450 (335kw) horsepower and 450 lb-ft (610 Nm) of torque from the 6.2-litre V8 in the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 will take you from 0 to 100km/h in less than 4 seconds. That’s power! And while we too are petrol heads we were interested in the computer power in the new Corvette.
Firstly, advanced computer-aided modelling programmes were used to predict and track airflow over and under the C7’s body and the aerodynamics were designed accordingly. The Chevy engineers then used data from the Corvette Racing programme – the most successful in the American Le Mans Series – to balance front and rear grip for high-speed stability and fast cornering. This brute can pull 1g through a corner!
The all-new frame is assembled in a unique laser welding process in which a computer-controlled beam of high energy joins the components with tolerances of only 0,0254mm. The rest of the body is built with carbon-nano composite technology, using an advanced blend of traditional composite material and carbon fibre for the body and underbody panels.
2 x 8-inch LCD screens and colour heads-up display
Step inside the car and use the console-mounted five-position drive selector to adjust 12 riding modes to your liking: throttle control, magnetic adaptive suspension, economy settings, comfort settings, weather driving settings and even the exhaust sound. The driving modes are displayed in the centre console in a 8-inch full-colour LCD touch screen instrument cluster which, obviously, also features a GPS, music uploads, mobile phone connection and a host of other (voice-activated) controls.
Behind the steering wheel is the other 8-inch LCD screen, flanked by the speedometer and rev counter. This screen displays the sport, touring or race modes. The sport mode places a digital rev counter in the centre in touring mode the rev counter slips to the side to make room for navigation directions and other information; the race mode displays the rev counter in a bold, colourful ascending bar graph and information such a g-force pull and lap times.
Look up and you’ll see the colour heads-up display (in certain C7 models). You can choose what to display. Fantastic!
Lots of computerized stuff
Details of the type of computer chips and programmes are sparse but there certainly is a lot of computer power in the C7, the 7th generation Corvette: computer-controlled intake and exhaust valves, electronic limited-slip differential, electronic throttle control, paddle-shift auto gearbox, launch control, StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, magnetic ride control, to name a few.
The US base price of the new Corvette, designated the 2014 Corvette Stingray, is $52,000. Add some import duty and other costs and this 300km/h beauty will probably cost about a million bucks in South Africa. That’s about R1 per smile it will give you.
Official Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 page