By on June 20, 2013

Picture courtesy GM

The first source of performance numbers for the new C7 Corvette is, not surprisingly in this day and age, GM itself. Some of the numbers are extremely useful, others less so.

First, the basics. The C7 Stingray, when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, turns a quarter-mile of [email protected] If you’re interested in comparing the C7 to the Dodge Omni Miser or something like that, the completely irrelevant 0-60 number is 3.8 seconds. Slightly more interesting, the 60-0 is 107 feet.

So far, so good. This is a properly quick car that appears to have a slight edge on the C5 Z06 and base C6. And to show what great guys they are, the GM Performance crew ran the car around VIR. But, as has been the case with some of their other Corvette testing, they ran the “Grand Course”. To understand what the “Grand Course” is, check the VIR website.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Grand Course times are chickenshit stuff. The number of open-lapping days that use the Grand Course can be counted on a single hand in any given year. Races rarely occur on the Grand Course, because putting a race on the Grand Course requires one zillion flaggers and it increases the length of the lap by almost a minute. Thousands of driver/car combinations set VIR Full Course times every year, as I did with the Shelby GT500. By using a Grand Course time, Chevrolet’s insulated the car from any comparisons other than with Car and Driver’s “Lightning Lap”. I could also go on at length about the increasing difficulties in consistency you get when you add something like twisty the VIR Patriot Course to any laptime (the “Grand” is “Full” plus “Patriot”), but I won’t bother to do it.

So Chevrolet’s given us a meaningless laptime. I suppose we should be grateful for whatever we get. On the day when the first C7 is available, perhaps they’ll let me run it around VIR Full, maybe in conjunction with a tuned-up C5 Z06 or something, and we can get a number that every bench racer in America can properly pick apart, right?

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49 Comments on ““Official” Performance Figures For The C7 Stingray Are Here… And They’re Grand...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    In other words, the lap times are P.R.tty good.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to how fast it’ll go ’round Top Gear’s test track with The Stig at the wheel! I am a man of SCIENCE, you see. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, that’s really the only number anyone cares about.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        That… and its time around the ‘Ring.

        Sadly due to the C7’s quickness us lesser cars will have to look at its ugly rear end often.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @ “Sadly due to the C7′s quickness us lesser cars will have to look at its ugly rear end often.”

          Or it’s side given the skill level of most drivers:^)

        • 0 avatar
          Tinker

          Yes, lets give it to Sabine Schmidt, and see if she can get a 5 minute lap of the Nurburgring, or see if she’ll have to remove the spare, the jack and the passenger seat like the Ford Transit she last ran around it.

          Maybe run it over the “Knock the lose parts off” Course and see if the parking brake holds on that 45 degree hill.

          I’d pay a dollar if they filled it up to the roof with water, and see how far they get before all the water pours out through the panel gaps. That would be hilarious! The Rover Tests!

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          >>Sadly due to the C7′s quickness us lesser cars will have to look at its ugly rear end often.<<

          If it were a Pontiac they would have called it the "Asstek".

    • 0 avatar
      SomeGuy

      Can we just admit the car is effing fast and be done with it? Who cares if it is around a “PR” friendly track? EVERY MANUFACTURER DOES THIS no matter the vehicle type. Anyone remember Mini challenging Porsche? Yeah, that would have been on a PR track (read AutoX) for Mini if they sent out a Boxster or 911. This Z51 Vette will eventually go around the Ring I’m sure.

      This car is going to slay 911s, Caymans, the $80k Z4s (read the Autoblog review), and other cars costing a lot more, be ten times more reliable, and have a killer warranty to boot.

      I’m seriously contemplating making the C7 Z51 package my first new car ever.

  • avatar
    blackbolt

    looks like a camaro from the rear.

  • avatar

    All I care about is:

    #1 How fast it goes from 0- illegal
    #2 How fast it runs a quarter mile.
    #3 How spacious it is inside (since I’m 6’6)
    #4 Whether or not it can beat a stock Nissan GT-R.

    It the answers are:

    #1 less than 4 seconds
    #2 less than 10 seconds
    #3 You can stretch out in it – see? Look at all the space!
    #4 YES

    Then and only then am I interested.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Jack, you forgot to report on GM’s slow decent to hell. That hasn’t been pointed out yet today.
    Thanks in advanced.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Regardless of the spin, these are impressive numbers for the base Corvette and point to good things for the new Z06. Drivers of expensive European sports cars beware.

  • avatar
    Almost Jake

    Damn, that is one ugly rear end.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Almost Jake – – –

      Yup. Almost as “busy” and confusing as the rear end on the LaFerrari.
      There are at least a dozen good Italian design houses who would be happy to help correct both of them.

      (Sigh) Guess I’ll just have to wait for the C8. Maybe GM can finally get the (then hopefully DOHC) engine to be mid-rear. A decent horizontal push-rod, F1 -type suspension might hep as well.

      —————–

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Which Italian design houses constitute ‘good’? I don’t think I’ve seen a properly stunning car come from those guys in at least a decade. The new Corvette already looks like Bertone or Pinninfarina did it.

        • 0 avatar
          niky

          Yeah, it’s a problem that afflicts many modern Italian supercars…

          And it’s likely on purpose. In an age where even a Ford Taurus uses styling cues once reserved for expensive metal, “exotics” need to look the part. “Exotic”, as in “weird and unusual.”

          Can’t use the “clean” look, Audi uses it. Can’t use the “sculpted look”, if it’s on entry-level Hyundais. Can’t use the “muscular look”, for fear of looking like a Rio… what’s left then? Stealth Fighters and aliens?

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          juicy sushi – – –

          Sorry it took so long to get back.

          Here is a link of automotive design firms of various nationalities, on which you can see many Italian ones:
          http://www.cardesignnews.com/site/directory/design_services/

          (BTW: I was using the word, “good” in its generic sense, like “good old American apple pie”.)

          A decent example of a “score” (IMHO) by Pininfarina, for example, is the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrari_F12berlinetta

          But, as aerodynamic considerations from wind-tunnel testing become more influential, especially for high-performance cars, we will see diffusers, wings, dams, vanes, blades, spoilers, vents, ducts, canards, and underbody panels play more of a role in car design. The trick is how to make them esthetic, and I just don’t believe that either Corvette C7 or Ferrari’s LaFerrari hit the mark at the rear end of either vehicle.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_(C7)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaFerrari

          ——————–

          • 0 avatar
            juicy sushi

            I also have to apologize , I need to check stuff off the first page more often.

            I know there are many Italian design firms. My point was that I feel all are not delivering on the style front. I find the F12 to be pretty bloated and inelegant, personally. Not as bad as LaFerrari, but still not something I’d be willing to spend my own money on.

            I’m really hoping someone can do something good soon, as I’m beginning to lose hope.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    Most supercar buyers don’t care about a few tenths of second here or there. Buying a car like this is like joining a club, and the question to ask is, “do I want to be part of the club that buys Corvettes?” If I spent $150K to $200K on a 911 or an R8 or something, I’m still going to look down my nose at guys who buy these, simply because we all know I have more money than you, and with guys, that’s mostly what matters. Bragging about how little you spent on your fast car totally misses the point.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    In my world if it ain’t fast it ain’t shit. The Vette is fast. Not one driver in 100 will ever use that speed. If you think that matters, you miss the point.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    My favorite benchmark for a performance car is 0-100-0. Do you have a 0-100-0 time?

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    I really think the design direction was necessary at some point. The Corvette needs to start looking as fast as it really is.

    Ever see the Top Gear episode where Jeremy takes the C6 Z06 out? That sucker outran a ZONDA on the Top Gear track. A SPRINT track. Not a giant oval. Yet the car still looked docile by comparison.

    The car is developed. If the reception (read: sales) is bad, they can tweak it to look like whatever they want. The hard work was underneath.

    Other Topic I wanted to comment on:

    The rumored dual-clutch transmission coming down the pipeline will allow this car to own the numbers game AND the track times. The GTR and 911 comparisons to the Corvette always hinge on tires or transmissions. The 2012+ cars now have the tires, and the competition shifts faster than humanly possible. The motor just compensated for it and the cars remain competitive on the track.

    I would wait a few years and buy the dual clutch car with the sticky tires. That optioned-out $65,000 Corvette Z51 will stomp competition within the price range and hit above its weight class in a big way. That 0-60 number should drop in the low 3 second mark and, lets face it, anything slower would mean they are sand bagging for the Z06/ZR1 cars.

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      I have seen that episode, and even though Jeremy is impressed with the Z06, he doesn’t like it in the end, because it will destroy your spine off the track, its engine sounds like a bucket full of spanners when its idling.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    When I buy mine at the end of the year, I’ll gladly write a review for TTAC. The convertible is hawt!! Would even be better if Daniella Alonso was in the passenger seat…

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    It’s really hard to beat turbo cars. All the manufacturers have to do is crank up the boost and they can have bragging rights. They might not drive great anymore..but they are quick.

    So I dunno about beating GT-R or any sort of Turbo Porsche. But for everyday use you can beat a large displacement pushrod v8. Tons of torque down low – and a nice linear rise in power. They work great with automatics or manuals and actually get decent gas mileage compared to the heavily boosted 6s.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      Amen brother.

      Pushrods get stiffer just the same as cam belts/chains get better and turbos get more boost. I could write a whole dissertation speculating on why manufacturers in countries with high gasoline prices prefer low displacement high revving turbos while those in low gas price areas go with big displacement low revvers. It just seems too obvious to waste breath on.

      Ride Hell for leather mi amigos. Faster horses, older whiskey, younger women and more money. It does look like oil prices are poised to head down.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        You’ll have to enlighten me as to who all these “high revving” turbos are, because NA engines generally rev higher. That’s the point of turbos today, more powah at low rpm. BMW N20 max power 5K rpm, Ford Ecoboost 2.0, 5.5K rpm, VW 2.0 highest at 6200 rpm – previous model engine just 5K.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    So, that’s the 2014 Starion.

    Japanese teenagers are usually much better at electronics than actual design. This effort should be scrapped and he/she should start from scratch after researching the real Stingray, the 1963.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    To be ‘driven’ by old retired fat guys wearing ball caps displaying some retired naval ship designation – while holding up traffic..and THAT demographic is getting smaller and smaller.


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