Standard news to be covered: Corvette C7

Search Engine Optimization (more known as “SEO”) is a powerful thing, and for the sake of being a media whore for once, I’ll indulge this.   Here it goes…

Corvette, C7, 2014, Chevrolet

Boom.

As some may be aware, the 2014 Corvette has been revealed to the world at the 2013 Detroit International Auto Show.  After a year or two of media clamoring, trying to figure out what the seventh generation of Corvette had in store for inside, outside, and everything in-between was a hot topic.  Now that it’s official, the C7 an internet bloggers go-button.

Things I’ve heard about it:
-More aluminum in the underbody
-Direct injection replacing port injection
-Variable Valve Timing (something I though Corvettes already had)
-Seven-speed manual transmission (you read that right—seven forward gears.  Porsche also has such a three-pedal set-up)
-Cylinder deactivation
-Carbon fiber hood with a functioning heat extractor (something not seen on a factory Corvette since the C3)
-Carbon fiber roof
A revised rear suspension, ditching the transverse leaf spring the Corvette has used for decades (even the Yugo GV had a transverse leaf in back, though not as well tuned)*****
-Better interior
-Other stuff I’m not even reading about yet.

With all the changes, there’s controversy.  This happens as any car becomes more advanced or competitive.  BMW’s M division had this in many different times, be it engine changes or even a new body style/model (check “Changes at BMW’s M– what’s the big deal?”).  Porsche’s 911 line had fans going nuts to the thought of liquid-cooled 911’s for the 996 generation, and more recently in the 991 model the electric steering and famously-rearward engine moving just a smidge farther toward the back wheels.  What are the Corvette faithful seeming the most upset about from what I’ve seen?  The tail lights.

Corvette’s have always had circular, ovoid, or at the very least round-edged squares for the back reds.  Now, though, the Corvette takes more edgy and sharp tail-lamp cues from the Chevrolet Camaro.  Until I see the Corvette in person, I can’t make a judgement of the exterior, but I do think the added detail in the lenses may be a nice change.  Something that isn’t a nice change is the huge swath of shiny, black plastic back there.  Couldn’t they have at least made it faux carbon?   Right now it’s more like what one would see on many sport sub-compact hopefuls.  I think I may be coming around with that, though.

Inside is a much nicer place to look at, but of course one would expect that.  Every car should—and usually does—advance their interior from the last model, and of course GM knew this was one of the main complaints of the C6.  It can be had with two tone red and black, but honestly that does zilch for me no matter the machine.  I’m not Vampira—there’s no need for it to match her purse.

The Corvette will apparently offer an array of not only different interior colors, but differing amounts of that color.  The new interior is a stark improvement to the C6 (below).

The marketing at the Chevy site right now says “The 2014 Corvette Stingray has arrived to defy convention.”  Is it still an OHC V8?  Is it still front engine, rear drive, built in Kentucky?  Is it still Coke-Bottle shaped?  Yes.  What other conventions does it not break?  Automotively speaking, there are plenty of vehicles just as dynamically and technically similar.  A front engined V8 car with a rear mounted transaxle can be found a few times in Italy under Maserati and Ferrari, in Germany with the AMG SLS Gullwing, and even Lexus has the LFA.  The latter of which, has a similar rear ducting to cool the transmission.  Oh yes, convention is bowing to Bowling Green, Kentucky.

With that said, the Corvette still holds its party-piece of being a bargain like it has forever.  All those other cars start well over $120,000.  The C7 is projected to more around $60,000.  Currently, the base C6 with 430hp (the C7 is expected to have 450hp) is $50,000.  Given the advances, the new Corvette is still quite the bargain, even while costing nearly an entire Chevy Spark more.

Some will bring up the new Dodge Viper, and to that I say– not competitors… yet.  The Viper has always taken the supercar hand-biter approach to the owner, and that’s what Viper guys pay for– the thrill, the track-ready guts of the darn thing.  Corvette’s are still cruisers that can be driven every day to work, or drive across country without being beaten up.  It’s a more gentle vehicle for a more gentle driver… and then when it’s sold, us young guys beat them ’til they piss coolant.  It’s a story old as leaf springs.  The Z06 was the track machine of all the Corvette’s, as it found more ways to kick weight, had the most unique engine even against the mighty ZR1, and simply isn’t built to cruise the same way.  That was the Viper of the line– not just about the power and speed, but the rawness.

We’ll see what comes about in the new Corvette and Viper.  Especially in light of the more recent power wars that have picked up since the last time both cars were all-new (2003 for Viper; 2005 for Corvette).  The market has changed rapidly since then.

There you have it: a quick look at the Corvette for the sake of readership.  I feel dirty.

Image sources:
C7 Corvette front, rear, and red/black interior
C7 Corvette tail-light close up
C7 Corvette Tan and black interior
C7 Corvette Black dash
C6 Corvette interior
C7 Corvette rear fender scoop
C7 Corvette seven-speed shifter

*****Retraction.  The rear leaf spring remains for the C7

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