This paper considers the development of the sports cars of the brand Chevrolet on the example of its famous models of different years of production. This topic is important because having studied the basic characteristics and parameters of the cars that were popular at different times, we can trace the dynamics of how the company has evolved and what consumer tastes existed then. This work reveals the questions about the role of the company Chevrolet in the world of sports cars, and in the US market, in particular, gives a description of the main characteristics and parameters of the brightest representatives of the company's products, such as the Corvette in 1953, the Bel Air 1957 Impala 1963 Camaro in 1968, and Chevelle SS 1970. Furthermore, the question regarding the trends in the development of sports cars in the future, over which the company works also been considered. As a result, we got a brief overview of the history of the sports car company Chevrolet.
The Chevrolet Company is one of the leaders in the automotive industry today. It is a component of the automobile giant - the concern General Motors. Cars of Chevrolet Company became the first cars in America, which names were not consonant with the name of their owner. Using the strategy of establishing competitive affordable prices, the reliability of the product and the development of cars of different directions (from classic cars - and to pickup trucks and sports cars), the company of Chevrolet had a great influence on the market of cars in America during the 50s - 60s of the last century. In the sports car sector, the Chevrolet company had a significant role. Moreover, Chevrolet was the first American company that released a sports car. It produced the Corvette, which was the first car from the sports series that was designed for the mass market and which remained popular for a long time. In the current automotive environment with huge and fierce competition, it remains popular, as every sixteenth in the world bought the car is a representative of the Chevrolet brand. This company has a rich history, and after almost a hundred years after its foundation, it still plays a significant role in the American auto industry and the world car market. Having reviewed the history of its most famous creations, we can see the priorities of the principles and directions of development, which the company has chosen for itself.
Chevrolet 1953 Corvette
The first attempt of General Motors to release a sports car was Chevrolet Corvette in 1953. The target audience was a small amount of demanding customers. Wanting to make this car representative of the group of the American sedan price, manufacturers have failed because their creation was even more expensive than Jaguar and Cadillac. As for its distinctive characteristics, it was a two-seater car, with Polo white exterior, red interior and a tent of black color. It has a stylish design and a sporty character. The novelty of this model was the use of the fiberglass in its construction, instead of steel as in the other auto. Achieving magnificent handling of the car was also an improvement on the part of the manufacturer. At the same time, it had the suspension that was typical for the sedan model of 1952, which also reduced Corvette's chances of success as a new progressive model of a sports car. All 1953 Corvettes had in its complete set a heater and radio. The driving force of this car was engine "Blue Flame", which had six cylinders with a volume is 235 cubic inches and engine displacement of 3, 9 liters. Under the hood, this car had 150 horsepower. It also had a two-way automatic transmission Powerglide that Chevrolet often used. This car could develop a speed up to sixty kilometers in eleven seconds and overcome the distance of a quarter-mile in seventeen seconds (MCG Knowledge 2016). Corvette was a sufficiently reliable machine with a conceptually new design of sports model, but the technical parameters of the product did not meet the concept and idea of its producers.
A series of Chevrolet Corvette is still produced. The last modern variation of the Corvette would certainly have surprised the first designers and manufacturers of this car. Due to modern tuning and perfect design, Corvette C7 R of 2016 can be considered as a work of art on the racecar market. This car has a one-piece carbon-fiber body, and its curb weight is about 1245 kilograms. The engine of this car has sixteen valves, and the gearbox has already six steps. The number of horsepowers evolutionarily has increased more than three times and now it equals 493 (Zurschmeide 2016). We see that the Chevrolet Company learns from its mistakes, and all this time it has been working on the facilitation of corps and increasing the power of the Corvette race model.
Chevrolet 1957 Bel Air
Many car lovers called the Chevrolet Bel Air 1957 an American automotive icon. The basic idea of the creation of this car was a modification of the vehicle format in order to make it wider, lower and longer than other standard ones. Other distinctive features of Bel-Air were aerodynamic "fins" that were on the back and on the hood of the car, as well as the "harpoon" located on its sides. Chevrolet Bel Air had excellent performance in its operation. It has been provided by the V-shaped engine. This engine had eight cylinders and an increased volume of 4.6 liters, which is at 0,3 liters more than the previous models had. Ease of driving has also been one of the strengths of its sides. The auto had a three-stage gearbox. The performance of this car was quite impressive for that time period, as the Bel Air had a capacity of 283 horsepower and a top speed of about 184 kilometers per hour. Bel-Air was able to reach speeds about 95 kilometers per hour for 8,5 seconds. Fuel consumption of this Chevrolet model was about seven liters per kilometer (Old Ride 2016). Production of the Bel Air ceased in 1976. This was due to the decline in its popularity and demand on the car, respectively, as well as the emergence of a more graceful model Impala, which replaced it. Chevrolet Bel Air 1957 was considered one of the most popular and most recognized American-made cars, which today is a desirable showpiece for collectors (Dammann 1996).
Chevrolet Impala 1967
Chevrolet Impala 1967 became the embodiment of the idea to create a large and roomy car that will simultaneously belong to a class of sports cars. The main features of the external plan of the Impala 1967 were its rectilinear shape and a lot of chrome plating parts, such as quite wide chrome grille and large chrome bumpers. Moreover, specific features of this car were the horizontal rear lights with three sections that were significantly different from the round, which its predecessors had, and wider front wheels (Markovich 2012). Under the influence of the legislation in 1967, the manufacturers have focused on the safety of the car. As a result, the steering column of Impala was deformed, the instrument panel was upholstered with soft vinyl, and three-point belts have been installed. Regarding the specifications, they were improved in comparison with the 1965 model year. It was thanks to the new engine Rat with a large capacity, as well as the staggering valves that not only provides more power but also a better flow. It had a three-stage automatic gearbox. Engine volume of the Impala was 7.4 liters, the maximum speed - about 211 kilometers per hour, and capacity of 425 horsepower. To reach the speed of 95 km / h, Impala could in 7.1 seconds (MCG Knowledge Base 2016). The latest model of Chevrolet Impala was released in 2014. From model 1967, it featured not only by a more classic and less aggressive design, but also by -six-cylinder V-engine with a volume of 3.6 liters, and the ability to reach the mark of 100 km / h in just 6.8 seconds.
Chevrolet Camaro 1968
Chevrolet Camaro is a muscle car that can be safely called the most popular among the other Chevrolet cars. Camaro 1968 model had the classical proportions in design and at the same time a muscular appearance without unnecessary external decoration, which made it one of the most beautiful cars of that period. Camaro 1968 is different from the previous model in 1967 also by modified windows and the shape of the radiator grille. In addition, it received the SS hood with chrome plating color inserts. One more difference was the parking lights on the sides of the machine. Moreover, the machine load was increased, and the rear suspension was improved. Manufacturers worked not only on its appearance but also improve it technically with the help of a new engine of 6.5 liters and 350 horsepower. Camaro this year's release became the first Chevrolet model with established nameplates Z-28 or 302, which ensured its popularity and increasing demand. The power of the engine of this car was 450 horsepower, and its volume - about 7 liters. The maximum speed of the car equaled 230 km / h and acceleration to 100 km / h in 5.6 seconds. In general, there have been no radical changes, so that the Camaro in 1968 can be considered a model of transition in the evolution of the brand (Markovich 2013). Chevrolet Camaro is manufactured until the current time. Today, this car has the same stylish, yet a brutal design of a sports car. However, today, the seven-liter engine is already capable of outputting 500 horsepower. Manufacturers began to focus on reducing the weight and size of the car, at the same time increasing its capacity and not forgetting about the safety.
Chevrolet Chevelle SS 1970
Chevelle SS 1970 is another brutal sports car of Company Chevrolet. The simplicity and restraint of its design and places without distracting details provided its attractiveness. The hood with a hump, radiator grille of rectangular form with the symbols in the middle, chrome rims on the edges of the wheel arches and front window are those external features that differed Chevelle SS 1970 from other cars. Unlike previous models, the car had the sharp-angled square shapes. The model of 1970 had a distinctive suspension and wide tires sporting plan. This car can produce different output depending on the 350 and its complex equipment and engine type, with a maximum figure of 450 horsepower (Conceptcarz 2016). The interior of the car was distinguished by the presence of a solid sofa seat for two people in the front, and large and subtle steering wheel. This model has an automatic three-stage gearbox and a mechanical four-stage one. Its maximum speed was 210 km / h and acceleration to 100 km occurred in just 5.8 seconds. Engine displacement was equal to 7.4 liters. The release of Chevrolet Chevelle SS stopped in 1978. Since this car was released in a small amount because it did not have immense popularity, today it has a high value among collectors (Conceptcarz 2016).
The release of sports cars by Chevrolet Company occupies an important part in the history of not only the company itself but also in the history of the US auto industry. For years, Chevrolet tried to create unique works of sports plan, which would have combined the power and attractive appearance, improving each of its models over and over again. While working on sports cars today, designers began to use the stylistic features of the models of the last century, and with the help of advanced technologies, they tend to make them not only impressive but also speedy, working on improving the engine and engine and aerodynamic performance. Talking about what sports cars Chevrolet will be tomorrow, the company keeps the intrigue. At the same time, it makes the accent on developing electric cars, as it sees the future for them. Furthermore, while working on the sports car of the next generation, Chevrolet is trying to bring to life the ideas that will make it practically a kind of spacecraft. For example, such a model will have a continuous windshield, which will also play the role of the hood and roof of the car and side doors that will be in the form of wings, rising up, opening up full access to the salon (DeMorro 2015). These conceptual ideas over which designers are already working, talk about the ambition of the company Chevrolet and its continuous development, aiming at the future.