to mention a sleuth of sub-par vehicles such as the horribly regrettable Chevy Aveo).

GM drops the Corvette's iconic round tail lights!

GM is calling the new Corvette a Stingray. I'm a huge fan of the old Stingray Corvettes, but quite frankly I don't see any tie between the C7 and the Stingrays of old. Styling-wise, the C7 reminds me of an interesting twist between the current-gen Camaro, the Ferrari FF and the SRT Viper. I'm still trying to decide if this is a good thing (for the record, my wife likes the design). Admittedly, I think companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche are kicking out some much cleaner and visually-appealing designs, but I digress.

I'm not seeing the Stingray resemblance, but maybe that's just me.

On the other hand, technologically speaking the 2014 Corvette sounds compelling. Corvettes have almost always put up some blistering numbers for a budget price (I'll try to forget about that brief time in the 80s when performance was more lukewarm). This new generation of Corvette gives the car a quantum leap into the bold new automotive future. GM engineered a new engine for the 'Vette, the LT1, which produces a walloping 450 horsepower and 450 pound-foot of torque, rocketing the car from 0 to 60 MPH in under four seconds! That's fast, folks! 

The new Stingray fender badge

In all honesty, the weak point of the Corvette--at least since the C4--has been the interior. 'Vette interiors feel cheap, like something you would expect more on the inside of the Malibu or some other lesser model. GM is claiming the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will change that for good. The interior will feature real carbon fiber accents, a higher-grade leather and seats with a lightweight magnesium frame.

The new interior makes use of real carbon fiber

GM has helped the Corvette shed some of its curb weight, taking the car down to  pounds. This has been accomplished with the use of materials such as carbon fiber and magnesium throughout the car. The reduced weight translates into not only a faster vehicle, but also better fuel economy. Official fuel mileage figures for the 2014 Corvette are not available yet, but GM expects them to well exceed the 26 MPG highway rating for the C6.

I'm a leather snob, so I'll wait to see how nice these feel

Does this mean the Corvette will finally be able to corner with the best of them? Can it stick to the corners like a 911 Carrera 4 or M3? Personally I doubt it, but I'll reserve final judgment until I get behind the wheel of one (and I'll post a video of it, for sure). 

The question every auto enthusiast wants to know is what are the high performance versions of the new Stingray Corvette going to be like? The ZO6 and ZR1 offered considerably improved performance over the base C6, so what does GM have in store for the C7 Corvette? One's imagination could run wild, and for now that will have to do. Enjoy the pictures and let me know below what you think of the new Corvette.