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C7 Chevy Corvette To Use Small Turbo V8

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On: Sat, May 28, 2011 at 8:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

C7 Chevy Corvette To Use Small Turbo V8

I think that even people that don't give a lick about Corvettes must be eagerly awaiting the debut of the C7 Chevy Corvette, if only to verify which rumors are true and which are false. So far we've heard of radical departures that include a mid-engined layout, V-6 engines and split-window rear windshield ala the 1963 Stingray. The latest rumor might make the most sense of all: a smaller V-8 powerplant that uses turbo charging.

According to the Detroit Bureau, GM is eager to attract a new breed of customer, the type of buyers that currently can't run fast enough to the nearest Porsche dealer. Younger buyers just aren't impressed with a brutish, unrefined muscle car; they want a smarter, more sophisticated ride. So Chevy will give it to them, by moving away from its history of big, burly but simple engines and employing something a little more in line with European competitors.

The engine will be much smaller than traditional Corvette engines, displacing somewhere between 3 and 4 liters. To deliver Corvette-type performance, Chevy will equip that new engine with a turbocharger to provide a high performance ride over a variety of conditions. Output is rumored to be north of 400-horsepower, or a very attractive 125+ hp per liter.

The move will mark a radical departure from the Corvette's traditional governing principle of "There's no replacement for displacement." Apparently, there is a replacement. It should also give the Corvette more of the global, supercar appeal that GM is looking for.

Other changes include overhead-cam design and a high rev limit approaching a lofty 10,000 RPMs.

Helping to quell the perceived uprising that would certainly result amidst the throngs of Corvette traditionalists, Chevy will also offer a more traditional, big-block V-8 option. Basically, it's hoping to bring in new customers while keeping the good, 'ol boys right where they are.

While the change in direction sounds refreshing, it casts some doubt on past rumors, like mid-engined design. Earlier this month, Chevy's North American chief Mark Reuss was quoted as saying that the next-gen Corvette will be "completely different" from past 'Vettes, an admission that was thought to allude to a layout redesign. The mid-engine rumor, which had seemed dead in the water, came raging back; but a 3-liter turbo V-8 is just a radical enough departure that it could be exactly what Reuss was referring to.

Whatever the final C7 looks like, it won't be that long until we get our eyes on it. The 2013 C6 is expected to have a half-year run before Chevy turns its attention to the 2014 C7.

What changes do you most hope to see: Small V-8 turbo? Mid-engine design? Improved interior? Retro-inspired, Stingray-emulating body? Something else altogether?


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