Corvette enthusiasts await debut of 2014 model

DETROIT, Mon Jan 14, 2013 — Members of America’s Corvette Club can’t wait to see General Motors Corp.’s 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine years, which the automaker will unveil this week at the annual Detroit auto show.

The seventh generation Corvette, called C7 by fans of the iconic American sportscar, has a front-mounted engine and a shape like a race car. GM showed it to the media on Sunday and will make pictures and video available to the public.

But 100 members of the Corvette Club from southeastern Michigan are counting the hours until January 19, when GM will give them a chance to see and touch the car an hour before the doors of the auto show are opened to the public, said social director Peter Shilland, who owns an exclusive 2009 Corvette Callaway edition.

“We want to hear from the engineers and see how far they’ve come with the C7,” said Shilland, a former GM employee.

The car has been has been redesigned from the ground up and goes on sale next summer.

Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, said the Corvette is a “halo car” that will draw buyers to the Chevrolet brand, which accounted for 71 percent of the company’s U.S. sales in 2012.

Akerson said the Corvette is indicative of the risks the company is willing to take with its new products and called the new Corvette “a balanced risk.”