The Pace Car for the upcoming Indianapolis 500 on May 6, 2013, will be no other than the seventh-generation 2014 Corvette Stingray. The new Stingray will lead the field to green at the start 97th holding of what is considered as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the 12th time that Corvette has served as the Pace Car for the event, starting in 1978.
Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, remarked that it is an honor to help inaugurate the all-new Corvette Stingray at the “hallowed Brickyard” and continue the legacy between Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500.
He noted that since the performance of the 2014 Corvette Stingray was influenced by racing, assigning it as the Pace Car at the Indianapolis 500 is even more fitting. Campbell remarked that along with Chevrolet’s comeback in 2012 as an engine supplier, the Corvette Stingray Pace Car extends a legacy at the Brickyard that dates to its early days.
Jeff Belskus, president and chief executive of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., quipped that “Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway,” a connection further emphasized this year with the next-generation Corvette being the Pace Car. Finished in Laguna Blue Tintcoat with official Indianapolis 500 graphics on the doors, the Corvette Stingray Pace Car boasts of track-mandated safety features and strobe lights.
The vehicle did not undergo any powertrain upgrades since its all-new 450hp 6.2L LT1 engine – which features advanced technologies including direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) – has the ability to remain in front of the Indy pack.
Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design, described the exterior styling of the Corvette Stingray as provocative, functional and elegant. He remarked that although developing a new Corvette is every designer's dream, isn’t an easy task. He quipped in designing the new Corvette Stingray, their goal was to create a bold design statement that accurately embraces its advanced technology while improving its overall performance. This goal ultimately led to the new C7 Stingray a groundbreaking car that stays faithful to the basic elements that make a Corvette a Corvette.
Although there is no single cue remains from the previous generations of the Corvette, the new C7 Stingray features a characteristic profile as made possible by its long dash-to-axle ratio and a greenhouse inspired by the canopy of a fighter jet as well as dual-element tail lights. Thus, designers were able to give the new Corvette C7 Stingray a form that takes inspiration from both aerospace and nature.
Tom Peters, exterior design director, quipped that a new Corvette could only be called a Stingray if it is able to deliver an incredible yet purposeful visual impact, just like what the original Stingray achieved in 1963. Peters noted this kind of visual impact can be seen in fighter jets and the Stingray animal, adding that their beauty emanates from their purpose. He then quipped that just like fighter jets and the Stingray animal, every transition on every surface of the new Corvette C7 Stingray are with a purpose, as executed with beauty and proportion.