The North American International Auto Show got off to a dramatic start here Monday as General Motors presented the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette, the first update of the classic sports car since 2005.

GM's Chevrolet division sees the 2014 Corvette Stingray as the standard-bearer of a new era for the brand, Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of global product development, said.

Chevy plans to introduce a score of new models this year, she said, adding that the division enjoyed record sales of nearly 5 million units in 2012.

The 2014 'Vette boasts an estimated 450 horsepower and can go from 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in less than four seconds, but is also expected to be the most fuel-efficient version of the car ever.

GM's vice president of global design, Ed Welburn, said that while the new Corvette's roots are American, "we had other markets in mind, such as Europe and Asia."

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is new inside and out, featuring a lightweight aluminum chassis and a carbon-fiber roof, along with a more luxurious interior. EFE