Beating rich track snobs only costs $50,000.
Pessimists like to chalk up the average person as someone who emerges from their home to go to work, snatch whatever they can take for themselves, crush the competition, and then go back into their caves to enjoy the loot. But that mindset isn't shared by all and it’s also pretty far from the truth. One indication of this? The existence of the Chevrolet Corvette. The car is proof that people like to share the wealth by giving the world a supercar at bargain prices.
Everyone knows about the Vette’s 6.2-liter V8 that smokes its rear tires with 455 horsepower. That engine is good for a 3.7 second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 181 mph top speed. Oh, and it's also go great handling and only costs $55,000. But going fast isn't the new Corvette’s only party trick. The car is also completely redesigned, save for two parts carried over from the previous generation. The engineers really did it right this time because despite scrapping plans for making the C7 a mid-engine car (something they considered until budget and practicality became an issue) they still squeezed every possible ounce of performance out of the C7. To do this, the engineers focused on the insides, because after all that’s what counts, right?
The frame of the car is 57% stiffer than the skeleton of a C6 and also manages to save 99 pounds over the bones of its predecessor.This added stiffness is why Chevy decided to keep the removable top on the non-convertible Corvette. Even with the top removed, the C7 is stiffer than a hard-top C6, so why deny customers the option to remove the roof when the targa setup works just fine? Thankfully the designers didn’t skimp on the body of the car because it turns many more heads than the previous Corvette due to styling that tricks non-car people into thinking they just saw a Ferrari. Forged in the wind tunnel, the C7 Corvette looks incredibly exotic and uses every curve and vent to its advantage.
And boy does it need all the help of the wind that it can get because things heat up really quick during a track workout session. That’s why Chevy used NASA-derived aerogel as insulation for the transmission tunnel in addition to offering the bargain-priced Z51 Performance Package. The Z51 package comes with extra cooling goodies like a transmission and differential heat exchanger. Better still is the fact that Chevrolet decided to make this the second ever production Corvette with a rear weight bias (Chevy claims 50/50, but independent tests show otherwise). This was done by moving the heavy transmission, which usually sits under the driver, to the back of the car.
The optional electronic limited-slip differential helps the weight bias by sitting behind this transmission and locks or unlocks the run-flat Michelins within a few tenths of a second. Drifters and lap time freaks will love that. The differential, as well as the other technology is what makes this living machine able to compete with cars like the $98,900 Porsche 911 Carrera S and come out the winner. Sure, it isn't as refined as its German opponent, but its a car that manages to bring muscle car philosophy to a high-tech playing field and win, or more importantly, exchange the fumes from a liquefied dinosaur fossil for smiles and endorphins.