TO celebrate the success of Corvette in sports car racing and in particular the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race, a limited run of 250 ‘Victory Edition’ Corvette Coupes is being produced.
Since Corvette Racing made its debut in 1999 the team has won more than 50 races including five class wins at Le Mans between 2001 and 2006.
The £51,285 Victory Edition Corvette is based on the Corvette C6 Coupe, which shares strong links with the Corvette C6.R race car and the high performance Corvette Z06.
The Victory Edition uses a six-litre V8 engine producing 404bhp mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with the option of a six-speed paddle shift transmission with automatic modes. This lifts the price to £53,685.
The Victory Edition Corvette comes in a choice of black and yellow and is distinguished by 18-inch front and 19-inch rear competition grey aluminium wheels plus a rear spoiler.
Inside there are two-tone leather seats with Corvette flag emblems and contrasting stitching. Black versions have an ebony and red theme, while ebony and titanium grey colours are used for the interior of the yellow models.
Both have competition grey door sill plates, a carbon-look interior trim package and a numbered ‘Victory Edition’ badge.
Standard kit includes a DVD sat-nav system with touch screen and voice guidance, heated seats, memory presets for the driver’s seat, door mirrors and steering wheel.
A head-up display including a G-force metre and a premium Bose seven-speaker sound system are also standard.
Buyers are also invited to take part in a drivers’ training day with professional instructors at selected race tracks across Europe.
Chevrolet is going back to the future with an all-new Camaro coupe that takes its design cues from the iconic original of the 1960s.
The newcomer was unveiled in its native America just as the convertible concept version was revealed at this week’s British Motor Show in London.
The coupe will be built by General Motors in Canada and will go on sale in the States next year before crossing the Atlantic to the UK the following year.
Traditionally designed with a long bonnet and short rear end, the retro theme continues inside with round instrument gauges recessed into square housings.
Otherwise the car is thoroughly modern and uses four-wheel independent suspension, stability control, four-piston Brembo brakes and comes with park-assist, Bluetooth connectivity, half a dozen air bags and huge 20-inch alloy wheels.
Versions for the American market will have a choice of 3.6 V6 and 6.2 V8 engines although the UK engine choice has yet to be decided.
THESE days it seems that you can claim just about anything and not only will it be believed but someone will spin it into an absolute fact and before long there will be an entire policy think-tank on the subject.
Motorists, for instance, are planetocidal maniacs out every morning with the single intention of killing as much of Earth as possible and, just as soon as science allows, a good slice of the Alpha Centuri system, too. And because an earnest vegetarian cyclist with a beard said so, we drivers can be defamed for fun. What an influential woman.
It means Ken Livingstone can declare people ‘idiots’ simply because the have the wherewithal to buy a Mitsubishi Shogun.
It means that a man called Turner, who worked for the newt botherer at London parish council, can move over to the Highways Agency and suggest a winning idea for reducing congestion would be traffic lights with interminable change sequences at the start of motorway slip roads. I presume the idea is to bore drivers to death.
At County Hall he is reported to have described using your own car to drive to work as “an inappropriate use of road space.” Ah, yes, like all those hospital patients who are clearly an inappropriate use of bed space.
No matter, such is the sponge-like nature of the modern brain, people will soon see empty motorways as a good thing, ideal habitats for wild flowers with many stretches dedicated to street theatre and other exciting and inclusive initiatives.
With a little bit of spin you will agree. Just as soon as you understand that global warming has caused infertility among the Emperor Penguins of Antarctica. And it’s your fault. Yes, you in the 1.6 litre rain forest killer.
Just as so many agreed that speed cameras would reduce the number of accidents after one copper after another squeaked ‘speed kills’ on his local 6pm news. And non squeaked louder than Richard Brunstrom, the chief con of North Wales.
Now, having fined Welshmen to the height of their leeks, he says they don’t help save lives and alienate the public. Never mind, we’ll think of something else. A purge on motorway nose picking, maybe.
Would you believe that shoppers are now more worried about salt content than food poisoning? “Ooh look love, that sweaty bacon is half price and you could do with a week in hospital. Put the beans back they have 3.2g of sodium.”
So at the end of a year or so of flogging Daewoos with a bit of an image problem, General Motors – that’s Vauxhall to you and me – did what any sensible spin doctor would do and changed the name.
Over 95 per cent of people surveyed by GM recognised the Chevvy brand, possibly from a diet of CSI Miami and possibly not. Only a family of four in West Bromwich could accurately attribute the Daewoo badge. And then it was to a television set from Asda.
This despite the previous Chevrolet products sold here being a battleship-sized 4×4 called the Blazer and a straight jacket of a Corvette.
Which brings us to the Lacetti. Now, it will be interesting to see if the new badge has any effect on what is an own-brand large loaf of a car – cheaper than the rest but still able to satisfy the needs of a family.
The entry level hatchback costs £9,500 if anyone ever buys a car now without discount. I can talk specifically about the 1.6 saloon. It’s nicely styled with a hint of Astra, roomy and well equipped for £11,495. It even has a refrigerated glove box.
But I can’t help feeling that it seems just like the Lacetti I drove last year. Of course it’s not, because it’s a Chevrolet.
So what do you get. Well good-for-the-price finish for a start, even if we are talking Draylon rather than Chesterfield. A big boot and half decent fuel consumption. You do not, however, get any performance. Not with a 109mph top speed and the acceleration of a strolling police officer.
Razzing, of course, is not what you bought it for. More important to the target audience of young singles and families is the central locking keyless entry, air conditioning, double air bags, electric windows, plenty of storage, baby seat anchorage and a pretty decent sound system. On top of that there is now a proper dealer system.
There is a promising sounding Sport version with a 1.8 engine and there is also an estate. Although because this is a Chevrolet, it’s called a station wagon.
There is no doubt, with things like a height adjustable driver’s seat, ABS and Thatcham immobiliser on all models the car is good value.
And, of course, the Lacetti now comes with a respected American badge. For those of you who didn’t have the bottle to take a spin down to the shops in a Daewoo.
SO the Olympic bedside light has been tuned off for another four years. And what a sports day it was.
There was everything: records, history, laughter and tears. Even that swivel-eyed God botherer in an orange skirt who tried to commit what would have been one of the most spectacular suicides ever at the Silvestone Grand Prix.
It’s interesting to examine which nation excels at what event. There are spindly-legged men from the dark continent who have no difficulty running around in circles forever. The British demonstrate the benefit of a public school education by rowing like speedboats and sailing with all the skill and grace of Nelson’s flagship.
The Chinese are able to bounce and somersault in a gymnastic style that seems to defy human evolution. But then years of flying over your handlebars in Beijing high street will always throw up cyclists who can land with face-saving grace and poise.
American athletes are excllent in events that happen in a straight line. They swim like fish. In a straight line. They sprint as well as the beasts of the jungle. In a straight line. Show them a corner and, whoops … there goes the baton again.
About the only straight line event the Americans shoud be kept away from is shooting. Friendly fire in the pistol finals is not quite what the Oympic ideal is all about.
American cars similarly are excellent at burning up the black top so long as the race only lasts for two blocks and involves no deviation of more than five degrees. In America cars do not slide out of control on bends and fly into bus queues. There are no bends. Look closely next time cops and robbers are on the TV. Have you ever spotted a roundabout in CSI Miami? Thought not.
This is just as well. Turn on the ignition on a wet day in an American ‘sports’ car and it faces the other way quicker than a randy dog. You thought Tony Blair was the master of spin? Well try a Corvette.
Driving the old ‘Vett, the one Vauxhall stopped importing after selling about two in as many years, is a fond memory.
To meet the requirements of Bruce Springsteen lyrics it had massive power and gold medal straight line performance. Hit the excitement pedal and, in a short time, after the dust, smoke and dead cats clear, you realise that without really trying you have invaded a sandy, middle-eastern dictatorship.
Ah, but the corners. In the UK we have to have lots of bends because being such a small country we would run out of Tarmac and drive into the sea if all our highways were like Telegraph Road.
The first one I showed to the ‘Vette brought on a mild dizzy spell. At the second it was sick all over someone’s shoes and going into the third it stopped dead and started crying for its momma.
But still I loved it. Still I hunted high and low for a Starsky and Hutch cardigan to wear driving it. Still, like a Florida election count, I couldn’t work out if the Corvette was a happy accident or downright cheating.
Well look over here. The ‘Vette is on its way back and coming to a car lot near you for around £45,000.
So what’s different? Well if it had Kelly Brook looks before it’s now got Kelly Brook naked looks.
It is shorter and heavily dependent on aluminium – sorry that would be aloominum – under a plastic body. I know you can’t believe it but here is something American that has actually lost weight. It weighs 128kg less than a BMW M3, which seems to bode ill for the famed Munich sausage diet.
Oh, and it still has that wonderful, Boys Own, F16 style head-up instrument display.
The C6 Corvette is promoted as quicker than the last model. Four English seconds to reach 60mph and a top speed of 180mph. I seem to recall that is an utterly pointless but immensely satisfying 10mph faster than the old one.
I’d have to drive it, and believe me I can’t wait, to tell you if the C6 is as good at the Fosberry Flop as the previous version. What we do know is that it has the muscle of a shot putter from the former Soviet Union. A female one at that. The V8 engine has 6,000ccs and chucks out 400bhp. Torque? Well do it quietly among yourselves while I tell you there’s 400lb/ft at 4,000rpm.
Massive tyres should produce grip like a Bulgarian arm wrestler but that will be offset by the Italian suspension.That’s Italian in the sense that its leaf springs are based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci.
So suspension from the midde ages with positively steroidal, pumped up performance. A 100 metres champion if ever David Coleman saw one.
That’s another nice thing about the last Olympics. Apart from suspicions surrounding the Greek syncronised bazookie team falling off its motorbike, there were no really big drugs scandals. Certainly there would never be any question of American involvement. They’ve given all theirs to the Corvette.
A MASSIVE recall of almost 4,500 new cars has been ordered by Chevrolet, whose models here were formerly known as Daewoos.
The Nubira and Lacetti small family cars could have problems with their brake lights that could result in drivers becoming stranded. This is caused by the brake pedal damaging the switch that controls the lights.
If the switch is damaged it causes the brake lights to stay on permanently, which confuses following vehicles and effectively renders the Chevrolets’ warning system ineffective.
The lights also remain illuminated even when the ignition is switched off and the vehicle is left, which could drain the battery to the point where the cars cannot be restarted.
Now 4,474 owners are being asked to take their vehicles to the nearest dealer to have remedial work carried out.
THEY will not be on sale in the UK until early spring next year but Chevrolet is giving a motor show preview of its newcomers alongside its present line-up of Matiz, Kalos, Lacetti and Tacuma. models.
And for nostalgia fans, also on the stand will be a 1935 Chevrolet Suburban Carryall – the first ever SUV.
It gives Chevrolet a heritage link being the original and authentic product and celebrates 70 years of Chevrolet SUV production.
The Captiva is the first diesel powered Chevrolet SUV in Europe and will be available with five or seven seats and features an active on-demand all wheel drive system.
Tailored to European tastes, the Captiva will be available with an all-new two-litre, 150bhp common-rail direct-injection diesel or the two-litre petrol.
The diesel engine was developed in co-operation between GM Powertrain and VM in Italy. It is the first application of a family of diesel engines that will later become available in the range of Lacetti five-door, four-door and Station Wagon models.
The suspension settings on the Captiva were developed by General Motors at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire. It was there that the vehicle also undertook a considerable amount of durability testing along with other development programmes and tests specific to the UK.
Chevrolet says the suspension is fully independent for good on-road performance but the ground clearance and wheel travel ensure that the Captiva is more than capable off-road.
The design of the Captiva closely follows the S3X concept that was received with great acclaim at the Paris Motor Show in 2004.
Customers will have the choice between front-wheel drive and an active-on-demand all-wheel-drive system.
It will come in four derivatives: LS five-seat petrol, LT five-seat diesel, LT seven-seat diesel and the top of the range LT ‘Special Model’ seven-seater.
The all-new Epica is an attractively styled mid-size saloon with space for five people and comes with a new two-litre six-cylinder petrol of two-litre diesel power pack.
Chevrlolet says the Epica’s interior sets new standards for Chevrolet passenger cars in Europe with the use of high quality soft feel mouldings with chrome highlights, luxurious leather seat facings, climate control air conditioning and a high power FM tuner/CD system all giving the car a sense of executive luxury but at a bargain price.
Its large boot will swallow up plenty of holiday luggage or the weekend shopping with space to spare.
HAVE you ever read a children’s book titled ‘Ridiculous”?
It’s a great story about a tortoise that does not want to hibernate for winter but has this desire to be like all the other animals that do not hibernate.
So he waits for his parents to fall asleep then sneaks out into the cold snowy countryside. He meets lots of animals on the way which all say the same thing: ‘a tortoise out in winter – ridiculous’. Finally the tortoise realises it is ridiculous, returns to his parents and promptly falls asleep.
And the same could be said about a diesel in a Chevy. ‘A diesel in a Chevy – Ridiculous’. But not in this case as Chevrolet takes the wraps off its first ever diesel-engined car especially for the UK market.
The new Lacetti, which has sold over 160,000 across Europe since its introduction back in 2003, is due out this spring in two variants, a five-door hatchback and a station wagon.
Both come with a new two-litre turbo diesel engine that sprints from 0-62mph is a sprightly 9.8 seconds, has a top speed of 117mph and a very economical fuel consumption of 58.8mpg in the five door hatchback and 52.3mpg in the larger Station Wagon.
Trying to appease Mr Livingstone, if that were possible, this Euro IV compliant unit also offers impressively low carbon dioxide emissions with a CO2 figure of just 149g/km on the hatch and slightly higher on the Wagon of 158g/km.
Prices have yet to be announced but with less car tax to pay each year, coupled with drastically reduced trips to the filling station, there will be plenty of spare money to go shopping.
At last, music to the ears of drivers who are the constant target of this government’s devious plot to take every penny they can possible lay their murky paws on.
They conned us with cheap diesel luring us into a false sense of security that despite the initial price increase in purchasing a diesel, money would soon be recuperated through cheaper fuel.
But not any more, diesel and petrol are within pennies of each other and where is all this profit going? Well certainly not back into our transport system, nor our roads, but into No10′s refurbishing budget.