GM’s Consumer Affairs Chief James Bell Discusses the 2014 Corvette Stingray

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[VIDEO] GM's Consumer Affairs Chief James Bell Discusses the 2014 Corvette Stingray

Look out, competition, the Corvette Stingray is nearly here.

That’s the word from James Bell, Chevrolet’s head of consumer affairs, during a recent chat with Digital Trends.

Bell says he expects to see the Corvette diehards come out and buy the 2014 model, then adds that he expects a lot from younger buyers, too.

?Maybe somebody coming out of a 911 is looking for something unique and different,? Bell suggests. ?I think the Corvette is going to do a great job at capturing that buyer.?
And no wonder, the car is a seamless package.

?It’s a vehicle you could theoretically drive every day, but yet has supercar performance,? Bell says. ?When you compare the numbers of this car to a Porsche or a lower entry-level Ferrari, you’re right there for a portion of the price. But the fact that it’s a Chevrolet, means that if something happens to the car, there’s probably a couple of Chevy stores in your neighborhood that you can take it into. What’s exciting about this 2014 verion is that it pulls together all the things you look for in a sports car and then moves the needle forward.?

While we’ve all heard about the massive 455 horsepower in the base Corvette, fortunately for Chevy customers, that engine technology will be spread around the company’s whole lineup. ?The bones of this motor are going to be in the new Silverado pick-up truck, the new Tahoe and the Escalade,? Bell says. ?You’ll probably see it in future sedans. This motor has been in the pipeline for many years.?

Icing on the cake in this day of expensive gasoline prices is the best-in-class fuel economy of the new Stingray, which will deliver 29 mpg on the highway. Not bad for a car that can also go from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds.

?You just look at where this market is,? Bell says. ?If a car of this nature is going to compete against the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 and Audi R8, then it’s got to do 0 – 60 in, well, less than four seconds. It’s got to have a top speed of up near 200 mph. We just happen to up the game by having great fuel efficiency as well.?

Bell believes that the gas mileage could be a big factor in luring younger customers to the fold.

?The younger buyers that we are seeing in survey after survey after survey are looking for better fuel efficiency so they don’t have to look at a car like this and then somehow have to excuse themselves for not being smart to the environment,? he says. ?This car takes care of them there.?

Also helping lure new customers will be the increased technology on the Stingray.

?It’s going to be right up there for what people expect from any new modern car,? he said. ?Obviously, you got the ability to integrate your phone using Chevrolet MyLink and Bluetooth, Pandora and satellite navigation. It really is right up there with the standard that you find in any car today. I think that’s a really big step up when you think about the older Corvette, the C6 generation compared to this one. It was a bit archaic on the inside – not only from a design and material standpoint, but also from a connectivity perspective. This is one of the reasons this car is going to be so appealing to a younger buyer because they are looking for that in their next car. It’s not just a novelty to be able to connect their phone and stream to their favorite Pandora channels. It’s a requirement.?


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