GM unveils 7th generation Corvette model

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DETROIT (CNN) -- General Motors has taken the cover off its new Corvette -- the model's first major redesign in nine years.

Stealing the spotlight as the Auto Show revved up, GM rolled out its new Corvette in front of an audience of over 1,000. In debuting the 7th generation model, the new Corvette is badged with an iconic nameplate: the Stingray.

"This car speaks for itself, stands for itself. It is an icon, emotionally, for this company," GM President Mark Reuss said.

The company picked Detroit's gritty Russell industrial complex for the unveiling.

Reuss says Corvette's makeover and debut marks a major milestone for the company and represents GM's comeback.

"The whole political arena has changed radically here over the last few years, since we went through bankruptcy. I think a lot of people needed something to really believe in here, and this car is one of those things in the company that we all believe in. And it was really fun, because no matter what people said, we kept working on this car, and what you see here today is spiritual and emotional for the whole company. When we did this for our employees later today, there was a standing ovation, not once but twice," Reuss said.

You knew it would be fast - but the Corvette has so much muscle - 450 horsepower - it can go from zero to 60 in less than four seconds. 

"It will be the fastest, most capable, most powerful standard Corvette we've ever done," Chevrolet Communications Manager Monte Doran said.

Auto analyst Jim Hall says the Corvette will do well, but he has a couple of issues.

"I like the car, I just wish the tail lights were a little more round. It's just me. It's still a Corvette, and it's still pretty hot," Hall said.