We’ve been hearing about the up coming C7 Chevrolet Corvette for a while now. Many details about the new Corvette are still uncertain; but one thing’s for sure, it is coming and soon, Chevrolet Corvette prototypes have been caught on film in the wilds of northern Canada seem to confirm.
The, all-new, C7 Corvette is rumored to be released as a 2014 model, making its debute in the fall of 2013. Chevrolet is making it clear that the updates for the C6 Corvettes are coming to an end by their recent launching of the special-edition anniversary packages and a 427 convertible model of the present C6 Corvette. GM has also announced that it’s making an investment of $131 million to its plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in preparation for assemblying the new C7 Corvette.
Two rumors have been botched by these photos of the C7 Corvette, it was suggested by the recent Sting Ray concept that Chevrolet would try to resurrect the split rear window design of the 1963 Corvette, the C7 in these photos continue to use one solid rear window that slopes sharply into the decklid. Another rumor we can put to rest is that the C7 will have a mid-engine layout. From the photos here, it seems to clearly show that Chevrolet will stick to a front-engine design for the C7. Several executives have denied the fact that the Corvette would reposition its engine to the mid-area of the car, and the proportions of the C7 in these photos suggest the engine is up front under the car’s long hood.
It appears that the C7 Corvette won’t look drastically different from the current model. Most likely to go on sale first will be the traditional coupe, and possibly a drop top version soon to follow. The new model will feature a wide rectangular grille opening, a long and low hood, center-mounted quad exhaust tips, and generous rear haunches able to fit wide on the drive axle.
The wheelbase of the new C7 Corvette appears to be slightly longer, which will likely improve the car’s ride-and-handling along the lines of the new, 991-generation Porsche 911, which also received a longer wheelbase in an effort to improve comfort and high-speed stability. Increasing the wheelbase of the new Corvette may also improve room in the interior and trunk.
Certain reports have stated that an aluminum spaceframe may be used on the Corvette, with a carbon fiber and fiberglass mix for the body. That could cut the weight down, possibly below 3000 pounds in some models, but would be expensive. GM, like all automakers, is looking for ways to cut weight from its new cars. This is, in part, to help improve fuel economy, and trimming mass will also no doubt improve the Corvette’s dynamic performance.
The Corvette will, more than likely, keep its V-8 engine, but it is still uncertain as to whether a V-6 engine also will join the roster. The V-8 powerplant will be an evolution of GM’s small block design, but will adopt direct fuel injection for the first time, with these fifth generation of the V-8s. The company has invested about $1 billion to prepare for building the new V-8s. There is a promise from GM that the fifth-gen small block engines will use less fuel than current engines and produce more power and torque.
The new V-8 Corvette may feature some sort of cylinder deactivation, and will almost certainly continue to be a pushrod-based design. Reports have indicated that the Corvette V-8 may be downsized to as little as 5.5 liters, the current base Corvette has the 6.2-liter LS3. These modifications sould further cut fuel consumption, and keep the Corvette’s signature V-8 heritage and torque-happy nature.
It has been denied by many executives, but there has been talk that the C7 Corvette could receive a single- or twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. Doing so could help GM better meet stricter CAFE and emissions regulations, and bump the Corvette’s economy ratings at the same time. Don’t place bets on GM releasing a Corvette with the V-6 just yet, as such a model may be a hard market to old school Corvette enthusists. If such an engine is offered, it could very well be a version of GM’s popular 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6, but perhaps this engine will need to be a step for the C8.
As for choices for the transmission, there are rumors that the Corvette C7, like the 2012 Porshe 911, will get a new seven-speed manual transmission. There have also been some rumors of an optional dual-clutch automated transmission, but it seems more likely Chevrolet will stay with a regular automatic for the clutch pedalled automatic Corvette. One could expect seven or eight forward speeds, which will also help with fuel comsumption, up from six in current Corvette automatics.
With very few details of the C7 Corvette’s suspension setup being leaked, one can only speculate that there are no drastic changes in this area. Chevrolet will probably try to make the new Corvette easier for beginner Corvette drivers to quickly get the hang of, while keeping the car’s grip and overall driving dynamics in tact. The wheelbase stretch, and weight reduction should help with this.
As the government tightens regulations, and as oil prices keep climbing, chevrolet executives must make the C7 Corvette as fuel efficient as possible, but at the same time, they have made clear that they don’t want the car to neglect the huge levels of performance and fun on which the Corvette has built its name. As the 2014 Corvette hits dealerships in fall 2013, we are confident it will continue to be one of the best, if not the best American-made sports cars available.