Full Details of 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Released
By Carl Malek
Following an earlier internet leak, Chevrolet has revealed the official details of the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette. The car is set to be formally unveiled to the world this weekend, but it offers Corvette buyers new features such as a Bose audio system, an up-level technology package (GPS is included), as well as the buyer’s choice of paint on the brake calipers – with red, yellow, silver, or gray hues the only color choices. The 2012 model year updates also give the interior of the Corvette a long overdue refresh with features such as a revised steering wheel design, improved seats, and a fully padded center console area which will serve to help spruce up the Corvette’s interior. The interior has long been a Corvette weakness thanks to its use of cheap materials and lackluster seating.
The Z06 model, the next step up in the Corvette family tree, takes the aforementioned changes and adds several new pieces of performance equipment that help increase its racetrack abilities. The first significant item is the use of brand new Michelin Sport Pilot Cup Zero Pressure tires which help give the Corvette an 8 percent increase in lateral acceleration which allows the car to top out at 1.1 g’s. In addition to helping deliver impressive acceleration numbers, Chevrolet also states that the new tires also help the 2012 Corvette go from 60 to 0 in just under 100 feet when coming to a complete stop. Chevrolet and Michelin teamed up with the brand’s ALMS racing team to develop the new tires. Michelin claims that these tires are essentially a road going version of the racing version that is used on closed circuit tracks.
The new shoes will be available on Z06 models equipped with the brand new Z07 package while ZR1-grade Corvettes will offer the tires in conjunction with the PDE performance package. Regardless of which flavor of Vette you choose, both packages will include a full-width spoiler that helps improve the car’s aerodynamics. Other minor changes include the addition of a carbon fiber hood option for the Z06 model and taller 5th and 6th gearing for ZR1 spec Corvettes that helps increase EPA highway fuel economy to 22 MPG. That’s a two-MPG increase over the 2011 model’s ratings. Pricing has not been officially announced as of this writing, but production of the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette is expected to begin in July.
In other Corvette news, GM announced yesterday that it is investing $131 million in the Corvette’s plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky to prepare for the next-generation Corvette, known to enthusiasts as the C7. Though not much is known about the C7 at this point, it’s likely that the car will lose some weight and some engine displacement vis a vis the current C6, but will have similar power output, which will mean better acceleration, braking, and handling. We do know, however, that GM’s investment in Bowling Green will bring an additional 250 jobs to the Corvette’s home since 1981.
The updates to the 2012 Corvette, not to mention the upcoming next-generation car (which we may see as soon as next January in Detroit) mean that America’s first sports car will continue living well past its 60th birthday in 2013.