By Staff Contributor.
With 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, GM owns 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The Detroit Auto show started in a warehouse. That’s where members of General Motors’ Driving Diversity group found themselves on Sunday, January 13th. Officially press day at the North American International Auto show, or Detroit Auto Show, didn’t begin Monday the 14th, but we had all flown in early to get a special first glimpse of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette.
Actually, not a glimpse. Make that a look — a protracted one that left everyone gasping for more. America’s largest automaker definitely put on a show for its 2,000 invited guests. Our group of nine was among the smaller groups in attendance but we stood out in sheer diversity. Representatives included members of the African American community (Divas and Dorks, Simply Rides); Latinos and Latinas; and even LGBT (Gaywheels). We were also diverse in our outlook, from the traditional gearhead to the lifestyle writer.
All these fell by the wayside as GM debuted the 2014 Chevy Corvette. The already dim warehouse darkened further, heightening expectations. The redesigned Corvette dual-flag badge lit the massive stage curtain.
Chevrolet announcers then slowly, almost agonizingly, went over the Corvette’s history, from its birth in the Fifties to the development of the C7 (as the model’s officially called) the past few years. The latter includes description of the stiffer but lighter aluminum frame, Corvette’s aerodynamics, and even seat redesign. All this time, lights and images beautifully framed the covered C7 on the stage.
The C7 on stage was all a ruse, though. Like a master magician, GM and Chevrolet misdirected our attention long enough to roll out the real deal in its stunning crimson glory. We roared our approval of the all-new halo car.
“This is the reason I work at GM,” exclaimed Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. He then went on to cover the dramatic changes of the car, including its new name, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Fans with the audience cheered at the announcement of the rare moniker. The last Corvettes to use the name (which was also spelled, “Sting Ray”) were the C2 and some of the C3 models.
We swarmed the stage after the announcements were finished. While there were plenty of opportunities for exterior shots that night and on Monday, we were especially interested in the Corvette Stingray’s interior. The previous C5 and C6 models insides were marred by antiquated design and cheap materials for $50,000 car. We feared the C7 would be the same, which would worsen compared to the all-new (formerly Dodge) SRT Viper. The only direct American competitor to the Corvette, the SRT Viper raised the bar with not only a stunning, recognizable exterior, but a matching interior as well. To our relief, GM did not stint disappoint with the Corvette Stingray’s interior: