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Chevrolet Entices Japanese Buyers With Japan-Only 2009 Corvette S-Limited

Chevrolet Entices Japanese Buyers With Japan-Only 2009 Corvette S-Limited

Source: | Published: July 7, 2008

By Jesse Sears
RSportsCars Contributor

It is no secret that a subculture of Japanese have a thing for American muscle cars. Chevrolet is banking on high American supercar interest in that country with the brand new 2009 Chevrolet Corvette S-Limited, the first Corvette tailored specifically to Japanese sports car lovers’ tastes. The Corvette S-Limited is a trim level of the iconic American supercar available only in Japan, and shows styling flashes more in line with something seen from Nissan or Acura that what we’ve come to expect from Chevrolet.

The Corvette S-Limited will be a run of only 30 examples of the Japanese domestic market-only American supercar, perhaps the first of its kind. Chevrolet is releasing the 2009 Corvette S-Limited to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of General Motors automobiles, and to try to create increased interest in the iconic brand among Japanese sports car fans.

Mechanically, the S-Limited is for all intents and purposes the same as the standard C6 Chevrolet Corvette. In a strange move, Chevrolet decided to release the S-Limited as a left hand drive model, which will feel counterintuitive to most Japanese sports car drivers used to the steering wheel on the right. The motor is the same 6.2 Liter, 430 horsepower unit found in the standard 2009 Chevrolet Corvette, which will also be available concurrently in Japan.

American-Japanese Corvette Styling: Nothing Like It

The Corvette S-Limited styling features several subtle tweaks that look more at home against Tokyo neon lights than those of the standard C6 Corvette. The front air dam is all new, with a grill that looks like part Cadillac CTS, part Nissan GT-R. Rounding out the styling are a conservative rear lip spoiler exclusive to the Corvette S-Limited, and custom exhaust tips.

The Japanese S-Limited Corvette will be available in two exterior colors, Black and Arctic White, with each shade getting a super limited run of 15 units. American buyers who want to get their hands on the American export-spec sports car will have to move to Japan, or beg Chevrolet to import the S-Limited to the United States at some future date.

Will the Corvette S-Limited Help GM Gain Ground in Japan?

Chevrolet has attempted to make a Corvette that will drum up interests in the Japanese sports car market, and it has succeeded to a large degree in blending iconic Corvette styling with modern Japanese flourishes. The resulting Japanese-American hybrid sports car styling is certain to be off-putting to some Corvette fans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, but the Corvette S-Limited is a novel look at the most sacred of American sports cars.

While Chevrolet is sure to sell out all 30 examples of the 2009 Corvette S-Limited, whether or not the American supercar will make enough of a splash in the Japanese market to aid GM’s attempts at growth in East Asia remains to be seen.
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