Chevy plans product blitz for 2013


By Paul Lienert

Oct 11 (Reuters) - The rollout of a redesigned Corvette andbrand-new versions of the full-size Silverado pickup and Tahoeand Suburban utility vehicles will anchor one of the busiestperiods ever in Chevrolet's 101 years.

The General Motors brand said it intends to introduce13 new or "significantly changed" products in the coming year -"13 in '13," according to Chevrolet communications directorMichael Albano - leaving the Cruze compact, introduced just twoyears ago, as the oldest car in Chevy's U.S. lineup.

The new Corvette, known widely as C7 because it is theseventh-generation model since the car's birth in 1953, has beeneagerly awaited by sports-car enthusiasts and long-time fans ofthe marque. Chevrolet hasn't announced a formal introductiondate for the car, but has broadly hinted it will be launchedlate next year as a 2014 model.

About the same time, the sporty Camaro coupe and convertiblewill be updated, also for model year 2014, according to a GMsource familiar with Chevy's plans. Changes likely will includesome exterior and interior tweaks, as well as engine and chassisupgrades.

Chevy previously has said it will unveil a third performancemodel next year, a new rear-wheel-drive sedan called SS thatwill provide the foundation for the brand's 2013 NASCAR racecar. The SS - an abbreviation traditionally used by Chevy todenote Super Sport - will be imported from Australia andmarketed as a 2014 model.

Performance also is being offered in a smaller package, inthe 2013 Sonic RS, a sportier edition of Chevy's subcompact car,equipped with a turbocharged engine and stiffer suspensionsettings.

GM is spending considerably more money on the redesign ofthe big Chevy pickups - including standard and heavy-dutyversions of the Silverado - as well as the full-size sport utesthat are also being built on the updated K2XX truck chassis.

The new Silverado is slated to go on sale in early summer,followed later in the year by the redesigned Tahoe and Suburban.All are expected to be marketed as 2014 models.

Family buyers may welcome the arrival early next year of theredesigned 2014 Impala sedan - the 10th generation of thelong-running Chevy nameplate that dates to 1958 - and thefacelifted 2013 Traverse crossover vehicle. A smaller Chevycrossover, the mid-size Equinox, has been freshened for modelyear 2013 and adds a 3.6-liter V6 engine option.

Consumers with an eco bent will see the arrival ofhigh-mileage diesel-engine version of the Cruze, as well as thebattery-powered Spark EV.

(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by GunnaDickson)


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