Car and Driver: Secrets of the Next Corvette
by Keith Cornett
If you can’t wait until Jan. 13 for the official unveiling of the C7 Corvette, Car and Driver magazine, in its January issue that arrived in many folks’ mailboxes last week, claims to have “All the Details on Chevy's Halo Car, One Month Early.”
Car and Driver even says Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter “kindly agreed to check this story for accuracy using a 10-point report card we supplied. Check back in March for a fully authorized rundown on the 2014 Corvette and the grades we earned from the ultimate authority on the subject.”
The story doesn't really break any new ground, though it does offer hope for fans of the split window and the Stingray name. Those features which were previewed on a 2009 concept car “won't appear at C7's christening,” the magazine asserts, “but don't rule them out. When the Corvette needs a pick-me-up and a fuel-economy boost later in the decade, the iconic tail treatment and name combo could add luster to a 30-plus-mpg (highway) model powered by a 400-hp 5.5 liter V-8.”
Car and Driver also claims that the hydroformed aluminum main members of the frame currently used just for the Z06 and ZR1 will become standard fare for all C7s. The sheet-molded exterior panels will also all be made of carbon fiber, thanks to “streamlined manufacturing processes implemented by supplier Plasan Carbon Composites,” which have cut costs by 60 percent.
The magazine also reports that the C7 will indeed have the square-cornered tail lights so familiar on Chevrolet products these days, i.e., the Camaro and Malibu. They also expect the car to be priced at or below $55,000 for a base coupe, “a 9-percent price hike over a 2013 Corvette, entirely reasonable given the ultralight construction, more powerful engine, and significantly better gas mileage.”
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