Before everybody pretends to be Irish tomorrow, lets take some time out of the day and celebrate something truly American: the Chevrolet Corvette.
60 years ago, the Corvette debuted with lukewarm sales and was going to get cancelled shortly thereafter. However, a redesign and some power courtesy of the iconic Chevy small block turned the tides on the sales chart. 60 years on we are now celebrating an icon with the same formula: a big V8 with pushrods up front and a leaf spring suspension out back.
Here’s hoping the new Corvette will continue in its predecessors footsteps.
It took Chevrolet 100 years to come up with this car: The 2012 Chevrolet Centennial Edition Corvette Z06.
It was definitely worth the wait.
Just look at it. Its Carbon Flash Metallic paint shines like icing on a cake that you can’t stop devouring. It’s temptation on wheels. And those are wheels with red trim and beefy calipers bulging under the silky black satin cast-spun aluminum. (The front wheels are one inch smaller than the back wheels, and they look wider than the Detroit River.)
Every piece of this car just looks a little meaner: The big, chin-scraping splitter below the bumper, the flash of a carbon fiber stripe on the hood, and little details that are once-in-a-century kind of things.
This Chevy includes a small graphic on the B-pillar of Louis Chevrolet — the brand’s namesake. Even the traditional Corvette racing flag gets a one-time adjustment, with Chevy adding the number 100 for the occasion. After all, you only become a centenarian once in your life.
But most things turning 100 don’t come with a 7-liter V-8 under the carbon-fiber hood. Maybe they should.
This car is frightful on the road. It’s an angry machine that you try taming only a little. You’re never going to break it like so many mustangs or other wild ponies. You grip the wheel with as much fear as you do joy when you’re tearing around town. And there’s really no other way to drive it. It shreds highways.
Check out the view from the driver’s seat as the Corvette ZR1 makes its way around the famed Nurburgring. Corvette engineer Jim Mero recorded a lap time of 7:19.63, eclipsing the previous Corvette-best lap set in 2008 by more than six seconds!
Time is tickin’ on the current generation Corvette.
The C6 Corvette will be offered for the 2012 and 2013 model years, and that’s it. In fact, 2013 may be an abbreviated model year for the Corvette, according to a Chevrolet source.
C6 is General Motors’ designation for the current generation Corvette. The C6 has been on the market since the 2005 model year, and is long in the tooth.
While the source didn’t say, presumably a shortened model year would give the plant in Bowling Green, Ky., plenty of time to retool for the redesigned Corvette, coming for the 2014 model year. That car is referred to as the C7.
Interestingly, that means Corvette’s 60th anniversary will be marked with the current generation Vette, the 2013 model.
And if the past is any guide to the future — Corvette created special packages to mark previous anniversaries — I think we can expect a special edition 2013 Corvette to commemorate the event.