by Robert Loszewski
© February 2013
No use without permission, All Rights Reserved
As for the interior - absolutely sumptuous!!! The no-expenses-spared interior design is absolutely incredible. Even for a pre-production model, the fit and finish, quality of materials, and overall feel of the interior is top notch!
The Corvette's interior has always been a bone of contention with automotive journalists. "Cheap", "poor fit and finish", "quality on-par with a Chevy Cobalt" are all we've heard from the automotive rags for several years now.
I totally admit, that I was not a big fan of the C5 Corvette's interior quality, but the C6 Corvette seemed to address all of the previous generation's deficiencies. The quality, and fit & finish seemed to be much improved, and yet the automotive media continued to lambast the Corvette's interior quality.
A couple months ago, I had to replace one of my 1990 Corvette ZR-1's headlight motor gears. Unfortunately, I didn't have the right tools, nor the patience to properly remove the old gear from the motor. So I took the entire headlight assembly down to my local Chevrolet dealer to give them a crack at it. As they were working on the gear, I took a walk around the showroom and sat inside a brand new 2013 C6 Grand Sport. I was thoroughly surprised. I thought it was extremely comfortable and the fit and finish were fantastic. I honestly couldn't understand why the automotive media chastised GM for the C6 Corvette's interior given the Corvette's price as compared to it's much more expensive competition.
I think it's safe to say, that with this all new C7, GM has thoroughly addressed each and every one of the automotive media group's criticisms of yesteryear's Corvette interior. It's as impressive as the car's exterior design, and I can't wait to hear the reviews when journalists are able to finally experience the interior for the first time.
As the official unveiling came to a close, I headed back to my hotel room and uploaded all of the photos I took. To view all of the photos, head on over to the 2014 C7 Corvette NAIAS gallery and click on the images for expanded views.
The next morning, I was up bright and early and headed over to the COBO Center for the North American International Auto Show. Once there, GM unveiled the C7 a second time, but this time, they had a Cyber Gray Metallic C7 along with the red C7 that was unveiled the night before.
After the second unveiling, I joined Dan Adovasio and Jake Drennon from the C5/C6 Registry in order to conduct interviews with some of the key players behind the design and development of the C7. We only had 15 minutes to conduct the interviews, but the information we acquired is extremely enlightening. You really get a nice, behind-the-scenes look at how a next generation Corvette goes from conception, to production, and all of the hard work and team effort it takes to pull it all together.
We had a chance to sit down with Kirk Bennion, Tom Peters and Ryan Vaughn to discuss how the exterior design of the C7 evolved and inquire about the new colors we'll be seeing for 2014.
Jake Drennon: What about blue? Jetstream Blue seemed like it did pretty well. Is that sort of blue back on the drawing board?
Kirk Bennion - Exterior Design Manager: Yes. The two new colors you'll see for 2014 are, what Harlan [Charles] would call Laguna Blue, and it's not as multi-hued as Jetstream. Jetstream would tend to go green to violet, but it's a bright blue. We've kind of have done our cycle where we had Jetstream, Sonic, then Night Race, and now we're swinging back to a brighter blue. The green we have which I think Harlan might call "Limerock Green", is a dark, very deep green...very sophisticated. It brings about a different aura to the car.
Green is kind of new card for us. We've done the brighter greens in the past, and the brighter greens can be a little polarizing. We think with this very dark, deep green, especially with Ryan [Vaughn's] interior combinations, this will be a handsome color.
We play with trend colors in our palette. We have our staple colors, and then we have our trend colors that every couple of years, we'll change them out. So we'll see how the green card is accepted.
Jake Drennon: With the enhancements at the plant, were you able to add any more colors? Eleven colors is it?
Kirk Bennion: Ten. We would like to get there, but right now, it's still ten colors, and it's still a dual coat. Within the plant system at Bowling Green, there's a lot of advancements that we've made. One of our desires in the future is to up the paint facility. We would like to, in the future, get to a tri-coat and get to some other premium paints.