The Chevrolet Corvette (C7) is a sports car being produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced for the 2014 model year. It is the seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette and the first to bear the Corvette Stingray name since the 1976 third generation model. It is expected to start delivery in the 3rd quarter of 2013. This new version will available with right-hand drive in the UK market for the first time since Corvette was introduced in 1953. It replaces the Corvette C6.
It will compete with the likes of the Audi R8 V10 5.2, the next gen Lamborghini Gallardo, the McLaren MP4-12C, Aston Martin DB9 and the Ferrari 458 Italia.
To check out the brutishness of its mighty 6.2 litre heart, click here!
Development and introduction
According to Motor Trend, GM executives have been planning the next-generation (C7) Corvette since 2007, and officially revealed it in Detroit at 7pm EST on January 13, 2013. The car was originally planned for the 2011 model year, but was delayed, and currently expected to arrive in fall 2013 in the 2014 model year. Mid-engine and rear-engine layouts had been considered, but the front-engine, rear-wheel drive (RWD) platform was chosen to keep costs lower. Although GM decided to go with the lower costing structure, they certainly did not hold back on the power. The C7's all-new LT1 6.2L Small Block V-8 engine is expected to increase the overall speed, while also increasing the overall fuel economy from the previous 2013's 26 MPG highway rating. This engine puts out 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 lb.-ft. of torque (624 Nm), which gives it an estimated 0-60 time of less than 4 seconds .
Car and Driver said in April 2011, "We anticipate change in the C7 will be apparent at a glance, even to casual observers ... it seems certain the coupe will feature a split rear window – a la the one-year Sting Ray coupe of 1963. In this case it will be an optional feature." An interior makeover is also expected with upgraded materials with seats comparing favorably with the buckets found in Porsches and BMWs. The front-engine Y platform will be essentially unchanged from the C6 with an improvement expected in steering linearity and feel. The Z06 and ZR1 will continue, while the Grand Sport may become the base model. The C7 should hit dealerships in fall of 2013.
On October 18, 2012, GM made an official news announcement and confirmed that the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette will debut on Sunday evening, Jan. 13, 2013, in Detroit. Chevrolet also showed the new Crossed Flags logo for the new 2014 Corvette.
Production of the 2014 Corvette is estimated to begin in August or September 2013. Corvette Bowling Green, Kentucky Assembly Plant tours should begin again about September or October 2013. As noted previously, the official announcement date for the 2014 Corvette was on the 13th of January, 2013. As presented, the new generation Corvette will resurrect the "Stingray" name, last used in 1976, which should appeal to its current owners' demographics though whether the prized younger 'aspirational' market will recognize the name will be the subject of much marketing study. The interior includes wide-bottom seats as standard, with sportier versions with high side bolsters optional.
Features of the new generation include a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel. Its fenders, doors and rear quarter panels remain composite. The underbody panels are made of "carbon-nano" composite and it makes use of a new hydroformed aluminum frame which locates the four wheels an inch farther apart, front to rear and side to side. Despite the increased use of aluminum and other light weight materials, the overall weight of the car remains the same as that of the previous generation's.
The new Corvette LT1 engine, the first of the Gen 5 family of Small Block engines, retains the pushrods acting on overhead valves design, and brings several technologies new to the engine line, such as direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing that have been widely available in the market in the vehicles of numerous, and much lower-priced, competitors. Fuel injectors are located under the intake manifold. It remains rear-wheel drive with the transaxle located in the rear. Transmission choices include a 7-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Opinions at the unveiling varied widely. Some noted the Camaro-style rear tail lights and the evolutionary, rather than revolutionary styling. According to Bill Visnic, an analyst at auto information company Edmunds.com, he was "on the fence" about the design. “There is a need to make them distinctive, but in the case of the Corvette, there is still a need to pay homage to the tradition, and that gives you a mash-up of ideas," he said. "I think it is effective but expected. There is nothing ultra-radical about it. But that is what Corvette is now to Chevrolet and GM.”
In the past, the Corvette was largely owned by the older generation. About 46 percent of Corvette buyers in 2012 through October were 55 or older compared with 22 percent of Audi R8 and 30 percent of Porsche 911 customers. The head of Chevrolet marketing, Chris Perry, acknowledges that too many people see it as the car of "the successful plumber." John Fitzpatrick, Corvette's marketing manager said "It's the old saying, 'Nobody wants to be seen driving an old man's car, but everybody wants to be seen driving a young man's car.' " Towards that end, GM plans to make the C7 more aspirational to younger people, a camouflaged version of the car was made available in the popular videogame Gran Turismo 5 in November 2012. The production version seen above was later released for the game in January 2013, along with a Gran Turismo TV promotional video.