The Corvette Team’s annual seminar to Corvette owners and enthusiasts at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring included a very special guest – the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe. Team Members Tadge Juechter, Harlan Charles and Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Dave Tatman each spoke about the new 7th Generation Corvette and then answered questions from the crowd.
This seminar was held the morning of Friday March 15th which also featured the unveiling of the C7 Corvette to those in attendance. Chevrolet Performance Manager Jim Campbell introduced the Corvette team and Tadge took his turn first.
Tadge spoke about the car as it was designed from the ground up with only two carry-over parts. Their goal was to optimize everything around the driving experience. Tadge talked about the engineering that went into the frame, he said they were applying “technologies that didn’t even exist when we were designing the 5th and 6th generation cars”. He later compared the greater stiffness of the new Convertible model to that of the Z06/ZR1 fixed-roof’s and he said “it takes almost no time in a C7 before you realize the C6 is obsolete.” Tadge also claims the Corvette Stingray will be the highest volume car with standard carbon panels.
Next up was Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Dave Tatman who provided an update to all the exciting events happening at the plant including the build of the final 2013 Corvette – a 60th Anniversary 427 Convertible with an engine assembled by Chief Engineer Juechter. Where the body shop made the steel frames for the C6, it’s all been cleared out in preparation for the C7 retooling. Tatman said there are currently 400 tradesman working in two, 10 hour shifts configuring the plant for building the C7 Corvette and the first ones will start to roll at the end of March.
Harlan spoke about the order guides which will go out in late April to all the Chevrolet dealers and they’ll have pricing information as well. Production for the Stingray Coupe begins in 3rd quarter while the Convertible Stingray is due in 4th Quarter. Harlan discussed the three trim level packages and the ability to configure the car to your preferences. Harlan also touched on the new colors as well as some of the exciting new options like Active Rev Match and confirmed again that all the options and packages like the Z51 are available on the convertible as well.
At the conclusion of Harlan’s talk, the floor was opened for questions.
[VIDEO] GM Design Director Tom Peters Defends the 2014 Corvette Stingray’s Tail Lights
End of an Era: The Last C6 Corvette Rolls Off the Production Line in Bowling Green
[VIDEO] Interview with Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles at the 2013 NAIAS
[VIDEO] Interview with Craig Sass – Interior Design Manager of the C7 Corvette