Chevy Raises Flags of Next-Gen Corvette
In a press release, GM Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn says, “The flags are much more modern, more technical, and more detailed than before,” which he says is reflective of the vehicle itself. The press release also says that the more swept, angular appearance of the flags is also reflective of the new car. Chevrolet says the only two parts that will carry over from the current Corvette to the new model are the rear latch for the removable roof panel and the cabin air filter.
Little else is known about Chevrolet’s next-generation luxury sports car, but auto journalists have plenty of predictions. The Wall Street Journal says that while the current Corvette is often regarded as the performance equal of exotic sports cars that are often far more expensive, its interior has failed to live up to that same high standard. Thus, many journalists, including WSJ, believe that interior of the 2014 C7 Corvette will be much improved.
Some journalists also think that a new V8 engine will debut under the C7’s hood. Car and Driver expects a slightly smaller V8, about 5.5-liters compared to the 6.2-liter engine found in the current base Corvette. However, they say that the new engine “should make roughly the same 430 hp as the current 6.2” through the use of better engine technology. They also predict that there will be fuel-saving technology like cylinder deactivation and an engine start-stop system. The current base Corvette achieves an EPA-estimated 16/26 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission, which is decent for a powerful sports car.
The top-ranked luxury sports car, the Porsche Cayman, tops out at a 20/29 mpg city/highway, but that model makes only 265 horsepower with its mid-mounted six-cylinder engine. For more horsepower from the Porsche, you can step up to the Cayman S, which has a more powerful, 320-horsepower flat-six, but costs $12,500 more than the current Corvette’s $49,600 starting price. Still, critics say the Cayman is one of the best handling luxury sports cars on the market, and they greatly prefer its interior to that of the Corvette.
There are some affordable sports cars that creep into the Corvette’s performance territory as well. The Ford Mustang GT, for example, has a 420-horsepower V8 and starts at $30,300. For even greater performance, the Mustang Shelby GT500 has 662 horsepower, a manufacturer-claimed top speed of above 200 miles-per-hour and starts at $54,200. It also gets an EPA-estimated 15/24 mpg city/highway, which is respectable for a car with 662 horsepower. For that kind of performance and power from the Corvette, you’d need to step up to the $75,600, 505-horsepower Corvette Z06 or the $112,600, 638-horsepower Corvette ZR1.
The 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette will be unveiled on January 13, 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show, and production will begin later in 2013.
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