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article imageOp-Ed: $52,000 for the 2014 Corvette Stingray, will the C6 be obsolete?

By Elizabeth Parker     May 2, 2013 in Technology
GM has released the price of the new base model C7, a Corvette redesign for 2014 at under $52,000. Many feel the C7 will obsolete the previous very popular C6 and anger recent purchasers. Others feel it's going to be a flop.
A few days ago GM released the base price on the new 2014 Stingray Corvette and many dealers are taking orders now. This 7th generation model has had a total revamp this year, leaving much speculation in on line Corvette forums and in Corvette circles as to just what it will do to sales of the existing C6 models left from 2012 and 2013. Speculation says recent purchasers will be angry they could have had the new one at a the same price with its higher horsepower and interior upgrades, others claim to not like the look of the square tail lights and that the new one will be a flop. Following on line discussions show reactions to the price release and discussion on whether the C7 will obsolete the C6.
A new 2012 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Corvette.
A new 2012 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Corvette.
Currently you can find both the 2012 and 2013 years for sale, new, with some great purchase incentives being offered. As a recent Corvette purchaser I chose to buy the 2012, new at a great price in March. Originally I wanted to wait until the 2014 came out to make a final decision, but my husband gave me some very solid and valid points to think about as to why I shouldn't worry about the 2014 and make the purchase now.
We had been looking for about 2 years at a used C5 or current C6 model as we love the curvy sleek shape and style.
A 1963 split window C2 Corvette at a Corvette show in Forest City  NC.
A 1963 split window C2 Corvette at a Corvette show in Forest City, NC.
My favorite model is the 1963 split window coupe C2 but I don't want to own a classic/antique car so that rules out old. The C2 was never obsoleted for me by any that came since, I like all of them.
A C2  1963 split window Sting Ray Corvette.
A C2, 1963 split window Sting Ray Corvette.
The 2014 will be hard to get hold of at first, have no deals for some time to come and could possibly have first year redesign pains and recalls. This often happens with big redesigns in the release year. In the end I was convinced I would still love the C6 on the release of the C7 and just because I like Ferrari's and Porsches doesn't mean I'll suddenly stop liking other sports cars.
It stands to reason some people will love the new model when it comes out and some won't. I can't wait to see it in person my self, I like the photos, but it does have some things I look and wonder about, such as the gills along the bottom of the doors. As far as the price goes, I think it's very reasonable. It has some nice upgrades, though not over whelming, 20 hp more, the stiffer aluminum chassis, and reported interior upgrade options offered to solve the poor interior complaints that GM was commonly put down in past for. These upgrades won't make or break the older models appeal. Horsepower can be added to the base C6 (or to the base C7) relatively inexpensively for those that want it. The new look is flashy in photos but still says Corvette to me, and the handling should be the great handling Corvette owners expect.
Will 20 HP more obsolete the C6? I don't see it. A performance tune on the C6 will gain you 10 to 15 hp alone for a few hundred dollars but most owners don't worry about the tune as they will never run their base Corvette's at the 180+ mph it can go. I can attest to the fact that I'll never use all the horsepower in mine but I sure love the feel of stepping down when passing another vehicle. There are quite a few other relatively inexpensive adjustments that C6 owners do to get extra horsepower. 500+ horsepower can be added at a reasonable cost, so 20 horsepower alone is not going to sell the new vehicle.
The look, feel and ride that is Corvette, at the price point when compared to similar cars in the same class, like the Porsche 911, as stated by John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet performance cars, reported in the Startribune,
"The car performs similar to a Porsche 911, yet a comparably equipped 911 would cost $100,000, Fitzpatrick said."
If the vehicle lacks anything there, it won't sell; otherwise it will sell. Those that like the C6 will grab them up at great prices, as they are still a fabulous deal for a great performance car. Others will be itching to trade in their 3 year old C6 Corvettes to own the new one. If I love the new look, I'll have a car to trade in come 2015 or 2016, otherwise I'll keep having fun with the 2012 C6. It won't be the first time I kept an old model car and hated a new revamp.
I do think GM has done it right. It has changed the look, but not so radically it's not identifiable as a Corvette, or two seated fun car, it has kept the power and performance and improved on some of the long standing issues. Just what I would expect a company to do, no upgrades would make it same as the last years car.
I don't think GM has obsoleted every previous model... every model has had it's pluses and minuses, but GM has made enough of a change for it to be real revamp. Time will tell just how well it's received through all the hype. I think $52,000 at $1400.00 more then last years for the coupe with the upgrades it offers are right where it needs to be to satisfy those looking for a new Corvette and still makes it the best deal in the market for a 2 seat, performance sports car.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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