CorvetteBlogger.com spoke with Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. In this wide-ranging interview, Harlan filled us in on some of the exciting features and options that will be on the 2014 Corvette Stingray.
One of the new features that Harlan was excited to talk about was the Drive Mode selector which allows drivers to customize the driving experience of the car based on the conditions. The 2014 Corvette allows five choices: Weather, ECO, Tour, Sport and Track and Harlan details each of the modes and compares the functions to a graphic equalizer which allows the driver to set the car to whatever driver style you want to have.
There are 12 different options that the Driver Mode Selector controls and some of those attributes include the steering and suspension feel, transmission shift points, throttle progressions, cluster view and the exhaust note.
When it comes to the new Corvette’s interior, Harlan says that one of the goals when making the new car was taking the excitement that people feel when they see the exterior and bring that to the interior. Helping that excitement comes from the two 8-inch high-definition displays as well as the magnesium-frame seats that come in two different styles. And like his counterparts that worked on the interior, Harlan says that “in the car, if you see carbon fiber, it’s real. If you see aluminum, it’s real. Everything in the car is the real materials.”
Harlan’s says that one of lessons learned on the C6 generation was giving customers the ability to customize the Corvettes to their own personality and that trend will continue with the C7 Corvette. He talked about how the two Corvettes at NAIAS were so different from each other just based on how they were optioned with colors, interior and even the color of the brake calipers. He says that customers will be able to “create your own Corvette stingray statement that you want your car to have.”
And what about the Corvette Stingray’s new rear-end design?
“We really wanted to change everything about the Corvette but still invoke Corvette. So we really wanted a different look. One of the things we’ve heard from some people who may have rejected Corvette is that we’ve had that same look from the rear view – C3, 4, 5, 6 – it’s still kind of in that family. So we wanted to keep the basic look – you know the four digit – the two basic rounds on each side but do it in a new way. And doing these tail lamps its very three dimensional. Which I think in some of these sketches that people have seen didn’t really capture the three dimensionality of it. It’s really taking advantage of the new LED technology. The other thing it does is it helps us integrate the rear with the cooling vents we have in the rear as well and fits the more angular shape of the rear of the car. It’s a new statement and I think that its one that people will say Corvette moving forward.”
Check out the full 14 minute interview from the 2013 NAIAS:
A big thanks to Harlan Charles for talking with us at the North American International Auto Show and we look forward to see more about the 2014 Corvette Stingray in the coming months.
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