"We really have to begin selling cars with right-hand drive..."
Chevrolet has put together a promotional video for the eagerly-anticipated Chevrolet Corvette Z06. If developing a mid-engine Stingray wasn't enough of a challenge, the iconic Z06 was fitted with a unique, flat-plane crank V8 developing 670 horsepower before being upgraded to handle better than ever. Part of guaranteeing that handling ability was a load of testing at Germany's most notorious track, but why did Corvette engineers spend so much time at the Nurburgring when they knew they already had a Stingray-beating machine? Well, it has to do with the company's ambitions of taking on the world's very best, both on the road and on the track. And if the below video is anything to go by, everyone involved seems very excited about the possibilities of making the Europeans tremble.
"Coming to the Nurburgring is the ultimate test," opens the video. "You get every single sort of turn [...] and you really are pushing any road car to the absolute limit." Chevrolet genuinely considers this "unequivocally a supercar," as any rival who challenges the new Z06 should, so its engineers needed to be sure that the car would be able to perform in just about any setting. This needed to be a racecar for the road, and as the Chevy notes, if it really wants Corvette to "compete on the world stage and race on the world stage," then "we really have to begin selling cars with right-hand drive."
By opening itself to these new markets, Chevrolet is enlarging its global presence, announcing to the world that it makes more than just cars for America. It also shows its growing fanbase that the Corvette name is forever tied to high performance and motorsport that can rival anything Europe or Japan has to offer.
As much as Chevrolet has confidence in its own ability and the product that it has made, everyone in the video seems almost surprised at just how good the end result is, and how close the gap to European rivals has become. Long gone are the days of all American cars being cheaply made and quickly assembled - this car is proof that Corvette has come a long way, with the preceding C7 generation arguably the turning point in a shift towards true world-beating performance and quality. But just like any team that achieves something great, Chevy is now looking to the horizon: "We're only just getting started; the project is like going to the moon." The world has been put on notice, and we can't wait for the coming battles.