2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, dollar for dollar: Motoramic Drives

By: Justin Hyde

Upon its launch in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette’s sticker price of $3,490 was high but not outlandish for a two-seat sports car — slightly more than a median family’s annual income, and well below the Cadillacs and Imperials of the era. In the six decades since, that relationship between how much Americans earn in a year of toil and how much it takes to buy the nation’s oldest sports car has stayed surprisingly consistent. Today, the median U.S. family of four earns $51,000 a year, and lo and behold,  2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray starts at $52,000.

But what Corvette buyers get for their money has varied wildly. In the ’60s, they bought an uncivilized street race car wrapped in one of the most attractive fiberglass bodies ever made. In the ’70s and ’80s, they drove home smog-choked big blocks and the first digital dashboards. In more recent times, those loyal Vette shoppers often came home feeling like they’d snagged a bargain, since the aging Vette needed rebates to motivate its aging fans.

The new 2014 Stingray offer everything to a public that’s tuned out all things Corvette over the past decade.

Here’s one insight into how much this car means around General Motors: For the launch in California, Chevy decided to arrange test drives of every generation of Corvette, from a 1955 model through the outgoing 2013 edition. GM has its own museum, but its Corvettes from before the current model year were too rare and valuable to risk at the hands of people like me. Instead, GM North American chief Mark Reuss had Chevy staffers buy gently used examples of five generations of Vettes with his own money — which helped explain why a couple were never left with us alone.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Driving those cars back to back reveals a Sisyphean struggle against cost cutting and maximum performance. The 1955 version I sampled felt like wheeling a tugboat around, with a steering wheel the size of a Prius tire. The 1966 Sting Ray 427 had a monster under the hood that we could only poke at, and never unleash. By the 1970 LT-1 edition, the chassis had started to feel stable, and by 1985 the shape of the modern Corvette took hold, even if it would take another three decades to save the interior from the budget cutters. And after driving all six preceding generations, it’s correct to say the 2014 Corvette Stingray marks the greatest advancement of the Chevy sports car since its launch 60 years ago.

Let’s not set the bar too low; any new car has to be far better than a decade-old predecessor, if for no other reason than the march of technology. But given the delays of GM’s bankruptcy, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter and team kept pushing further, and when they finally stopped they had a car that shared only two parts with the previous Corvette.

Start with the engine. It’s still a pushrod V-8, with two valves per cylinder, as familiar as the small-block Chevy began putting into the Vette in 1955. And yet, everything that touches or controls it is thoroughly modern, from the variable valve timing and direct injection that helps provide 460 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, to the ability to shut off four cylinders at highway speed and keep the Vette loafing at 65 mph with just 12 hp. If your hand rests on the shifter when the system kicks in, you can feel a brief tremolo through the stick as the “V-4” light on the dash turns green. Otherwise, it’s unnoticeable, and a key reason why the Vette has a 29 mpg highway rating (and can get to 30 mpg with a light foot).

To handle that power and produce a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, Juechter and company caught the Corvette up with software. The 21st-century standard of world-class sports cars requires electronic driving controls as discreet as an English butler — always ready to help, always anticipating disaster, but never suggesting that the lord of the manor has lost authority. The new Vette uses a combination of technologies, from an electronic limited-slip differential to third-generation magnetorheological dampers, all tied together by sensors and programming that eternally wonder what’s next.

Over 200 miles of driving and a few laps of an autocross course, I found I couldn’t fool the Vette without directly telling it to play dumb. If I screwed up a corner, there was always either more torque to wheel me around faster or the right amount of braking to recover gracefully. In its standard “Touring” driving mode, the Vette devours highway miles with little wind noise and a non-fatiguing ride. In track mode, the display switches to a race-centric view of rpms, the engine growls deeper and those seats grip tighter. I miss the steering feel of the hydraulic units, but the Vette’s electronic version ranks among the best I’ve sampled. Chevy engineers swapped a rubber bushing for a straight bolted connection to give the steering some sense of what’s happening on the road.

On a lap of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Rick Malone from Ron Fellows Driving School in Las Vegas, the Vette undramatically hit 125 mph and pulled 1.17 gs of turning force through a corner. If the Vette’s five programmable driving modes aren’t quite as refined as the Porsche 911s, they’re closer than most drivers will ever discover — especially the track settings which can be further tuned to give plenty of room for disaster.

About that seven-speed manual transmission: The top two gears are almost superfluous, and even at 70 mph on a freeway I worried the V-8 might stall in top gear. Juechter says the team hasn’t done its top-speed testing yet, but expects the Vette to reach somewhere north of 190 mph in fifth gear. In fact, from about 40 mph on, there’s no need for anything but fifth — because the torque band of the V-8 has been stretched so wide. And the seven-speed’s rev matching makes it the shifter of choice over the six-speed automatic. Turn it on, and that balancing act of throttle and clutch that scares so many stick-shift neophytes disappears; the Vette measures your speed and momentum, guesses which gear you’re going to next (either up or down) and spins the engine appropriately. Clutch, shift, clutch — even a 16-year-old can look smooth doing it.

Exterior design chief Tom Peters wanted to give the Vette a look that would banish some of the previous model’s anonymity; he talks of trying to create the next bedroom poster car for today’s 10-year-olds. In that, he’s succeeded, and even the hubbub over the tail lights has waned. From behind the wheel, the fenders of the Vette have been raised in homage to the ’63 Sting Ray, a design refined by clay sculptors rather than in a computer because the shape had to feel right under hand. The composite and carbon-fiber body panels no longer need huge gaps to expand and contract; the Vette has the same 3mm seams as any steel-bodied model, and the interior finally banishes the last bits of Emerson-grade electronics and bad PVC for real aluminum and leather.

Were we to pick nits on every last thing about the Vette, we could come up with a few complaints. The interior still has a bit too much plastic for a $52,000 car. The electronic entertainments and switchable displays work as advertised, but fall victim to the auto industry’s eternal 18-month lag with the latest tech, taking long pauses between a command or button punch and the right response. Those Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires will be expensive to replace. There’s no spare tire.

For a starting price of $52,000, and a properly Z51-equipped model for $57,000, the Corvette offers more performance for the dollar than any other new sports car. It’s not that GM has hidden its cost cutting, although some switch gear will look familiar to Chevy Cruze owners. It’s that without the Corvette Stingray, foreign sports car makers could get away with overcharging for things that shouldn’t cost so much. Because the Vette will share an engine block with millions of GM’s pickups and SUVs, and engineering talent for basics like safety tests and fuel economy, it costs far less to build than Porsche or BMW can ever match. In the world of performance cars, the Stingray’s a bargain.

Originally Posted By: Yahoo! Autos

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Sneak Peek: New Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon Pickups

On August 8, at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, General Motors Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann provided the first look at the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, designed to be capable, versatile and fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups.

Colorado and Canyon will join the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, and the upcoming Silverado and Sierra HDs, to give Chevrolet and GMC the industry’s most comprehensive lineups of pickups, helping customers choose the right truck for their needs.

Production is scheduled to start in 2014 at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., assembly center.

Source: GM News USA

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2014 Chevrolet Sonic to have Limited Edition Colors

When Chevrolet launched its subcompact Sonic, it made a splash with a bright paint Inferno Orange. The metallic citrus shade was a genuine retina searer, featuring prominently in the car’s early marketing efforts. But Inferno Orange is now gone from the Sonic’s order sheets, and the rest of the car’s color palate is more traditional.

2014 Chevy Sonic - front three-quarter view - Deep Magenta Metallic paint Chevrolet has just announced that it will begin releasing a range of limited-edition short-term paint colors beginning with the “chromatic plum” shade, Deep Magenta Metallic. The striking hue came about after witnessing the successful launch of the Chevy Spark in Techno Pink. The special paint will only be available from August through October.

Chevrolet says that Deep Magenta Metallic will be followed up by Cool Blue, a shade the company describes as “a grayish, dirty blue.” The latter will be available from November until March, and another new shade, Dragon Green, will join the Sonic’s permanent color choices sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

Source: Auto Blog

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Buick Celebrates 110 Years of Building Cars

The Buick brand celebrates its 110th birthday this weekend. After a few years of experimenting with automobiles built at his home in Detroit, David Dunbar Buick –a former plumbing inventor and businessman—incorporated the Buick Motor Company on May 19, 1903.

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Buick began work on its first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, the first example of which was sold to a doctor in Flint, Michigan. The Model B is the first of eleven cars chosen by Buick to highlight each decade of the company’s 110-year history.

To represent the current decade, Buick chose the 2008 Enclave because it introduced the company’s current design language and brand focus to the market.

Cheers to Buick! Well done!

Source: Buick News

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GM’s Batey to be named Chevrolet’s Global Boss

General Motors is expected to name Englishman Alan Batey, the automaker’s U.S. sales chief, as the global head of Chevrolet, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The paper said Batey will be assigned this week to the newly created post to accelerate Chevrolet’s growth in the 140 markets where it is sold.

Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano declined to comment on any potential changes. “As our business transforms, we’ll make necessary organizational adjustments to maximize our growth,” he said in an e-mail.

CEO Dan Akerson has signaled for months his plans to install a global leader for Chevrolet as a way to create clear accountability for the brand’s growth worldwide. He made a similar move last year when he assigned Bob Ferguson as global vice president of Cadillac, which Akerson has tagged along with Chevrolet as GM’s two “global brands.”

Globally, Chevrolet sold a record 1.18 million units during the January-to-March period, the brand’s 10th straight quarter of record global sales. Through May, Chevrolet’s U.S. vehicle sales rose 5 percent but the brand is faltering in Europe where its EU and EFTA sales fell 31 percent in the first five months.

On Friday, GM said Susan Docherty, who heads Chevrolet sales in Europe, will leave GM by September.

Batey’s appointment as Chevrolet’s global chief would be the latest in a series of promotions for the executive, who joined GM’s UK unit, Vauxhall, in 1979 as a mechanical engineering apprentice. He held various management posts at Vauxhall, GM Europe and Opel before moving to Seoul in 2001 to join GM’s transition team after the automaker acquired Daewoo.

Batey, 50, took his first U.S.-based job in 2010, as Chevrolet’s head of U.S. sales and service. He has been vice president of U.S. sales and service since June 2012. He’s also been serving as GM’s interim global chief marketing officer since July of last year, after the abrupt departure of former marketing head Joel Ewanick.

The move would come amid the launch of 13 new or redesigned Chevrolets in the United States this year and 12 more in international markets.

Originally Posted by: Automotive News

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1967 Chevy Camaro SS Starring in Transformers 4 as Bumblebee

The reveals for the upcoming Transformers 4 movie keep coming and we are proud to announce that the 1967 Chevy Camaro SS will make its movie debut.  Camaro fans might be pleased by Director Michael Bay’s effort with this 1967 Camaro SS that’ll take on the role of Bumblebee in the newest movie.

Transformers 4 is currently being shot in New Mexico’s Monument Valley and Paramount has set a release date of June 27, 2014.

Buy your tickets and see the 1967 Chevy Camaro SS become a movie star!

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Chevrolet to Present First-Ever Milestone Award at 2013 Billboard Music Awards

Billboard and Chevrolet are teaming up to celebrate the ingenuity of this year’s hit makers with the new Milestone Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 19. Fans can vote for their favorite Milestone artist online and enter a contest to win an opportunity to present the award live at this year’s event alongside Cee Lo Green.

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The newly announced editorial award will go to an innovative artist that achieved a notable chart milestone over the past year. The six finalists for the 2013 Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet were announced today on Billboard.com — they are: Justin Bieber, The Band Perry, Miguel, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Pitbull.

Voting is now open on Billboard.com/milestone. The six finalists will be narrowed down to three finalists, who will be unveiled on the website in mid-April. Voting will then continue all the way through the live Billboard Music Awards broadcast, culminating with the announcement of the award winner toward the end of the show.

“The addition of the Milestone Award gives us the opportunity to recognize truly creative artists that are breaking boundaries with their contribution to today’s musical landscape,” said Bill Werde, editorial director, Billboard. “These awards are for artists who have created music and accomplishments that are part of history. It’s an honor to work with a historic brand like Chevrolet to bring them into focus as part of this year’s Billboard Music Awards.”

“This is a perfect opportunity for Chevrolet to bring together two important pieces of its history, ingenuity and music,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “The innovation in music today is represented by the nominees for this year’s Milestone Award.”

Fans also have the opportunity to enter a contest on Billboard.com/milestone to win the chance to present the Milestone Award live on the 2013 BillboardMusic Awards alongside Cee Lo Green, two tickets to the show, hotel accommodations and airfare. To enter, fans must submit a photo along with an essay about why they think they should present the award. Additional details are available onBillboard.com/milestone — the deadline for entry consideration is April 26.

The 2013 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 19 at 8/7c on ABC.

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2014 Chevrolet Impala production kicks off

We’ve talked a few times about the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Chevrolet and General Motors have high hopes for the 2014 Impala to become the passenger halo car that Chevrolet is in desperate need of. Previous versions of the Impala have not been as popular as Chevrolet desired.

2014-Chevy-Impala-Production-Commencement-Oshawa-582x387

Production for the 2014 Impala has begun at the GM Oshawa, Canada assembly plant. Production commenced on April 1 and the vehicles will begin landing at dealerships around North America in early April. The 2014 Impala starts at $27,535 including destination charges.

The vehicle will have three different engines available including a 2.4-liter mild-hybrid Ecotec engine, 2.5-liter four-cylinder Ecotec LCV, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Some versions of the car will feature the new Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system that has the PIN secured cubby for storing your gear. Interestingly, the previous version of the Impala will remain in production.

Chevrolet GM will continue producing the previous model Impala for fleet sales. I’d wager that comes down to price, with the 2014 Impala starting at over $27,000 it’s not exactly an inexpensive vehicle for large fleets operate. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is based on the automakers extended Epsillon II vehicle architecture. Starting in May the new Impala will also be produced at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

Originally Posted By: SlashGear

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The All-New 2014 Spark EV

Be electric in the all-new 2014 Spark EV and put gas stations in your rear-view mirror!

2014-sparkev-model The all-new 2014 Spark EV features a lithium-ion battery that offers gas- and emissions-free power and performance. This electric mini car utilizes some of the same cutting-edge electric power technology proven in the Chevrolet Volt, the best-selling rechargeable car of the year. Spark EV includes regenerative braking, which captures energy that would otherwise be lost while braking, decelerating or going downhill. It also offers liquid thermal conditioning, which maximizes its performance in extreme weather conditions. This guarantees the best performance from the battery and ensures its longevity. And the battery is backed by an 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty.

Tuned specifically for its electric propulsion system, Spark EV puts power in all the right places at the moment it’s needed for a sporty and responsive ride, and by responsive we mean 0-60 mph in under 8 seconds.

Charging is easy peasy in the 2014 Spark EV. Just plug Spark EV into a standard household 120V outlet, or for a faster charge, you can opt for the available 240V dedicated charging system that charges up the battery in just seven hours.

2014-sparkev-model-overview-interiorChevrolet Mylink gives you access to your favorite music, media and mobile apps as well as information about electric power and efficiency while you’re on the go. Turn Spark EV into an extension of your smartphone by simply connecting to the high-resolution, standard 7-inch color touch-screen radio through Bluetooth wireless technology or the USB port. And with a standard three years of OnStar, you’ll have access to your Spark EV from anywhere with your OnStar RemoteLink app. Check battery level, efficiency statistics, tire pressure and more on your smartphone. You can even lock, unlock and remote start your Spark EV before you get in.

There are a lot of perks to driving this upcoming EV, for more information visit Chevrolet.com. This vehicle will only be available at participating dealers in California and Oregon in limited quantities late Summer 2013. But check in with us and we’ll let you know when we’re expecting it here!

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A New Machine For A New Generation. The 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Chevrolet’s Official Press release for the 2014 Corvette Stingray reveal.

A New Machine For A New Generation.

The wait is over. Today, the countdown ticker hit zero and the world welcomed the 2014 Corvette Stingray in Detroit, Michigan.

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The clandestine reveal event took place at the Russell Industrial Center, a historical relic in downtown Detroit. The dramatic interior space was cast in a sinister red glow. Digital projections illuminated the walls and complemented the cloaked vehicle as guests anticipated their first glimpse of the new machine.

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The Stingray was unveiled onstage from the chassis up, bearing a stunning new exterior design and boasting revolutionary engineering. An all-new advanced powertrain was adopted, ensuring Stingray will perform like never before. A redesigned interior was crafted to serve the driver. A reward worth waiting for.

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After the reveal, guests were invited to an adjoining salon to explore deconstructed portions of the car from the aluminum frame to the carbon-fiber hood.

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The wait is over, but the discovery has just begun. Visit corvettestingray2014.com and explore Stingray today.

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Source ( Chevrolet )

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