With a couple of years under the 7th generation Corvette's belt, it's pretty obvious this platform is arguably the best one yet overall across the board. We've seen records set and alot of Corvette wins over some Ford guys all over the internet. All jokes aside here's seven things that you might not know about when it comes to the C7!
The Benchmark Car
According to the Corvette engineering team when the C7 was undergoing development the team had one single car to go against as a benchmark for the new Corvette. It was the 911 Carrera S which has a price tag of nearly double that of the Corvette selling at about $120,000. Isn't it ironic that it's a rear engine German car? Well it was a good target car because the new C7 works.
Faster Than a C6 Grand Sport
The Corvette C7's official lap time at the Virginia International Raceway Grand Course was 2:51.8 before it went on sale at dealerships. The C6 Grand Sport model (fitted with larger 275mm front and 325mm rear rubber and weighing 60 or 70 pounds less) is slower around the same track. Its lap time was in the 2-minute, 54-second range at VIR. The C6 Z06 runs a 2:49. So right off the bat, the base C7 model was a force to be reckoned with.
Integrated Tire Temperature and Chassis Controls
Chevrolet uses the tire temperature data available through the C7's tire pressure sensors to more carefully control its ABS and electronic differential. The pressure sensors don't measure tire temperature directly, they actually measure the temperature of the TPMS sensor's microprocessor. Although it's not a perfect science, it is however something that data modeling can largely overcome. And it's one more piece of information that can be utilized to enhance the driving experience and handling of the C7.
The tire temperatures are split into 3 categories: cold (below 45 degrees), warm (45-115 degrees) and hot (above 115 degrees). In "cold" mode ABS intervenes sooner and more progressively, while the differential is more aggressive to limit inside wheel spin. As temps increase the ABS control intervenes later and becomes more lenient, while differential locking ramps up more slowly. This maximizes traction in all situations.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP Tires
According to Michelin North America's Lee Willard, lead development engineer for the C7 Corvette's tire, the Pilot Super Sport ZP is a hybrid tire that utilizes technology from both the Pilot Super Sport line of ultrahigh-performance tires and the Pilot Sport Cup DOT race tire which was optional on C6 Corvettes.
These tires perform well under any conditions, because they only need one lap around a track to reach their full ability on a dry track. And thanks to dual compounds and asymmetric sidewalls, it outperforms the outgoing standard-fitment tire on the C6 Corvette in every area, including wear.
PTM Is Faster Than You
PTM is the C7's Performance Traction Management system that actively stabilizes the car with 5 different driving modes available. The PTM system was calibrated after hundreds of testing laps around the Milford Road Course (also known as the Lutz ring) at GM's Milford Proving Ground, it was proven lap times are quicker using PTM 5 (the most aggressive mode). This is mostly thanks to the chassis control engineers who calibrated the C7's Performance Traction Management system.
Even Jim Mero, the ride/handling performance engineer responsible for all of the Corvette's official lap times, says the system is virtually unbeatable. Mero used PTM in the C6 ZR1 to set that car's 7-minute, 19-second lap time at the Nurburgring and admits he hasn't tried to beat PTM on the Lutz ring, but that it would be difficult.
Audio System Booms When You Want and Silence When You Don't
Every 7th generation Chevrolet Corvette is fitted with active noise cancelation that utilizes the car's audio system to diminish unwanted road and tire noise. Or to just sound good when your listening to your favorite music. There is 14-liter bass enclosure built into the car's rear bulkhead which enhances the "booms" you want and cancels the ones you don't. The C7 has a 10-speaker Bose audio system that comes with two subwoofers.
24-Hour Durability Test
Before C7 went into production, it has to pass a 24-hour durability test in which the vehicle performance integration team changed only the tires and brakes. It was performed on the Lutz Ring at GM's Milford Proving Ground. The test was used to prove the thermal stability of the car's subsystems.
The engine coolant and oil temps as well as the transmission fluid and differential fluid are monitored to be certain they stay within a life-permitting range. This was basically a test of the C7's thermal stability. The test was run over the course of six days using four tanks of fuel per day. The tests were broken up into 6 days because the heat cycling is typically harder on equipment than doing it over 24 consecutive hours.