Friday, August 31, 2012

Chevrolet Racing Revs Up Breast Cancer Fight

DETROIT – Chevrolet Racing will renew the brand’s fight against breast cancer this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway where every lap run under the caution flag will lead to a $200 contribution by Chevrolet to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative.
“For our 100th birthday in 2011, Chevrolet began its support of the American Cancer Society, and the generous response from our dealers, employees and customers told us we needed to help the Society fight for more birthdays,” said Don Johnson, vice president of Chevrolet Sales and Service. “At Chevy, we believe everyday heroes can accomplish extraordinary things, and it is in this spirit that we work to achieve a world without breast cancer.”
On Friday, 30 breast cancer survivors and their guests will spend the day at Atlanta Motor Speedway and participate in Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car rides around the historic track with Team Chevy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray and four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday Jr. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Danica Patrick also will visit with survivors for photos and autographs.
On Sunday, Chevy will donate $200 for every caution lap run during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500, paced by the pink Camaro SS featuring the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer logo. In 2011, 64 caution laps at Atlanta generated $12,800 for the American Cancer Society.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In September, Chevrolet will announce additional brand, dealer, employee and consumer activities in support of the American Cancer Society and Making Strikes Against Breast Cancer.
“Last year, contributions of more than $900,000 supported the American Cancer Society's mission to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back against this disease,” said Roshini George, national vice president of health promotions for the American Cancer Society. "As we approach National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, we want thank the Chevrolet family for its support and remind everyone to take the steps that make a difference in our fight against breast cancer.”
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than four million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Corvette’s Chassis Innovations Refined on the Race Track

DETROIT – It’s been said that racing improves the breed, and when it comes to the Chevrolet Corvette, nearly six decades of checkered flags are the proof. As Corvette marks its 60th anniversary in 2013, the design of the chassis, suspension and other drivetrain features are rooted in the rigors of competition.
“Candidly, Corvette was not a high-performance car until Zora Arkus-Duntov fitted it with a V-8, and began campaigning Corvettes in racing,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s vehicle chief engineer. “Today, the Corvettes competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans use many of the same components as Corvettes rolling off the assembly line at Bowling Green.”
The Corvette C6.R is built on the same aluminum frame rails that underpin production Corvette Z06 and ZR1 models. Other production chassis structures in the race car include the windshield frame, the hoop around the rear of the passenger compartment, the door hinge pillars, the drivetrain tunnel, the firewall and the floor pan. Corvette C6.R also uses the production steering column out of the ZR1, with a fully adjustable steering wheel, as well as production rack-and-pinion steering.
For the production Corvette ZR1, the racing influence is also evident in the rear transaxle design that helps achieve a near-perfect 51/49 weight distribution, as well as the racing-developed carbon ceramic brake rotors and Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires (developed by the same Michelin engineers who developed tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series). These features contribute to the ZR1 running Germany’s legendary Nürburgring in 7:19.63.
Here’s an overview of the chassis technologies that have shaped Corvette performance on and off the track:
C2: Independent suspension, disc brakes and aluminum wheels
First-generation (1953-62) Corvettes used a modified passenger car frame and live rear axle, which worked well with the cars’ comparatively modest performance output. Substantially greater power was on the horizon for the second-generation Corvette and racing-derived development spearheaded by the legendary Zora Arkus-Duntov – Corvette’s first chief engineer – highlighted the need for a dedicated chassis system.
When the “C2” (Corvette second generation) launched in 1963, it featured a sturdy, ladder-type frame design that was 90 percent stiffer than the sedan-based “X”-frame of the first-generation models. It also featured an independent rear suspension held in place by a unique transverse leaf-spring design. Besides offering greater handling capability, the independent rear axle was lighter than the previous solid axle design.
The C2 also introduced disc brakes and aluminum wheels, based on designs Duntov refined on Corvette race cars.
“Duntov pioneered the model of technology transfer by applying what was learned on the race track to improve the production cars,” said Juechter, “That philosophy continues to play an integral role in vehicle development at Chevrolet.”
C4: Unitized structure, composite springs, antilock brakes and traction control
The C4 generation (1984-96) represented an even bigger leap in chassis technology than the C2. The ladder frame that had served the Corvette for about 20 years was replaced by a unitized “backbone” chassis that, again, was inspired by racing cars. It eliminated several cross members, allowing direct mounting of the rear differential and other components, which enabled greater interior room. It was also lighter than the previous ladder frame.
Integrated on the backbone chassis was a “cage” incorporating the windshield frame, door frames, rear wall of the “cockpit,” rocker panels and more. The Corvette’s body panels were attached to the chassis and cage, marking the first time in the car’s history that it didn’t use a conventional body-on-frame design.
When it came to the suspension, the C4 again used unequal-length upper and lower A-arms in the front suspended by a new, transverse spring design similar to the rear suspension. At the rear was another transverse composite spring, but used with a new five-link independent suspension design vs. the previous three-link setup. The reinforced fiberglass springs were exceptionally strong yet compliant, and they worked in two ways: They flattened as they flexed, but when the vehicle rolled in a turn, they effectively formed an S shape. That added roll stiffness, which minimized the size – and weight – of the stabilizer bars.
Additional C4 chassis/drivetrain innovations included rack-and-pinion steering (1984), aluminum driveshaft (1984), aluminum disc brake calipers (1984), antilock brakes (1986) and traction control (1992).
The C4 was an unqualified success on the track. In its first year of competition, the C4 Corvette went undefeated and captured the SCCA Showroom Stock GT-class championship. That launched a renewed effort on racing and the benefits of technology transfer.
C5: Hydroformed rails, rear transaxle, magnetic ride
The C5 generation (1997-2004) built on the success of the C4 with a new, unitized backbone chassis design, but it was lighter and stronger. Its construction employed a comparatively rare process called hydroforming, which used water pressure and heat to turn six-inch steel tubes into side rails for the Corvette chassis. Each tube replaced what formerly had comprised 36 separate, welded components in the C4 chassis.
The other big advancement with the fifth-generation Corvette was the use of a rear transaxle, which moved the transmission to the rear of the vehicle rather than the traditional position directly behind the engine. The tunnel between the engine and transaxle was enclosed with a panel that contributed to the chassis’ strength and rigidity.
“Weight distribution was a primary motivator,” said Juechter. “We were trying to get to 50/50, balancing the work load on the front and rear tires, which is extremely challenging to do with the front-engine, V-8 powered car. Moving to a rear transaxle dramatically improved the weight balance, as well as enabling a smoother ride and greater interior space.”
Additional C5 chassis/drivetrain innovations included run-flat tires (1997), Active Handling System (1998), magnesium wheels (2002) and Magnetic Selective Ride Control (2003).
The strength and performance capability delivered by the C5 chassis paid huge dividends on the race track. During six years of competition, Corvette Racing – the first factory-backed Corvette team in the car’s history – led the C5.R to an overall victory at the Daytona 24-hour race and three 1-2 finishes in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During the 2004 season, Corvette Racing won every race the team entered and captured every pole position in the American Le Mans Series.
C6: Aluminum and magnesium structure
The success of the C5.R racing program directly influenced the design of the C6 Corvette (2005 – 2013) as designers and engineers further strengthened but lightened the proven backbone design.
At a glance, the C6 chassis looks similar to the C5, but it was shortened slightly and strengthened in key areas to enable greater performance and to enhance crashworthiness. And while it retained the same basic suspension design as the C5 – short/long arm front suspension and multi-link rear suspension with transverse composite springs – all of the components were redesigned. No C5 suspension parts were carried over to the C6.
For the first time, different chassis were available with different Corvette models. The higher-performance C6 Z06 and ZR1 models received a unique, aluminum-intensive backbone structure rather than the steel backbone used on other models. It was developed as a lighter foundation, featuring a magnesium roof structure and engine cradle, and weighed only 278 pounds – 49 percent less than the steel backbone’s 414 pounds. Like the steel frame, the aluminum chassis was created via hydroforming.
Corvette Racing immediately employed the C6 chassis with its C6.R race cars. Corvette Racing has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times since 2001, most recently beating Ferrari to the checkered flag in 2011.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chevrolet Sonic RS Priced From $20,995

DETROIT – The suggested retail price of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS with a six-speed manual transmission begins at $20,995, including destination. Sonic RS with the available six-speed automatic transmission starts at $22,280.
The performance-inspired RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience, with unique exterior and interior features. It is offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback that delivers generous rear-seat roominess and cargo space – up to 47.7 cubic feet (1,351 liters) with the rear seat folded.
Sonic RS is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque. Unique transmission gearing in the six-speed manual, or a 3.53 final drive ratio for automatic-equipped models, enhances the car’s sporty feel.
Production begins in October at General Motors’ Orion (Mich.) Assembly Center, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, helping create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area. Sonic is the only subcompact built in the United States.
Sonic RS exterior features
The front fascia of the Sonic RS has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps. Other features include:
  • New RS-specific grille
  • New rear fascia
  • New rear spoiler
  • New rocker moldings
  • Bright exhaust outlet
  • Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design
  • Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers
  • RS badging
  • A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available.
Exterior colors include Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic – a new, premium exterior color for 2013.
Sonic RS interior features
The performance theme continues into the cabin with a Jet Black interior exclusive to RS. Features include:
  • Leather-appointed front bucket seats with sueded microfiber inserts and red RS accents
  • New sport three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and racing-inspired flat-bottom design
  • New, leather-wrapped shifter knob with red stitching (manual transmission)
  • New aluminum sport pedals
  • Specific instrument panel cluster graphics
  • Standard Chevrolet MyLink.
MyLink is standard on Sonic RS and an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, voice recognition for compatible phones and six-speakers.
On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed.
MyLink is simple to use. The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions:
  • Personal playlists of stored music
  • Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit for a list of compatible smartphones)
  • Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
  • Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.
Later, BringGo, an embedded smartphone application for MyLink that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – will be available for an extra charge. It includes:
  • Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
  • Thousands of points of interest
  • Local Search via Google
  • Where am I? locator
  • Live traffic functionality with crash reports, lane closures, and alternative routes;
  • 3-D maps
  • Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor - many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.
Sonic RS performance
Sonic RS peak torque occurs at low rpm, providing an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band. The engine is matched with a standard six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic.
Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.
Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), designed for well-planted stability and balance, and the suspension is lowered by 10 mm (.39 inches) from the standard non-RS model.
RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.
Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.
Standard hill start assist makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on a steep uphill or downhill slope.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Corvette Featured Marque at 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

DETROIT – Chevrolet Corvette will be the featured marque next August at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where historic race cars annually come to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track to relive the sights, sounds and smells of racing days gone by.
Corvette’s recognition in Monterey, Calif., will come during its 60th anniversary model year, and a large contingent of Corvette racers is expected representing each of the car’s six generations in competition. Corvette also was the featured marque in 2002.
“Corvettes and racing have been inextricably linked since the very moment Zora Arkus-Duntov slipped behind the wheel for the first time,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet global vice president of marketing. “His spirit is felt in today’s winning Corvette Racing program, which continues a proud legacy and one we’re looking forward to celebrating next summer.”
The Corvette’s racing heritage began in 1956, when a trio of Corvettes engineered under the Duntov’s direction, competed in the 12-hour Sebring endurance racing. By 1960, Corvette was racing at Le Mans – and in its first year at the French 24-hour classic, drivers John Fitch and Bob Grossman drove their Briggs Cunningham-prepared car to a first-place finish in the GT class.
“We look forward to working closely with the Corvette team on making next year’s celebration a monumental one for Corvette racers, owners and automobile enthusiasts,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “The Monterey Peninsula will rumble to life with Corvettes of every era.”
Corvette Racing has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times, most recently in 2011 when the team edged out Ferrari.
Corvette has a winning history at Laguna Seca, too, including a one-two sweep of the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey race earlier this season.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Friday, August 24, 2012

Animation firm brings C7 Chevrolet Corvette conjectures to life!

There have been some exciting versions of the current C6 Corvette, including the Z06, ZR1, and for us regular workin’ Joes, the Grand Sport. But anticipation for the next-generation C7 Corvette has been running high, as evidenced by the off-the-charts pageviews we got from some spy shots of a mule testing a few months ago. Well, Trinity Animation, a graphical animation firm based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, did one better by combining all the publicly-available knowledge, photos and renderings of the upcoming C7 and synthesizing all the information into a two and a half minute video giving us an idea of what it might look like in the flesh.

Among some of the noteworthy details show in the video are rectangular taillights similar to those on the Camaro, center-mounted quad tailpipe tips, LED accent lighting in the headlamps, and aggressive front fender vents. Another cool feature, if it makes it to production, are the LED lights on the outer rear edge of the rear wheel wells. Also, rather than the domed glass hatch on the current C6 Corvette, this rendering of the C7 shows side rear-quarter windows, and a flat glass rear hatch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fit to be Dyed: Chevrolet Spark Suits Up for The Color Run™ Multicolor version of brand’s first U.S. mini car will pace urban 5K races nationally

 NEW YORK – The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Spark, a city car offered in bold hues such as Jalapeno, Salsa Red, Lemonade, Denim Blue and Techno Pink, will pace nearly 10,000 runners in The Color Run™ this Saturday and Sunday at the Aviator Sports Center in Brooklyn, the first of numerous Spark-paced races across the country.

Chevrolet and The Color Run today announced a sponsorship deal that makes the Spark – Chevrolet’s first mini car for the U.S. and Canadian markets – the official vehicle and pace car for The Color Run through 2013.

The Color Run is a popular, nationwide series of urban 5K races in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in different colors for each kilometer. Participation in and buzz for The Color Run have exploded since its debut last year, with nearly a half-million “likes” on Facebook.

“The Spark and The Color Run are perfect running mates because both appeal to style-conscious, high-energy urbanites who don’t live life in neutral,” said Cristi Landy, marketing director, Chevrolet Spark. “We hope Color Runners will like what they see when they meet the Spark.”

Pacing The Color Run events in New York is a specially designed Chevrolet Spark with a multicolor paint scheme over a white base that replicates the look of a color-saturated runner at the finish line. The theme continues inside with splashes of bright color throughout an already-color-coordinated interior.

“Our team wanted The Color Run Spark to look like an authentic race participant, and we believe this pace car will energize and inspire the crowd to take a closer look,” said Kathy Sirvio, the General Motors senior design manager who worked on the production version of the Spark.

Race organizers also partner with a charity in each city; this weekend, The Color Run will team up with the Police Unity Tour and Tuesday’s Children. Tuesday’s Children has made a long-term commitment to meet the needs of individuals impacted by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“We created the tag line ‘The happiest 5K on the planet’ when we saw how happy The Color Run made people; now the Chevrolet Spark’s involvement is going to help us bring more happiness to runners and charity partners in more cities,” said Travis Snyder, executive director for The Color Run. “We also love the fact that our events lead people to have a more healthy and active lifestyle.”

Remaining Spark stops on The Color Run schedule include Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9); Portland, Ore. (Sept. 29); Miami (Oct. 21); Houston (Nov. 11); Orlando (Dec. 2); and St. Petersburg, Fla. (Dec. 15), in addition to regional appearances.

The 2013 schedule will be announced later.

Spark went on sale in mid-July, combining five-door versatility with the sporty look of a three-door. Its athletic appearance is further enhanced by a rear spoiler and 15-inch alloy wheels.  

Uplevel versions feature Chevrolet’s MyLink color touch-screen radio. Standard on LT models, MyLink lets Spark owners bring their customized music libraries into the vehicle and use their compatible smartphones and Bluetooth connectivity to make hands-free calls and access embedded apps for Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio.

When the vehicle is in park, video and personal photos can be projected onto MyLink’s seven-inch touch-screen. Later in the year, BringGo, an app that provides full-function GPS navigation and live traffic updates, will be available.

In addition to MyLink, Spark is the only car in its segment to provide a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty – including roadside assistance and courtesy transportation – and six months of OnStar Directions & Connections service.

The Spark is offered in three trim packages: LS at $12,995, 1LT at $14,495 and 2LT at $15,795. It also offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smartfortwo and the Scion iQ.

Spark is equipped with an Ecotec 1.2L four-cylinder engine and standard five-speed manual transmission (a four-speed automatic is available). The Spark has the lowest average annual fuel cost of any Chevy small car except the Volt extended-range electric vehicle. It also uses regular unleaded fuel, while the Fiat 500 uses more expensive premium fuel.

Spark is also equipped with standard safety features typical of larger, more expensive cars, including 10 air bags, anti-lock brakes, panic brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Hill Start Assist and a “safety cage” structure of high-strength steel.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at