By Kimatni D. Rawlins
From Henry Ford paying black men equal wages to supplier diversity programs boosting companies like Bridgewater Interiors and top executives like GM VP, Global Design Ed Welburn, who oversees all vehicles, we’ve played and prospered with the car industry. Here are four offerings from automakers that pay it forward.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Since making its debut in 1953, the Corvette Stingray has remained the country’s best-selling sports car, generating a whopping third of the entire segment’s sales even today. To elevate it to Porsche 911 status and beyond, Chevy’s deep roster of designers and engineers transformed the C6 into a C7. Simply bad to the bone, its physique is chiseled yet exotic, with square tail lamps replacing its hallmark circular lights. Available in either a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters or the new 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match, the Vette’s 6.2-liter LT1 direct-injected V8 produces 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, catapulting it like a rock in a slingshot. Coupe pricing starts at $51,995 and $56,995 for the convertible.
2014 Ford F-150 Tremor
Not all of Ford’s good news is due to its small cars. For the first five months of 2013, its truck sales were up 11 percent. Because truck buyers are diverse and oftentimes picky, Ford has added the sportier 2014 F-150 Tremor, its first truck exclusively powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, to the mix. Delivering 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel, the Tremor can also hit 420 lbft of torque at 2,000 rpm. True to its sporty design, the F-150 only seats two for now—in bucket seats at that—and gets even fancier with HID headlamps, Alcantara seat inserts, 20-inch black rims tucked in Pirelli rubber and MyFord Touch. Pricing starts at $38,545.