During January's Detroit Auto Show, we managed a longer than expected wandering tag-team interview with C7 Corvette chief engineering exec Tadge Juechter (pictured above), and LT1 engine boss Jordan Lee (pictured below). They are, quite honestly, two of the very nicest bigshot lads to ever walk the engineering corridors of an American manufacturer. Both are enthralled by what they're doing for a day job. So are we.

We've followed the pre-sale anticipation for the Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray like an Oreck vacuum yanking every speck of dirt from a well-trampled carpet. Everything is reportable and contains a grain of further knowledge about this dramatically important and cheered-for car, as it continues to be pressured into representing all that is superior about the American dream. The Corvette wears one heavy cloak.

So, most of what was talked about has been expertly reported already right here on Autoblog. But, looking through our notes again, both Jeuchter and Lee added facts to the buzzing mix.


In a passing comment regarding the exterior panels of the new Corvette, Jeuchter told us, "Whereas previously the body panels were assembled with a five-millimeter gap between them to account for heat expansion of the fiberglass in hot weather, the fiberglass today on the Stingray maintains a year-round three-millimeter gap." This, no doubt, lends something to the crisp look of the overall design.

For his part developing the 465-pound small-block LT1 V8 – the fifth-generation of the small-block – Mr. Lee points out that even as we lead up to the start of deliveries to customers in August, test mules of the engine are continuing to be refined. That process includes final tuning of the Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation that turns the LT1 into a 3.1-liter V4 motor during low-load phases, at 3,200 rpm or less. Incorporating AFM in the new Corvette's powertrain required extensive re-engineering... and Lee is a well-known perfectionist. He proudly states: "Average fuel economy should be 26 mpg at least."


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      suthrn2nr
      • 1 Year Ago
      It will be a wonder of engineering if this car can get 26MPG COMBINED (not the retarted HWY MPG that most people get lost on). 26MPG on average from this monster would be amazing and make this car pretty much perfect.
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        Honestly that Corvettes can get 26mpg highway is pretty amazing in and of itself. Of course a big engine cruising tends to use a very small amount of its energy, and the city ratings are less impressive. But 26 combined would be insanely well tuned.
          Slizzo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @k_m94
          The AFM will help quite a bit with Corvette's historically lackluster city MPGs. At highway speeds it will have less of an effect on MPGs.
          NissanGTR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @k_m94
          Throw tall gearing on anything and it get better mpg.
      Ak Homegrown
      • 1 Year Ago
      I average 28hwy and 18 city in my 2006 C6. Even the C6 Vette got excellent fuel economy.
      Donny Hoover
      • 1 Year Ago
      Was preparing a rant in my mind about how it couldn't possibly only manage the C6's 26 highway with D.I. and cylinder deactivation added. Then I saw he said 26 average! Well done GM!
      IOMTT
      • 1 Year Ago
      The new LT1 is a great engine and all, but please stop teasing me with that white 66 coupe in the background. Thank you.
        Mr E
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IOMTT
        Idk, it's undeniably sweet, but I think I'd maybe go for the new Stingray, given the choice.
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If I am the one driving, that corvette will only get around 10 miles to the gallon. The cylinder deactivation will be greatly appreciated mostly on long trips. I am assuming the CD will bring the corvette to mid 30s on the freeway.
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      This engine should be an option in the next Cadillac CTS. The CTS-V will probably get a supercharged version, but the base V8 should also be an option.
        Josh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        NAH! No profit in 'middle child' models. Can't afford to run the fast one? You should really be driving the slow V6. Maybe the Euro i4. Can afford a V8? You shouldn't really want one unless you want it supercharged. Don't worry - this is sound business decisions made by the best business minds in the industry. Who needs a G8? Our RWD IMpala doesn't even have an mT!
          ImHere
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Josh
          What are you talking about? They've already announced a 420hp TTV6 for the next CTS. Get a clue.
      Clem Zahrobsky
      • 1 Year Ago
      my 2008 C-6 6 speed manual averaged 23 MPG for 10,000 miles going by the DIC on the IP before i sold it waiting for the C-7
      Camaroman101
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Average fuel economy should be 26 mpg at least." did he misspeak by saying average, did he mean highway or combined? if combined then wow
        Yoggie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Camaroman101
        I am sure he meant combined. Even a C5 can get over that and the C6 is even better.
      MarkP
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very cool! The Corvette Action Center also interviewed several people behind the design and development of the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray: http://corvetteactioncenter.com/specs/c7-corvette/2014-c7-corvette/2014-c7-corvette-review.html
      JF
      • 1 Year Ago
      Question for those in the know... How difficult is it to achieve tight, even panel gaps on a car? Why do some cars have very tight and tidy gaps while others seem to have canyons between panels?
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JF
        Depends on the car and the materials. With FRP or CFRP, as these panels are, the expansion and contraction of the panels is a serious issue. With other cars, it's more of an issue of how accurate you can get the parts (and unibody) made and how much flex you can take out of the body (because the gaps vary in size as the body flexes). In low volumes, makers hand-fettle every panel/gap so that variance stack-up isn't an issue. But the rest of the issues (flex, expansion) still remain.
        dukeisduke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JF
        If you can properly align panels, and they can stay that way, you can have tight gaps. Saturns were notorious for their large panel gaps, because the flexible body panels expanded and contracted quite a bit.
          EB110Americana
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dukeisduke
          I remember reading that some of the later Saturns used metal reinforcements behind the plastic panels to achieve tighter panel gaps. The reinforcement only had to fasten at key points such as around the edges, while the rest of it could sit off the panel like a cage, still allowing most of the dent resistance of the plastic panels to remain intact. The down side was the cost was very high to build in such redundancy, and eventually conventional steel won out.
        JF
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JF
        Thanks.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        caddy-v
        • 1 Year Ago
        He\'s still in mourning over Lincoln\'s failure to sell a car this month.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        I don\'t think it needs a new exterior. Just a paint job. I think the red and black show car looks awful. I like the Vette they showed with a grey body and brown (camel?) leather interior.
        Donny Hoover
        • 1 Year Ago
        How about a laser that shuts the hell up?
      johncastaneda
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its good to see the true American sports car revamped and compete with world class leaders to show that The Corvette is second to none and still the undefeated champion of all American sports cars!
        AcidTonic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johncastaneda
        Except my import is faster to 60, has 4 doors, and gets easily more than 26mpg on the highway turning 3500rpm one pedal press away from 400whp and 400ft/lbs of torque without even downshifting. The pedal decides if I'm getting 30mpg or a rush of torque/hp. Not the gear selector. With your Vett you either get fuel economy in top gear running low revs with no power, or you downshift, fuel economy goes out the window and you pull forward. If you just floor it without downshifting you have no power beyond a small lurch from the torque (which is less than 400ft/lbs at 1500rpm). It does all that while weighing 400lbs more than the Vette, yet out handles it on a race track. I can fit 4 passengers and use the trunk. And four wheel drive is hella fun in the snow and rain when you're parking your vette..... Can't wait to blow away the C7's like I have been the C6's..... Bring it on!
          Slizzo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AcidTonic
          Your import is sub 4 second 0-60? How much is the MSRP on it?
          CadiVetteFerrari
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AcidTonic
          You should make an appointment with Motortrend at the Mazda Laguna and let them know you can beat both the C6 and the C7 around the track, even though the C7 has not been tested by anybody yet, not to mention the C6 ZR1 is the fastest around the track, besting cars like the GTR, LFA, and 458 italia. Heck, I'm sure you can beat their professional driver, driving the base C6, around the track, as well. Moron.
          B_Rad
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AcidTonic
          Both imports and domestics have good and bad qualities. There's no need to be so pompous about owning one over the other. I love my MINI Cooper S and its not stock. I am also a big fan of the Evo and STi but you cant argue that the LT1 and the new vette isn't anything short of amazing. Both the vette and your AWD import are fast. Put the money you spent making yours 400hp into the vette and I sincerely doubt it would be much faster at all. Quit making it about us vs them, there's plenty of room for all types., except Honda kids :P jk
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AcidTonic
          TROLOLOLOL
          Rayvan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AcidTonic
          And then you woke up! LOL!
    • Load More Comments