|C1||- 1953 to 1962|
|C2||- 1963 to 1967|
|| - 1968 to 1982
|| - 1984 to 1996
|| - 1997 to 2004
|| - 2005 to 2013
|| - The All-New 2009 Corvette ZR1
* Detroit Auto Show Images
* Added 1-16-08
|| - the Future Corvette
Exterior - A new look for a new Generation
During the reveal at the Russell Industrial Center, conversations were overheard as to the C7 Corvette Stingray's styling. I heard Nissan GT-R, Ferrari 599, and Aston Martin DB9 bespoke, however, the C7 is clearly a Corvette. The long nose with peakinfg fenders, a trademark since '63, is still present. The short rear overhang, introduced as a character trait in 1997, still looks good, The open air goodness of a removable top which we got our first taste of in 1968 is still there. Even the rather impractical forward opening hood remains. Yes, this is a Corvette, indeed.
Starting at the front, an ovaled air intake harkens back to the toothy grilles of the first generation Corvettes. All chromed metal back the, the C7 trades the teeth for a crosshatch pastic grille topped by a bright chrome strip. What comes to surprise are the deletion of last years fog lamps. The additional brake cooling ducts disappear, the ducts now being fed by air from the grille. Air flow is enhanced by a pair of small "chins" on either side of the grille opening. These chins work to keep air from flowing beneath the C7, and force it through the grille. The new grille inlet provides almost all the air to the forward tilting radiatior, as the C7 is no longer a "bottom breather".
The headlamp assemblies replace the two element Zenon HID arangement for a single unit of the same type. LED lighting is used for the park/turnsignal/ daytime running lights. Additionalally "piped" lighting is used in the headlamps for feature lighting. Within the light pipes are the Corvette Cross Flags. Housings for the lamps are presented in a dark gray, contrasting color.
Moving to the hood, the familiar power dome is retained, however a set of dark gray louvres pierce the hood, now made of carbon fibre. The louvres are functional, placed to draw hot air from the radiator, moving it over the car, rather than let it spill beneath. For the 2014 introduction, all the louvres will be painted dark gray, leaving the aftermarket and potentially later models to add body color items.
The fenders still have a high peak and the headlamp assemblies cut deeper into them. Tradional side coves, a mainstay since 1956 are still there but represent a much different appearance compared to the C6. The coves still have vents in them, but they are tuned to the total aerodynamic package of the car. Combined with the hood louvres, the front fender exhaust vents lower lift and engine heat, while contributing to a lower coefficient of drag. Very thin and delicate looking side marker lamps round the contour of the wheel openings on the front bumper cover. Corvette receives it's first side badging since the Stingray script was deleted after 1976 with a chrome Stingray image mounted above the fender vents.
Of all the appearance changes to the Corvette Syingray, the greenhouse area is most affected. Gone is the wraparound rear window, a Corvette staple since 1978. The area aft of the B-pillar now has a fixed quarter window, an attribute only enjoyed by hardtop equipped first generation Corvettes convertibles (1956-1962.) The glass area of the window, though large in dimension, is small in actual viewing area. The window has most of it's outer portion painted black to cover the mounting area, and from inside it is blocked by very heavy moldinngs. Retaining it's "double bubble" look, the roof section is still removable by releasing a few latches, however the removal process should be easier. The ease of top removal is aided by making the top from carbon fibre rather than sheet molding compound (today's fibreglass), losing ten pounds in the switch. The top is available in painted body color guise, or in a clearcoated natural carbon fibre appearance showing the lovely detail of the weave. Optionally, a polycarbonite transparent roof panel remains on the option list.
The rear window is now a smaller ( and lighter?) flat panel, affixed to a proper frame. The opening is larger than the window break would suggest as it wraps over the sides into the quarter panels. The liftover height is still very high, but the short rear overhang and bumper cover width means the stretch to load and unload the cargo area is not too impractical. Atop each of the flat rear quarter panels are functional scoops. These scoops feed the transmission and differential oil coolers. The left feeds the diferential with the other ducting air to the trans cooler. Once the air arrives at the coolers, it is not left to find a way out on it's own. Instead it is ducted to exit out of vented in the rear bumper cover. On Z51 equipped models, a rear spoiler is included.
Round tail lamps have gone the way of pop-up headlamps in the Corvette Stingray, Call them Camaro tail lamps if you want, but the new lamps follow Chevy's new tail lamp theme. The four tailpipes are now massive, packed into a tighter grouping than the C6, housed in their own little container. The lower rear area of the car is now painted gloss black, a move that takes a lot of "massiveness" out of the rear bumper cover, and it looks quite nice. The visible vents in the rear outer sides of the bumper cover are for the heat exchangers ducted from the transmission and differential fluid coolers.
There will be a pair of wheel styles on the Corvette Stingray, dictated by the suspension level. Additionally the wheels are available in three different finishes, a machined, silver painted whees; a black painted wheel, or a chromed wheel. Dimensions for the wheels are 18 in x 9 inches front, and 19 x 10 inches rear for base cars, and Z51 equipped C7s have 19 inch front, 20 inch rear. At the reveal both cars were equipped with the Z51 wheel, the Torch Red car having the black wheel,and the Cyber Gray with machine finished silver painted wheels.
- 1953 to 1962
- 1963 to 1967
- 1968 to 1982
- 1984 to 1996
- 1997 to 2004
- 2005 to 2013
- The Future Corvette - 2014 to ?
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