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GM CEO Fritz Henderson Discusses Corvette's Future

Autoweek.com sat down with new GM CEO Fritz Henderson and the Corvette’s future came up in the discussion. Fritz made it clear that the focus for Corvette is on the current C6 platform and making changes and upgrades to insure “it maintains its leadership position”.

When asked about the hold placed on the C7 development, Henderson commented that it would take a significant investment to have the car make another leap forward, but since the current architecture is so good, the plan for now is to make sure the current Corvette continues to improve every year.

I don’t know about you, but Henderson’s comments left me feeling very uninspired. Not just on the future development of the C7, but his discussion of the current C6 was very bland, almost clinical. Anyone else have that opinion?


Source:
Autoweek.com

Related:
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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April 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2009

We received good news regarding new Corvette sales via GM’s monthly sales report. GM posted 1,407 deliveries of new Corvettes last month, the highest amount since September 2008 and the fourth straight month of growth. Sales of Corvettes climbed 18.9% over March 2009′s figure of 1,183. During the month, the total inventory of Corvettes available fell 9.4% to a total of 6,416 units available nationwide.

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Download the 2010 Corvette Order Guide

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2009

2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

As Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles promised at the NCM’s C5/C6 Bash, the 2010 Corvette Order Guides were delivered to Chevrolet dealers today. We’ll be reviewing it shortly and will post anything interesting that we find. In the meantime, you can download your copy after the jump.

A special thanks goes out to Dave Salvatore at Kerbeck Corvette for making this available to us so quickly. If you’re looking to purchase the new Grand Sport or any other 2010 Corvette, Dave is your go-to guy. Call him at 1-877-537-2325 and make sure you tell him CorvetteBlogger sent you!

Related:
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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 Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham

While at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, we heard from the manager of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Paul Graham about GM’s plan to close factories over the summer. Paul informs us that the only change for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be an additional week added to the normal two week shutdown in July. We also hear from Corvette’s Chief Engineer about the production targets for the Corvette ZR1 and how its production has been affected with these closures.

Paul also commented on how the factory was able to work with Corvette engineering and marketing to be able to provide all these different options for Corvette buyers. Paul reiterates that capacity is available to build all the models: Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sports, Z06 and ZR1 as well as the special editions like the GT1 Championship and the Competition Sport.

Tadge takes a amount to address the rumors around the closure of the high performance vehicle unit and says they had nothing to do with building the Corvette ZR1 and Z06. Those cars were built by Corvette’s engineering team and that team is still in place.

Related:
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible Walkaround

I was able to get some quality “alone” time with this new 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible. This car is VIN #5 and was built the week of the April 20th. The Corvette features a Cyber Gray exterior with the new chrome Grand Sport wheels. This GS doesn’t have the Z15 RPO Heritage Package which includes the fender hash mark graphics and embroiderd “Grand Sport” on the seats. Instead it has the new 0B1 Crossed Flags headrest embroidery. Also inside you’ll see the Dark Titanium/Ebony two-tone interior.

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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2009 Corvette Model Year Sales Data - Preliminary Results

During the GM Engineering Seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, preliminary production data for 2009 was released. Most interesting is the total 2009 model year production through April 21, 2009 which stands at 15,237. This is the lowest amount of Corvettes produced in a single model year since the 9,752 Corvettes built during the first year of the C5 Corvette in 1997 and 20,000 less than the 35,000 Corvette built in 2008. Also included in the report is the penetration for exterior colors as well as some of the more popular options.

Corvettes Produced Amount Percent    
         
Coupes 7,717 51%    
Convertibles 3,120 21%    
Z06 Hardtop 3,160 21%    
ZR1 Hardtop 1,240 6%    
  _______ _______    
Total 15,237 100%    
         
Exterior Colors Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
Black 20% 16% 26% 26%
Crystal Red 17% 19%    
Cyber Gray 16% 12% 23% 36%
Victory Red 13% 14% 10% 10%
Blade Silver 11% 8% 10% 5%
Jetstream Blue 8% 6% 9% 16%
Arctic White 6% 8%    
Velocity Yellow 5% 17% 7% 5%
Atomic Orange 5% 3% 5% 2%
         
Options Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
         
1LT 38% 8%    
2LT 15% 22%    
3LT 42% 62%    
4LT 5% 9%    
1LZ     13%  
2LZ     52%  
3LZ     35%  
1ZR       3%
3ZR       97%
         
CC3 – Transparent Roof 17%      
C2L – Dual Roof Pkg 13%      
         
MX0 – 6-Speed Auto Paddle 67% 82%    
F55 – Selective Ride Control 10% 34%    
Z51 – Performance Package 37% 28%    
U3U – Stereo/XM/Nav 27% 47% 77%  
NPP – Dual Mode Exhaust 47% 57%    
QG6 – Sparkle Silver 30% 15%    
QG7 – Polished 17% 13%%    
QX1 – Competition Gray 7% 3%    
Q9V – Chrome 46% 57%    
Q10 – Z06     10%  
Q8A – Chrome     56%  
Q76     15%  
Q6A – ZR1 Sterling Silver       20%
Q6B – ZR1 Chrome       80%

As many of you know, 2009 will be the last year for Victory Red and Atomic Orange. Victory Red is being replaced by Torch Red, however Atomic Orange will not be replaced when production ceases on the 2009 Corvette. With the highest penetration of just 5% on the Corvette Coupe and just 2% of Corvette ZR1s wearing Atomic Orange, its easy to see why that color is being phased out.

During the Day 2 walk around at the Museum, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said the Corvette ZR1 is on pace for about 1,400 units this year. Despite the assembly plant shutting several times this year, Tadge said GM continued to have suppliers manufacture and bank those critical parts needed for ZR1 production, so that when the assembly resumes after the plant has been idled, those critical parts are available.


Source:
National Corvette Museum

Related:
Final 2008 Corvette Production Numbers
Final 2007 Corvette Production Numbers

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The 2010 Corvette's Launch Control Explained

In addition to the new launch control system coming to all manual transmission Corvettes in 2010, there is another new feature coming exclusively to the Corvette ZR1. Called Performance Traction Management, the system integrates the Selective Ride, Traction Control and Active Handling systems and manages the vehicle’s acceleration based on the conditions and driver’s selection.

The Corvette Team re-engineered the ride control switch on the center console. The normal mode continues to give you the tour and sport adjustments on the shock absorbers, but switching into Competition Mode then brings up the Performance Traction Management. The ride control switch than illuminates to PTM Traction. Turning the switch then allows the driver to select the Traction mode.

Here are the five settings as outlined in the GM Engineering Seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash:


PTM Mode #1 – Wet

  • This is the mode intended for use during damp or wet track conditions by drivers of all skill levels.
  • Engine torque is management based on the given track conditions.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #2 – Dry

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by less experienced drivers or those learning a new track.
  • Engine torque is slightly managed based on the given track conditions.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #3 – Sport

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode requires more driver skill than PTM Mode #2.
  • More engine torque is available than in Mode #2.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #4 – Sport

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode requires more driver skill than PTM Mode #3.
  • The same level of engine torque is available as in Mode #3.
  • Active Handling is disabled.

PTM Mode #5 – Race

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by experienced drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode will require more driver skill than all the other modes.
  • Available engine torque is maximized for cornering speed.
  • Active Handling is disabled.


Tadge says the system has show to be able to improve the times of pro-level drivers and so for skilled-level drivers, the PTM system “turns him into a hero”.


Related:
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport at the NCM

Team Corvette was on hand at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash to fully brief the Corvette faithful on the new 2010 Corvette. Here is the team introducing the new model in the Corvette lineup, the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport.

Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles opened the discussion by running through the content of the new Grand Sport and then turned over the mic to Kirk Bennion, Corvette’s Exterior Design Manager who tells us that inspiration for the new vertical side vents comes from an original pencil drawing of the ZR1. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter wraps up the seminar discussion by presenting the technical and performance details of the new model. The video culminates with the live reveal in the Museum’s main rotunda to the very enthusiastic crowd.

The new Grand Sport models (Coupes and Convertibles) will fit between the standard coupes and convertibles and the Z06 in the Corvette lineup. The Grand Sport features the standard LS3 engine but uses the wider Z06 size wheels, tires, brakes and chassis.

From a performance standpoint, the Grand Sport has better weight distribution and the wider Z06 tires significantly increase the models 0-60 times. While the base Corvette’s 0-60 mph time is 4.3 seconds, the Corvette team thinks the new Grand Sport’s time should be at 4.0 seconds but Tadge opened the door to the possibility that it could break the 4 second barrier.

The models effectively replace the Z51 Performance Package by introducing the new Z52 package for the coupe which features the dry sump oil, differential cooler and the same higher gear ratios found on the Z51 package.

A Heritage Package will be offered for owners who want a unique package like the 1996 version that includes the hash mark decals and special embroidery on the seats. The hash marks are available in 4 distinct colors: Black, Gray, Silver and Pearl White.

Pricing wasn’t announced for the Grand Sports at the unveiling, but both Tadge and Harlan say Corvette owners will be pleased when pricing is announced in early May.

Related:
[VIDEO] Teaser Video of 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Reveal
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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The 2010 Corvette's Launch Control Explained

During the 2010 Corvette seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter goes into more detail about the new Launch Control option that will be standard on all manual transmission Corvettes. The system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to give the driver the optimal amount of traction on a full throttle start. The best news? Corvette’s Launch Control System will not void your warranty!

To engage the launch control system, the driver puts the traction control into competitive mode and then pushes the gas pedal to the floor. The system will hold a predetermined RPM based on which engine you have (LS3/LS7/LS9). When the driver quickly releases the clutch, the launch control modulates engine torque 100 times per second to get the best traction.

GM’s testing of the system found that just about any driver can achieve very consistent times on par with that of a skilled driver’s best efforts.

The best news is that use of the launch control system will not void your warranty – an obvious reference to Nissan’s GT-R that until recently had a policy of voiding warranties if the car broke while using their version of launch control. Tadge mentioned this fact several times to the delight of the audience.

Related:
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51

by Keith Cornett on April 26, 2009

Team Corvette Grand Sport Walk-Around

On Day 2 of the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, members of the Corvette Team assembled outside on the NCM Logo Circle with two newly built 2010 Grand Sports. Unlike Day 1′s seminar, this walk-around focused more on the improvements with performance. As Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter discussed the new model, he consistently compared the components on the GS to the Z51, using descriptions like “better” and “faster”. But you Z51 aficionados don’t despair, Tadge tells of the new Z52 package that will have you searching for the emblems at your favorite parts dealer.

The Grand Sport Z16 option is replacing the Z51 when it comes to performance. The Grand Sport gets the Z06′s tires and brakes as well as a uniquely tuned suspension. The Grand Sport does at least a 1g so it corners better than the Z51 and its initially reported 0-60 mph times have been sub-4s but engineering is saying it will be 4.0.

“I should point out that now this is essentially what a Z51 was. You used to check the box and get the z51 performance content now we’re replacing that with the Z16 which is this wide package that were calling the Grand Sport.”

Tadge Juechter – Corvette Chief Engineer

Tadge also introduced a new package for “those serious about tracking their cars” called the Z52. This RPO only comes on manual transmissions coupes. The 6-Speed transmission has the same aggressive gear ratios as the Z51. Selected hardware from the Z06 and ZR1 is incorporated. The battery was moved to the right rear corner in the back to make way for a drysump oil pump, a first for an LS3 Corvette.

Harlan Charles ends the conversation on the walk-around by reiterating the performance numbers of 1g lateral, 4.0 (or better) 0-60 mph time in a 26 mpg car. In his closing remarks he invited a couple southern senators to come check out the Corvettes at the NCM as proof of GM building cars people want.

Related:
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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