The Chevrolet Performance media event on the eve of the SEMA show was star studded, both in the flesh-and-bone and metal-and-fiberglass sense. The event saw everyone from country music stars to NASCAR champions, and everything from the absolute latest automotive performance parts to three Bowtie-adorned stars from the silver screen. And that was just on the first night of the weeklong SEMA show.
The hour-long event, held in Las Vegas, featured a look at all of the concept vehicles that will be at Chevrolet Performance’s SEMA booth, as well as the concept performance parts for 2014. Early on in the show, it was easy to see that two cars stole the spotlight — the all-new 2014 Silverado and the all-new Stingray. The Stingray is shown in three show stopping variations, with two versions of the car dedicated to the opposite coasts of the United States. The Stingray Coupe Pacific Concept is influenced by West Coast culture and based off of the Z51 trim level, meaning an all-new LT1 engine under the hood, an electronic limited-slip differential in the back, and a unique 7-speed manual underneath. The Stingray Convertible Atlantic Concept is more of a grand tourer, with a removable top, a lower diffuser in the rear, premium carpet floor mats, and even a set of matching luggage in the truck. Speaking of grand touring, the most outrageous Stingray concept has to be the Stingray Gran Turismo® concept, which was built to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the iconic video game series of the same name. The car features a gorgeous matte blue paint scheme, carbon fiber wing, yellow-tinted headlamps, custom-trimmed Competition Sport seats, a safety belt bar, and rear braces. And if you just can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a new Stingray, Chevrolet also has two PlayStation® simulators in the booth for people to try to secure the fastest lap time behind the wheel of a Stingray at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Aside from the previously mentioned celebrity collaborations, the Silverado has been modified six ways from Sunday. The Volunteer Firefighter Concept was built with input from the National Volunteer Fire Council, to honor the service of grassroots first responders. The truck features Chevrolet Accessory 22-inch six-spoke wheels, an LED light bar, 4-inch chrome assist steps, a chrome package that changes out the door handles and mirror caps, and chrome fire extinguishers in the box, along with a Chevrolet Accessories gull-wing tool box. The Black Ops Concept takes the Silverado to post apocalyptic extremes, decking the truck out in tools and accessories to turn a wasteland into an oasis. The bed includes a Truck Vault storage unit with solar panels, gas masks, gloves, a first aid kit, and a shovel and rope to help you get through even the most adverse conditions. The truck also features a raised suspension, light bars facing front and rear, and custom-painted Z71 18-inch wheels.
On the lighter side of things is the Cheyenne Concept, an exploration of just how fast a sport truck can be. Extensive use of carbon fiber sheds 200 pounds of weight from the truck, while a 6.2L V-8 provides 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque to move the new svelte body down the tarmac at blazing speeds.
But the coolest Silverado concept had to be the Silverado HD Dually Concept tow vehicle. The truck is a Crew Cab configuration with a dual rear axle and is painted a cool Ice Blue matte finish. Chevrolet Accessories are found throughout, including 6-inch chrome assist steps, a tool box, and bed lights. But as cool as the truck is on its own, it can’t compare to what is hitched up to the back. Perched upon a custom trailer is the new 2014 COPO Camaro. The hand-built drag car is back for 2014, with another run of 69, and features some all-new looks and engine choices. The new engine selection for those who like a little bit of forced induction is a supercharged version of the LSX-based 350 that was available for the 2013 COPO Camaro, featuring a 2.9L Whipple screw-type compressor. For those who like natural aspiration, a revised version of the 427 engine will also be available.
The concept at the show is painted in the same Ice Blue matte finish as the Silverado HD Dually truck. It carries the serial number 1 of the 2014 run of cars, and will be auctioned by Chevrolet Performance at Barrett-Jackson’s annual January event in Scottsdale, Ariz. The proceeds will benefit the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, an organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans participate in marathons and share their success within a supportive community and their families.
The biggest announcement for 2014 on the parts front is the expansion of the Camaro-specific performance upgrade parts program. The newest hot Camaro, the Z/28, is the perfect proving ground for performance parts, and now Chevrolet Performance is making them available for you to add to your Camaro. Headlining the parts selection is the shorty headers, open-element air intake, full race-inspired suspension, stabilizer bars, and Aero Package off of the Nürburgring-thrashing Camaro. They can be fitted to any V-6 or SS Camaro to breathe some of the soul of the Z/28 into them.
For the smaller end of the spectrum, there’s also a selection of parts now available for the Sonic. A wide selection of upgrades for the 5-door hatch and 4-door sedan ranges from a cold air intake and a new freer-flowing exhaust, to suspension upgrades, alloy wheels, and upgraded brakes.
At the event, plenty of big names showed up in support of their codesigned concept vehicles. Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon appeared onstage at the helm of his SS Performance Sedan concept. The satin red sedan features a lowered suspension, high-performance brakes, and a custom Borla® exhaust. Supercross rider and fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Carmichael drove up in his All-Activity Sonic concept, featuring a slick satin black paint job with lime green details. Under the hood, the car sports a turbo stage kit and a cold-air induction kit. Underneath, the car has a lowered suspension kit, Wilwood® front brakes, and 18-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires.
A few celebrities had integral design roles in some of the concepts but unfortunately couldn’t make it to Vegas. Brad Paisley, who designed a Silverado for the show, was unavailable due to hosting the CMA Awards. Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart also prepared a Silverado concept, but was still undergoing physical therapy for his broken right leg suffered in a sprint car crash August 5th. Michael Bay was integral to the design of three Transformers 4 concepts — a Camaro, Stingray, and Sonic — but was still finishing up filming the movie in China, though the cars were able to pose for a few pictures.
The 2013 SEMA show proved to be another big one for announcements at Chevrolet. A slew of cars that couldn’t all be mentioned here, the announcement of many new parts for 2014, and of course the return of the COPO will mean big things are coming from the brand in 2014. If you are lucky enough to still be able to make it over to the booth during the show, you really should. But if not, as always, you can stay tuned to the Chevrolet Performance Facebook page , or at TheBLOCK.com for up-to-the-hour updates.
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