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Auto blogMon, 28 Jan 2013
While most of the world is still coming down from all the hype surrounding the debut of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, we're already looking to the future. And according to Autoweek, the next chapter in the C7 story will unfold at the Geneva Motor Show in March. That's right, General Motors is reportedly using the Swiss stage as its venue to debut the Corvette Stingray convertible.
If this strikes you as odd, you aren't alone. After all, with a car that's such an American icon, we'd fully expect Chevrolet to unveil it here on our shores in either Chicago or New York. But according to Autoweek, GM is looking to boost export sales of its halo car, and since the C7 was engineered to compete with the world's best and brightest, showing it off in Geneva is somewhat of a smart move. What's more, those with sharp memories will recall that GM used the Geneva expo to debut the sixth-generation C6 Corvette convertible back in March 2004, so there's also a precedent.
Details surrounding the Corvette Stingray convertible are still slim, though we fully expect the 6.2-liter V8 and choice of either six-speed automatic or seven-speed manual transmissions to carry over unchanged. Prototypes spotted on the road showed the car fitted with a cloth convertible roof, as well.
The Performance Data Recorder with Valet Mode available on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray seems like a fantastic tool for many owners. Whether they are taking 720p video while lapping the track in their new 'Vette, or just want to protect their purchase from inconsiderate joyriders, the system offers a lot of functionality in one package. However, one of the PDR's features might get buyers in trouble with the law, and it has nothing to do with recording some illicit high-speed driving on a favorite back road. The problem hinges on the various state laws concerning a person's right to privacy.
According to a letter posted by Jalopnik, Chevy dealers are asking 2015 Corvette owners not to use the Valet Mode portion of the PDR because it records audio in the cabin, in addition to performance specs. That's a problem because privacy laws vary from state to state with some requiring just one side's consent to tape sound and others requiring all parties to agree. According Jalopnik, 15 states mandate everyone's permission beforehand, but it's not clear whether these numbers are up to date. (Actually, the report varies, saying 13 states in some places and 15 in a list.)
According to the letter, Chevy is already working on a software update for the near future to rectify the issue. It's possible that simply adding a warning to drivers and the ability to turn off the audio recording function in Valet Mode might solve the problem. Obviously, this doesn't preclude Corvette drivers from using the performance aspect of the PDR, and owners are free tape lap after lap at the track.
Quentin Tarantino fans will likely remember Vincent Vega's cherry 1964 Chevrolet Malibu Convertible in Pulp Fiction. In a movie drenched in automotive references, the Malibu is very nearly a character in and of itself, and it serves as the subject of Vega's soliloquy about the kind of man who vandalizes another's automobile. It also happened to be Tarantino's personal car when the film was shot, and was apparently stolen shortly after production wrapped. Now police have located the car some 19 years later.
As it turns out, the thieves cloned the vehicle identification number from another '64 Malibu and had the car registered under the new digits. It was then sold to an unsuspecting buyer. Police happened upon the duplicate VINs while investigating another potential theft. Right now, it's unclear whether Tarantino has taken possession of the Chevrolet, if it has remained in the possession of the fraud victim, or whether it's caught somewhere in the gears of justice. Either way, you can catch Vega's memorable thoughts on the car keying in the Pulp Fiction clip below. But consider yourself warned: the video contains explicit language as Not Safe For Work as it comes.