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New 'Car of the Year' Corvette has Cleveland connection

Multiple Cleveland Institute of Art graduates were on the design team.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — It’s Motor Trend’s 2020 car of the year, and it made its way through Cleveland for the first time.

“It’s great to see all the energy and enthusiasm that the students have for the car,” said Corvette’s Exterior Design Manager and 1984 Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) Graduate Kirk Bennion.

Bennion came back to his alma mater to show off the design and speak with current students.

“We wanted something that was more sculptural, more aggressive but Corvette lines done in a new way,” he said.

Three other CIA graduates were also on the design team. Bennion says there are at least twenty graduates currently working for General Motors.

“Our graduates go back to designing the original Mustang through many generations of the Corvette,” explained Chair of CIA’s Industrial Design program Dan Cuffaro. 

“It’s a huge opportunity for our students to see our graduates working hands on with an American icon in the Corvette.”

The car could be in dealerships around February. Bennion says there are already 37,000 orders for the mid-engine sports vehicle. The manufacturer suggested retail price is under $60,000.

“We like to offer Ferrari like performance but at an attainable level,” he says.