Chevrolet will improve the Corvette’s performance capabilities with a series of enhancements for the 2012 model year aimed at offering better on-track performance and on-road comfort. The subtle performance improvements concern the Z06 and ZR1 models, while the rest of the Corvette lineup receives modest interior and equipment updates. New for the 2012MY are the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available for the 505HP Z06 and the supercharged 638HP ZR1 models. These competition-oriented tires promise to increase cornering and handling capability during warm, dry conditions. Combined with the Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology, the Michelins are said to offer an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration (more than 1.1 g) and shorter braking distances.
The new Michelins are included in the optional Z07 performance package for the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The tires come with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes that are about 5 lbs (2.2 kg) lighter and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel.
Another upgrade is the racing-style spoiler included in both Z07 and PDE packages. The Z06 will also get the Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension technology and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with the Z07 package. Additional optional extras include the carbon fiber hood on Z06 models and taller gearing for the ZR1 in 5th and 6th gear for a 2-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy.
Inside, all 2012 Corvette models will get new seat and steering wheel designs. Chevrolet says the seats will feature larger bolsters for improved lateral support and optional microfiber suede inserts. In addition, all models receive contrasting color stitching (red, blue and yellow), and padded center console and armrests.
In terms of equipment, there will be a new Bose audio system with nine speakers (compared to seven in 2011), better tuned to the cabin's acoustics. The 2LT trim level will feature a new Technology Package that includes navigation, head-up display, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and a USB port. Finally, customers will be able to chose brake caliper colors from red, yellow, silver or gray.
Chevrolet will reveal the 2012 Corvette models alongside the Chevrolet Centennial Edition at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Production begins this July.