With the official debut of the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette barely a month away, details about the much-anticipated sports car have begun leaking out despite the tight lid the Detroit maker has clamped down until the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
A number of preliminary specifications for the so-called C7 Corvette have begun dribbling out – along with some spy images and renderings, including several appearing in the January 2013 issue of “Car And Driver.”
“While the C7 maintains the basic proportions of its immediate predecessor, the visual drama shifts to the side view. The B-Pillar is subdued for a smoother, sleeker flow to the greenhouse roofline,” notes C&D Technical Director Don Sherman in the magazine’s cover story. “That the Ferraro F12 berlinetta shares the tapering side glass motif won’t be lost on Corvette-heads,” Sherman suggests.
GM has attempted to keep the new ‘Vette under wraps hoping to maximize the news value of what is anticipated to be one of the big draws for January’s Detroit Auto Show.
“All I can tell you right now is that the new Corvette will offer an entirely new driving experience – one that’s refined, and redefined,” GM president of North American operations Mark Reuss said during an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.
When the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette arrives late next year, it will be powered by a technologically advanced, racing-proven 6.2L V-8 delivering an estimated 450 horsepower and helping produce 0-60 times in less than four seconds.
General Motors has already said the new Corvette LT1 engine, the first of the Gen 5 family of Small Block engines, combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system.
“Our objective for the development of the all-new LT1 was to raise the bar for performance car engines,” said Mary Barra, senior vice president, global product development. “We feel that we have achieved that by delivering a true technological masterpiece that seamlessly integrates a suite of advanced technologies that can only be found on a handful of engines in the world,” she added.
According to Barra, “What makes this engine truly special is the advanced combustion system that extracts the full potential of these technologies. The art and science behind that combustion system make the Corvette LT1 one of the most advanced V-8 engines in the world.”
GM representatives have output, performance, and fuel economy numbers will not be finalized until early next year.
Nevertheless, the new LT1 engine is expected to make the new C7 the most powerful standard Corvette ever, with an anticipated output of 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque, according to GM.
It will also be the quickest standard Corvette ever — with estimated 0-60 performance of less than four seconds — and the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever, exceeding the 2013 EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
“The Holy Grail for developing a performance car is delivering greater performance and more power with greater fuel economy and that’s what we’ve achieved,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “By leveraging technology, we are able to get more out of every drop of gasoline and because of that we expect the new Corvette will be the most fuel-efficient 450 horsepower car on the market.”
There has been plenty of speculation, in recent years, about the direction GM would take with the next Corvette. Some had hoped for an even more exotic, mid- or even rear-engine layout, though the new Chevy sports car will maintain its front-engine/rear-drive configuration.
It has also been reported that GM would adopt a more high-tech, Euro-style small-displacement engine, and it is still possible that such an alternative powertrain is in the works.
It’s clear there are still some surprises to come in January at Detroit Cobo Center — where, incidentally, more than 200 Corvette fanatics will get a first view alongside the automotive media having anted up nearly $1,000 each. That money will help support the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Paul A. Eisenstein contributed to this report.
Tags: 2013 detroit auto show, 2014 chevrolet corvette, auto news, c7 corvette, car news, chevrolet corvette, chevrolet news, chevy corvette, corvette detroit auto show, gm news, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau