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Our C7 Wish List

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On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 4:06PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Our C7 Wish List

It seems like only yesterday we were ushering out the revolutionary C5, and introducing the evolutionary C6. But alas, 2005 was a lifetime ago (at least in terms of the automotive world). Chevy has finally given us the word that 2013 will be the final model year of the C6, but have kept their lips sealed about just what we can expect out of the C7 aside from a few grainy, sketchy spy photos. So we here at Autoshopper would like to suggest (demand?) a few details that we would very much appreciate seeing as part of the next Corvette.

First and foremost, we wouldn't mind seeing the base model get a bit more flash than the base C6 showed us over the past seven years. Although models like the Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1 have been recipients of various ducts, vents, and aggressive styling, the base C6 has seemed a bit bland -- so seeing the base C7 as a mean machine in its own right would be nice, even for base money. That being said, we would like to ask that the shape not stray too far from the C6's lean and taut sport-coupe stylings. The same basic silhouette has been in place since 1984, and we see no good reason to change it now. Same request for the quad tail lights -- they've worked just fine since 1961, so please Chevy, don't mess with them!

In terms of powertrain, we know the times are a-changin'. So we're willing to accept the fact that the base engine might not be a 6.3-liter V8 like today's LS3. With insanely high corporate averages for fuel efficiency on the horizon, we would entertain the idea of downsizing the next Vette's motor. But, the caveat is that Chevy needs to keep the overhead valve thing going - they have proven that in this age of excessive valves and cams, they can still build a seriously impressive engine even if it's deemed "archaic" by those whiney import drivers. Instead of looking at the downsizing of the motor as a downer, Chevy could use this as an opportunity to resurrect one of its classic engines much like it did for the 427 in the ZO6. Instead of today's non-historical 384 cubic inches, Chevy could fall back to the legendary 350, or even further to the 327 that was made popular in the 60's, or even all the way back to the venerable 283 that would recall the first generation Corvettes of the 1950's and early 1960's. Throw in higher compression, maybe some direct-injection, and matching the current car's 436 horsepower shouldn't be that difficult. We are also not terribly opposed to listening to ideas of forced induction. Obviously the ZR1 has shown us that the appeal of a supercharger can be pretty substantial. BMW has made the shift from natural aspiration to boost in its M cars using turbos to help improve fuel efficiency while maintaining power at (and above) acceptable levels. There certainly is something to the idea of a Twin Turbo Vette straight from the factory.

As far as transmissions go, keep it simple please. A six-speed manual is just fine thank you very much, and if you must, we can deal with a six, seven, or eight speed auto. Just please let's keep the manual the standard tranny, and not the other way around. It wouldn't be bad to see a seven-speed manual either if Chevy would like their lead dog to be at the head of the pack for a change. Porsche already did the dirty work and figured it out, so we know it's possible. C7, seven speeds? Come on, it's a natural fit.

From what history has told us, technology has a trickledown effect. So today's ZO6 could very easily be tomorrow's base Vette. It happened more or less with the transition from C5 to C6, so seeing a base C7 with the Z's ZO7 15.5 inch rotors, Magnetic Ride Control shocks, magnesium subframe, or six-piston calipers replete with carbon-ceramic rotors. We imagine that the transmission would still be rear-mounted to help weight bias, which was and still is a good idea -- keep it. Spy photos (courtesy of Edmunds Insideline) seem to suggest a quad center mount exhaust, and if we can't get sidepipes, then the quad tips will do fine.

The biggest item on our C7 wish list however, is that the C7's base price not skyrocket too much farther than the current C6's base price of $49,045. The next biggest item is simply that Chevy starts leaking more information and pictures out about the C7 so we can stop daydreaming about what the next Vette might be, and start daydreaming about what it is!

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