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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray automatic shifterChristmas has come a year early - and by "Christmas" we mean availability of the eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2015 Corvette Stingray; it was was suspected that the General Motors 8L90 gearbox first announced for the Corvette Z06 might not make it into the standard C7 until 2016. The eight-speed automatic with a torque converter has been retuned for the lighter torque load of the C7, but it's built on the same bones as the equipment that goes in the Z06.

GM says the expanded gearset and reduced friction internals make for a five-percent improvement in efficiency, but EPA mileage numbers aren't ready yet. The company also says that upshifts at wide-open throttle "are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911," and you'll be able to control those yourself with the wheel-mounted paddles.

That might take some of the bite out of this year's price increase, in case it wasn't enough for the Corvette to be a superhero sports car that still can conquer Ye Olde World offerings, can be had with a manual and at a comparatively excellent price. You'll find a few more details on the new development in the press release below.
Show full PR text
2015 Corvette Stingray to Offer Eight-Speed Automatic
Paddle-shift gearbox rivals dual-clutch performance, enhances efficiency


DETROIT – An eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission will be offered in the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for 2015, enhancing the performance and efficiency of the 2014 North American Car of the Year. Designed and built by GM, the new transmission delivers world-class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs.

The all-new, GM-designed 8L90 eight-speed is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared to the previous six-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy test results are pending and will be announced later. It also makes the Corvette Stingray one of the few sports cars to offer the choice of a conventional manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic.

"Corvette Stingray's new eight-speed automatic delivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and the manual control that enhance the performance-driving experience," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It was designed to enhance the Stingray's driving experience, with performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement."

The available 8L90 transmission is based on the same eight-speed automatic that will be offered on the supercharged 2015 Corvette Z06, but with unique clutch and torque converter specifications matched to the torque capacity of the Stingray's LT1 6.2L naturally aspirated engine.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles. A new transmission-control system and unique algorithms deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.

The transmission controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second. Wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.

Smaller steps between gears, compared to the previous six-speed automatic, keep the engine within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of its horsepower and torque to optimize performance and efficiency.

With four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the new eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the previous six-speed automatic. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds, or 4 kg, lighter than the six-speed. Design features that reduce friction contribute to the expected 5-percent greater efficiency.

The 8L90 is built at GM's Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Jason
      • 8 Months Ago
      Considering the C6 was launched with the 4L60, and now the C7 will have a world-class 8-speed, this is great news. In just one generation of the car the transmission technology has gone from up by 30 years. I have no doubt the new 8-speed will be a great complement to the car and even as a perfectly comfortable manual driver, I'd be hard pressed to make the decision if I purchased a 2015...
      Will
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wish the writers at Autoblog could ovoid histrionics and just report auto news. Instead, they act like they are going to wet themselves every time some new option comes along. Christmas is coming early? Seriously? I was struck by the same feeling when I read the article about the Subaru WRX hatchback possibly coming back. As if the writer was positively giddy at the notion of driving a WRX to BestBuy and bringing home a new 60" TV. You guys are so lame.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't jnderstand why they still sell the manual. How many people will buy it? Maybe 1% of buyers? The automatic shifts faster AND is more fuel efficient, while being more safe and more comfortable.
        Julius
        • 8 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Umm.... even GM's numbers suggest the take rate for Corvette with manuals is about a third of all sales - much higher than the overall average of low-single-digit percents.
        stonehunte
        • 8 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I just have a hard time believing that someone who hates manual transmissions is a true car enthusiast.
          edward.stallings
          • 8 Months Ago
          @stonehunte
          I can understand your point of view because I am not young. I am a car designer and have the opportunity to drive high horsepower, light cars on the track, and shifting with a clutch becomes a huge interruption and a significant percentage of the time accelerating. Same for braking - the old downshift and use engine braking is simply not done by good drivers in fast cars anymore because there is no benefit. You simply stomp the brake and select the gear you want next. The clutch is becoming a relic. So if you are an enthusiast of the real fast stuff, you can't be a clutch lover. For sane driving on public roads, I am with you. I still heel toe and double clutch when downshifting and hesitate on upshifts as if there were no synchros...
          stonehunte
          • 8 Months Ago
          @stonehunte
          That's fine for the race track and I may even prefer a good paddle shift auto (few and far between) on the track. For road driving, where 99.9% of sports cars spend 99.9% of their time, a manual is much more fun and the time it takes to change gears really doesn't matter. I feel like companies are losing sight of the true purpose of sports cars and that is to be fun to drive on the street. Race track numbers are merely a pissing match and don't matter in the real world for a road car.
        edward.stallings
        • 8 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        They offer a manual because a large % of Corvette buyers want one. There are pros and cons to any choice. You are correct about shift speed and efficiency, but driving enjoyment, weight, complexity and cost are considerations. What is your reasoning with respect to safety? Check Corvette sales numbers. You are WAY off with the 1%.
        tony36619
        • 8 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Drive a fun manual car .. ANY fun manual car..and youll understand.
      Bill Coulter
      • 8 Months Ago
      Please , for 2015 , revise /refresh/update the horrendous rear end on this thing. IT's doesn't say Chevy , it looks bad , over done and out of sync with the rest of the design. Looks too much like a do-it-yourself kit car from the rear. AS for H.P. , it's in need of AWD , not more H.P.
      muspod
      • 8 Months Ago
      Does it get a new ignition switch too?!
      Jay
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM says "The company also says that upshifts at wide-open throttle "are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911," " ok something is wrong here. Porsche says the PDK in the 991 shifts in 40ms (.04sec) average so how is the GM unit shifting .08 seconds fast than that? Lol, that is not possible mathematically. Besides that, trying to say a slughbox automatic is better than a direct clutch box is silly.
        PTC DAWG
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jay
        They are smoother no doubt, that said, give me 3 pedals
      phil
      • 8 Months Ago
      now if GM would add 50 HP & 10-20 lb ft of torque to the base C7 it would be a world beater
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @phil
        the problem is not it's performance..it's its image outside the U.S.
          Mbukukanyau
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Lachmund
          Corvette has no image problems. There is very serious corvette clubs all over the globe, including Africa.
      usa1
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nice upgrade for its second year.
      Lachmund
      • 8 Months Ago
      A normal 991 PDK shifts at 150 ms...That's 15 100th of a second. So you really wanna tell me this shifts almost twice as fast?! Huge pile!
        m_2012
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Lachmund
        More than twice as fast. Old news.
        Chris O.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Lachmund
        It may be possible that the DT11 has gear engagement at 150 milliseconds, but the PDK doesn't finish clutch pack disengagement until the 385 millisecond mark (though I'd imagine that time is longer for lower gears, and longer for higher gears). Shaving 80 milliseconds off of that time is significant (~20%), but it's not twice as fast.
          392 guy
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Chris O.
          Wondering how fast the NAG1 shifts lol
      Ryan Andrew Martin
      • 8 Months Ago
      Looks so much better with the roof painted. Now to paint the vents and an entire overhaul of the rear! I love the overall shape but the little details are annoying.
      Rochester
      • 8 Months Ago
      Or people could just learn how to drive a proper manual transmission. That works, too. Certainly much more rewarding.
        jtav2002
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rochester
        Why does everyone need to learn to drive stick? I always love all the stupid comments like these. I'd certainly opt for the manual in this car, but what's wrong with having options?
        davebo357
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rochester
        More rewarding than having the winning lap time?
          Rochester
          • 8 Months Ago
          @davebo357
          Absolutely. Driving a sportscar is far more satisfying that simply driving faster than someone else, regardless of the venue. All these AT butthurt comments... it's not like I didn't see that coming. LOL
        FuelToTheFire
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rochester
        I don't feel COMFORTABLE driving a manual. I would rather that a car be automatic only than having a manual/automatic option.
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      Who needs dual clutch when you have an auto that smoother *and* faster? Eat that Porsche/Ferrari/McLaren/etc. :-P Although I still want my three pedals, anything that helps pay for that option is good in my book! :-D
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