Jose Gonzalez isn’t a household name, but his recent efforts at General Motors are being talked about over supper tables all over America these days.
You see, Gonzalez served as the lead designer on the 2015 Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Stingray convertible and as a support designer for the 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe.
Gonzalez says he can’t wait until the day when he can plunk down the money to get a white Z06 of his own. He currently drives a silver Chevrolet Cruze.
“But hopefully, I’ll have enough saved up for a Z06 when they come out,” Gonzalez said. “I want a white one. It has a Storm Trooper feel.”
Gonzalez’ passion about car design comes through in the Corvette Stingray in a big way.
“Basically, I’m an artist,” he says. “When they came to me with the Z06, we started with the base Stingray. Aircraft, fighter jets, and Formula 1 race cars were the inspiration for the Z06. We needed tons and tons of aero time.”
Gonzalez, who was born in Lorain, Ohio, came back to his home state for the Cleveland Auto Show, where two of his “babies” were on display – a yellow 2015 Z06 and a white 2014 Stingray convertible.
“It’s an amazing experience to be in something you designed,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he and his Z06 team relied heavily on aerodynamic testing in a wind tunnel and also were inspired by the new Corvette race car, which was developed simultaneously with the Z06.
He pointed out that proper downforce and cooling were essential factors in designing the Z06. “The front grille has a large opening with two integrated brake cooling ducts,” he said. “If you take the grille out, the car does worse aerodynamically. Everything on the car is absolutely functional. It’s not just style.”
While he was in Ohio last week, Gonzalez also took time to visit the Cleveland Institute of Art and tell students about design as it moves through the manufacturing process. He is a 2000 graduate of that school, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in Industrial Design.
He hopes his story will serve as an inspiration for students who might be struggling with what they want to do with their lives.
With his work on the Stingray completed, Gonzalez has moved on to a next-generation truck that he is not at liberty to talk about now.
But he does know that he relishes his time on the C7.
“It feels awesome because you’re doing something you’re passionate about,” he said. “You always have that new drive, as in keeping things fresh.”
Photo Credit: Steve Fecht for Chevrolet
Barrett-Jackson to Sell First Production 2015 Corvette Z06 at Palm Beach Auction
[VIDEO] 2015 Corvette Z06 Presentation at CIAS 2014
[VIDEO] C7 Corvette Z06 Prototype Spotted at Yuma Arizona Walmart