2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The rumors about the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette featuring an all-new, exotic drivetrain just won't go away. Chevrolet will apparently attempt to take the Corvette to the next level of performance and desirability by giving future versions of the sports coupe a more high-revving turbocharged motor matched with a smaller and lighter chassis.
The Detroit Bureau is reporting that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will most likely be abandoning its traditional large displacement V-8 engine for a motor that will check in at around 3-liters. Although this is far from the first time that a story about the Corvette deviated from its tried and true pushrod design has been published, this particular article claims to have information from a 'very senior GM executive.'? This same source goes on to claim that the 3-liter V-8 will make use of overhead camshafts and at least one turbocharger in order to deliver approximately 400 horsepower.
Why would Chevrolet risk tampering with the popular Chevrolet Corvette formula, especially if the new engine offers essentially the same power that is available in the current edition of the sports car? There are several compelling reasons for abandoning the Corvette's tried, tested and true packaging and presentation. The first is technology - the use of overhead camshafts, turbochargers and a dry-sump oiling system would finally drag the Corvette kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and would help silence critics who decry the vehicle's reliance on displacement for power. A smaller, more modern motor would also give Corvette designers more options when it comes to fuel mileage and engine placement within the chassis, which could help achieve better balance on the track while simultaneously raising the brand's corporate average fuel economy rating.
Engine placement becomes a compelling aspect of the next generation Chevrolet Corvette's packaging if the company does decide to go ahead with a mid-engine platform. Given that Chevrolet bosses have been trumpeting the fact that the 2014 Corvette will be a dramatic departure from the current model, it would make sense to include an all-new drivetrain, fresh chassis and revamped interior on the list of goodies designed to suck younger buyers away from competitors like the Porsche 911. With a purported rev limit of 10,000 rpm being attached to the rumored small displacement V-8 replacement engine destined for the Corvette, the Porsche demographic becomes even more likely to consider at least test driving the Chevrolet - an important consideration for GM, which has seen its current crop of 'Vette buyers grow grayer with each passing year.
Turbocharged engines are infiltrating almost every aspect of domestic vehicle design, from econocars on up to full-size pickup trucks, and it was only a matter of time before Chevrolet's high tech flagship sports car also received the turbo treatment. With the potential to counterbalance the disdain of longtime Corvette fans with regards to a new drivetrain by way of the possible introduction of a retro-influenced body style, Chevrolet could very well have an intriguing winner on their hands if the 2014 Corvette ends up being as radical as enthusiasts have been lead to believe.