Like most automakers, General Motors doesn’t discuss future products – well, most of the time – and that includes the inevitable variants of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. But Chevy officials don’t deny there are some spin-offs coming and considering the way the new Stingray has raised the hurdles, they’re going to have to deliver some serious numbers when the next-generation Z06 and ZR1 models roll into showrooms.
In fact, we may see some all new model designations to underscore what’s in store. A new report suggests Chevy will opt to call its next model the Corvette Z07. Considering the “base” version of the 2014 Stingray delivers roughly the same power and performance of the outgoing Z06, perhaps that’s no surprise.
The C7, as folks have taken to calling the new ‘Vette, is a high-tech wonder, adopting such niceties as direct injection, variable valve-timing and the like. According to Car and Driver’s new report, the new Z07, which may be marketed as a 2016 model, will get even more technically sophisticated, starting with a twin-turbo V-8 it claims will have a displacement of “significantly less than 6.2 liters.”
That’s not entirely a surprise. Cadillac is also moving towards twin blowers to maximize performance on-demand, even while holding down fuel consumption under normal driving conditions. What matters, if C&D is right, is the 95-horsepower jump this powertrain package would deliver over the current Z06, the new Z07 would reportedly come in at an even 600 hp. To put that in perspective consider that the last version of the Z01 was punching out “just” 638 ponies.
Considering the improvements in handling, that means a 2016 Corvette Z07 would likely give a real challenge to the best ‘Vette we’ve ever seen in generations past.
The Z07 also reportedly will be outfitted with new Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and larger Michelin tires.
The “base” version of the new 2014 Stingray has been generating almost universal praise. If there’s been any complaint it’s the lack of an 8-speed automatic. That is expected to be resolved within another year. But the Corvette Z07 is reportedly going to be limited to the Tremec 7-speed manual that is already available on the Stingray.
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To help maximize power while keeping the engine cool, look for air-to-liquid heat exchangers on the forced air intake system, reports C&D.
Expect to see the 2016 Corvette Z07 show up early in the 2015 model-year – possibly after a preview at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
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Pricing is reportedly set to take a much bigger bite than did the sticker on the 2014 Stingray, jumping from the $76,000 on the current Z06 all the way up into the rarified $100,000 range.
We’re hoping to get some additional, official details soon.
Among the questions left unanswered: when will we see a replacement for the ZR1? What sort of power will it churn out, considering it would have to push into the 700-hp range to hold its lofty position? And will it also get a new name? ZR7 anyone?
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