The North American International Auto Show‘s public show is still days away underway and already making headlines, particularly with Chevrolet’s unveiling of the 2014 Corvette – something we here at E3 Spark Plugs have been anxiously awaiting. The debut marks a new era for the Corvette C7 with the model’s first design overhaul in almost a decade. But not everyone is impressed.
The big reveal happened at Sunday night’s Press Preview at Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center, a factory-turned-nightclub for the evening. Before pulling back the curtain, company execs announced that the new C7 would carry the Stingray name, a nod to the iconic ride’s early 1960s heritage. It boasts a 450 horsepower engine and 450 pound-feet of torque, and is 90 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the C6, thanks to carbon fiber used on even the base trim level. Designers went all out on the interior, which is getting rave reviews. But many purists are calling foul on the boxier tail lights similar to the Camaro’s that replace the model’s trademark rounded tail lights.
“Many individuals are concerned about the rear square lights,” says one longtime Corvette fan. “My concern would be how to differentiate the tail lights from other GM cars. The tail lights should be different so that anyone looking at the car will know it is a Corvette.”
“It’s a bigger departure from the C6 to the C7 than I think it was from the C5 to the C6,” countered another. “It has a more exotic look, a more sexy look. They’re trying to get a lot of young people involved, and I think this is the car to do it.”
In any case, General Motors company suits are depending on the Stingray’s sleek new design to help pump new life into the sports car market and reverse the recent sales slump. America’s longest running sports car saw sales drop to a half-century low – 13,164 in 2011. Meanwhile, while the sports car market as a whole saw sales drop 41 percent from its pre-recession high.
The C7 Stingray is expected to deliver a fuel economy of 18 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway. Pricing has yet to be announced, but industry insiders predict the base model will start around $49,600.
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