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2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
0 to 60: 3.3 seconds
Top speed: 205 mph
2011 price: $110,300.
The Future C7 Corvette
General Motors has been tight lipped about the 7th generation of the fabled Chevrolet Corvette but some recent news about $890 million in upgrades to GM’s small block V8 engine facilities have bolstered rumors of new engines. The key piece of information is that the C7 Corvette will not stay with the current 6.2L LS3 engine but instead, it will feature a new 5.5L V8 small block. The rumors suggest that the 5.5L V8 will offer only a slight improvement in horsepower, going from 430 to 440, but thanks to direct injection technology this smaller displacement V8 will offer improved fuel economy over the already gas-friendly LS3.
The appearance of the C7 Corvette is a much debated item around the automotive world but GM has given no indication as to what to expect. The “50th Anniversary Corvette Stingray Concept Design” offered sharp styling and the familiar split window coupe design from the 1963 Corvette coupes but even though that sleek concept found its way onto the big screen in the Transformers movie, we are not likely to see anything that dramatic from the C7 Corvette. There have been a great many rumors that in 2013 we will see a 50th anniversary edition of the 1963 split window coupe but with the outrageous safety standards in the US, could GM really make a Corvette with a beam running down the center of the rear window? If we do get a reincarnation of the split window design, expect it to be a high dollar and low volume production.
Early in the life of the C6 Corvette, some of the Chevrolet diehards voiced their displeasure with the fact that GM had gone away from the familiar hide-a-way headlights but the booming sales of the C6 Corvette shows that the fixed headlights were received fairly well by those looking to buy a new sports car.
When might we know more about the C7 Corvette? Figure that a major announcement like the 7th generation of the Chevrolet Corvette would come months before the models hit the market and new models typically go on sale in the middle of the previous calendar year (example: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupes became available in July 2010). With that in mind, the 2013 Corvette would probably become available mid-2012 which would lead me to believe that the car itself would debut as early as the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit or as late as the 2011 LA Auto Show.
Usually when you buy a car you expect someone else to build it for you. But, for a price, GM is letting some Chevrolet Corvette buyers build the car's engine themselves.
The "Engine Build Experience" is a $5,800 option on Corvette Z06 and ZR1 cars. Both are ultra-high-performance versions of the Corvette with engines that are hand-assembled at a plant in Wixom, Mich., near GM's Detroit headquarters. (The rest of the car is built at GM's Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ken.)
Customers who pay for the privilege will be invited to come to Wixom to assemble the engine for their car under the guidance of GM technicians. Once assembly is complete, a personalized nameplate is attached to the engine which is then sent to Bowling Green where it's put into the car.The roughly $70,000 Z06 has a 505-horsepower 7.0-liter V8 engine, while the $110,00 ZR1 has a 638-horsepower 6.2-liter engine.
The owner-built engines still get the same 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty as the engines the pros build, GM said.
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