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New Corvette coming to Australia

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Iconic American sportscar headed Down Under for first time in 60 years.

The heartbeat of America – the iconic Chevrolet Corvette unveiled in Detroit this morning – is coming to Australia for the first time in the sportscar’s 60-year history. General Motors has been promising a right-hand-drive version of the Corvette for decades but this time it’s serious, albeit “a few years away”.

At the media preview in Detroit this morning Australian time News Limited asked the chairman and CEO of General Motors, Dan Akerson, if the new, seventh-generation Corvette would be made in right-hand-drive. He answered “yes”. When asked when, he said “soon”.

But “soon” in the car industry is expected to mean a 2015 or 2016 introduction in Australia. The chief engineer of the new Corvette, Tadje Juechter, told News Limited: “We want the Corvette to come to Australia. I get letters from Australia all the time.

“Our primary competition sells left- and right-hand-drive, so that’s what we want to do. Our plan is to make this a truly global car. “But I would say [Mr Akerson’s] timetable is a little faster than what you’re probably thinking. It’ll be years away [rather than soon].”

A new Corvette comes along once every 10 years but Juechter said Australians would not have to wait “a decade” for the new model. In the US it costs about $80,000 but in Australia it would likely be priced about $100,000. Privately imported and converted Corvettes sell for in excess of $250,000.

The boss of Holden Mike Devereux told News Limited the company had no public comment to make about the new Corvette’s sales potential in Australia. The new Corvette, which adopts the Stingray name for the first time since the 1970s, is faster and lighter than its predecessors, even though it is bigger.

The 6.2-litre V8 engine has been upgraded with direct injection and the manual gearbox has a mode that pre-empts the correct revs required to engage the next gear. The Corvette has been seen as a working-class icon in recent years but the company has overhauled the new model and used more exotic materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium to enable it to stand scrutiny against Europe’s finest.

It was even developed on Germany’s Nurburgring test track, the home base for Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicle development test teams. The new Corvette will be unveiled to the public at the Detroit motor show later this week before going on sale later this year.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling
 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 6 comments

  • How do you figure that it cost "about" $80,000 in the US?? The 'vette starts at $53,000. Extra's would push it up to about $77,000. It'd almost be cheaper to import one and keep it as a LHD if GM Australia is going to hike up the price that much.

    Richard Robert Posted on 11 April 2014 6:43pm
  • Its good to see that they are finally going to do a right hand drive and bring them into Australia they will increase there sales 10 fold its a real pain having to get a car converted to right hand drive and costs a lot of money no wonder corvette lovers have been buying european sports cars as they come either left or right hand drive all i can say is about time and good to see

    kevin mcintosh of Australia Posted on 24 July 2013 7:45am
  • Move over !!! overpriced european sports cars and their zealous owners. The Corvette is the real deal,handles,performs and brakes like a racing car but a comfortable all day drive. Takes two massive suitcases under the hatch,get's more looks per litre. bulletproof mechanicals but simple and straighforward to service. Wining its class of the last three LeMans 24hour.

    ted norman of Memphis Tennessee/Darwin Australia Posted on 17 January 2013 1:21pm
  • Well I don't know if good news for Monaro fans. I wish another new Monaro will come But I leave it to all

    Joe Lovestick Posted on 14 January 2013 6:03pm
  • $100k? Hardly. I have the suspicion that GMH would try to price this a lot higher. Especially when you consider taxes etc... Would have been nice though if it didn't look like the lovechild of a Ferrari and the SRT Viper.

    michael of St Kilda Posted on 14 January 2013 1:42pm
  • "The 6.2-litre V8 engine has been upgraded with direct injection and the manual gearbox has a mode that pre-empts the correct revs required to engage the next gear." 2011 Ford Ranger Diesel has engine rev matching for the manual models, so nothing really new there... Coming in Right Hand Drive though, now that's news worth celebrating!!!

    Aquahead Posted on 14 January 2013 1:28pm
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