Little Known Facts About the C7 Corvette

C7 Corvette 10 photos
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
C7 CorvetteC7 Corvette break-in rev guideC7 Corvette Pause Live Radio featureC7 CorvetteC7 Corvette LT1 small-block V8 engineC7 Corvette asymmetrical tiresC7 Corvette torque tubeC7 Corvette dashboardC7 Corvette satellite navigation
Starting with the 2014 model year, the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette started production, and it's arguably the most capable Corvette yet. GM CEO Mary Barra ordered a Z06, enthusiasts argue about how fast the Z06 is on the Nurburgring, but this story isn't about all that jibber-jabber. This is a guide about the secret features of the C7 Corvette, North America's middle finger to European supercars.
First of all, some people have heard of battery drain deaths linked to Corvette owners. From the C6 Corvette to the current model, there have been more than six cases of people dying in their cars. In all instances, the electric door locks didn't work because the battery was dead. Too bad those poor souls didn't know that there's an emergency release handle by the driver's seat. If the battery dies on you, remember that a lil' handle is there for you to get out safe and sound.

For the first 500 miles (805 km), even the base C7 Corvette rev gauge will display a yellow bar between 3,500 and 4,500 rpm. During the engine break-in period, please try to shift gears between those guides and ignore the 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine's 6,500 rpm redline if you want a trouble-free Corvette with a manual.

Remember the day you've used a DVR for the first time? The C7 Corvette has something similar to a DVR, more specifically a Pause Live Radio feature. Thanks to the hard drive buffer, you can catch up with that radio show you've paused while taking a phone call by pressing the rewind button. Nifty feature, isn't it?

An industry-first feature pioneered by the C7 Corvette is a cabin pressure relief valve that helps with opening and closing the rear hatch. This bugger is made from shape-memory polymers and alloys. It's the red-painted thingy in the fourth picture featured in the adjacent gallery, the rectangular element located just below the hatch door. When you open the hatch, current is sent to a nickel-titanium alloy wire that causes the cabin pressure relief valve to contract and open its vents. When you close the Chevrolet Corvette's hatch door, the current is removed, and Venetian blind-like louvers close more silently than a puny electric motor doing the same thing. It's intelligent engineering that's hideously underrated.

Did you know that your C7 Corvette's LT1 V8 can run on only four cylinders in Eco mode? Active Fuel Management is to thank for deactivating a bank of the eight-cylinder tower-of-power. Some owners report that in 4-banger mode, the 6.2-liter brute returned over 30 mpg (7.8 liters per 100 km). Variable valve timing and direct fuel injection are there to help with fuel economy, but who are we kidding? They're even better at providing instant performance at the touch of the loud pedal. The same engine in 455 horsepower guise animates the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS, the newest muscle car from General Motors.

There are a lot of bells and whistles on the C7 Corvette. One of the most interesting comes in the form of tires with asymmetrical sidewalls. Yes, ladies and gents, the C7 uses those to improve on handling when accelerating or when the going gets twisty. The asymmetrical sidewalls offer smoother turn-in and better control. Despite their go-faster credentials, these C7 Corvette-specific tires boast with a durable construction, increased sidewall thickness, versatile tread components, and 150 different constituents.

On a side note, there are some common problems with C7 Corvette we deem necessary to point out. First of all, if you hear a rattling sound in the torque tube, replace it because it's most likely bent. If there's creaking sound coming from the dash pads when driving over uneven ground, don't panic. But if the creaking is heard when driving on a smooth road, prepare for a visit to the dealership. The satellite navigation system goes haywire from time to time, a condition that can be treated by doing a reset. Easy as that.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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