Chevy plans product blitz for 2013

Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:14pm EDT

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

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

The new Corvette, known widely as C7 because it is the seventh-generation model since the car's birth in 1953, has been eagerly awaited by sports-car enthusiasts and long-time fans of the marque. Chevrolet hasn't announced a formal introduction date for the car, but has broadly hinted it will be launched late next year as a 2014 model.

About the same time, the sporty Camaro coupe and convertible will be updated, also for model year 2014, according to a GM source familiar with Chevy's plans. Changes likely will include some exterior and interior tweaks, as well as engine and chassis upgrades.

Chevy previously has said it will unveil a third performance model next year, a new rear-wheel-drive sedan called SS that will provide the foundation for the brand's 2013 NASCAR race car. The SS - an abbreviation traditionally used by Chevy to denote Super Sport - will be imported from Australia and marketed as a 2014 model.

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

GM is spending considerably more money on the redesign of the big Chevy pickups - including standard and heavy-duty versions of the Silverado - as well as the full-size sport utes that 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 the redesigned 2014 Impala sedan - the 10th generation of the long-running Chevy nameplate that dates to 1958 - and the facelifted 2013 Traverse crossover vehicle. A smaller Chevy crossover, the mid-size Equinox, has been freshened for model year 2013 and adds a 3.6-liter V6 engine option.

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

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