• Corvette to add 8-speed automatic for 2015 model year
  • New transmission to improve fuel economy and acceleration
  • 7-speed manual will still be available for drivers who want three pedals

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette will soon add an optional 8-speed automatic transmission to its lineup. Chevrolet says that the new 8-speed automatic will improve on the 6-speed for several reasons.

One of those reasons is fuel economy. While Environmental Protection Agency numbers for the new 8-speed automatic are not yet available, Chevrolet says that increasing the number of gears and reducing friction resulted in a 5 percent fuel economy bump. That could mean gains of one or two miles per gallon in city and highway driving.

Another reason for the upgrade from six gears to eight is performance. With two more gears, the latest transmission will allow the Corvette to accelerate faster than the current model. Chevrolet also says the transmission has been designed for the quickest possible gear changes, noting that it's even faster than Porsche's dual-clutch PDK automatic.

The move to an 8-speed automatic won't surprise many Corvette enthusiasts, since the high-performance Z06 model, revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, already offers an available 8-speed automatic transmission. Once Chevrolet announced the Z06's upcoming 8-speed, many shoppers took it as a foregone conclusion that the transmission would eventually wind up in the regular Corvette.

As for drivers interested in a 3-pedal Corvette, they don't need to worry. The automaker will continue to offer the Corvette with its standard 7-speed manual transmission, even as the 8-speed automatic joins the options list.

For drivers interested in the 8-speed, Chevrolet says the new transmission will reach the Corvette when 2015 models go on sale later this year.

What it means to you: The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette will offer better performance and improved fuel efficiency thanks to its all-new 8-speed automatic transmission.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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