Among the various Corvette rumors swirling since the release of GM’s (NYSE:GM) C7 masterpiece, when and where an eight-speed automatic transmission would apppear has been a particularly hot topic. According to the sports car’s chief engineer, there’s still a boatload of work to do on the Corvette Z06, which leaves the project of adding the eight-speed transmission to the Corvette Stingray until 2015 or 2016, AutoGuide reports.
Projects of this nature don’t simply involve popping the transmission out of the Z06 — which will be the first to house the eight-speed automatic — and sticking it inside the base Stingray model that debuted in late 2013. According to the report in AutoGuide, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Yuechter was enthused about the transmission itself but acknowledged the heavy workload his team had ahead for itself. Chief among those projects in constructing the blazing Z06 production model.
Full development of the Z06 will take until early 2015, at which point the Corvette squad will turn its attention to other matters such as accommodating the the base Corvette Stingray with its eight-speed automatic. Juechter said it may be as late as 2016, meaning the actual year rather than the model year. For now, Corvette lovers have the six-speed automatic or seven-speed manual available. Max horsepower with the Z51 performance package hits 460 hp with special exhaust.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 will muscle up with a minimum 625 horsepower on 635 lb-ft of torque with its 6.2-liter V8. The eight-speed automatic gives it the flavor of a racing bike, Corvette’s engineer told AutoGuide. The paddle shifters utilized have been a hit among Chevy engineers throughout the development phase. For General Motors, it’s proving to be the halo car they hoped they had in the pipeline.Fresh off its win as North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show, the C7 Corvette’s more intimidating sibling Z06 stoked even more excitement for the performance models coming out of the Chevy line. Detroit automakers as a group were taking something of a victory lap during the 2014 North American International Auto Show, but GM’s display was dazzling with its unclusion of the Camaro Z/28, a monster that made everyone forget the 2015 Ford (NYSE:F) Mustang existed for a while.
Both GM and Ford are bringing out an impressive number of new products in 2o14, a shift that will allow GM to sport one of the youngest fleets in the industry. To maximize efficiency, both automakers will match elements between products. This tactic led many to believe the base Corvette Stingray would have the eight-speed automatic transmission before other vehicles. In fact, it appears the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra could be on the receiving end of the eight-speed automatic first.