The seventh-generation Corvette has been on sale for one model year and it’s already getting an upgrade. An all new high-performance 8-speed automatic.
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Chevrolet is rolling out a major upgrade for the 2015 Corvette Stingray. Out with the 6-speed auto and in with a brand new 8-speed. I had the chance to sample the new Hydra-Matic 8L90 at General Motor’s Milford Proving Grounds and found 8-reasons why the new 8-speed is good news for Corvette enthusiasts. Reason One: It’s quicker. The new 8L90 can accelerate up to 60mph 0.1 seconds quicker than you can shift it yourself, officially in 3.7 seconds. A 1/4 mile can be covered in only 11.9 seconds. Reason Two: Better fuel economy. The C7 is now rated at 29MPG, 3.5% better than the 6-speed. This makes Stingray more fuel efficient than the Porsche 911 Carrera, Audi R8 , or Nissan GT-R. Around town this automatic C7 is rated at 16MPG. Reason Three: A quicker shift. Chevrolet estimates that at wide-open-throttle, a Stingray with the 8-speed will shift .08 seconds faster than a Porsche dual-clutch transmission. Reason Four: Less weight. In fact, the 8-speed not only fits in the same space as the out-going 6-speed, it weighs 8-lbs less and can handle up to 650 lb-ft of torque. GM engineers wanted this transmission to be simple and durable. Reason Five: Paddle shifters that work. Located on the steering wheel, just a quick tap of the fingers is all it takes to bring the transmission under your total control. Reason Six: The new 8-speed has tighter packed gear ratios. It means quicker acceleration down low and better fuel economy on the highway. The 8L90 has a 7.0 overall ratio with 7th and 8th as overdrive gears. Reason Seven: You can get it in a Convertible. The new 8-speed isn’t restricted to the Coupe and is available in any Corvette Stingray model. It will also be featured in the future high-performance Z06. Reason Eight: Faster control. Second generation transmission control adjusts the 8-speed every 6.23msec allowing for an uncanny sense that the car knows what you want before you do.
Finally, the Corvette has an automatic transmission worthy of the name. The past generation 6-speed just didn’t respond and shift like you’d want from a Corvette. Now both transmissions offered in the C7 are capable of getting anyone’s heart racing.