No need to go the aftermarket route for this one

The auto industry can be a weird business, right? Imagine spending upwards of $50,000 on a tuning kit that makes your car go one second a lap faster on a race track. It seems weird to even think about, but it happens all the time in this industry so nobody bats an eye anytime a tuning firm charges whatever it does so long as the results are justified. Chevrolet, though, has a business that doesn’t revolve around these power and performance upgrades, and that partly explains why the automaker is charging a pittance for a software upgrade that ends in the current-generation Corvette getting a decent performance spike. So much so, in fact, that it improves its lap time around the automaker’s 2.9-mile Milford Roads Course race track. The cost of this software update? $350.

I’m not sure if it qualifies as the bargain of the century, but it certainly looks like one. Granted, the software update is non-obtrusive, so there’s really no physical changes to the Corvette’s physical makeup. All it does is modify the sports car’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which in turn leads to improved handling and ride quality for the ‘Vette. The result, as General Motors VP of performance vehicles and motorsports Jim Campbell puts it, “is a greater feeling of balance and more linear responses to driver inputs.” It’s the kind of improvement that won’t appear physically on the Corvette, but owners of the sports car are expected to feel it instantaneously. Even better, availing of the download won’t mess up your Chevy warranty since the software update is factory-developed and can only be installed by dealerships.

For now, the updated software is compatible for a handful of Corvette models, including 2014-2016 Corvette Stingray Z51s, 2016 Stingray, and 2015-2016 Corvette Z06s. Other Corvette variants are expected to receive the software update at a later time, so if anybody here owns any one of these Corvettes, there’s little reason to go the aftermarket route to spike up your sports car’s performance. All you need to do is go to Chevrolet directly, and it’ll take care of the business for you at a cost that’s presumably cheaper than an aftermarket lug nut.

References

Chevrolet Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior
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Press release

New performance suspension calibrations offered by Chevrolet Performance enhance ride quality and handling on C7 Corvette models equipped with Magnetic Ride Control.

Announced today at the SEMA Show, the calibrations include new Track modes that enable faster lap times on Z06 FE6 and FE7 models. The roster of new calibrations includes:

2014-16 Stingray with Z51 features new calibrations in Tour and Sport modes.
2016 Stingray (non-Z51) features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.
2015-16 Z06 (non-Z07) features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.
2015-16 Z06 with Z07 Performance Package features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.

Calibrations for additional applications will be announced later.

“These new calibrations leverage the latest tuning strategies of the Corvette development team to offer increased performance, while improving ride quality,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The result is a greater feeling of balance and more linear responses to driver inputs — changes you’ll feel and appreciate immediately.”

During testing with a 2016 Z06, the new calibrations enabled more than a 1-second improvement in lap times around General Motors’ 2.9-mile Milford Road Course.

The new Magnetic Ride calibrations are available through Chevrolet dealers for $350 and require no hardware changes. The new calibration is simply uploaded to the vehicle and the factory warranty is not affected.

Approximately 20 Chevrolet models are on display this week at the SEMA Show, Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Follow the action at ChevySEMA.com, #CHEVYSEMA, @ChevroletPerformance on Instagram and Chevrolet Performance on Facebook.

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