Corvette Designer Opens Up About New Stingray ‘Spaceship’


Every automobile enthusiast will tell at least one tale that sounds like a love story. Usually, they go like this:

One day, a car appeared and life was never the same again.

Such was the case of Corvette Stingray designer Tom Peters upon his first encounter with the General Motors (NYSE:GM) legend. Peters told The Detroit News in an interview that seeing his first Stingray way back when was “like a spacehip landed.” That awe never left Peters until he had the chance to design the C7 Corvette that’s being celebrated around the world.

Peters offered very measured responses in the The Detroit News interview, relaying information on how Chevy kept the cost of production down for such an exotic vehicle (the “element of scale”); the Ferrari (FIATY.PK) influence on the new Stingray (“Our design challenges are universal.”); and how racing influences helped his design team to focus on how to “feed the beast” that is the new Corvette.

Of course, lofty design talk wouldn’t mean a thing if Chevy didn’t put some runs on the board with the 2014 Corvette Stingray. From the critical and car-buying public response to the 2014 Corvette Stingray, Tom Peters and his C7 design hit a home run for GM.

If the glowing reviews and nomination for North American Car of the Year aren’t enough, the spike in Corvette sales should be reassuring GM that their investment in the spectacular Corvette is already paying off. After showing a jump of 237 percent in sales in October (compared to October 2012), U.S. car buyers gave the new Stingray another bump of 129 percent in November over the 2012 stats.

The solid performance didn’t end there for GM cars known for speed. The Chevy Camaro continues to outpace the Ford (NYSE:F) Mustang in 2013 with an edge of more than 4,000 units through November 2013. As the 2015 Mustang gets its global showcase, it’s likely sales of the last-generation model will continue to slow for Ford.

Corvette designer Tom Peters was reserved throughout his interview with The Detroit News, but he allowed himself a mini-boast when he described the reaction of Pratt & Miller’s race crew when they first saw the new Stingray.

“I kind of bowled them over,” Peters said.