A much anticipated C7 Corvette is in the works to be released in 2012 as the 2013 model. Because the fine details of this car are still under wraps, experts and reviewers are taking their best stab at what the car will look and act like when finally released to the masses.
Styling – The C7 will become the new badge of the ZR1, bringing a similar look and feel to the new C7. This styling will still boast the front engine placement, as the mid-engine concept is too expensive to build. This design will forgo the retractable headlights for a more streamlined look. The new Corvette will be in a standard price range to keep sales steady. Chevy continues to sell about 30,000 Corvettes every year and wants to avoid a major price jump, as may be caused by an engine placement move.
Drivetrain – While the name Corvette and V8 are synonymous, there are other options being considered, including a diesel and a V6 twin-turbo. The diesel 4.5 liter is less likely and the V6 is more likely to make a show. The company’s version of a twin turbo V6 consists of a direct injection 3.6 liter DOHC V6 which would put out about 400 HP, not too far off from the V8. Don’t worry, while the V6 may be the base model engine, a V8 will still be an option.
Weight – While the current style is already pretty light, much lighter in fact than its competitors the Viper and the Porsche 911, this model will likely see some additional lightening, with lighter materials used to increase fuel efficiency. One idea being thrown around is to get rid of the steel frame and replace it with an entirely aluminum frame. It will likely continue using fiberglass panels, as the use of carbon fiber panels would drive the price up.
Fuel Efficiency – All car manufacturers are working on methods of fuel efficiency, even in sports models. Through a variety of developments in fuel efficiency for hybrids, GM isn’t too worried about the Corvette this year. The new laws regarding emissions regulate the fleet of a company and not individual models. Because Corvette is only two percent of its entire fleet, a lack of change with this model will not affect its overall changes. For now, the Corvette will maintain its current MPGs based on the engine you prefer.
Overall – The Corvette will see some styling changes, but will not be a shocking change from the current model. The basic setup and pricing system will likely remain in place, helping the 2012 C7 Corvette stay competitive. It will see a change in the base engine, but will still offer an upgrade for those who want to maintain the level of power they’re used to.
The 2012 C7 Corvette may become the new badge for the ZR1, but it will offer its version of what the Corvette has always been. Though minimal changes will be made to the basics of the Corvette, it keeps in check with what Corvette lovers already relish about the car and allows for styling improvements as well.
(Click here to join the C7 conversation at Corvette Forum!)