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While the world watches in awe as the Corvette ZR1 wretches the performance crown from its competitors, some people are already concerning themselves with its successor. How could GM possibly improve on its best 'Vette yet? Popular Mechanics speculated on what the 2012 Corvette could have in store, and some of the answers they've dug up are a bit surprising. Dual clutch gearboxes? Nope. Mid-engine? Nope. How about losing a few cylinders? Heresy! Before all of the V8 loyalists get their panties in a bunch, remember that you can do a lot with a twin-turbo six. While the Nissan GT-R is the latest example of huge pressure-induced horsepower from a six, the Jaguar XJ220 and past Noble efforts have proven the engine configuration more than adequate. While we don't have any problem with the idea of a high-boost 3.6-liter direct-injection sixer, we know that there's still plenty of room for a range-topping V8 engine and we feel confident that America's preeminent sportscar will soldier on with one -- at the very least -- as an option.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It will be smaller displacement and weigh much less. More composites and less weight, and probably smaller dimensions too.

      Mr. Corvette (VLE for Corvette) pretty much said so at Road America last week during the NCM driving school.
      • 7 Years Ago
      By the way guys, since when does a V8 make a Corvette what it is?

      V6 is the sweet spot nowadays.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Since about 1955.

        The 911 has always had a flat 6, BMWs have stuck with inline sixes, Lamborghini still has V12s, and the Corvette should stick with a V8. Make it a smaller displacement twin turbo if you must, but keep the 8 cylinders.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No thanks. If I wanted a Vette that was good on gas or good for the enviroment I would just buy a Solstice/Sky. Unless it's a mint '53/'54 with the Blue Flame Six, I wouldn't give a 6cyl vette a second look. Even if it is faster than the 8, it just wouldn't sound or feel the same.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GRAND NATIONAL RETURNS! GM Dominated Turbo V6 power, and the Buick GNX pretty much invented the turbo performance. I don't view this as heresy at all.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only time a Corvette has ever had a V6 was in '53 when it was first introduced. This would be a very risky move on GM's part.

      While I like the idea, I think the Z51 would benefit much more from a 3.6L TT, which would be a good motor of choice. The zed06 and ZR1 should remain V8 powered .. plain and simple. One of the biggest attractions to those cars is the noise they make, and to be honest, a 600 hp V6 isn't going to scare me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm no 'Vette expert but I think it was a straight six in the early ones, not a V6.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is rediculous, they don't even sell enough corvettes to realistically have an impact on CAFE, even if they did they could just make them and pass the fine onto the consumer, lets face it a v6 belongs in a corvette about as much as a smallblock belongs in a civic...
      • 7 Years Ago

      Jesus, did all the editors quit or something? (BTW, "it's" is a contraction.)
        • 7 Years Ago

        Count me in on the "who cares about the displacement" choir. Do you really think a turbo 3.8l (DOHC) is going to be any lighter or more efficient (with the inevitable lower compression ratio) than a pushrod 6.0l?

        On the other hand, I suspect that somewhere in GM, somebody is plotting to create a "son of the quad-8": a V8 made of two ecotechs. Give me an LSx any day, but I suspect GM might decide that they need a new V8, and have no money for development: presto: high output V8!

        Lastly, does anybody here understand combustion chambers (I'm an EE, don't look at me)? Pushrod engines presumably have room for 2 more valves, but lack a good way to pop them up and down. Is it possible to use them as a sort of "adjustable space" in the combustion chamger? I suppose it would be easiest to let them be pushed out during boost, and latched back in the rest of the time, but there are plenty of possible configurations. Long live the SBC!
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're right about wretches...I don't know what they were going for there...perhaps wrenches. But 'its' is not a contraction in this context. It's a possessive pronoun. Sorry...just doing what a magazine editor compulsively does.
        • 7 Years Ago

        I think you meant "wrest". Or maybe "wrench".

        But "wretch" is definitely wrong.


        I think the growing trend of forced-induction smaller/more efficient/direct-injection engines is great progress. More horsepower per litre of displacement!
      • 7 Years Ago
      What? No..

      Just put the TT V6 in a Buick and call it the GNX. No reason to mess with the 'Vette.
      • 7 Years Ago
      By the way, turbo sixes work awesome. Ask Porsche, they have been working with turbo sixes since 1974. Most winning F1 cars of the turbo era were turbo sixes...1500cc putting out over 1000hp! Last I checked a ZR1 is slower than a 1987 Ruf CTR which is a turbo 6. However, I do think it would not be well received by Corvette people. Corvettes are expected to have a V8 under the hood.
        • 7 Years Ago
        And now list some supercars with V8 - and the list will be long, too..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not seeing the benefit of a TT DOHC V6. Same weight, essentially the same mpg (esspecially when you get up to that power level), and a less exciting exhaust sound (Flowmaster 40's on a V6 = no thanks)

      Get direct injection on the Gen V's and go from there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Twin turbo V-6?


      GM has a far better engine to use that would be a throwback to the 1953 Corvette coupe, already produces 285 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque, and displaces 4.2L. Now, correct me if I'm mistaken, but didn't the LT-1 belt out 285 hp and just over 350 lb-ft of torque? So, it's a cut in torque, but could still easily get the Corvette moving.

      I imagine if GM dropped the 4.2L inline 6 under the hood and bolted a twin-turbo system to it, it could throw down 350-400 hp no sweat. Since it's an inline engine, it would also run VERY smoothly compared
      to a V-6, something fitting for a luxury sports car.

      And, along with all that, it could be slightly more economical with the inline 6. Slightly more, since the stock Z06 still gets 24 mpg highway (!). I'm guessing the Z06 probably gets around 22 mpg hwy - cruising, of course.

      So, there's my vote. A twin-turbo, 4.2L inline six-powered Corvette.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I know the V8 is "the" Corvette engine... but I seriously don't mind provided that performance improves or remains the same (preferably improving of course). Seriously, the XJ220 will outrun most of todays supercars and it's "OLD" ! A well tuned turbo six can work wonders... and keep the weight down.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why not make a smaller V8 with a pair of twin scroll turbos? An engine like that would generate tons of low end torque and I love the sound of turbo v8's.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The LS series weighs as much as most DOHC V6's...
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