General Motors has made no secret it hopes the new mid-engine Corvette is a big hit overseas.
Based on the response the 2020 Stingray just received at the Tokyo Auto Salon in its Asian reveal, mission accomplished.
Forbes columnist Peter Lyon reports that the Zeus Bronze Metallic (over two-tone natural interior) coupe on display at the world’s third-largest customizing show has been well received by enthusiasts in Japan, not normally known for their interest in American cars. In fact, less than 2 percent of cars sold in Japan come from the U.S.
But Lyon says everyone he interviewed at the show found the new Corvette and its revolutionary mid-engine layout to be “extremely appealing.”
GM Japan’s president Tadashi Wakamatsu told thousands of reporters and visitors that deliveries of the new Stingray – to be available only in 2LT and 3LT form – would begin early next year.
Ironically, the people interviewed by the Forbes columnist told him that the popular movie “Ford v Ferrari” had increased their desire to see the new Corvette.
“Sure the Vette is not a Ford,” one said, “but it’s a reasonably priced mid-engined American muscle car and that is more than worthy of attention.”
They’ll also have to pay attention to their wallet, too, since the Stingray will start out around $100,000 – some $40,000 higher than the initial cost in America. However, a 100k is still less than half of the price of competitors like Lamborghini, McLaren, and Ferrari.
According to Lyon, Wakamatsu seemed overjoyed with the new Corvette, telling the crowd, “We have a car here that gets inspiration from both an F35 jet fighter and an F1 race car. That great design, the all-new mid-engined V8 power, 0-60 mph in 3 seconds, and an appealing price tag is generating tremendous buzz in Japan.”
GM is hoping that buzz translates into increased sales in Japan for the new Stingray. The outgoing 2019 front-engine model sold just 101 examples there.
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