During January's Detroit Auto Show, we managed a longer than expected wandering tag-team interview with C7 Corvette chief engineering exec Tadge Juechter (pictured above), and LT1 engine boss Jordan Lee (pictured below). They are, quite honestly, two of the very nicest bigshot lads to ever walk the engineering corridors of an American manufacturer. Both are enthralled by what they're doing for a day job. So are we.
We've followed the pre-sale anticipation for the Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray like an Oreck vacuum yanking every speck of dirt from a well-trampled carpet. Everything is reportable and contains a grain of further knowledge about this dramatically important and cheered-for car, as it continues to be pressured into representing all that is superior about the American dream. The Corvette wears one heavy cloak.
So, most of what was talked about has been expertly reported already right here on Autoblog. But, looking through our notes again, both Jeuchter and Lee added facts to the buzzing mix.
There's not much to see here, but if you're one of those waiting for the reveal of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, above is the teaser image that Chevrolet posted on its Facebook page. We've seen the truck in form-fitting camo before, and even less can be made out here beyond those seriously punchy Silverado-esque fenders and the knowledge that the projector-beam headlamps teased previously do indeed work. We'll have to wait until Thursday for a full perusal of the "bold exterior design" and "careful attention given to every detail" we've been promised.
Gathering intel and rumors, magnesium and aluminum contribute to the Silverado's weight loss plan, the purported "High Country" top-tier trim will contribute to luxury pickup truck competition and profit margins and the next-generation small-block V8 will contribute to improved fuel economy. On the engine note, there have been rumors of available V6 engines, and when Facebook user John Jones asked "Where's your answer to that EcoBoost Chevy?", the Bowtie replied "stay tuned on the 13th. We think you'll be pleased...".
Along with the "Raise the Bar" tag, Chevrolet says of the Silverado, "You asked, we delivered." You can watch the reveal live on Chevrolet's Facebook page at 9:30 am EST, this Thursday, December 13. The GMC Sierra 1500 will also be there, and we'll see both in person at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
Can A Fleet Queen Become a Fullsize King?
On paper, the Chevrolet Impala is a pretty strong seller, posting annual sales that have hovered right around 170,000 units for the last two years, but it only takes one trip to practically any rental car agency to discover where the majority of those sales have come from. In fact, General Motors told Autoblog that a full 70 percent of Impala sales last year went to fleet companies for things like rental cars and government vehicles. Logic tells us that this is neither good for resale values nor name equity, so Chevrolet is getting ready to roll out an all-new Impala with improved comfort, styling and technology, hoping to turn the tables on its retail-to-fleet ratio.
Chevrolet's sedans have come on quite strong in the last few months with the introduction of the Cruze diesel and the SS sedan, but while these will likely be low-volume sellers, there's more pressure for the new Impala to perform well as GM looks to slash fleet sales and compete with the wide variety of full-size sub-luxury sedans. Riding on a platform shared with the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS, the 2014 Impala will compete against the Hyundai Azera, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon on the more traditional side, while also looking to take a bite out of somewhat sportier models like the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger twins and the Nissan Maxima. We headed to sunny San Diego to see if this totally new Impala can stand on its own without the assistance of fleet companies and rental agencies. [w/video