2012 Chevrolet Corvette - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Chevrolet C6 Corvette platform soldiers on for 2012, though buyers can now look forward to a few subtle changes compared to the 2011 model. The entire 2012 Chevrolet Corvette line now benefits from a slightly massaged interior that includes a new steering wheel and new seats. The thrones pack more supportive bolstering along the sides and microfiber inserts are also available for the first time as well. The reworked tiller features hide-wrapped spokes and what General Motors calls "streamlined" switch trim. Anyone who has spent time in a recent Corvette will know that these interior tweaks are much-needed improvements.

Otherwise, the base 2012 Chevrolet Corvette will remain remarkably untouched. Those who opt up to Z06 and ZR1 trims will find a few new changes, however. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires are now optional on both the heavy hitters, and the company's engineers say that the new rubber should be good for an eight-percent gain in lateral acceleration and that private testing at Virginia International Raceway delivered an improvement of three seconds per lap over the standard tire.

The Z06 also gets treated to optional gear like performance traction control, a full-width rear spoiler and a carbon fiber hood. The mighty ZR1, meanwhile, will utilize taller gearing in the fifth and sixth cogs to maximize fuel economy. Something tells us they might just help out on the top-end as well. Hit the jump for the full press blast as well as an introductory video.

[Source: General Motors]

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Interior enhancements, new performance packages highlight upgrades

DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that it will once again elevate Corvette's performance capabilities with a series of improvements for the 2012 model year that improve on-track performance and on-road comfort. They include enhancements to the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models as well as interior upgrades across the Corvette lineup.

Sports car fans will get their first look at the 2012 models – including the racing-inspired appearance of theChevrolet Centennial Edition – at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Production begins in July.

"We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track," says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. "For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car."

New Michelin Cup ZP tires elevate Z06/ZR1 performance

Corvette's greater performance for 2012 begins with the new, optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1. They are competition-oriented tires, optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability.

When combined with the Corvette's exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires are expected to help set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance. Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.

The Cup ZP tires were developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. They are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.

Performance Traction Management (offered on the Z06 for the first time in 2012) is an advanced system that optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The system also integrates traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance race track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.

A full-width racing-style spoiler for improved aerodynamics is also included in both the '12 Z07 and PDE packages. The Z06 model will now offer Magnetic Selective Ride Control, the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology – an innovation Corvette pioneered several years ago. And as before, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes will be a part of the Z07 chassis package (they are standard on ZR1). Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires remain standard on the ZR1.

A carbon fiber hood will be an available option on 2012 Z06 models, while the standard manual transmission for ZR1 will include taller gearing in fifth and sixth gears, for a 2-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy.

Interior and feature changes

All 2012 Corvette models will include a new seat design and a new steering wheel. The seats feature larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas, which provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving while remaining comfortable for daily street driving. Microfiber suede seat inserts are optional and improve tactile feel, as well as add additional support.

The new seats are complemented by the revised steering wheel, featuring model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim and wrapped spokes. Padded center console and armrests for all models are now included for 2012. An additional visual touch inside the car is contrasting color stitching – in red, blue and yellow – which is available with the custom leather-wrapped interior.

Also coming in 2012 is a new Bose uplevel audio system, which includes nine speakers (compared to seven in 2011) for improved audio quality that is more precisely tuned to the cabin's acoustics. New tweeters located in the instrument panel and improved Bose Nd next-generation bass performance is the main benefit that Corvette drivers will hear.

A new Technology Package (2LT trim level) brings together many of the Corvette's popular infotainment features and makes them available for more models. The package's equipment includes the navigation radio, head-up display, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and a USB port.

Wrapping up the new features for 2012 is the availability for customers to select brake caliper colors, for more personalization of their Corvette. The calipers are offered in the red, yellow, silver or gray.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a little humurous how many are complaining about Chevy not adding more Bling to the Vette when they missed the most important part of this press release: "Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap" This option is not about Bling, it's about the possibility of re-setting the track record for factory production cars at many tracks including The Nurburgring. Status will get you furthur than Bling
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a bad ass car, sure it's a little rough around the edge's but that's just part of it's character...never mind the bang for your buck is pretty hard to beat.
      Kyle Rohde
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the wheels and the center caps with Louis Chevrolet on them - little touches like that are so neat.
      • 3 Years Ago
      With improved seats and interior I'm curious what the haters will complain about. Great to see the improvements... Proof that tires are everything!
      John Hughan
      • 3 Years Ago
      It'll be interesting to see how these runflats are viewed. They've been pretty much reviled on the 3 Series for noise and ride quality (and even cornering grip), though maybe the Sport Cup line is better.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm happy about the upgraded interior, although it may still feel a bit dated. I still don't like the fact the steering wheel has generally the same aesthetic shape as my wife's HHR, among other older chevy models. Even so, these upgrades are very very welcome for a very nice sports car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      much better interior than before. you can easily find the same angle interior shot of a 2011 on google. compare them. side by side. it makes the change much more apparent. The seats, though far better than before, could have been a bit more radical. When a $32,000 (when new) Mazda R3 has some of the best Recaro's (that my butt has had the pleasure of squishing) in the segment then i think the $74,000 Corvette can muster up some even better ones.
      Kuro Houou
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very nice and needed interior change. Looks like it should looked when it first came out now.
      • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        Dan Frederiksen = Alien Opinion = SimpleCar I think they are all the same person....
          • 3 Years Ago
          Don't forget Charlie Daniels
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm upset that I can't mark down your comment more than once...
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know everyone is going to down-rank this comment because on the surface it sounds simply like trolling .... but the reality is that EVs and sports cars are not mutually exclusive. Far from it actually. Look at the Tesla roadster or the gorgeous Fisker Karma. Both EVs aimed at the performance segment of the market. Then there is also the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid, the Audi e-tron, and Ferrari's announcement that they too will introduce an EV/hybrid sports car. Would any of those fabled makes go electric if it wasn't a viable option for performance?? I also find it rather funny how one of the most important things that sportscar fans look for in a car is torque numbers, which is the same thing that electric motors supply in abundance. They really are destined to be together. Now I realistically doubt that an electric Vette is happening within the next decade, but for the C8, GM really should be looking at trying to take the lead in the EV revolution (they started with the Volt), by offering an electric Vette. 10 years out, batteries should be vastly more energy-dense than they are today, and it would let the technology they develop in an EV Vette trickle-down to their lower-end cars as well.
          • 3 Years Ago
          I'll mark you up, simply because I felt it was a well reasoned statement. Dan's comment was just troll bait and applied some sort of mystic superiority to an electric sports car. Now I doubt there will ever be a fully electric Vette, the V8 is part of its soul, but I can definitely see some sort of KERS system becoming an option to compete with other companies who will likely do the same thing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        Its time Dan's been replacing by someone more intelligent.
        Ronald. What up?
        • 3 Years Ago
        What are you drinking, Dan: DOT 3 brake fluid? Can we replace you with a more intelligent electric model?
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        I swear this number that represents your down-votes (26) is higher than that of your IQ. Seriously, you should just start a cult. I know of some land in Guyana you should check out.
      Logan Wild
      • 3 Years Ago
      I rode in my buddies C6 and I was not impressed with the interior or the ride... The only thing I liked was the torque. I would rather spend money on a Porsche or even a Mustang
      Le Coc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sexy on the outside... still crappy on the inside :-(
      • 3 Years Ago
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