Those Corvette enthusiasts who are thinking of holding out for a 2015 Stingray to get the new eight-speed automatic transmission might want to rethink that position.
The new transmission may be available at first only in the 2015 Corvette Z06, according to chief engineer Tadge Juechter.
You see, it’s not as simple as just announcing that the transmission is available in any car and then letting customers put a check beside “Transmission, Eight Speed Automatic” on the order blank. Each model has to be engineered specifically for the transmission, a process that isn’t all that simple when it comes to the Stingray.
“You would think, ‘OK you’ve validated the high horsepower one, so validating the low horsepower one is like falling off a log, you just judge it.’ But that’s not true,” Juechter tells Autoguide.com.
Juechter says his crew will have to recalibrate everything, not just the powertrain calibration.
“It’s all the stability systems because you’re managing torque,” he says. “So traction control, launch control, performance traction management, all that stuff has to be re-done when you just change the transmission.”
The chief engineer says his team already has “a lot on our plate to get done” with bringing the highly anticipated Z06 to market in about a year, so that may not leave much time to tinker with the base Stingray in 2015.
Don’t fret, though, because the eight-speed transmission is apparently destined to become a workhorse for General Motors, which wants to spread its development cost across as many lines as possible. That means the tranny will definitely make it into the Stingray one day, just maybe not as soon as some customers would prefer.
General Motors truck engineer Jeff Luke hinted at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit that it will also be used in GM’s lineup of trucks, too, to help compete with the huge weight loss recently announced by the new Ford F-150. Juechter said re-calibrating the eight-speed for a non-transaxle use will be relatively easy.