We had a sneak peek earlier this week at the changes in store for the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette, but General Motors officially unwrapped the finalized information earlier this morning.
So, what’s new for 2012? For starters, tires -- but not just any tires. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup ZP rubber, similar to that used on the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and even Corvette’s own American Le Mans Series race cars, are now available on the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models. These track-oriented tires have been reportedly been optimized for warm, dry conditions, and engineers expect they’ll allow drivers to pull more than 1.1 g on the skid pad. If that weren’t enough, test drivers report their improved handling performance allows ‘Vettes to lap Virginia International Speedway three seconds faster than before.
Want these on your ZR1? You’ll need to spring for the PDE package, which adds the tires, along with new lightweight Cup-style aluminum wheels finished in a striking black hue. Adding them to the Z06, however, requires opting for the Z07 performance package. Now in its second year, the package continues to include Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, magnetic ride control, but now includes the upgraded rubber, along with the ZR1’s performance traction management system.
Cosmetic revisions are few, but a new full-width, racing-style spoiler is now lumped into both the Z07 and PDE performance packages, while a carbon fiber hood is now available for the Z06. Buyers will now have the option of choosing what color to paint their brake calipers (your choices are red, yellow, silver, or grey). The ZR1 also gains longer fifth and sixth gear ratios that Chevy says will improve fuel economy by two mpg.
Inside, new interior appointments include a revised steering wheel, increased bolstering on the seats (which are now available with microfiber suede inserts), and contrasting accent stitching in your choice of red, yellow, or blue thread. A new nine-speaker Bose audio system is now lumped into the optional technology package, which continues to add Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB audio input, navigation, and a heads-up display.
Pricing for the updated models has not been announced yet, but the 2012 Corvettes will make their debut alongside the Chevrolet Centennial Edition Corvette this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Expect further details to trickle forth following the gathering in the bluegrass state.
Source: General Motors