2012 Chevrolet Corvette: official details and specs released

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 27, 2011

General Motors has released the official details of the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette only days after it gave a sneak peek of this model. The high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models have been fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup ZP rubber. This is similar to what was used on the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Corvette’s American Le Mans Series race cars.

The track-oriented tires were optimized for warm and dry conditions. What this means is that the engineers believe that drivers will be able to pull over 1.1 g on the skid pad. According to test drivers, the improvement in its handling enables the ‘Vettes to finish the lap at Virginia International Speedway three seconds quicker.

If you want these on your ZR1, you will have to get the PDE package, which includes the tires and a set of new lightweight Cup-style aluminum wheels that are finished in a striking black hue. However, adding them to the Z06 would mean that you have to opt for the Z07 performance package. Already on its second year, the package still comprises Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, and magnetic ride control.

However, it now features the upgraded rubber and ZR1’s performance traction management system. There aren’t many changes to its appearance; however, it does get a new full-width, racing-style spoiler that appears on both the Z07 and PDE performance packages.

Meanwhile, a carbon fiber hood is now available for the Z06. Buyers can choose the color of their brake calipers (red, yellow, silver, or grey). The ZR1 also gains longer fifth and sixth gear ratios that boost fuel economy by two mpg, Chevy claims.

The interior will get a revised steering wheel, more bolstering on the seats (which now come with microfiber suede inserts), and contrasting accent stitching in red, yellow, or blue thread. The optional technology package offers a new nine-speaker Bose audio system. However, these cars will feature Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB audio input, navigation, and a heads-up display.

Set to arrive in 2012 is the latest Bose uplevel audio system with nine speakers (only seven in 2011) for enhanced audio quality that’s more accurately tuned to the acoustics of the cabin. New tweeters in the instrument panel plus enhanced Bose Nd new-generation bass performance are the major benefits given to Corvette drivers.

Most of Corvette’s well-known infotainment features are combined in the new Technology Package (2LT trim level) and made available for other models.

The package’s equipment consists of Bose premium audio system, navigation radio, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity, head-up display and USB port. Customers get the opportunity to choose brake caliper colors to personalize their Corvette even more. The calipers are available in yellow, red, gray or silver.

Press Release

Interior enhancements, new performance packages highlight upgrades for the Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet announced today that it will once again elevate Corvette's performance capabilities with a series of improvements for the 2012 model year that improve on-track performance and on-road comfort. They include enhancements to the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models as well as interior upgrades across the Corvette lineup.

Sports car fans will get their first look at the 2012 models – including the racing-inspired appearance of theChevrolet Centennial Edition – at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Production begins in July.

"We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track," says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. "For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car."

New Michelin Cup ZP tires elevate Z06/ZR1 performance

Corvette's greater performance for 2012 begins with the new, optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1. They are competition-oriented tires, optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability.

When combined with the Corvette's exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires are expected to help set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance. Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.

The Cup ZP tires were developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. They are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.

Performance Traction Management (offered on the Z06 for the first time in 2012) is an advanced system that optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The system also integrates traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance race track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.

A full-width racing-style spoiler for improved aerodynamics is also included in both the '12 Z07 and PDE packages. The Z06 model will now offer Magnetic Selective Ride Control, the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology – an innovation Corvette pioneered several years ago. And as before, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes will be a part of the Z07 chassis package (they are standard on ZR1). Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires remain standard on the ZR1.

A carbon fiber hood will be an available option on 2012 Z06 models, while the standard manual transmission for ZR1 will include taller gearing in fifth and sixth gears, for a 2-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy.

Interior and feature changes

All 2012 Corvette models will include a new seat design and a new steering wheel. The seats feature larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas, which provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving while remaining comfortable for daily street driving. Microfiber suede seat inserts are optional and improve tactile feel, as well as add additional support.

The new seats are complemented by the revised steering wheel, featuring model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim and wrapped spokes. Padded center console and armrests for all models are now included for 2012. An additional visual touch inside the car is contrasting color stitching – in red, blue and yellow – which is available with the custom leather-wrapped interior.

Also coming in 2012 is a new Bose uplevel audio system, which includes nine speakers (compared to seven in 2011) for improved audio quality that is more precisely tuned to the cabin's acoustics. New tweeters located in the instrument panel and improved Bose Nd next-generation bass performance is the main benefit that Corvette drivers will hear.

A new Technology Package (2LT trim level) brings together many of the Corvette's popular infotainment features and makes them available for more models. The package's equipment includes the navigation radio, head-up display, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and a USB port.

Wrapping up the new features for 2012 is the availability for customers to select brake caliper colors, for more personalization of their Corvette. The calipers are offered in the red, yellow, silver or gray.

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