January 14 (RIA Novosti) - It’s enough to render a grown man speechless, bring a tear to his eye and set his heart racing like never before as he stares, mouth agape, like a small child in a glorious candy shop.
For the first time in nine years, General Motors (GM) has released an all-new version of its classic American sports car, the 2014 Corvette Stingray, a sleek little number that goes from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in less than four seconds.
"I think that it looks more futuristic, and having a car that is more futuristic ... is what everybody's looking for," John Vidas, president of Venice Florida Corvettes, told The Associated Press.
GM unveiled the new model before an invitation-only crowd ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Sunday night, and with it, raised the hopes of the struggling American auto industry.
The question: will the new model be enough to turbo-charge lagging sales? Last year’s Corvette sold just 14,000 new vehicles, less than half of the number that sold just after the model was released in late 2004.
For many, the Corvette is an American icon that’s been around since 1953, the kind of adrenaline-fueled sports car little boys dream of.
The seventh generation Corvette has a 450-horsepower engine, a choice of seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission and a new, fuel-efficient design to meet strict new rules on gas-guzzling.
“The 2014 Corvette delivers the fastest acceleration, the most cornering grip, the most track capability, the best braking performance and what we expect to be the best fuel economy ever for a standard Corvette,” said chief engineer Tadge Juechter.
One thing GM hasn’t delivered on: the sticker price. The company says it’s competitive. The current vehicle starts at $49,600.
The much-anticipated 2014 Corvette Stingray is scheduled to reach dealer showrooms by September.