The lean mean Corvette machine is going even greener. Chevrolet is installing solar panels at its Bowling Green Kentucky plant. So hey, the ‘Vette not only gets its respectable 29 mpg EPA sports car mileage. But now green production will help make its tire-print even smaller.
General Motors claims the new Chevy 850-kilowatt solar panel installation is the biggest in Kentucky for any automaker. The solar panels will generate 1.2 millions kilowatt hours of energy each year. Translate that to Corvette numbers and you’ll get about 850 solar produced new super-sport cars per year.
“Corvette customers are passionate about their vehicles because of their design, technology and precision performance. Offering them a product that is partially built using green energy will be another proof point that they’re driving a true supercar,” says Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy.
General Motors is in the lead for solar power use in the U.S. according to a Solar Means Business report. GM also ranks No. 20 in the top 25 solar-powered companies in the U.S.
Over the next couple of months, GM says it plans to install more than 2 megawatts of solar panels. By the numbers, the automaker will use 11.4 megawatts of solar power in its 16 U.S. plants. They will create around 15 million kilowatt hours of energy. By the footprint, that saves 11 million pounds of coal. Globally, the GM footprint is the size of 130 American football fields.
The 2016 Corvette Stingray starts at $55,400 and is available now. It carries a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine with 460 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. The body is lightweight and one-third steel. The aluminum frame drops 100 pounds from the last model and the frame is 57 percent stiffer for sportier handling.
If the Stingray doesn’t slice and dice enough for you, there’s the top dog 2016 Corvette Z06. This model starts at $79,400 and carries a LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter aluminum V8 engine. It’s good for 650 horses and an equal amount of pound-feet torque. Its 0-60 mph time is 2.95 seconds. Sweet.
If you want to hear the trees swish as you zip by, both models offer a convertible option. They start at $59,400 and $83,400.