The setting was the Detroit Auto Show, but it was in an old warehouse in a run-down section of Motor City that General Motors on Sunday introduced the completely redesigned 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray.
Referred to as the "C7" for being the Corvette's seventh redesign in its 60-year history, the new Stingray harkens back to the iconic 1960s style sports car with its sleek features, long nose, and steeply raked windshield.
Designed by GM Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and design director Tom Peters, the Detroit automaker is hoping the new C7 will be able to challenge and beat out other sports cars, particularly imports from Germany and Italy such as the Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari which currently lead the market.
"It's more than just a sports car . . . It's an emotion. It's a passion. It is a vehicle that is larger than life," said GM design chief Ed Welburn.
The new Corvette, which took more than five years to produce, almost never came about, according to its designers, due to the 2008 financial crises and GM's subsequent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.
According to Juechter, the design program for the new C7 was initiated in 2007, but halted for six months due to financial problems within GM.
"Then we stopped again in (late) 2008 as we were going into bankruptcy," Juechter told NBC News
. "There wasn't going to be a Corvette if we couldn't do better," concluded Juechter, adding, "There's some truth that the longer you wait the better technology you have available."
With its distinctive new LED accent lights and removable roof panel, the two-door, rear-wheel drive hatchback coupe has a functional hood and accent lines that run along the side of the vehicle shooting rearward from the front wheels.
The 2014 model also contains a next-generation V8 engine and is comprised of a carbon-fiber body with a hydroformed aluminum frame. Additionally, the new Corvette delivers more torque than its predecessor and can take drivers from 0 to 60 miles per hours in less than four seconds, according to GM.
The C7 will be manufactured in Bowling Green, Ky., and will be offered at a higher base value than its predecessor, which is currently available at more than $49,600.
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