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New 'Vette Won't Cost That Much More Than Current Model

DETROIT (WWJ) - When the all-new 7th generation Corvette hits dealerships in the fall, it will come with a starting price of $51,992.

That means the 2014 Corvette Stingray will cost about $1400 more than the current model.

"This will be and continue to be the best value and performance in the industry," said GM North America President Mark Reuss, at a breakfast last week, prior to the pricing announcement. "We won't walk away from that for Corvette."

The Corvette Stingray attracted large crowds at January's North American International Auto Show, where it made its world debut. It was also a big attraction at other auto shows, including New York, where we saw the North American debut of the convertible version.

The Corvette Stingray Convertible will start at $56,995.

Dealers say customers already are putting down deposits.

"Every day you have someone coming in wanting to know about the new Corvette," says Bill Perkins, owner of two Chevrolet dealerships in the Detroit suburbs. "You have a lot of enthusiasts out there. You have a lot of people that have purchased Corvettes before. A lot of people come in wanting to know the price, how soon they can get one."

A GM press release detailed standard features on the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray:

■Seating with lightweight magnesium frames for exceptional support, and eight-way power adjustment
■Five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors up to 12 vehicle attributes
■New seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching
■6.2L LT1 V-8 engine with direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system
■Carbon fiber hood on all models, and a carbon fiber removable roof panel on coupes
■Aluminum frame that is 99 pounds lighter (45 kg) and 57-percent stiffer than the previous model's structure
■Advanced, high-intensity discharge (HID) and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting
■Dual, eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, with next-generation Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and rear vision camera
■Bose nine-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and SD card and auxiliary input jack
■Keyless access with push-button start
■Power tilt/telescope steering wheel
■An all-new, fully electronic top on the convertible that can be lowered remotely using the key fob

As shown at the North American International Auto Show, the Stingray coupe fitted with the major available options would be $73,360, including:

■3LT interior package, with leather-wrapped interior ($8,005)
■Z51 Performance Package ($2,800)
■Competition sports seats ($2,495)
■Exposed-carbon-fiber roof panel ($1,995)
■Magnetic Ride Control with Performance Traction Management ($1,795)
■Dual-mode exhaust system ($1,195)
■Carbon fiber interior trim ($995)
■Sueded, microfiber-wrapped upper interior trim ($995)
■Red-painted calipers ($595)
■Black-painted wheels ($495)

A $1,400 increase is "not that much of a change when you look at everything that's happened to the car," said John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet performance cars.

The car performs similar to a Porsche 911, yet a comparably equipped 911 would cost $100,000, Fitzpatrick said.

When pricing the Corvette, GM knew it had to avoid giving sticker shock to younger buyers, who should like all the new features. The average Corvette buyer is a male around 50 years old, Fitzpatrick said.

"We want to retain that loyal Corvette customer. We also realize that we do have to attract a younger buyer and do things that make the car aspirational to them."

Some analysts have said that the Corvette is a "baby boomer's" car. But GM North America President Mark Reuss, who's part of that generation, feels the new styling can change perceptions.

"We're going to appeal for a whole new demographic of buyer for this," he said. "No longer is it guys like me that can afford one and saved up their whole life for one. A younger demographic will get back into Chevrolet as an aspirational sports car."

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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