Corvette Stingray With 8-Speed Automatic May Be Years Off

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Among the various Corvette rumors swirling since the release of GM’s (NYSE:GM) C7 masterpiece, when and where an eight-speed automatic transmission would apppear has been a particularly hot topic. According to the sports car’s chief engineer, there’s still a boatload of work to do on the Corvette Z06, which leaves the project of adding the eight-speed transmission to the Corvette Stingray until 2015 or 2016AutoGuide reports.

Projects of this nature don’t simply involve popping the transmission out of the Z06 — which will be the first to house the eight-speed automatic — and sticking it inside the base Stingray model that debuted in late 2013. According to the report in AutoGuide, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Yuechter was enthused about the transmission itself but acknowledged the heavy workload his team had ahead for itself. Chief among those projects in constructing the blazing Z06 production model.

Full development of the Z06 will take until early 2015, at which point the Corvette squad will turn its attention to other matters such as accommodating the the base Corvette Stingray with its eight-speed automatic. Juechter said it may be as late as 2016, meaning the actual year rather than the model year. For now, Corvette lovers have the six-speed automatic or seven-speed manual available. Max horsepower with the Z51 performance package hits 460 hp with special exhaust.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will muscle up with a minimum 625 horsepower on 635 lb-ft of torque with its 6.2-liter V8. The eight-speed automatic gives it the flavor of a racing bike, Corvette’s engineer told AutoGuide. The paddle shifters utilized have been a hit among Chevy engineers throughout the development phase. For General Motors, it’s proving to be the halo car they hoped they had in the pipeline.

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