Find Your Credit Union

Car Engineers are Passionate Geeks

By Holly Reich, February 9th, 2012

Tadge Juechter is the chief engineer for the new seventh-generation 2014 Corvette Stingray. He's the current rock star in the automotive world. Juechter is an approachable plain-talker about Corvette passion, so we sat down and spoke to him about the remarkable 60-year milestone for Chevrolet.

Manufacturer photo: Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the seventh-generation Corvette
Manufacturer photo: Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the seventh-generation Corvette

"It would be a shame if the world lost Corvette. We get to know a huge number of customers and we understand their passion," said Juechter. "We know what they want. Some of our people have 25 Corvettes over their lifetime."

Question: What was the thinking behind the all-new 2014 Corvette?

strong>Tadge Juechter: Across the board, we wanted every aspect of this car to be world-class. We also decided to take some risks. We felt like if we were going to take a chance, we had to showcase how different it was from the Corvettes of the past. And honestly, we've had some customers push back. In the sixth-generation, we got rid of the pop-up headlights. There was an outcry, but we decided to take the money from that machinery and create better lights.

h2>Question: Do you have a personal history with the Corvette?

Manufacturer photo: Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the seventh-generation Corvette

TJ: My dad liked Porsches. He had some older ones and some convertibles. I can remember sitting in the back seat, completely seat belt-less, roaring around the highway. He showed me the connection between the driver, the machine and the road, and that cars could be driven for fun. That imprinted on me what a sports car could do.

A neighbor had a '67 Corvette with a stinger hood. It was like a space ship, far more aggressive and outlandish than my dad's bathtub Porsches. It was a garage queen. The guy left it in the garage, and on Saturday, he would push it out and wash it. I just had a visual of this incredible sculptural car. It was blue and white. I used to walk there through the woods to get a glimpse of that car. I didn't even know who made the thing; it was from a different planet. It never occurred to me that I could work on such a thing and create one of those.

h2>Question: Were you interested in building cars as a kid?

TJ: I was always the kid who was picking up scrap lawn mowers, attaching lawn mowers onto bicycles, creating all manner of terrible machines. I always wanted to build something I could interact with; it had to have something to do with human machine interface. When I ended up majoring in engineering in college, I already had scar tissue on my fingers.

h2>Question: How did you end up working with Corvette?

Manufacturer photo: Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the seventh-generation Corvette

TJ: I went to The University of Rochester engineering school. On a whim, I came to work at GM, and now it's 34 years later, 20 with Corvette. It

Autonomous Driving: Our New Reality

01/23

Autonomous Driving: Our New Reality

Autonomous vehicles are on the road and being tested -- and predictions are that we're moving rapidly towards this reality. We contacted Ron Montoya, senior editor at Edmunds.com and Jeremy Anwyl, an independent auto industry consultant and analyst by email to get their take on the issues.

The Used Porsche Test-Drive: So Far, So Good

01/16

The Used Porsche Test-Drive: So Far, So Good

You may recall, in part one of this story, we'd set out to learn whether one could truly find happiness behind the wheel of a $15,000 used Porsche. To recap, we'd just acquired the cleanest, most mechanically sound 2005 Porsche Boxster S we could find.

Meet Rich Miller: Nissan's Avid Outdoors Truck Man

01/02

Meet Rich Miller: Nissan's Avid Outdoors Truck Man

Rich Miller is chief product specialist of Nissan Product Planning for Titan and Armada and is a life-long truck enthusiast. Miller has been with Nissan trucks for over 18 years, and he has an inside view of what a customer wants and needs in the truck market segment.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2020 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited
4x4 Limited 4dr SUV
2019 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Premium
AWD 2.0T quattro Premium 4dr Sedan
2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited
AWD Limited 4dr SUV
2020 Ford F-150 Lariat
4x4 Lariat 4dr SuperCab 8 ft. LB