You may have already heard that on January 13, 2014, General Motors unveiled the 2015 Corvette C7 Z06 and C7.R race car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Hosting the reveal were President of GM North America (and incoming head of product development) Mark Reuss as well as GM CFO (and GM President-elect) Dan Ammann.
Following are their prepared remarks. GM points out that the spoken word is definitive.
Good morning everyone!
What a beautiful day in Detroit — perfect weather for a drive in a Corvette.
Better yet… how about fifty Corvettes coming all the way from our Tech Center in Warren, Michigan. That’s exactly what you’ve been watching this morning.
And by the way… the Z06 was hauled by the 2014 North American Truck of the Year — the Chevrolet Silverado.
The Corvette Stingray was the most awarded car in the industry for 2013… winning accolades from Automobile Magazine, Car and Driver, Yahoo!, and Esquire, and just this morning, the North American Car of the Year.
I can’t tell you how honored we all are to win both Car and Truck of the year. It’s very exciting.
Many of the men and women who made the Stingray such a success have been escorting the next new entry in the C7 portfolio down to Cobo Center… And it is the most amazing Corvette we’ve ever built.
Ladies and gentlemen… introducing the (big, nasty) 2015 Corvette Z06.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 is truly a world-class supercar.
It rivals the performance, design, technology … and visceral driving experience of any exotic car.
It is our most capable Corvette ever.
The very first time we took the new Z06 out on our Milford Road Course, it set a new track record, beating even the old ZR-1.
And the team is just getting started!
Seeing it for the first time, you might think that we rolled out the new racecar by mistake.
That’s no coincidence, as the Z06 and C7.R were developed together.
As a result, the Z06 creates the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car GM has ever tested.
The new Z06 is powered by a brand new supercharged 6.2L LT4 engine, estimated to deliver better than 625 HP and more than 635 ft.-lbs. of torque. And the Z06 will be the only car in the U.S. that offers more than 600 HP, and a choice of two transmissions. The first is a 7-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching. The second is an all-new, high-performance 8-speed automatic, designed and built by General Motors.
With paddle-shift manual control and lightning-fast shifts for track use, plus the convenience of a true automatic for daily driving… this automatic is truly an option without compromise.
The Z06 also takes full benefit of all the technologies introduced on Stingray:
- Magnetic Ride Control
- Electronic limited slip differential
- The 5-Mode Drive Selector, and
- The Performance Data Recorder
Each one all the more relevant with this car’s elevated performance envelope.
And, like the Stingray, the new Z06 features an all-aluminum frame that is 60 percent stiffer than the aluminum frame in the outgoing model. The stiffer structure makes this the first Z06 to offer an open-air driving experience — with a standard, carbon-fiber removable roof panel.
This is an amazing car developed by an amazing team of dedicated individuals — a few of them are with us this morning so be sure to seek them out after:
- Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer
- Ken Parkinson, executive director of design, and
- We have a full contingent of representatives from our Bowling Green Assembly plant
Production will begin later this year with deliveries starting in early 2015. We’re showing it to you today because you’ll be seeing another Corvette out on the circuits somewhat sooner… one that looks a lot like the Z06.
Here to tell you more about it is our new president of General Motors, a good friend with whom I’ve driven the North Course at the Ring many times… Dan Ammann.
Corvette Racing is perhaps the most successful endurance racing program ever. In the American LeMans Series alone, Corvette Racing won 90 races in the last 14 seasons. 54 of those were 1st and 2nd place finishes. That resulted in 10 Manufacturer Championships and 10 Team Championships in that same timeframe, making Corvette the most successful team in ALMS history.
We expect that tradition to continue later this month when the 7th generation Corvette racecar makes its competitive debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona… the first race of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
And we want to show you our new car right now… ladies and gentlemen… the 2014 Corvette C7.R racecar.
The relationship between the Corvette Stingray, Z06 and C7.R is instantly recognizable. However, the family DNA is more than skin deep. For example, all share a common structure, built in our plant in Bowling Green.
The race drivers tell us they immediately noticed how the stiffer structure improved the C7.R’s handling, especially on rough tracks like Sebring, and over apex curbing.
Direct injection on the Z06 allows us to use the same technology on the race car – which gives drivers better throttle control, and could save enough fuel over 24 hours to bypass a pit stop. These are crucial minutes saved at the track.
The aerodynamic performance of the Z06 is so good that the race team had to do very little to get the downforce they need on the race car. But it’s more than that.
When you look at these two cars together, you can see the result of continuous technology and engineering transfer between the racing and production teams. What we learn on the track helps us build a better Corvette for the street, which in turn provides a better basis for the next racecar.
Here in the U.S, that strategy has made Chevrolet America’s favorite line of performance cars, and the winningest name in motorsports. In 2013, Chevrolet won the Manufacturers championships in NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-AM, and World Challenge. Chevrolet also accounted for 26 percent of all performance cars sold in the U.S. last year. Camaro outsold Mustang for the fourth consecutive year, while Corvette more than doubled the sales of Porsche 911, despite a six-month break in production to launch the Stingray.
Our story only gets stronger in 2014 when we’ll see our first full year of sales for Corvette Stingray and Convertible… our first full year with the SS Sedan… plus we’ll be launching the Camaro Z/28 and the Corvette Z06. No other manufacturer will be able to match the breadth of performance cars from Chevrolet.
That kind of success on the racetrack and the street helps to drive Chevrolet’s performance in the global market. Today, I am pleased to announce that, under Alan Batey’s leadership, Chevrolet had yet another year of record sales in 2013, with nearly 5 million vehicles sold worldwide.
Of course, we launched several new vehicles in 2013 to contribute to that growth. But we’re also striving to deliver technologies and features in every new vehicle that add value and enhance the overall ownership experience for our customers. And that’s having an impact on every segment around the world.
So 2013 was a watermark year for Chevrolet… we had the winningest team in motorsports… we sold more performance cars than anyone else in America… and we sold more vehicles worldwide than we ever have in the history of the brand.
Which makes us all very excited for the year ahead.
Now let’s bring Mark Reuss back up here, our new head of global product development… and also Alan Batey, president of GM North America.
Thank you all for joining us today.
Now please join us on stage to take a closer look at the Corvette Z06 and C7.R.
The GM Authority Take
Some points of potential interest:
- It’s very impressive that both the Corvette C7 Stingray and the 2014 Silverado won the Car and Truck of the Year awards, respectively. No matter what you may think about the new Silverado (it doesn’t go far enough, etc.) or the new Vette (it obviously has Camaro taillights), awards speak for themselves.
- We get a soft, fuzzy, and warm feeling knowing that the Z06 was hauled in to Cobo by the 2014 Silverado… say, what VW pickup would one use to, say, haul a Porsche or an Audi R8 to an auto show… or to a track? The answer: none, because the Amarok won’t cut it. And they call VW a full-line automaker.
- Great to know that track-to-street tech transfer is alive and well between Corvette Racing and GM proper/Corvette engineering. Now if only GM/Chevy would do the same when it comes to its mainstream (and more affordable) models, such as the Aveo/Sonic and Cruze. How about some performance variants of those? That would have a substantial “impact on every segment”, as per Mr. Ammann. Ford is doing just that with the Fiesta ST and Focus ST, and winning awards, attention, and new customers left and right.
- The removable roof on a Z06 is a very welcome addition. Who doesn’t like high-performance, open air motoring… especially when it doesn’t negatively impact performance? We sure do.
- It’s great to hear about Chevy’s success in selling the most performance cars in the U.S. market. But we see a tremendous amount of opportunity with enhancing other vehicles in the Chevrolet stable. See #3 above.
All in all, the Z06 and C7.R was a great reveal. And did we mention that we’re simply in love with the sound of the C7.R? Because we are. Just… listen to it. We expect the C7.R to decimate the competition, thereby drawing huge attention to and interest in the C7 Stingray and C7 Z06 among race-goers the world over.