2018 CHEVY CORVETTE NH

The upcoming 2018 Chevy Corvette is nothing more than a tease right now. Chevy is keeping details of the Corvette’s upcoming release close to the vest, leaving room for all kinds of speculation, hopes and dreams.

What is clear is that the 2018 Chevy Corvette is going to mirror the current model, with the exception of a few tweaks and a potential special edition.

On that note, here is what the industry knows it can expect from the new Corvette, based on what is already blazing the roadways.

AN APPRECIATION OF AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE GLORY

The 2017 model year benefited from the addition of the Grand Sport, which represented the best of both worlds – those worlds being the top-tier Z06 and base level V8. No matter your driving preference, whether racetrack or road warrior, the Corvette lineup has a flavor to suit any pallet.

And while there is a host of competitors in the performance segment to give the Corvette a run for its money (not really), the Corvette is the quintessential American sports car. So, it leads the pack, regardless.

Able to seat two – one lucky driver and passenger – the Chevy Corvette is available as a sport coupe or convertible with four compelling trim levels to choose from. Even within those primary trims, consumers can choose from sub-trims featuring a bevy of bells and whistles. Opt for the coupe and get a kick out of the removable roof panel, which can be tucked away in the trunk when not in use.

Meanwhile, the convertible features a soft top that is power-operated, even when the Corvette is in motion at speeds topping out at 30 mph. The problem with the all-American Chevy Corvette comes from choice. The choices inherent in the trim levels are mind-boggling… and a real challenge to the commitment-phobic.

TEST-DRIVING THE TRIM LEVELS

Starting with the Stingray 1LT, drivers get to pilot summer tires wrapped around 18-inch (front) and 19-inch (rear) wheels, whose rotation can be halted courtesy of Brembo brakes. Additional features include: keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors, xenon headlights, leather upholstery, LED running lights, power-adjustable steering wheel, complemented by eight-way power front seats for driver and passenger.

OnStar also comes standard, featuring Wi-Fi hotspot capability and 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and an 8-inch color touchscreen complete with rearview camera, Chevy’s MyLink system, nine-speaker Bose sound system, AUX audio jack, two USB ports, satellite radio, SD card reader, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration.

For added oomph, the Stingray Z51 1LT takes the best of the Stingray 1LT and boosts it, courtesy of bigger brakes, emphasized by slotted brake rotors, 19-inch (front) matched to 20-inch rear wheels, sportier suspension, enhanced gear ratios, V8 engine dry sump oiling, electronic limited-slip differential, dual-mode performance exhaust, and aero trim details on the exterior.

Keeping the one-upping game going, the Stingray 2LT add to the equipment roster with automatic dimming rearview and driver exterior mirrors, cargo shade (exclusive on coupe), heated and ventilated seats up front, featuring power lumbar and adjustable side-bolsters, head-up display, 10-speaker Bose system, boosted with upgraded bass response, and front-view parking cameras.

Stingray 3LTs add an aesthetic edge to the lineup with premium leather upholstery throughout the cabin, along with a suede interior trim details, a navigation system, which features the exclusive Corvette performance data recorder, along with an interior-color instrument display.

Drivers of the entry level and Z51 variants can opt for adaptive suspension dampers that include enhanced traction management.

Moving up to the Z06 1LZ, expect all the muscled charm of the Stingray Z51 1 LT’s standard details, along with a suspension sport-tuned unique to the Z06, as well as a carbon-fiber hood, supercharged engine, bigger brakes, beefier tires, head-up display, wider cooling vents, along with wider front and rear fenders, and an unmistakable front grille with matching rear fascia.

Take the Z06 2LZ and and Z06 3LZ and enjoy features that mimic those found in the 2LT and 3LT, respectively. Various Ground Effects and Visible Carbon-Fiber Ground Effects packages are optional, in addition to a Performance package.

A sight to behold, the brand new Grand Sport is combines the best of the Stingray Z51 and blends it with the performance prowess of the Z06.

No matter the trim, certain options are universally available, like sport seats, and transparent roof panels on coupe models. Two-tone upholstery options are reserved for upper trims, while those removeable roof panels can be enhanced with carbon fiber for extra aesthetic appeal.

BENEATH THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

Look under the hood of the RWD Stingray and behold the 6.2-liter V8 engine responsible for a whopping 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The available performance exhaust boosts the herd by an extra five fillies. Although standard operation comes from the seven-speed manual transmission, drivers can opt for the eight-speed automatic. Courtesy of supercharged technology, the Z06 ups the ante to 650 horsepower and a matching 650 torque rating.

According to performance testing administered by industry authority, Edmunds, the Z51 coupe model made the zero to sixty mph sprint in just over four seconds, when equipped with the manual transmission. The automatic fared faster with four seconds flat on the timer. Even quicker, the manually-operated Z06 nailed the dash in 3.5 seconds.

As impressive as acceleration and speed from these American monsters, the Corvette stops short in serious time. The Z51 coupe managed to stop from sixty mph in 94 feet, while the Z06 enhanced with Z07 Performance Package rewrote record history at Edmunds with a stop distance of a scant 90 feet.

Safety overall is solid in the Corvette lineup, courtesy of side airbags, anti lock brakes, OnStar emergency services, along with traction and stability control.

While no one in the market for ultimate performance gives a fig about fuel economy, the Corvette’s ratings aren’t bad. According to the EPA, the base model gets 16 city mpg/25 highway mpg/19 mpg combined from the manual operation, with the automatic dropping by one mile in the city, but gaining one on the highway. For the Z036, expect 15 city mpg/22 highway mpg/18 mpg combined when manually operated, and 13 city/23 highway when configured with the automatic.

With the rumor mill churning fast, regarding the upcoming 2018 Chevy Corvette, and bowtied brand loyalists already dropping their deposits, all that remains is a forward look to the horizon and speculation of just how special this special edition will really be…