Chevy hasn’t been forthcoming about what, if any, tricks are up its sleeve to increase the horsepower in future renditions of the C7.
We’ve been left to hope that the much beloved Z06 and ZR1 will live on in the new generation of the Corvette.
Now comes a little more hope for at least a ZR1, thanks to a photo taken by Car and Driver as the Stingray convertible prepared to make its debut in Geneva this week. The magazine reports that a close examination of photos after returning to the office reveals a PSI gauge in the instrument cluster of the subject convertible that is similar to the one in the current supercharged C6 ZR1.
The magazine couldn’t confirm that the gauge means the actual existence of a supercharged engine underneath the hood of the base convertible in the photos and believes that it could more likely just show the programming flexibility of the C7’s new instrument cluster.
It could just be a case of “GM programming the (thin-film transistor) display for all future powertrain options,” the magazine wrote. “Building a ZR1? Flip some ones and zeroes, and – bam! – the right gauge cluster pops up.”
While Car and Driver wouldn’t rule out that the display could also be only wishful thinking on the part of a software programmer, the magazine reminds us that “this is GM, not Disney.”
Though speculation has been rampant about turbocharged and supercharged V-8s, twin-turbocharged V-6s, and heavily massaged naturally aspirated V-8s on the way, Car and Driver notes that Chevrolet has been secretive about any such future engines for the C7. They add that their sources believe the twin-turbo V-6 is a “non-starter” for the Vette in the near future and that powertrain decisions for the C7 were finalized in the first quarter of 2012.
Since the LS3 in the C6 was able to add more than 200-hp to the base V-8, Car and Driver says “there’s no telling how much power” might be added with a supercharger on the high-tech LT1 engine in the C7. The magazine says its industry analysts believe interest in the C7 could remain high for 18 months with “just” the 450-hp base motor so Chevy is obviously not interested in releasing details of any more powerful engines too early. After all, they’re in the business to sell the most Corvettes possible. Guess we’ll just have to be patient.
Car and Driver