Every generation of the Corvette has always led to a lot of debate. Prior to the unveiling, for months on end, enthusiasts debate about where the car could or should be heading and what it should look like. In the current age, sketches of what the car look like hound the internet for months, sparking furore, outrage and even the odd "oohs and aahs". The seventh generation Corvette pretty much followed this script to a T.
In what is pretty much a celebration of 50 years of the Stingray, GM have revealed their new Corvette in a modern day avataar of that 'once, best-selling model'. Looking pretty much the part, the C7 Corvette Stingray gets a sharper looking suit, minus the bubble rear hatch for something more practical and friendly. The wraparound tail lights have been ditched for Camaro-esque, twin lights on either end and a deep venturi-like air dam at the rear. The front-end is open to debate, but we think it looks menacing enough in the C7 guise, so we really wonder how aggressive the Z07 might end up becoming.
GM's engineers have shaved a considerable load of weight from the car, nearly 45 kg of it using a clever mix of aluminium, magnesium and carbon fibre for the body. They claim a 57 per cent increase in rigidity over the C6 and a power-to-weight ratio that is better than the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, with a 50:50 weight balance.
According to GM, "Compared to the previous generation, which used continuous hydroformed main frame rails with a constant 2mm wall thickness, the new Corvette’s frame features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. Each segment is tuned – varying in thickness from 2mm to 11mm – tailoring the gauge, shape and strength properties to optimize the requirements for each frame section with minimal weight."
Under the hood is a new 6.2-litre, direct injection V8 that boasts of variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation to produce 450 bhp. A claimed time of 0-100 kph of 4 seconds is on the cards, putting the new Porsche 911 Carrera S and 4S in a spot of bother. It is paired to a seven-speed, rev-matching manual gearbox like the one on the Nissan 370Z or a six-speed automatic.
The running gear includes 18-inch wheels up front and 19-inchers at the rear with 35mm Bilstein monotube shocks and a new electric power steering. A new 3-mode electronic slip differential is also on offer.
The new C7 Corvette goes on sale in the US in the third-quarter of 2013.