2012 Chevrolet Corvette Unleashed

Last week, Chevrolet announced the first official details about the upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Corvette, which will feature several interior upgrades for the whole lineup and a few performance upgrades for the top-of-the-line Z06 and ZR1 versions.

“We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track,” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. “For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car.”

The interior changes include a new steering-wheel, new seats with microfiber suede inserts as an option, red, blue and yellow contrasting color stitching and padded center console and armrests. Several technology updates are also available, such as a new Bose sound system with nine speakers and a new Technology Package, offered for the 2LT version, that features head-up display, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation radio and the Bose audio system.

As for the performance novelties, the 2012 Corvette will come with new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires and also Chevrolet’s PTM (Performance Traction Management), a system that integrates active handling, traction control and selective ride control systems to get improved performance results. The PTM system debuts on the Z06 version for the 2012 Corvette. As for the tires, these were developed by the same company who produces the tires used by the Corvette Racing team in the American Le Mans Series and Chevrolet claims that the tires on the 2012 Corvette are basically street-legal version of these racing tires. The 19-inch on the front and 20-inch on the rear tires will be complemented by a set of Cup-style alloy wheels available in satin black or with matching finishes.

The Michelin tires, combined to the PTM technology, achieve an 8 percent improvement in lateral acceleration and also better braking distance. According to Chevrolet, during testing on the Virginia International Raceway, lap times were improved by as much as three seconds compared to the current model.

The performance upgrades list is completed by a racing-style spoiler which makes the car even more aggressive and which improves its aerodynamics, a carbon-fiber hood, a more fuel-efficient version of the standard manual transmission and the Magnetic Selective Ride Control advanced suspension system and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with brake calipers available in several colors, depending on the customers’ wishes.

According to General Motors, the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette production is scheduled to start in July, with the first units to be delivered later this year.