It is a gearhead's holiday this week, as the newly redesigned Corvette has begun to arrive at dealers.
It is a gearhead’s holiday this week, as the newly redesigned Corvette has begun to arrive at dealers.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray has a look reminiscent of the model’s 1960s glory days, and it is loaded with technology that General Motors says can stand alongside much more expensive European sports cars.
Starting at $51,995, the model has been greeted with strong reviews from the automotive press and gushing endorsements from the selected Chevrolet dealers who have had a chance to get behind the wheel.
“It’s extremely impressive that Chevrolet continues to be able to equip the Corvette with that much technology and that much performance for what is essentially an extreme discount over equally performing sports cars,” said Scott Oldham, editor in chief at Edmunds.com.
Edmunds tested the model alongside several others, including the Porsche 911 Carrera S, which costs about twice as much as the Corvette. Oldham said the results were “ eye-opening in the Corvette’s favor,” with the GM product largely able to keep up with the Porsche.
He is far from alone in being impressed with the vehicle’s design and handling.
Car and Driver said this in its September issue: “Considering the performance strides, the splendid interior, the Stingray’s screaming value, and its fun-to-drive vibe, here’s our Corvette report card: A+ for effort, straight A’s for execution.”
The 2014 Corvette is the seventh generation of a model that made its debut in 1953. GM unveiled the design in January at the North American International Auto Show.
The model, assembled in Bowling Green, Ky., is the brand’s showpiece, though not a big seller. Last year, Chevrolet sold 14,132 of the previous-generation Corvette in the United States, up 7 percent from the previous year. The total was less than 1 percent of Chevy’s overall sales.
Chevrolet dealers from across the country have been going to Spring Mountain Motor Ranch in Nevada to drive the new model on a closed track.
“We were doing figure eights at 45 mph,” said John Gingras, technology specialist at Jack Maxton Chevrolet on the North Side. “We were doing 100-plus mph and didn’t even feel it. It was unreal."
Also making the trip was Jim Kavanaugh, new vehicle sales manager at Jeff Wyler Chevrolet in Canal Winchester.
“We have a contender that’s international,” he said, meaning that the car can compete with European sports cars.
At the same time, the vehicle will hold onto its loyal audience, which Kavanaugh says are “just like Harley people” in their devotion.
The new ’Vette is “going to be a dandy,” said Bob McDorman, a Corvette collector and longtime owner of Bob McDorman Chevrolet in Canal Winchester, a dealership he sold to Jeff Wyler in 2011.
He is eager to get one of the new models for the Corvette museum that he is planning to open a few miles from his old dealership.
When asked to name his favorite Corvette of all time, he said, “All of them.”
He thinks the 2014 has the potential to be one of the best in the history of the model, a group that he said includes the debut edition in 1953, the split-window version from 1963, and a few others.
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services