Ever since the C7 Corvette has been mentioned, we’ve heard how General Motors and Chevrolet wanted to appeal to a younger audience with the car as it heads into more than 60 years of production.
That premise has carried over to the final stages before the seventh generation is unveiled to the public on Jan. 13, 2013 in Detroit.
Clay Dean, global director of advanced design at GM, recently explained the background behind Chevrolet’s decision to work with a game designer and allow the use of a camouflaged C7 in a game before the real car is even available to drive.
Dean explained that the decision comes after several years of market research to find out what drivers between 15 and 30 are excited about driving. The result of that study was seven concept cars, including two that were shown at the LA Auto Show recently.
“To learn what a younger audience 15 to 30 thinks has been fascinating,” Dean said, “and what we found not surprisingly is that one of the first places they get exposed to an automobile are in games like we see right behind us. They spend a lot of time online, they spend a tremendous amount of time on computers. It’s a very natural place for them to be, and certain games resonate very highly.”
That work on the concept cars led to a unique partnership between a game designer and a car manufacturer.
The designers of Gran Turismo 5 have long been social friends of General Motors officials in California.
“We know them very well,” Dean said, “and over the last few years, we’ve talked to them about projects and opportunities to work together. And we’ve never found anything that really worked until the new Corvette.”
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, said at the auto show that 2013 promises to be a big one for GM, with the launch of 13 new models next year, including the Silverado, Impala, and Corvette.
“All I can tell you right now is that the new Corvette will offer an entirely new driving experience, one that’s refined and redefined from the car that you know today as the Corvette,” Reuss said. “There are just a handful of engineers authorized to drive the Corvette test vehicles on our proving grounds, and you can tell right away which ones they are – they’re the ones wearing the permanent smiles!”
The camouflaged Corvette C7 as part of the Gran Turismo 5 game is available now for download.
“This is the first time the game’s designers have worked with the car manufacturer to deliver an authentic driving experience before a car ever gets to production,” Reuss said. “It’s a great opportunity for customers, enthusiasts, and gamers alike.”
Reuss introduced Kazunori Yamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital and a professional race car driver, who designed the game.
“It’s not often that we invite someone from outside our company to get up close and personal with a vehicle before it’s revealed,” Reuss said, “but we wanted to do something special with the new Corvette and you are the guy to do it.”
Yamauchi said he was honored to be one of the first test drivers of the C7. “Its handling, speed, styling, and refinement are a perfect with Gran Turismo,” he said. “I hope all Gran Turismo players will enjoy test driving the new Corvette as I did.”
[VIDEO] Download and Drive the Camouflaged C7 Corvette on Gran Turismo 5
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[VIDEO] Forza Motorsport Team Drives the Corvettes at Bondurant