Ah, summertime – the perfect season to exercise a high-performance sports car. There’s no better way to enjoy summer in America than driving America’s world-class sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette. Whether coupe or convertible, performance is always at the heart of this machine. For 2012, Chevrolet has increased the performance abilities of the Corvette and baked further refinement into the interior, as well.
Advancements in performance and technology for the 2012 Corvette are spread across a model line that includes Corvette Coupe and Convertible, as well as Grand Sport Coupe and Grand Sport Convertible. Then there are the 505-hp Z06 and 638-hp ZR1 Corvette models, with their individually hand-built engines and stunning performance, to choose from if you’re very serious about uncompromised handling capability or looking to drive what amounts to an American supercar.
For 2012, Chevrolet has added two new exterior colors to the lineup: Carlisle Blue Metallic and Carbon Flash Metallic. Both are sure to stand out on the way to the beach or heading for the mountains. Carbon Flash metallic is available exclusively with the Chevrolet Centennial Special Edition package, which is available on all 2012 Corvette models and adds a sharp-looking black color scheme underscored by unique design elements. You’ll be able to spot Centennial Special Edition Corvettes easily by looking at the badge. On the Corvette emblem itself, the traditional fleur-de-lis has been replaced with “100” for these special edition cars, and they also have special badging on the B-pillars, wheel center caps and steering wheel. Centennial Satin black wheels with red stripe outline fill out the fenders, with red brake calipers tucked behind them.
Centennial Special Edition Corvettes also get Magnetic Selective Ride Control as standard. The console, seats and mats have exclusive Centennial embroidery and are upholstered with leather and sueded microfiber accents. The steering wheel, shifter and armrest are also covered in microfiber suede, a deluxe ,racing-inspired touch that complements the leather-wrapped instrument and door panels. Red contrast stitching ties it all together.
All Corvette models feature redesigned seats with larger bolsters to hold you in place as you exercise the high-performance tires on your favorite winding road. You’ll be piloting your Corvette with a newly-designed steering wheel that features integrated audio controls. Those audio controls give commands to the standard audio system or the new Bose Premium Audio System with nine speakers and Bose Nd next-generation bass performance. A new technology package combines Navigation Radio, Head-up Display, premium Bose audio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity into a single package.
Corvette Convertible buyers can enjoy the soundtrack provided by the 6.2-liter LS3 small block V8 (and the outstanding 26 mpg highway fuel economy it delivers) without the filtering effects of a roof. The roar of 430 hp and 424 lb/ft of torque is one of the most intoxicating summer sounds ever. The optional dual-mode exhaust system increases power to 436 hp and 428 lb/ft of torque and has a satisfying bark that turns up the volume for both Coupe and Convertible drivers. A Corvette can be your perfect summer dance partner, with your choice of a standard six-speed manual transmission – featuring launch control, to optimize your off-the-line acceleration should you find yourself at a track – or an available six-speed automatic transmission that features paddle shifters for manual control.
Even the ZR1, the fastest, most powerful car General Motors has ever produced (zero-to-60 in a blistering 3.4 seconds, top speed of 205 mph) returns 21 mpg highway, and it provides you with a sophisticated and luxurious cabin in which to enjoy your off-track travels.
With a chassis that’s laid out like a supercar’s – with a hydroformed steel backbone, aluminum cockpit structure and a rear-mounted transmission for optimal weight distribution – the 2012 Corvette is one of the finest handling automobiles ever designed. Two suspension choices are available for the Coupe and Convertible. The standard suspension tuning balances ride and handling precision for a surprising amount of comfort and accuracy. The optional Z16 Performance Package features stiffer springs and up-rated stabilizer bars, re-tuned shock absorbers, six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers with cross-drilled rotors, high-performance tires, a re-worked six-speed manual or performance axle-ratio for automatics, and extra cooling capacity. Grand Sport models have the Z16 Performance Package as standard equipment.
When the question is “How did you spent your summer vacation,” there is no better answer than, “Behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette.”