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Upgrades Coming for 2012 Chevrolet Corvette

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author photo by Autotrader May 2011

The sixth generation of Chevrolet’s iconic Corvette sports car has been on the market since the 2005 model year. While rumors are brewing about what the seventh-generation model will bring, Chevy is hoping to keep interest in the current version alive by giving it a slew of updates for 2012.

The Corvette’s high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models receive most of the attention, but there will be some updates across entire Corvette lineup.

The first big set of changes comes from new tires; Z06 and ZR1 buyers will now be able to opt for new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. Tires are the unsung heroes of the performance car package. They may not turn any heads, but the tires are the only part of a car connected to the ground, and changing them can alter every aspect of a vehicle’s performance.

The new tires are part of a fresh performance package that Chevy says will allow the Corvette to handle high-speed turns at 1.01 times the force of gravity. This is an impressive achievement for a factory road car.

Like the slick racing tires they are based on, these tires are strictly for extreme performance and shouldn’t be used in the rain or cold temperatures. The package does come with a traction control system, but it’s not set up like those on most vehicles. Typically when a traction control system senses a wheel slipping across the road, it activates the brakes to slow the car down and bring it under control. The problem is that a little bit of slipping can be a good thing when racing on a track, and enthusiasts have complained for years that traction control limits the performance of a car.

The Corvette’s Performance Traction Management (PTM) system, which will be available on the Z06 for the first time in 2012, was designed with speed in mind. The system only activates when the tire slippage is getting beyond what may be normal for racing. This, Chevrolet says, actually helps PTM-equipped Corvettes go around corners even faster than before.

The new equipment doesn’t stop there. The performance tires will come wrapped around new lightweight aluminum wheels. The Z06 will also be available with an optional lightweight carbon fiber hood and an improved rear spoiler.

The top-of-the-line ZR1 model gets slightly taller gearing for its fifth and sixth gears, which should help it achieve an extra 2 miles per gallon on the highway.

All 2012 Corvettes will receive a revised steering wheel and seats with bigger side bolsters, which help hold a driver in place as they carve through corners.

Customers looking for a more personal touch also have new colors to choose from for the brake calipers and accent stitching on the leather interior.

Finally, an optional Bose stereo system will be available for drivers who want to listen to something beyond their glorious V8.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Upgrades Coming for 2012 Chevrolet Corvette - Autotrader