As the halo vehicle for the General Motors portfolio, the Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most iconic and loved sports cars of all times. Now in its seventh generation, the 2014 Corvette Stingray has been noted to be one of the most important launch vehicles, ready to make a new mark in history. As part of an experiential marketing tour for consumers, Chevrolet and its marketing partners are now taking the newly released sports car to some of the most notable racetracks around America. Starting in Monticello, New York, an eight-city tour has begun, and uses it second stop to land in one of its most important consumer markets for the sports car, in Palm Beach, South Florida. Giving consumers full access to experience America’s sports cars on the track, the event invites current Corvette owners and potential buyers to experience the new Stingray in its natural born habitat.
The new Corvette isn’t just a sports car that’s noted for performance anymore. Even though this event underlines just what this 460 horsepower performance product is capable of, much attention has also gone into the fit and finish of the new product. Harlan Charles, Corvette Project Manager says, “the Corvette has always been recognized as a performance car, but this time, engineers focused more on interior materials, and not only what’s measured by a stopwatch”. This event gave consumers plenty of time to check out over 40+ Corvettes with various trim levels that were present at the event. Many did take notice to not only the various color choices available highlighting the aggressive and attractive exterior, but also to the expansive amount of detail and quality materials now used on the interior.
Throughout the day, participants had the chance to experience the all-new sports car in three different modules that were set up throughout the racetrack. The first module at the event introduced consumers to the all-new drive mode selector control system that allows the Corvette to tailor its driving dynamics to that of the customer’s desire. On a controlled slalom course, participants followed closely behind a lead driver four different times to experience each of the four main drive modes which included; the Eco, Touring, Sport, and Track modes. This demonstration gave customers the opportunity to feel how the new Stingray is able to adapt its suspension, engine throttle, and steering input to various selected positions. Harlan stated, “drivers are able to tailor the car to what they want, its completely customizable.”
The second module gave participants the opportunity to experience the full dynamic capabilities of America’s sports car on the Palm Beach International Raceway’s own go cart track. This small, tight, and twisty track highlighted the precision driving Corvette owners and enthusiasts have always been aware of. Event directors set a lead and follow situation eight times around the tight track and allowed consumers to select any drive mode desired to fully experience the capabilities of the Corvette. During the run, many drivers choose to utilize different modes to truly understand the capabilities of the Corvette’s full range of customization available.
The third and final module was the most anticipated, and allowed event participants the chance to open up the full capabilities of the all-new Corvette Stingray on the full PBIR track. The driving dynamics of the Vette couldn’t be tamed on the surface, and area where the car shines the most. Consumers were able to take the new Stingray up to speeds surpassing 120mph on the 1.5 mile track three different times in a traditional lead to follow manner. The track contained two different straightaway punches that allowed drivers to open up the car to its full roaring potential. There were also a number opportunities to take the Corvette to its full handling capabilities by carving apex curves as closely as possible.
The weather during the event could not have been better, and in total the four hours spent at the event were completely worth it. Besides the featured presentation at the event, a number of marketing partners were also present including Golf Digest, GQ magazine, Wired magazine, and Architectural Digest. All of which offered plenty of copies of their respective publications. Each marketing partner also had an expansive living room tent set up for guests to enjoy some time off their feet while anxiously awaiting their next module to commence. At the end of the event, a gift bag was also handed out and included a Corvette Stingray brochure, iPad case, and necklace from GQ magazine. Overall, General Motors and Chevrolet put together a great day and experience that participants will remember, especially when it comes time to select a new sports car for their own garage.