Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car

"Sure it's fast in a straight line, but can it corner?" Yes, yes it can. Here are seven reasons the C7 Corvette Stingray is American engineering at its best

Remind me later
Chevrolet - Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car - Muscle

1. Balanced Weight Distribution

With a 50/50 weight distribution, some would say that the Corvette is perfectly balanced. Regardless of your idea of ideal, having a large V8 up front can offset the balance and lead to an understeering pig of a vehicle. In addition, less weight in the back means less power can be put down, and in this case a more oversteer-prone vehicle. Corvette engineers have mitigated this issue by placing the transmission at the rear, as well as mounting the engine between the driver and the front axle.

Chevrolet - Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car - Muscle

2. 7-Speed Rev-Matching Manual Transmission

Rev-matching isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly cool technology. Just like ABS and traction control, computers are often capable of doing things better than humans, or acting as an aid for those who need help. Depress the clutch, drop down a gear, and the engine speed instantly matches the transmission speed for a fast and smooth gearshift, all without your right foot twisting or rotating over from the brake pedal onto the throttle.

Undoubtedly not for purists, but for those who occasionally visit the track that can’t nail the fancy footwork, it’s a fun alternative. It’s also great for dropping several gears on the highway and making a quick pass.

An 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Is Optional
An 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Is Optional

3. Intelligent Aerodynamics

The front hood features an opening which allows hot air passing through the radiator to escape, and it also reduces front lift. Matched with inlet ducts up front, the front fenders have vents to cool the brakes and reduce under-hood air pressure and minimise drag. Vents on the rear quarters send air through differential and transmission coolers, which then exit to the left and right of the taillights. The vehicle also features a flat underbody to reduce turbulence underneath the car and once again reduce drag and lift.

Chevrolet - Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car - Muscle

4. Hand-Built Engine

Granted, this only applies to the Z06, but the LT4 engine is hand assembled by a single technician in the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The process ensures torques are perfect, there aren’t any pressure leaks, and that the engine is looked at from start to finish to ensure quality and consistency of the motors in these vehicles. As a $5000 option, you can even head to Kentucky and build the engine yourself alongside an assembly technician who will instruct and oversee the process.

Chevrolet - Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car - Muscle

5. Z51 Package

For $5000, the number of track-ready features the Z51 package provides is staggering: a performance exhaust which adds 5bhp and 5lb/ft, a dry sump oil system, larger performance brakes with slotted rotors, performance suspension with upgraded shocks, springs, and sway bars, different wheels and tyres, performance gear ratios (if you’ve selected the manual option), an electronic limited-slip differential, a rear differential cooler, transmission cooling, and an aero package. You can run laps all day and not worry about your systems overheating.

How does the Z51 perform? Check out the video below for a full review:

6. Performance Data Recorder

The PDR is an industry-first for production cars. This system was designed by Cosworth, the Corvette Racing team’s data acquisition and telemetry developer. The system consists of a camera, microphone, and telemetry recorder which will overlay g-forces, RPM, speed, throttle, braking, steering angle, lap location and times, and which gear you’re in. All of this is recorded onto an SD card which is located within the glove compartment, giving you the ability to analyse your lap times and improve your driving.

Chevrolet - Engineering Explained: 7 Reasons Why The C7 Corvette Proves America Can Build A Real Sports Car - Muscle

7. Z06 Performance Bargain

When the R35 Nissan GT-R went on sale in 2008 it sent a shockwave through the industry. For $70,000, there really wasn’t anything that came close to its performance. But that’s no longer the case, as it now starts over $100,000. The more savage GT-R Nismo version now costs the equivalent of a base Z06 and a 2008 Nissan GT-R combined. For $70k less, the Z06 offers more power, less weight, a better weight distribution, and more lateral grip. While both cars are brilliant, the 10-seconds-from-the-factory Z06 packs more thrills for less bills.

Check out the video below to see how the Corvette Z51 and Z06 are assembled!

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