Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

  After six long and beautiful generations, the Chevrolet Corvette is just as much a hot commodity as it was in 1953 when the first concept was rolled out for all to see. This American-made sports car comes in four different trims: Standard, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1. The standard Corvette and the Grand Sport are both powered by a 6.2L V8 engine that pumps out 430hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. Add the upgraded exhaust system and the models get 436hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. The Grand Sport differentiates itself from the standard model with a few upgrades, Z06 styling cues, and its won gear and rear-axle ratios. The Corvette Z06 is powered by a 7.0L V8 engine producing 505hp and 470 lb-ft of torque and the newer ZR1 boasts a 6.2L supercharged V8 delivering 638hp and 604 lb-ft of torque to the table. All engines are mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

It’s been less than a year since the redesigned C7 Corvette reached its first customers, and the latest iteration of the sports car is already available in a couple of special-edition trims. The extremely cool, 650-horsepower Z06 is already on its way and the new-generation Corvette is shaping up pretty nicely for the 2015 model year.

But expect more to follow, even if Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter hinted that a new-generation ZR1 is not very likely. With that out of the way, we might be looking at new special-edition models as early as 2016, maybe even a Grand Sport revival. It’s a long shot right now, but we have reason to believe Chevy is pondering a back-to-the-roots "Zora" Edition to celebrate famed engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov.

What makes us think about a tribute car to the man known as the "Father of the Corvette" is a trademark request for the "Zora" name General Motors filed with the United States Patent Trademark Office. The application is currently filed under the category of "Vehicles and Products for locomotion by land, air of water" and strongly suggests its automotive-related purpose. And since Arkus-Duntov’s career is strongly related to dropping Chevy’s legendary small-block V-8 into the second-generation Corvette , we can’t think of anything else but a special edition C7 Vette with a "Zora" badge on its fenders.

Click past the jump to learn more about what this trademark could mean.

Only two years after the release of the C7 Corvette Stingray, Mark Reuss, GM’s global product chief, says the automaker is already working on the next generation of Corvette, though deeper details are nearly non-existent.

The news comes at the tail end of a Detroit Free Press report regarding the growing positive corporate morale within the company’s ranks. Despite all the bad press surrounding General Motors’ ignition switch recall fiasco, CEO change-up, and continually growing list of non-related vehicle recalls, Reuss says morale is higher than it was in 2012, when GM employees were last surveyed. He attributes the growth to a greater emphasis on transparency within the company as a result of the recent recalls.

Besides the news of happy employees, fans of GM’s high-performance halo car can widen their smiles as well. The next generation of Corvette is already on the drawing board. This means The General may shorten the lifespan of the C7 Vette, keeping the iconic Corvette nameplate fresh and competitive in the world’s arena. Unlike the C6 Corvette, which grew stale after an eight-year production run, the C7 may find itself replaced sooner. With competitors like Ferrari generally on a tighter and shorter shelf life, GM would be wise to adopt such a strategy.

Vehicle development these days is a long and exhausting process with years of design work done before the first prototypes are constructed. Considering that, the C7 will definitely enjoy several more years as the latest Vette, but we’d suspect GM will introduce its replacement by 2020, six years after the C7’s 2014 introduction.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Ladies and Gentleman, it is Thursday, and that means it is time for Justin, Mark, and myself to fill your ears with banter about the automotive universe.

It is time for the TopSpeed Podcast . No video this week folks, sorry, but we are working on getting a live show setup soon! That means you can see us and chat with us all in rel time. We hope to have it ready by next week.

We start the show in the usual fashion with Weekly Wheels. Justin has been driving the Mazda6 , I spent some time with Nissan Juke Nismo, and Mark blasted around in the supercharged Audi S5 .

For the news this week, we talk about Nissan’s love of fun cars , the Audi S7 , and the changes coming to the 2015 Corvette Stingray .

We keep the horsepower high with talk about our exclusive image of some of the Challenger Hellcat’s cooling equipment , and we speculate on the upcoming small Porsche 718 .

We conclude the news with a quick talk about my recent time with Grid Autosport .

Our Q/A segment features some talk of F1 cars, and we finish the show with Own, Drive Burn. This week we have a trio of the greatest supercars of all time. This one was far from easy.

As always, you can find us on iTunes. Feel free to rate, review and subscribe, it makes us all very happy. If you prefer the Twitter thing, you can find us @TopSpeedPodcast, and you can always reach us be email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com. Of course, we love the comments and enjoy chatting with you.

See you fine people next Thursday.

Hennessey Performance is widely known for adding crazy amounts of horsepower to factory fresh vehicles already laded with respectable amounts of horsepower. This Corvette Stingray Z51 is no exception. Coming from Bowling Green with 460 horses and 465 pound feet of torque under the hood, this C7 gets a generous power increase thanks to Hennessey’s HPE650 Supercharger upgrade.

The specialized kit includes a high-flow supercharger with Hennessey’s HPE air induction system, a custom pulley for the blower, an upgraded 160-degree thermostat, and specific recalibration of the car’s engine management system. The extra air forced down the 6.2-liter V-8’s throat helps produce 650 horsepower at 6,300 rpm at the flywheel.

On the dyno, the car turns in 532 horsepower and 539 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. That’s an increase of 72 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to Chevrolet’s performance output numbers. Compare them to Hennessey’s baseline dyno results of the stock C7, and the difference is even greater. The stock car only put down 399 horses and 400 pound-feet to the rear wheels — though with its dealer license tag still tapped on, it’s possible the car wasn’t broken in.

Compare Hennessey’s before and after numbers, and the Vette gains an extra 133 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Impressive stuff.

Also added to the car are several Hennessey badges, premium floormats, carbon fiber doorsills, and Hennessey’s 3-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty. The Texas-based company also offers plenty of other interior and exterior accessories with the package, at a slight extra cost.

If you find yourself wanting a Corvette Stingray HPE650, you’d better act fast. The company is only building 100 examples for the 2014 model year, though more will likely be available for 2015 and beyond.

My eyes were tired, and the sun was unnaturally bright for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, but the warm Texas weather gave me satisfaction as I opened the balcony door. In just a few short hours I would be throwing cars around a racetrack as I began my one-day crash course on tire testing and comparisons.

I’ve been on worse assignments.

The event was put together and hosted by Cooper Tire. The American tire company, one of the last still operating in the US, has just released the new CS5 line of premium touring tires. With more than 2-million testing miles, and built as a replacement for the company’s best-selling tire ever, the CS5 is quite an ambitious project. Oh, Cooper is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as well. Somehow, I have been invited along with a selection of my colleagues to put this new tire through its paces.

The day would consist of laps around both dry and wet circuits to test the tires abilities, and Cooper had brought along some competition for us to compare against as well. Our weapons of choice included the new BMW 328i and some V6-powered Ford Mustangs .

I would learn a lot about tires, myself, and the breaking point of a C7 Corvette’s rear differential.

Read on to learn more about my day as a tire tester and find out how I did

There aren’t a lot of things about this industry that can drive us to tears, but we there will be at least some flowing down when we see former Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt get behind the wheel of a specially prepared Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the Indy 500. If you don’t know, Schmidt was paralyzed in a racing accident 15 years ago. But thanks to the SAM (semi-autonomous motorcar) Project, Schmidt will once again find himself doing what he used to do best.

The SAM Project is a collaborative venture to use technology to get disabled drivers driving again and at the Indy 500, the group plans to unveil a specially designed Corvette Stingray race car that has been customized to include integrated advanced electronics and a human-to-machine interface, allowing the driver to essentially drive the car through head movement and brake by biting down on a pressure sensor.

It’s an incredible setup that will be shown in full focus once Sam Schmidt gets inside the car. The paralyzed driver will be wearing a unique hat that’s been dotted with reflective infrared markers, allowing Schmidt to steer the car using his head alone, tilting left or right to steer and backward to accelerate. The Corvette will come with a series of infrared cameras that will capture Schmidt’s head movements. From there, a CPU translates these movements and turns them into commands, relaying the information to actuators found on the Corvette’s steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes.

Incredibly, the car is safe to drive around the race track, an incredible feat that came from a collaboration of a number of tech companies, including Arrow, a supplier of industrial electronics components, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the non-profit Falci Adaptive Motorsports.

For all of the incredible work put in by these companies to develop this equally amazing Corvette, the attention will deservedly belong to Sam Schmidt. It’s been 14 years since that horrific crash Florida’s Walt Disney World Speedway that resulted in him being paralyzed so it’s absolutely amazing that he’s in this position now where he can, at least for one day, find comfort in his racing element.

He’s only driving four laps at the Indy 500 festivities, but make no mistake, it’s going to be the most emotional four laps the Brickyard has had in recent memory.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray.

Source: Cnet

We’ve already discussed all of the details around the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 earlier, when GM introduced the sexy, yet track-capable drop-top at the New York Auto Show . And we were pretty impressed with the fact that Chevy managed to keep weight to a minimum after chopping its roof off.

The staggering power, the projected performance and the aerodynamic body kit are the other reasons that will make grovel at its wheels, but have you heard the way this beast of a car sounds like when the ignition fires up that supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 mill? You might be the biggest Corvette hater in the world, but if your heart doesn’t start pumping faster after hearing a Z06 idle, then you’re NOT a petrolhead and you should go hang around a bunch of Toyota Prius .

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, then you should know that the 2015 Corvette Z06 received a brand-new LT4 engine that’s set to generate at least 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. Those figures should be enough to propel the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds, with the convertible to be a tad slower at 3.5 seconds.

The sports car won’t hit the streets until the first quarter of 2015, so make sure you watch the video above if you’re looking for some early exhaust note action.

Another Thursday afternoon means another TopSpeed.com Podcast . You can click play here for audio, or look after the jump for a FULL video podcast.

This week sees the return of Justin after his vacation, lots of cars with manual transmissions and a few automotive farewells.

Our weekly wheels for this week include the Honda Accord Touring from Justin and the Chevrolet Silverado High Country from Mark. I am a sad boy this week and have no new cars to talk about. Cue the sad trombone.

To make myself feel better, we cover a whole host of bad-ass car news. We start with the announcement of a manual transmission for the F-Type . We move to more fun cars with the Cayman GT4 spy shots , and the final edition of the Cadillac CTS-V . Cadillac gets some more love with the ELR-V and we finish with the BMW i8, the future of the M1 and round things out with a special edition Audi R8 .

We wrap up the show with a trio of questions from you, our wonderful listeners, and an Own, Drive, Burn made entirely of Corvettes.

We had one final viewer question, but it was a long one, so we decided to tackle it as a special "after-show bonus" so feel free to stick around after the closing music to catch that. We discuss what you should buy if you are sitting on $30k and want a performance car.

As always, you can catch us on iTunes ( we would love it if you rated and gave us a review), drop us an email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com, find us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or just hit up the comments. We read and respond to basically everything, so if you have feedback, let us know.

Click "play" to hear this week’s Podcast

See you next week-

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Honda Accord, Chevy Silverado

Back before the mighty C6 ZR1 rumbled out of Bowling Green with its supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V-8 making 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque, there was a previous king-of-the-hill Corvette that bore the same ZR1 name (though it was hyphenated ZR-1). The C4 ZR-1 saw production from 1990 through 1995 and came with a rather unconventional engine design never before seen powering a Corvette.

The ZR-1’s small-block 350 had dual overhead cams and 32 valves.

Sure, DOHC are a commonplace thing found in engines, but this represented uncharted territory for the Chevy small block that had always used a single cam and pushrods to operate the overhead valves. Luckily, General Motors had acquired Lotus in 1986, and soon after the purchase, engineers with Corvette approached Lotus with their plans of building the world’s fastest production car. Together the UK-based automaker and The General went to work combining the classic V-8 with the modern DOHC design. The result was named the LT5.

Displacing a familiar 5.7-liters, (or 350 cubic inches, depending when you were born) the LT5 engine produced 375 horsepower, which helped push the ZR-1 Vette to 60 in 4.5 seconds and had a top speed of over 180 mph. The power rose to 405 horses when Lotus redesigned the heads and valvetrain for 1993. Those were stellar numbers 20 years ago.

General Motors had one problem, however. They couldn’t handle the extra workload of building the specialized engine. So GM contracted the engines to be built by Mercury Marine,, a company normally associated with boat engines (and no relation to Ford’s Mercury division). Only 6,939 C4 Corvette ZR-1s were ever built, but they created a legend only touched years later by the C6 Corvette ZR1.

As part of Mercury’s 75-year anniversary, the company is remembering this mighty engine, an dhas placed an example on display at its headquartersI.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1990 ZR-1 Corvette Powered By Merc LT5 Engine.

With only two months left until the upcoming "Transformers: Age of Extinction" movie hits theaters, Chevrolet has confirmed the full lineup of Bowtie-badged vehicles that will be featured in the new installment.

The main star of the new film will obviously be Bumblebee , a futuristic concept based on the fifth-generation Camaro. The Pearl Yellow car will return to the silver screen as the movie’s leading attraction for the fourth time since its debut in 2007.

Besides the Bumblebee, Chevy has prepped four more vehicles for the new Transformers film, ranging from the Corvette Stingray , which will convert to Autobot Crosshairs, to the Trax crossover , and even a heavily modified 1967 Camaro SS . Also included is a Sonic dressed as a rally car will appear in some of the action-packed scenes.

In addition to prepping the aforementioned vehicles and providing them to the production crew, General Motors also allowed Paramount to film at its Warren Technical Center, Milford Proving Ground and even its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant.

The highly anticipated "Transformers: Age of Extinction" movie is set to arrive in theaters on June 27th, 2014.

Click past the jump to find out why it matters.


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