Model: Bel Air/150/210
Exterior Color: Teal
Trim: BEL AIR
Interior Color: Teal
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: NONE
Mooresville, North Carolina, United States
Not including the women and men who built it, the 2014 Chevrolet SS has only been seen in person by a piddling number of people - fewer humans than would fill the gymnasium at a high school volleyball game. Not including the men and women who built it, no one has driven it. Even so, it is already saddled with two controversies: the way it looks and the way it shifts.
First to that shifting. Did we love the last Americanized Holden, the awesomely sportsome Pontiac G8 GXP, and its six-speed manual? Of course. Do we wish the SS came with a six-speed manual? Of course. But we'd like a toboggan to come with a manual transmission. We'd put a manual transmission on a weasel if we could because we're just wired that way; if it moves, it should come with a stick and a clutch. Or at least the option.
Let's climb down off the ledge, though. We haven't driven the SS and we have no idea how good (or not) the automatic is. And the Hobson's Choice in transmissions when it comes to sport sedans like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S and, oh yeah, cars-that-really-should-have-manuals like the Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R and Porsche 918 and every single Lamborghini and Ferrari, for instance, hasn't stopped us from enjoying what is clearly the gruesome, dual-clutched demise of Western automotive civilization. Because in spite of our ululations at the dying of the six-speed light, we understand.
With all of the attention given to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's already well along in production, yet tooling up for the new C7 has only just begun. In fact, production of the outgoing C6 generation in Bowling Green, Kentucky just halted on Thursday.
As the C6 has aged, production numbers have predictably ebbed along with demand, but this year, the addition of the 427 and 60th anniversary models resulted in an uptick in vehicles built - this, despite a model year shortened by around 25 percent to accomodate the new model changeover. The final C6 Corvette ever, No. 13,466 built this year, was a white 427 Convertible destined for the General Motors Heritage Center museum. The car's 7.0-liter V8 heart was assembled by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter himself.
In total, Bowling Green pushed out 215,100 C6 Corvettes over nine years. If you're still a C6 fan at heart and are hoping to get a good deal on a phase-out model, step lively - Chevrolet reportedly had about 6,100 unsold units, which Autoweek suggests is good for around five and a half months of supply at the model's current sales rates. Given that demand will likely slacken even further as the C7 draws closer, that should be a big enough stockpile to keep dealers satisfied until 2014 Stingrays begin showing up on their forecourts in December.
Bob Lutz sits down for Autoline Detroit - Click above to watch video after the jump
Autoline Detroit recently played host to Bob Lutz, and, as is always the case, the former General Motors vice chairman dished out some great commentary. Lutz was promoting his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, and talk quickly turned to his role as it related to product development and high-level decision making at GM. While on the topic of brand management, Lutz revealed a few rather interesting tidbits about his former employer:
All Chevrolet vehicles were required to have five-spoke aluminum wheels and a chrome band up front, as part of the Bowtie brand's overall image.