by Robert Loszewski
© February 2013
No use without permission, All Rights Reserved
As the video came to an end, the room darkened, a curtain to the left of the silhouetted C7 in the center of the stage opened, and out drove a red 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray. The room erupted in a barrage of lightning-like camera flashes as the lights turned on over the stage and the red C7 came to a stop in the center.
Mark Reuss, GM Vice President and President, North America, came out on stage and officially introduced the C7 discussing some of the highlights of the car and the work that went in to delivering this new generation of Corvette worthy of the "Stingray" nameplate. You can read the entire transcript of his introduction here. He ended his speech by inviting everyone up to the stage to examine the car up close.
At that point, there was a mad dash up to the stage that can only be compared to a massive swarm of killer bees attacking a newly discovered honey-pot! I quickly began squeezing my way through the crowd trying to take whatever shots I could get of the car under legs, through arms and around a tightly woven mesh of torsos. I now understand what celebrities go through in dealing with the paparazzi!
As my camera's shutter was snapping away at lightning speeds, I was paying particular attention to the comments coming from spectators. "Absolutely incredible." "Whoa, this thing is f***ing wild!" "They totally outdid themselves with this." "They have an absolute winner on their hands!" I never once, heard anything negative about the car. Everyone I heard talking about it, loved the new design and felt like it was a logical evolution of the marque.
I can honestly say, I was blown away by what I saw. GM was correct in stating "nothing is the same." This next generation of Corvette was not only completely new, but one of the most dramatic redesigns we've ever seen since the 1963 - 1967 Corvette generation debuted. It's bold, fresh, edgy and exciting. It the exact shot of adrenaline the Corvtte marque needs to excite the die-hard fans and enthusiasts, and attract a new, younger generation of automotive enthusiasts.
As I made my way around to the front, the only thing that came to mind was the title to Ray Bradbury's 1962 novel, "Something Wicked This Way Comes." It looks absolutely wicked, aggressive and nothing like anything else on the road. If you were to see this thing coming up on you in your rear-view mirror, you could almost hear it say "get the hell out of the way NOW!" The best part of this all-new design is the functionality. With countless hours of wind tunnel testing, air-flow through and around the car has been completely optimized to precisely pierce the air as efficiently as the C6-R Corvette race car does on a track.
Obviously, the most controversial aspect of the car, is the rear-end. Gone, are the signature round tail-lamps that have been a reliable staple of Corvette design. Present, are sleek, edgy tail lights incorporating cutting-edge LED technology and fully functional vents to exhaust air flow coming from the rear-mounted transmission cooler and passenger-side differential cooler (Z51 only). For me personally, it took a while to warm up to the rear-end. It was definitely shocking at first, but the more I walked around and examined the design from every angle, the more I started to warm up to it. It's definitely aggressive and really does fit in perfectly with the rest of the car's edgy design. The tail lamps took me the longest to warm up to. They definitely look cool and will give the C7 a distinct, night-time signature from the rear. However, I have to admit, they were hard to accept at first as my vision of round tail lights began to give way
Unlike the resemblance of the 1984 - 1996 Corvette to Ferrari's 308, and the 1997 - 2004 Corvette to the Mazda RX7, there will be no mistaking the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray for anything else on the road today. Not one single design aspect of this car can be attributed to another automobile, and that includes the common misconception of the tail lights to the current generation of Camaro. More on that later!