General Motors has teamed up with the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards to supply the event with a fleet of 60 E85 capable Chevy Tahoe, Avalanche and Suburban vehicles. The fleet will be used to transport "talent" (we use that term loosely) to the event and also get the word out about the first E85 refueling station in New York City that will be announced later this month. Each fleet vehicle is lightly customized with billet grilles, Chevy Accessory wheels and bright kit running boards on the Tahoes only. Designers stopped short of using MTV's Moon Man award as a hood ornament.
To commemorate the event, GM also hired designer du jour Chip Foose to build the Tahoe Concept. The company is billing Foose's creation as the first customized E85-capable vehicle. The Tahoe Concept features Foose details like a black powder-coated billet grille, lowered ride height, custom black wheels and a special two-tone paint job with a thin Tangier orange stripe.
Fuel for the fleet vehicles being used during the show will be provided by Sprague Energy and the vehicles will refuel at the New York City Dept. of Sanitation, hopefully after they've dropped off their pop star cargo at the red carpet. After the VMAs are over, Chevy will sell all 60 "MTV Video Music Awards Chevy E85" vehicles at dealerships in the New York area. That's right, you could own the Tahoe that delivers Ashley Simpson to Radio City Music Hall.
(More pics and GM's press release after the jump)
Chevrolet Drives "Green" to 2006 MTV Video Music Awards by Going "Yellow"
A Customized Fleet of E85 Ethanol Compatible Chevy SUVs and
NEW YORK – Chevrolet will demonstrate that "yellow is the new black" when it comes to style at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Thursday, August 31. As the "official vehicle" of the VMAs, Chevrolet will provide a customized fleet of 60 E85 compatible SUVs to transport talent to the Awards telecast at Radio City Music Hall and provide production support in and around New York City.
Chevrolet and MTV are partnering around the 2006 VMAs to help educate viewers on E85 ethanol technology in an effort to raise awareness about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing dependence on fossil fuels. The specialty fleet will be branded to promote the show as well as GM's Flex Fuel technology, which is at the center of a "Live Green, Go Yellow" initiative. This marks the first time a manufacturer has provided a fleet of E85 vehicles that have been customized specific to a major awards show.
"Going green never looked so good," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "The 2006 MTV Video Music Awards is a great opportunity for us to showcase our Flex Fuel, E85 ethanol-compatible vehicles, as well as spread the word about Chevrolet's product portfolio that boasts nine out of 10 cars with over 30 mpg fuel economy."
In addition to the Fleet of Chevy Flex Fuel vehicles, a one-of-a-kind "pimped out" 2007 Chevy Tahoe Concept will make its red carpet debut at the VMAs. The Concept vehicle, which was designed by award-winning automotive designer Chip Foose and Unique Performance Concepts, will transport a celebrity to the awards show.
Chevrolet has also designed a multiplatform program centered around the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards to include: the branded fleet, customized Tahoe Concept, in-program content (Chevy will present the pre-show "Top of the Rock" concert and provide the "Chevy Fly-Cam" with aerial shots of red carpet arrivals) and on-line/off-line advertising.
New creative was designed to pump up awareness about Chevrolet's line-up of fuel-saving vehicles. Television ad spots themed in tandem with a recently-launched web site – reduceuruse.com – are tagged "How would you spend your time away from the pump?"
The web site invites consumers to upload consumer generated video of unique activities they would enjoy if they did not have to spend as much time at the gas station "fueling up." Humorous postings to date include a man watering his garden while dressed in a Speedo, a giant bouncy ball clash and an electronic football enthusiast. Each video clip can be further shared on consumers' MySpace pages, blogs and beyond. Reduceuruse.com is also an informational resource about Chevy vehicles and fuel efficiency, including the nine out of 10 Chevy cars that have an EPA estimated 30 or more highway MPG.
The "MTV Video Music Awards Chevy E85" vehicles will consist of 2007-model year Chevrolets, including the Tahoe, Avalanche and Suburban. The lightly-customized fleet is highlighted by a custom billet grille, 2006 MTV Video Music Awards badging, Chevy Accessory Wheels equipped with Goodyear Eagle tires and chrome center caps, bright kit running boards (Tahoes only), and a special cover trailer hitch receiver (Tahoes and Suburbans only).
The interiors of the fleet vehicles exude quality, precision and comfort. Features (varying among models) include OnStar, XM Radio, CD/MP3-compatible audio systems, a Rearview camera system, Touch-screen navigation system, DVD rear-seat entertainment system with an 8-inch screen, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, industry-exclusive power-release fold-and-tumble second-row seat, heated first- and second-row seats and more. Under the hoods, a powerful factory-issued next generation Vortec 5.3L V-8 engine delivers segment-leading horsepower (320 hp/340 lb.-ft. torque) and the segment's leading fuel economy combined with E85 ethanol compatibility.
The fleet will run on E85 ethanol. Sprague Energy will supply E85 to the New York City Department of Sanitation where GM will refuel for the VMAs. E85 is not currently available to the public in New York, and later this month GM and the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition plan to announce new station openings supporting E85 and GM Flex Fuel vehicles.
The "MTV Video Music Awards Chevy E85" vehicles will be available for sale after the awards show at Chevrolet dealerships in the New York area. A commemorative plaque will accompany each sale.
The Tahoe Concept showcases classic Foose details, including a black powder-coated billet grille with the legendary Chevy bowtie at the center. Foose lowered its stance and gave it a two-tone paint scheme of silver birch (upper portion) and black (lower portion) with a thin Tangier orange stripe along the top of the door cladding that wraps around the vehicle. Exterior touches include Foose badging, dual stainless steel exhaust tips, chrome side molding, and more. Inside, a stainless instrument panel shines, while the Foose logo is stitched into the headrests and stamped onto the doorsill plates.
Chip Foose, star of the TV series "Overhaulin," who has numerous awards to his credit including the 2005 Riddler Award at Detroit's Autorama, was inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame in 2003, and in 1997 became the youngest member ever inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame. His storied career began under his father's design tutelage and by age 12, Foose already had five years experience and had also painted his first car. With his father and Project Design he helped design and build street rods, customs, studio vehicles and show cars for films such as Blade Runner, Robo Cop and Gone in 60 Seconds.
The 2006 MTV Video Music Awards will be held on August 31, 2006 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The show will be available to a potential viewing audience of more than 1.3 billion people via MTV's global network of 50 channels reaching 481.5 million households around the world as well as through syndication. Its convergent and original online programming will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV's 43 Web sites around the world.