The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. The all-new, seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette has been unveiled and, with it, the return of the Stingray. As the highlight of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the new Corvette is said to provide a “perfect balance of technology, design and performance.”
The exterior of the C7 Corvette is more evolutionary than it is revolutionary. Key highlights include front fender vents, a removable ‘double bubble’ roof and HID headlights with integrated LEDs. Out back, you have a four-tailpipe exhaust system, a prominent rear spoiler and Camaro-inspired taillights.
While the exterior definitely looks sharper, it’s the redesigned interior that is most noteworthy. Compared to cheap and plasticky interior of the C6 Corvette, it is more worthy of a supercar, featuring higher quality materials and a more professional look. Key highlights include real carbon fiber trim, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens.
The new Corvette is powered by a newly developed LT1 6.2L Small Block V-8 engine that produces 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft (690 Nm) of torque. That’s 50 lb.-ft. more low-end torque than the previous 6.2L engine, matching the 7.0L LS7 engine from the 2013 Corvette Z06 from 1,000 to 4,000 rpm.
Buyers will have the option of either a six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission or an industry-exclusive TREMEC TR6070 seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching. The manual gearbox incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts, using a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch that deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia. The transmission with the optional Z51 Performance Package includes specific close-ratio gearing for more aggressive driving.
The six-speed automatic is optimized for use with Active Fuel Management and features a lower-inertia torque converter for improved shift quality and shift speeds. In addition, shift feel and shift points can be adjusted through the Driver Mode Selector.
The new chassis and suspension are designed to take advantage of a lighter, stiffer structure. It rides on a new aluminum frame that delivers an optimal 50/50 weight balance, complimented by “carbon-nano” composite underbody panels and composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels. Improvements to the suspension include hollow lower control arms and lighter aluminum rear toe links, which save 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) over previous steel links.
Bringing the C7 to a complete stop are Brembo brakes that offer 35 percent more swept area thanks to larger pads that cover more of the rotor face. Z51 cars get larger front discs with 6 percent more swept area than a current Corvette Grand Sport. According to Chevrolet, the new Stingray will stop in around 94 feet.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will go on sale in the third quarter of 2013. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.