Harlan Charles admits he has the ultimate job for a Corvette enthusiast in his role as Corvette product and marketing manager for GM/Chevrolet.
In the span of a short six-minute interview with Bloomberg Radio’s Pimm Fox and Carol Massar on May 22, Charles manages to give a brief rundown on all the great things happening with Corvettes now and in the coming months.
That includes the special Stingray School that’s being offered to new Corvette owners for $1,000 (some $1,500 off the normal price) at the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch near Las Vegas.
“You get to go to ‘Corvette Stingray School’ and drive Corvettes on the track,” he said. “You don’t have to use yours, you use up ours – gas, tires, rubber – and just have a good time learning the limits, the fantastic limits of these cars – over 1G cornering, 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. It’s really a performance envelope that’s best experienced on the track.”
The neat thing about the new Stingray, he notes, is it has these great handling limits but it can still be configured for everyday driving with the twist of a dial.
“You can put it in tour mode, there’s a sport mode, and there’s the track settings mode. And it really adjusts the car, the steering, the way the exhaust sounds, the way the pedals feel, the engine mapping, throttle progression, even the gauges – all those things adapt just by turning this knob. The car will adapt to the track, and that’s really the way to experience the settings is on the track.”
Charles points out that the 2015 Stingray will have a performance data recorder to record and document with audio and video the driver’s experiences behind the wheel.
He says he likes all Corvettes ever made but admits that he is obviously partial to the new Stingray because he’s been working on it for years.
“We keep trying to push the Corvette further in technology, performance, and refinement,” he says, “making the car not just a great race car for the street but also a luxury GT that you and your partner can drive in comfort across the country or to work or whatever adventures you want to go to.”
Charles also gives a preview of the upcoming 2015 Z06 that will offer at least 625 hp and zoom from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds. At the same time, the supercharged engine can be switched to a naturally aspirated V8 or even a four-cylinder to maximize fuel economy.
The Z06 will also be available for the first time as a convertible and with a new eight-speed paddle shift transmission, “so it really opens up the audience for that car,” he says. Charles also talks about the success the Corvette Racing team has enjoyed.
Ms. Hamm asks Charles what it’s like to grow up and have your childhood dream job become a reality.
“It’s really great,” he says. “I have to pinch myself sometimes. I have the best job I could ever possibly have. Somebody once said I have the Corvette enthusiast’s dream job. It really is a lot of fun to work on the future Corvettes and see them come out and see the excitement about them with all the new features and technology that you’ve put in.”
Chevrolet and Ron Fellows Offering New Corvette Stingray Course at Spring Mountain
[VIDEO] What’s New for the 2015 Corvette
[PIC] Harlan Charles Drives a 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible to Work