Corvette paces 97th Indy 500

2013-05-25T14:00:00Z Corvette paces 97th Indy 500Jim Jackson Times Auto Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 25, 2013 2:00 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Chevrolet Corvette enters the record books pacing today’s 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 for the 12th time in the sport car’s storied 60-year history.

Leading the field of 33 open-wheel Indy race cars to a green flag start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the seventh-generation 2014 Corvette Stingray.

“It is an honor to help inaugurate the all-new Corvette Stingray at the hallowed Brickyard,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s performance is influenced by racing, making this prestigious assignment even more fitting.”

This year’s Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car is clad in Laguna Blue paint draped with official Indianapolis 500 graphics and powered by a 6.2–liter V8 engine that builds 450 horsepower.

Only track-mandated safety equipment and strobe lights differentiate this Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car from the 2014 Corvette Stingray production model.

“We’ve had a number of customers inquire about the 2014 Corvette Stingray’s release date and order placement,” says James Major, sales consultant for Ridgeway Chevrolet in Lansing. “Because the Corvette is such an iconic vehicle there are enthusiasts that bleed Corvette red, trying to place orders for the car sight unseen.”

The 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe goes on sale this fall for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $51,995 with freight.

A Corvette Stingray Convertible will follow later in the model year priced at $56,995.

“Performance is a definite upsell for folks asking about the car. But for the hardcore Corvette enthusiasts, price is only an issue when there’s a lack of value. The 2014 Corvette Stingray is total value for the dollar,” Major said.

According to a GM spokesperson, no 2013 Indianapolis 500 Corvette Pace Car replicas are going to be built for sale.

The production rear-drive, front engine 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe features a carbon fiber hood and removable carbon fiber roof panel.

It also features composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels, aerodynamic carbon-nano composite underbody panels and new aluminum frame for an optimal 50/50 weight balance.

Such mechanicals as a five-position Drive Mode Selector tailors 12 vehicle dynamics to fit the operator’s driving needs, while a new seven-speed manual transmission with active rev-matching technology mates the engine speed to gear selections for precision "throttle-blip" downshifts.

An all-new Corvette interior offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather appointments, dual eight-inch configurable infotainment system and two seat choices – each with a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support.

2013 marks the 24th time Chevrolet has served as Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 – more than any other brand, dating back to 1948 with a Chevrolet Fleetmaster.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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