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Auto blogFri, 12 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST
Redesigning an icon is a difficult task, especially when you've got a blank sheet of paper in front of you and the all-new C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is intended to be your final objective.
General Motors has released a new short video featuring Kirk Bennion of the Corvette's exterior design team, talking about the challenges of sculpting Chevrolet's new flagship sports car and the five goals the team had to keep in mind as it worked. In the end, Bennion's team had the pleasure of seeing their hard work take center stage as the Corvette captured the world's eyes at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
Edmunds has worked up a piece that tries to figure out just how much the global Chevrolet Corvette economy is worth, a spitballed guesstimate putting the number at more than $2.5 billion with the proviso that the number is probably low. It starts by taking Corvette's new car sales of 14,132 units last year, which would equate to $714,725,900 (including destination) assuming ever car sold was a base coupe with no options. In the final tally, a little extra padding gets that number up to $750,000,000.
But that's not all. Consider this: Many of the almost 1.4 million Corvettes produced over the model's history are still on the road. There are new parts being produced and aftermarket companies like Mid-America Motorworks deaing business, that single Illinois company doing more than $40 million a year in sales. There are the Corvette events large and small, restorers who do nothing but Corvettes, salvage yards that deal only in used Corvette parts and the Corvette magazines where owners find all this stuff.
And then there are the Corvette-themed tchotchkes, every single one of which provides a tiny contribution to the huge licensing royalties that General Motors collects every year. The article admits there's no way to come to an accurate number, but it just goes to show how valuable one specific model can be to a company.
After months of speculation, Chevrolet has finally revealed the official starting price of the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The base MSRP for the 450-horsepower Stingray Coupe will be $51,995, while the Stingray Convertible will go for $56,995 (*both prices include a $995 destination fee). This means that the price increase from 2013 to 2014 is just $1,400 for the coupe and $2,395 for the convertible - pretty modest increases considering the upgrade in specifications. Of course, neither price accounts for the sort of dealer markup that might grace early C7 window stickers, especially since less than a third of all Chevrolet dealers will be allocated Corvette models to sell at the car's launch.
Now, these prices are for the base car, so if you're wondering how much a fully loaded Stingray will run, Chevy has given us a good indication of that as well. The coupe we saw on display at the Detroit Auto Show (shown above), for example, would run $73,360 including options such as the $2,800 Z51 Performance Package, $2,495 competition sport seats and the $1,795 Magnetic Ride Control option - just to name a few. Stepping up to the 3LT trim level that brings a full leather interior will run an extra $8,005 over the base price.
While $20,000 in options may seem like a lot, this "as-tested" price still has the C7 competitively priced against rival coupes like the Porsche 911 and Nissan GT-R. Speaking of price comparisons, Chevrolet also points out that the C7 Stingray Z51 costs $2,200 less than the C6 Grand Sport while delivering better acceleration (0-60 mph in less than four seconds) and improved track performance (including more than 1 g in cornering).