The World of West Chevrolet

Friday, November 17, 2017

Chevy 2019 ZR1 Corvette on “Car and Driver” Cover: Menacingly Massive + 750-Horse

Usually when spy photos are leaked, we have to deal with somewhat of a visual hardship here on the lot in Knoxville. We understand that auto manufacturers have to protect their interests, and that sometimes it is in their favor to hide the goods, literally. When it comes to the new Corvette, this is obviously a car that has been waited on for awhile, and it appears that Car and Driver have completely blown the cover off of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1. At first glance, it is much more aggressive than the current Z06 model, and sports a massive hood vent, as well as brand new bumper.

It is definitely obvious that there should be plenty of available downforce to keep this 750-horsepower machine firmly rooted at high speeds. It is also evident that there are some futuristic tones on display here: this is not anything like the classics: for example, a 1984 Corvette with the curved sight lines and basic yet sporty appearance does appear like a bit simpler of a vehicle. Is this bad? We don't think so. All of us here on the lot at West Chevy think that the nose looking a bit like a Lamborghini is not a bad thing, and that the true stealth appearance it was meant to have may take just a moment to wash over you. What is also incredibly exciting is that this model has 750 horsepower, which is over 100 more than the last ZR1 from four years ago.

One of the stats that has not been disclosed is the time it takes for this incredibly able and dominating creation to make it around the famed German trenches of the Nurburgring track. These tricky proving grounds set amidst the beautiful Eiffel mountains are where the bragging rights to many new vehicle's abilities originate, telling all just how coherent they behave when in true expert-track demand. Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter says the team will attempt this feat just after the car goes on sale, during spring 2018. The hopes are high among the most dialed-in that it will break the 7-minute barrier, and some say that it may be able to beat the time of the previous-generation C6 ZR1 by a healthy 20 seconds or so.

Come see us on the lot here at West Chevy, and we'll provide a little show and tell as to what the 6.2-liter, 8-cylinder supercharged, dual-injected engine can provide in the way of top-notch thrills. This is also the first time this car is offered with an automatic transmission, although the 7-speed manual is still available. GM product chief Mark Reuss said in a statement this month that he's “Never driven a Corvette like this before, and nobody else has either, because there's never been one like this before”. There is also a brand new fascia on the ZR1, to channel air for propulsion system and drivetrain cooling, which could be a heavy demand after 8-cylinders finish their duty for the duration. There are varying opinions about the new ZR1, but here's ours in a nutshell: this is one superb piece of craftsmanship that you won't be able to wait one spare second to cut a flashy foxtrot with on the highway! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Chevy Colorado ZR2's Upgrade Via AEV: A Thousand Percent Adventure-Ready!

Knoxville truck lovers are going to soon have a reason to feel beyond excited for 2018: the Colorado ZR2 is going to receive a hefty variation, and from none other than the worldwide experts in off-road modification! A company that has its roots in rugged and tough-terrain sporting Missoula, Montana, AEV has been on the cutting edge of the 4WD industry for more than 15 years. This is not just a wheel or suspension company: they now specialize in crafting turn-key vehicles that are rugged, rough, and ready to roll. Successfully partnering with Jeep on the very awesome “Call of Duty” edition, their off-road bumpers, attention to detail, and continuing vision for the future are all top-notch.

This tan truck that was recently revealed at the SEMA show in the balmy desert of Vegas is sure to be a hit with all of those who love to careen off the traditional path, and blast through lonely valleys or canyons. The first big change was the suspension: it was the recipient of a complete engineering overhaul, and new driveline components allow for a 1.5-inch lift. The 35-inch tires on this beast are a thing to behold: at just one look, it appears as if they could not even be punctured by jutted glass. They are mounted to a set of AEV beadlock rims, and are poised and ready to get you through the raging river, or side of a misty mountain's danger zone.

The finished package is powered heftily forward by a 2.8-liter diesel engine, and AEV's custom touch on the front and rear bumpers is solid. Looking at this thing with us on the lot here at West Chevy makes you feel a bit like you could expect the same type of safety that you would glean from a high-grade underwater cage, with all the fixin's in “lock and load” mode. The grille has a more custom appearance than the standard ZR2, and the Chevy bowtie emblem is substituted for the fully-spelled out “Chevrolet” namesake. The roof-high expedition rack is mounted to the bed, and there are tons of goodies inside, just like a stocking on the mantle during the coming holidays. One of them is a portable ARB refrigerator, which can help you be ready for fly fishing, a long day of contracting, or have some cold ones stowed away by the campfire.

We have been impressed as many others in the industry with how well RV's have been enjoying the post-smartphone technology leap. It seems like whenever we go to our favorite lake of campsite to visit our cohorts, the campers they have are equipped with better powering options, outdoor fridges, galleys, device chargers, and immaculate kitchen interiors. The bar has really risen in this zone, and it's impressive. AEV had another great concept in regards to the Colorado ZR2: on this model, they really took that risen-bar factor for RVs, and incorporated it immediately into the new truck realm: there is a panel on the right rear fender that offers up auxiliary power, air compressor, and fresh water system. It's the little things like this that are going to make customers sit up and take notice, and feel that this as a pick for them is more versatile, while being definitely durable and all-around kickass.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

50 Years of Durable Diecast Fun: Camaro 2018 Hot Wheels Special Editions

One absolute favorite memory of so many Knoxville-area children (and adults) is times in basements with your favorite peers on rainy days, spent with jumps, loops, and comparing just how cool the different features of Hot Wheels cars are. 50 years ago, the legendary brand launched its hand-held and very awesome fleet, with 16 tiny replicas of the coolest cars in existence. The Camaro coupe, Firebird convertible, Mustang fastback, Cougar, and Barracuda were some of the models included in this initial release, and Chevy has dreamed up quite a super-charged way to commemorate this history.

Early next year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the 2018 Hot Wheels Camaro will be introduced. It receives a bit “Hazard-esque” of an orange crush paint, inspired by the original orange flexible track, which has remained fairly unchanged over the decades. Some of the awesome new details are orange brake calipers, seat inserts, and interior upholstery stitching. There are gray and silver stripes, as well as gray forged 20-inch wheels, that will remind you of the many hours of spinning on the diecast models you've held in your hand throughout the years.

Other high points are a unique new grille with chrome inserts, a ground effects package, dark-lens taillamps set in a black panel with the Hot Wheels emblem, and a very authentic 50thAnniversary Hot Wheels badge on the steering wheel. The coupes will be the happy recipients of a new spoiler, but convertibles have to retain their stock wing: GPS, telematics antennas, and other radio functions need them to operate. If the street-legal version of this awesome Camaro isn't quite enough for you, there will be 69 very limited edition COPO models, that will be new for next year, with the Hot Wheels edition upgrade. The orange paint is a bit more metallic in appearance, and the graphics package goes awesomely overboard to commemorate this iconic and legendary brand. This stellar show car will be fitted with a new 302-cubic inch racing engine, and will also have unique components that help it out massively in the drag racing domain.

All of the special COPO Camaros will get an SFI-approved ATI TurboHydramatic 400 3-speed automatic transmission, and a drag-optimized suspension in the rear with live-axle. This able beast conquers the quarter-mile in 8 seconds, at speeds of nearly 160 mph. Those original 16 cars 50 years ago were known as the “Sweet 16”, and all had the telltale red pin stripe on their sides. You can still find those basement relics in new versions in stores for the holidays: The Ultimate Garage, Track Builder Power Boost, Stunt Box Playset, and Circuit Speedway are a few of the track sets you can find for that special someone wanting some hardcore miniature action over the holidays. Hot Wheels is a definitive and exciting brand that has no doubt lasted the test of time, and the Camaro is the perfect model to get righteously revved up about for 2018. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Next in Line for Knoxville in the New: 2018 Changes + Arrivals

During the fourth quarter of the year here at West Chevy, you can literally feel the excitement in the air. Many of the new models are going to be arriving soon, and we have taken the time to speak with customers about the features they will be enjoying. Whether it's a truck, crossover SUV, or sedan that you have arriving, you'll soon be hitting the road with the best in show, if you haven't already. As safety features become more advanced, you can drive with the confidence that only a fully-protected family knows. We invite you to come down and pay us a friendly visit during this time, as many of the new arrivals will sufficiently satisfy your new-for-the-year cravings!

Buyers of the Colorado ZR2 package will immediately notice one pretty distinct feature: the front bumper has all but been removed. This rugged and able package also equips the driver with 31-inch tires, longer front control arms and springs, spool-valve shocks, and a wider rear axle to match a front track that has been considerably widened from the last year. A fun addition to any rock-hopper's fleet, this is for the most part Chevy's somewhat smaller answer to the wildly popular Ford Raptor.

The Corvette is releasing two special-edition Grand Sport and Z06 models, to celebrate the flashy and fantastic car's 65th birthday during 2018. The ZR1 will go on sale as the car's last front-engine / rear-drive format, before it switches to completely mid-engine. There are 3 massive intakes that cut into the ZR1's front bumper, and behind them is a 700-plus-hp V-8 so stealth, that part of the hood bulge was alleviated to house it. A very large wing and multiple new slats and vents all over the body succeed fully at keeping an old namesake current and appealing.

Crossover SUV's have become so popular over the last 3 to 4 years especially, that we watch them literally fly off the lot into the hands of many eager demographics of buyers. The new downsized Equinox is now available with a 170-hp turbo 1.5-liter inline four, and a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel should be available later this year.

The Express, a full-sized van that is perfect for a rental fleet, limo company, or those who offer excursions sees its biggest update in years during 2018. The Colorado pickup's optional 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine was a late-year addition to the car during 2017, and next year it will receive the swap of the Silverado's 4.3-liter V-6, which replaces the Express's old 4.8-liter V-8. Hill-start assist and OnStar navigation are also standard features on the new Express.

A new and aggressive Rally Sport Truck kit brings 22-inch wheels and super cool new exterior trim to the 2018 Tahoe, a vehicle we are asked about frequently. If you add the optional Performance package, you can get GM's 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8, and adaptive dampers from the GMC Yukon Denali, as well as the well-tricked-out Cadillac Escalade. You'll also be able to enjoy the new 10-speed automatic transmission, and enlarged and delightfully grippy Brembo brakes will cost extra.

The powerful and useful 3-row crossover Traverse got some major interior packaging improvements, and compared to last year's model, gives occupants more space. Total cargo volume and third-row legroom shrink, and the latest infotainment gear is on board to provide the ultimate entertainment experience. Getting the job done is completed with a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4, which has always been exclusive to RS models. Every Traverse now will use GM's new 9-speed automatic transmission, and you'll enjoy the shifting abilities no matter where your Tennessee journey takes you. From navigating the Smokies to the heart of Knoxville, the Traverse is a great choice of brand new vehicle. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Full-Size New Pickup Fronting The Choice For V-8 Flex: 2018 Silverado 1500

As Pro football is in full season and the most fun of pre-holiday spirit descends on Knoxville, the desire for many to own a full-size truck is mounting. You'll glean superior towing power, the pleasant rush you get during the early morning hours when you first hear the engine rumble, and the promise of the work that has stacked up for the week being wholeheartedly completed. The option for a 6.2-liter V-8 provides top-of-the-line horsepower and maximum towing abilities: you can haul up to 12,500 lbs with this respectable beast.

The true rival to the best-selling Ford F150, the Silverado 1500 has just a few minor tweaks for the 2018 model, as well-working formulas are not always ones that need to be changed. Due to recent government mandates, every model now has a backup camera, to assure safety during the moments you are hurriedly leaving to get somewhere quick. Children are known to be attracted to driveways when they are playing, and when they see toys that have been left behind or on the yard, may stray into this very dangerous zone without notice. The tire-pressure on the new model has an audio alert that indicates when the air pressure is at the right level.

Celebrating the excitement that 100 years of trucks creates, a commemorative Centennial Edition is available for 2018 only. This includes the exclusive Centennial Blue paint color, and badging with design elements inspired by years of successful development and heritage. On last year's model, drivers saw improved towing ability, and the addition of the Chevy Teen Driver system. With insurance rates rising and families becoming busier and busier every day, it's a great idea to have resources to track teens. We can promise you that knowing just where they have been and how fast they went to get there can come in quite handy with the younger drivers in your clan!

Come down to West Chevy and talk to us about the various trim levels available for the 1500: the base WT model starts at just under $30,000 and the fully-loaded High Country can cost up to $60,000. One good way to experience the best this truck has to offer is by opting for the mid-level LT: it starts at around $35,000, and can be paired with the crew cab, short bed, 5.3-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive for around another $10,000.

You can also investigate how the Z71 package gives the driver body-color grille surround, a headlamp bezel, and 18-inch wheels sporting all-terrain tires. You get the trailering package with automatic locking rear differential, and off-road suspension commandeered by industry front-runner Rancho's shocks. Sturdy enough to commandeer you successfully through any demanding day, the Silverado 1500 is the definition of what a modern truck should be: useful, comfortable, and able to get your list of heavy-duty chores done in a snap!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Introducing a New Combo For a Celebration of the Century: Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions

Turning the 100-year milestone in any business isn't easy. Overhead, making sure the product is solid and satisfactory, intense ups and downs in the market, and demands for constantly evolving product are just some of the hurdles any successful brand faces. When it comes to trucks, you are absolutely dealing with a demanding demographic: these are very hard-working men and women who simply can't settle for less in any category. Since Chevy's truck business turns 100 this year, commemorating two great vehicles was very high on the eagerly-awaited agenda.

The most intense part of the celebration begins in the Lone Star State, which is no stranger to high demand for well-performing trucks. This year at the Texas State Fair, the 2018 Silverado 1500 and the Colorado Centennial Editions will be unveiled, to properly display how thrilled the brand is about this mega-milestone. Only available as off-road-oriented Z71 models, the commemorative pickups are highly notable for their Centennial Blue paint, and the bow-tie emblems adorning their grilles that are heritage-inspired. Ringed in chrome with dark blue centers instead of the traditional Chevy gold, this awesome bow tie also sports the word Chevrolet in a chrome script that is a throwback to some of the earliest trucks ever designed by the brand.

The 1918 One-ton had a lot of character, and was one of those early trucks that remained a symbol of prowess during the tail end of the Industrial Revolution. We know that during the year 2017, it may remind you of the jalopy that the destitute Okies crossed the nation with in “The Grapes of Wrath”, to find work during the depression. But at that time, its ability to haul a higher number of people as well as much heavier weight put it in a contending class of its own. Oh, how things have changed: the gadgets on the inside, comfort level, and horsepower as well as torque leave these early counterparts in the dust, and are pleasures to own whether you have a fully-fledged contracting business, or are just looking for some off-road playtime.

For the four-wheel-drive, crew-cab-only Silverado version, the 22-inch painted alloy wheels with chrome inserts and the LTZ trim level of equipment provide plenty of inspiration to make you want to get up and go, be it right here in Knoxville, or on any nearby road trip you are planning to kick up some mud. The mid-size Colorado Centennial has also had the additions of 18-inch wheels, a real bumper with body color, and grille surround, as well as chrome mirror caps, door handles, and body moldings. A regular 2018 Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 gets its power from a 5.3-liter V-8, and is guided for shiftage with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The extended-cab 2018 Colorado Z71 boasts a 2.5-liter inline-four, and a six-speed automatic to get you properly gaining ground through the gears. Because getting to the 100-year mark is no small feat, there have also been a few more announcements regarding special deals and incentives. For all of the fishing fanatics out there in Missouri and nationwide, there will be a Centennial-edition run of Phoenix bass boats, as well as 24-foot enclosed inTech trailers for heavy-duty hauling. Ask us about how you can continue the party with Chevy's Truck Legends Program: now going national, it rewards the brand's most loyal customers with free swag, an online community with knowledgeable forums, and access to hot Chevy experiences and events! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

GM's Automation Experts Deem Self-driving Bolt Ready for Mass Production In the Near Future

For many auto enthusiasts in Knoxville and the state of Tennessee, self-driving cars may not be what they picture in their version of the ideal future. It is always so much fun toget behind the wheel after a long day, blast rapidly out of whatever location ails you, and hit the open road. For years in cartoons and motion pictures, the future of self-driving cars was predicted, but in decades such as the 1970's, no one quite knew exactly when the technology would be perfected and ready to roll out. Many companies are right now developing self-driving cars, but the focus until now has been heavy on the software and sensors needed, and not on the cars themselves.

GM's Cruise Automation Subsidiary has been working on the software for quite some time now, and is currently shifting their attention to the quality of the car itself. They just unveiled the 3rd-generation autonomous prototype, and claim that it is 100% ready to go as far as the assembly line. The guided-by-tech auto in question is the Chevy Bolt, and the new version was claimed by Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt to have sufficient redundancy and safety features that would allow it to operate fully unmanned. The first Bolt autonomous prototype was built just a year ago, and was strenuously tested on public roads. Just one year later, the second prototype was unveiled, and it featured greater integration between the software and hardware needed to deem the vehicle operational.

The major difference between the second and third generations are intensive labor and research regarding the technology that the car relies on to drive. The electrical makeup is now much different than a regular stock Bolt's, and resembles that of a spacecraft or airplane. The biggest thrill to everyone watching the future of self-driven cars is the fact that these can still be built on the same Michigan assembly line as others, and so the potential for high mass-production is right at the fingertips of many anxious GM folks. Some on our staff here at West Chevy remember the TV show “Knight Rider”, during which the hyper-intelligent car named “Kitt” was able to navigate the journey without any help from the driver, and he would even fall asleep sometimes during longer hauls!

As far as what other companies are doing to up the ante and deliver their own versions of self-driven cars, Ford is planning to launch their own division, but has not completed the designs that are completely ready for production yet. Well-recognized ride hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are working overtime to develop the systems, but need to coordinate with automaker partners to find a way to get them in cars efficiently. 

It's also easy to wonder what type of regulations will be in place once self-driving cars get on the road: what combination of federal and state agencies will see to safety and structure of rule classifications? The days to come will be incredibly interesting to watch unfold, and we are proud to stand behind the brand that is leading the pack in advancements!