Entries Tagged as 'American Cars'

Hype Event: Mainstream Productions x Stance Nation Nisei Showoff 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I have been personally attending “import” AKA “tuner” car shows ever since the very first Hot Import Nights that was held right in my hometown of Long Beach.  A lot of things have changed since then.  Car shows got bigger, more publicized, and well far away from their humble beginnings.  Car shows started to become less “a show of cars” and more of an all out “entertainment event” with concerts, video game tournaments, dance crew battles, DJ battles, bikini contests, “fashion” shows, pretty much anything that was eye and ear candy was thrown into the mix to try and add value to the growing prices of admission to offset the growing venues.

At first it was cool.  Each car show was like going to a rave.  There were thumping beats, crazy lights, and increasingly elaborate displays for cars and vendor booths.  Things just got bigger, brighter, and louder.  However, like most bubbles the scene eventually popped.  Blame the economy, the over commercialization, judging controversies, or maybe a combination of several things but at some point the car show scene fell off dramatically, mostly.

Now “mostly” is an important word because despite what was happening with all other car show series, there was one that stayed consistent through the ups and downs and never really lost the respect of enthusiasts.  I am referring to Import Showoff by Mainstream Productions helmed by Ken Miyoshi.  You may not know his name if you are younger than 25 but he has been an important figure in our culture for the last 20 years.  He pretty much created the concept of the “import car show” as we know it and exposed America to drifting far before D1 came to Irwindale so many years ago.  He is a humble guy but incredibly driven and cares deeply for the car culture and putting together a quality show.  When things got big bright and loud he didn’t really buy into it even though those big shows started to take away from Import Showoff’s attendance.

He stuck to his roots and kept things all about the cars and the culture and never strayed too far beyond that.  It may have hurt his series for a while but eventually things changed.  One day we all kind of figured out that we wanted more substance than flash, more culture than commercial, more sunny days hanging out with our friends than flashing neon lights in a dark convention hall.  Then we remembered that there was a show that had been providing those things all along: Import Showoff.

These days Showoff is mostly condensed to a few shows a year: Chinatown Showoff and Nisei Week showoff and to this day many veterans of the scene will tell you that Nisei Week Showoff is the best show of the year.  Its small, and typically held during one of the hottest times of the year but the quality of cars on deck makes it all worth it.  Also with the recent team up of Mainstream Productions and StanceNation, the quality of cars has only grown exponentially.  That is why I urge you, if you have the chance to come out to the Nisei Week Showoff next year.  Make a trip out of it, trust me when I tell you that if you love import cars it will be worth it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my lecturing about how awesome things used to be.  I went to the Nisei Showoff over the weekend and put together a pretty killer gallery of over 300 pictures!  Check out our Facebook gallery below!  Thanks again to Ken Miyoshi for inviting us to the show and for keeping it real all these years!

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Hype Video: Awesome CEO Ralph Gilles Does Awesome Burn Out In Dodge Hell Cat Because Awesome

Posted on 07.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Usually when we think of a “CEO” we think of some stuffy old person in a suit who most likely doesn’t use or much less enjoy the products or services they hock on the rest of the population.  Sure, Bill Gates uses Windows on his home computer but do you think hes on Xbox Live once a week yelling profanities as he gets aggro on newbs in Halo?  Probably not!  This is why a guy like Ralph Gilles is refreshing.  Sure he ran the business end of SRT and has to do all the boring stuff but at heart he is a car nut like the rest of us.  He is every bit of the enthusiast and he is not afraid to show it one bit!  Hence the video below in which Mr Gilles peels off one heck of a monster burn out in the upcoming 707HP Dodge Challenger “Hellcat” in front of a roaring crowd.  Seriously, can we just make this guy the next President already?  I’d totally vote for him!

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MotorworldHype Wishes Everyone A Happy Independence Day Because ‘Murica!

Posted on 07.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Happy Birthday America!  For over 200 years you have given us awesome things like Freedom, Justice, and big smoky burnouts from unnecessarily powerful muscle cars!  Let us all celebrate our independence today by honoring our country and those who serve it in the interest of our freedom.  We should also grill copious amounts of meat and blow stuff up (if its legal in your town)!

[Image source: CorvetteBlogger.com]

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Hype Contest: American Muscle Is Giving Away A 589HP Supercharged Mustang (Video)

Posted on 05.23.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Nothing says ‘merica! like a incredibly loud and powerful muscle car.  All of us would love to do glorious burn outs in a proper muscle car but it ain’t cheap!  Luckily, muscle car parts retailer American Muscle is offering up the chance to win their 2014 Ford Mustang project car that they debuted at SEMA last year!  The car is totally stacked with tons of goodies, including a Vortech supercharger which is where a good chunk of its 589HP comes from.  If you want to enter the contest click this text to go to the entry page and if you want to learn more about the car then check out the video below.

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Hype Meet: Cars And Coffee Irvine 3-15-14

Posted on 03.19.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Ok this site was starting to get a little dusty so its time to push forward again with some fresh new content.  We are starting off with my return to Cars And Coffee Irvine last weekend.  In all honesty I just visited to get a little extra shooting time in before I headed off to the Formula Drift Tech Day AKA Source Interlink casting call.  However, I lucked out in the fact that it just so happened that Porsche decided to bring a genuine production-spec 918 Spyder to the event!  News of the Spyder’s appearance brought out many of my industry friends and colleagues like Jon Sibal, Bisi of Bisimoto engineering, and even my old friend and mentor Craig Lieberman!  In fact, I ran into so many people that I haven’t seen in a long time that I actually didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted! But I have a healthy bunch of photos below.  Enjoy!

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Movie Hype: Ford Mustang “Hero Car” From Need For Speed Movie Going To Barrett Jackson Auction Block For Good Cause

Posted on 02.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

NEED FOR SPEED MUSTANG AUCTION

No matter how good or bad a car movie is the one constant is that people want whatever featured vehicle played the leading role in said movie.  The Firebird from “Smokey And The Bandit”, the Ecto-1 from “Ghosbusters”, the Supra from “The Fast And The Furious” are all highly sought after items for any car collector.  That’s why regardless of how you think the new Need For Speed movie will turn out, the Ford Mustang “hero” car would still fetch a premium; which is exactly what DreamWorks Pictures and Ford are looking to accomplish at the Barrett Jackson Auction in April.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “hero car”, “hero” is a Hollywood term that basically means something that was prominently used on-camera by a lead actor in major scenes of a film.  So, that means the Mustang going on sale is the actual car that hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people will see on screen driven by Aaron Paul and it will still have all of the modifications on it that were added on for the movie.

What really makes this special is that the proceeds from the Auction will benefit the Henry Ford Health System, a non-profit organization that helps bring quality health care to those who cannot afford it.  Let’s hope this Mustang can fetch a few million!

Press Release:

Ford-designed and built custom wide body Mustang used in the new movie “Need for Speed” will be auctioned for charity

  • All-new 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Ford F-150 will be on display at the auction in West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Ford will offer ride-and-drives at the auction in vehicles from its 2014 lineup; Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST are primed for hot-lap experiences

A custom 2014 Ford Mustang GT starring in the new movie, “Need for Speed,” will be auctioned off for charity by Ford Motor Company at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction on April 12.

Building on the excitement of the movie, premiering March 14, this Mustang will be offered at no reserve, with proceeds benefiting the Henry Ford Health System, a not-for-profit group founded by Henry Ford to improve the health and well-being of a diverse community.

Need for Speed” is the latest of more than 3,200 film and television appearances for Mustang over the past 50 years. The Mustang being auctioned is one of a handful developed purely for the movie to appear on the silver screen and at promotional stops.

The movie car boasts a custom-designed wide body rolling on unique Forgiato 22-inch alloy wheels. Other design elements include an enlarged lower grille with new air intakes, extended rocker panels, a twin-snorkel hood and low-profile mirrors. The visual sizzle is amplified by custom silver paint with Kona Blue racing stripes and angel-eye fog lamps in the grille.

“Mustang was cast in a leading role of the movie with screen time equal to many of the actors,” said Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “Director Scott Waugh challenged our team to give this central character enough personality and American masculinity to take on some of the world’s most exotic cars, just like in the popular Electronic Arts video game that inspired the movie.

“The new owner of this particular Mustang will take home a rare vehicle, and their bid will increase access to critical health care services.”

Founded in 1915, the Henry Ford Health System is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems. It provides health insurance and health-care delivery, including acute-, specialty-, primary- and preventive-care services, backed by excellence in research and education. Additional information is available at http://www.henryford.com.

“Need for Speed” is one of the most successful racing video game franchises in the world, with more than 140 million games sold since the original edition debuted 20 years ago. The Dreamworks Studios film stars Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Dominic Cooper (“Captain America”), Imogen Poots (“Fright Night”) and Michael Keaton (“Batman”), and is directed by Waugh (“Act of Valor”).

Beyond the South Florida Fairgrounds auction stage, Ford will offer ride-and-drive and hot-lap experiences. The public can sample Ford’s stable of 2014 vehicles, as well as hot-lap experiences in the Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. In addition, Ford is showing the all-new 2015 Mustang and 2015 F-150 in South Florida for the first time.

For auction information, visit the Barrett-Jackson website or Facebook.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 181,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

About Need for Speed:

DreamWorks Pictures’ Need for Speed marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, Need for Speed captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.

The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out West.

Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon — the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.

Need for Speed is presented by DreamWorks Pictures, produced by Patrick O’Brien, John Gatins and Mark Sourian, and directed by Scott Waugh. The screenplay is by George Gatins. The story is by George Gatins & John Gatins, and, based on the video game franchise created by Electronic Arts. The film releases in U.S. theaters on March 14, 2014.

Need for Speed is a trademark of Electronic Arts Inc.

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Hype Bowl 2014: Three Favorite Super Bowl Ads AKA “Fresh Three” (Video)

Posted on 02.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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If there was ever a time to pay close attention to the super bowl commercials it was this year.  I mean, lets face it the game itself wasn’t all that riveting *coughcoughBLOWOUTcough*.  Anyhow, there was a grand total of 14 car and automotive themed commercials this year, which seems like a lot but I swear there was more last year.  Of those 14 I have chosen my top three ( as well as a few honorable mentions) which are listed below as well as a bit on each spot and why I thought they thought they deserved a spot in the fresh three.  So, without further adieu scroll down and enjoy!

 

Third Place: “British Villains ‘Rendezvous’” – Jaguar

I had been looking forward to this commercial since Jaguar started teasing it last year.  The idea that Jaguar would be calling on Brittan’s greatest film villains to promote the new F TYPE coupe was a brilliant idea.  Seriously, the Mandarin, Sinestro, and Loki pressed and dressed all in one commercial together? Awesome!  Gratuitous visuals of the F TYPE coupe didn’t hurt either.  So, if I loved it so much why did it get third?  Well I’ll put it to you this way.  Its not because this commercial did anything bad (excuse the pun).  It will all make sense when you see second and third place, so lets move on shall we?

Second Place: “Strike” – Maseratti

Usually in the days, even weeks leading up to the big game most of the bigger Automotive media outlets have previews or leaks of upcoming Super Bowl ads from OEMs.  However, NO ONE saw this spot coming which really was the whole point of the ad (you will know what I am talking about if you’ve watched it).  Much like the monologue (read by youngest ever Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis) suggests, this was all about waiting until any opposition has gotten too over-confident and lethargic to notice and then “striking” when its least suspected.  That is what Maserati did when they used this spot to announce to the world that the Ghibli has officially arrived and is hunting for all the M5′s and E classes on American streets.  The only nitpick is that they isn’t too much of the actual Ghibli shown.  Although they attempt to remedy that with bolting a microphone on the back of the Ghibli to capture its beautiful exhaust sound!  This commercial was so captivating, it even inspired Jaguar to take a jab at them as you can see below:

While that shot is well played (and technically corrected) by Jaguar, the bottom line is the fact that they even felt the need to respond means Maserati won the hand.  I love the F TYPE coupe but I think this Ghibli spot edged it out just a bit.

First Place:  “Life” – Chevrolet

This commercial is only a minute long, and has no spoken dialogue (save for the song “Don’t Leave” by Ane Brun) yet this spot manages to tell a story that many people know too well: surviving cancer.  There is so much emotion, and this commercial hits so close to home that despite its minimal nature its almost overwhelming.  I have always thought that some of the best commercials are those that are about more than the car being advertised and this spot epitomizes that point beautifully.  Because of that, this is my favorite commercial during this year’s Hype Bowl.  By the way, this Tuesday is World Cancer Day a day in which we celebrate people who have survived cancer and those who offered support through their fight.  You can find out more about World Cancer Day by visiting Chevy.com/PurpleRoads and Cancer.org

There you have it! My top three favorite car commercials from this year’s Super Bowl.  Although despite only picking three there were a few more that I still liked or stood out to me and have earned an honorable mention.  To watch them just click their titles (bold in red text):

- “Big Game Ad” by Toyota because its hard to argue with the Muppets and Terry Crews! I miss the Muppets… Anyone remember Bip Bippadotta?

- “Need For Speed Super Bowl Spot” by DreamWorks Pictures.  While I have my doubts about the movie’s plot (or lack thereof) this trailer which comprises of nothing but engine sounds is pretty awesome!

- “Transformers: Age Of Extinction Super Bowl Spot” By Paramount Pictures because DINOBOTS!!!!

- “Wings” By Volkswagen.  Because watching the look of fear on a German Engineer’s face just before a rainbow shoots out of his butt is more entertaining than you’d might think.

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NAIAS 2014: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Picks Up Where The ZR1 Left Off And Then Some (Video)

Posted on 01.14.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Yesterday morning the world was introduced to the most powerful, advanced Corvette ever built: The 2015 Z06.  Here’s the thing; we all knew this was coming, there was no doubt.  But, the mystery around the next Z06 was where exactly would it fall in the C7 saga.  The C7 Corvette is a great car but there is plenty left on the table.  Frankly, Chevrolet didn’t have to do that much to the Stingray as it is now to make it into a more connected, powerful sports car and leave even more room still for the next ZR1 (or would it be ZR2?).  So would the new Z06 be incrementally better than the Stingray? Or would it really make a huge leap? It looks like the latter is the reality.

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On paper it looks like Chevy’s main goal was to make this Z06 better than or equal to the ZR1 in just about every way.  The “official” numbers of the Z06′s supercharged “LT4″ engine have not been released but Chevrolet “estimates” that it makes 625HP and 635ft-lbs of torque.  While that is a little shy of the ZR1′s 638H, the new Z06 beats the ZR1′s torque by 27ft-lbs!  Chevrolet is clearly trying to one up…themselves!  However, is that really what the new Z06 is about? No.  No it isn’t.  Chevrolet made the Z06 into a fire-breathing ZR1 spanking American supercar for one reason: to give them more elbow room on their new C7.R race car.  See, the rules for the GT class (in the TUDOR championship) have become more strict and the sanctioning body wants factory team’s race cars to be closer to their production counterparts.  Chevrolet said “fine then, we’ll just make the production car super badass!” (Disclaimer: Chevrolet did not really say that…at least not publically) and that is how the world got the new Z06.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2015 "LT4" 6.2L V-8 AFM VVT DI SC (LT4) for Chevrolet Corvette Z 2015 Hydra-Matic 8L90 (M5U) Eight-Speed RWD Auto Transaxle for C

Visually the Z06 is not too much of a departure from the Stingray but there are still some obvious differences.  First of all there is a much more aggressive aero package on the new Z06 complete with splitters, canards, and endplates all designed to provide as much downforce as possible in corners and on straights.  If buyers spring for the optional “Z07 package” they will also get a clear adjustable rear spoiler to help fine tune downforce even more.  The Z06 also has larger air ducts (as well as more of them) than found on the Stingray which in this case are vital to cooling the brakes (perhaps even the optional carbon ceramic brakes that also come with the Z07 package) and channeling air to bring Z06 closer to the ground.

Something that does remain the same between the Stingray and the Z06 is its chassis.  Chevrolet found that the Stingray chassis was already pretty stiff so there was no need to make a new one.  In fact since the Stingray chassis is being used the Z06 can be offered for the first time with a removable roof!.  Chevy’s engineers claim that even with the roof off the new Z06 is more rigid than the ZR1 with its fixed roof.  To make the Z06 a little more livable as a car that can be driven everyday the LT4 engine has been configured to run in three different ways: for ultimate fuel savings it can run on four cylinders with the supercharger deactivated, for a bit more power it can run on all 8 cylinders but still no supercharger, and for the full monty it will run all 8 cylinders and boost.  According to Chevy this is the first factory supercharged engine to ever do this.  If it all works as well as they say it will then it should make for some impressive MPG numbers.

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with the available Z07 package 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06's Z07 Performance Package 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 standard carbon-fiber hood vent 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 standard carbon-fiber hood vent 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 standard carbon-fiber hood vent

Sending power to the tailor made Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires are a 7 speed manual or (as an option) an 8 speed automatic which also sends power through a carbon fiber torque tube (the first of its kind).  Any purists worried about the automatic will be happy to know that Chevy used the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission as a benchmark and they claim that they have extracted faster shifts from their unit while still retaining a decent level of comfort during regular driving.

I think the most impressive thing about the Z06 (besides its looks) is the fact that despite all of its new tech, power, and high quality materials Chevrolet says that its MSRP will be under $100k.  Yes, a ‘vette that is better than the ZR1 but for less money.  Ferrari, its time to worry…

For more pics of the 2015 ZR1 just click the thumbnails in this post and for more pictures just visit our Facebook Gallery, Google+ gallery, or Flickr gallery.  For video of the new Z06 just scroll down and beyond the videos you will find the official press release as well!

2015 Corvette Z06 Walkaround:

2015 Corvette C7.R Walkaround:

Press Release:

DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It stretches the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

“The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it.”

The 2015 model is the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The new, supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.

A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight. Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.

“The Corvette Z06 is a great example of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “First, we took what we learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that to the all-new Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track.”

Supercharged, efficient performance

The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.

These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
“The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”

To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.

The new 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s LS9. The rotors are shorter in length, too, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to get up to speed quicker, producing power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently, thanks to a new, more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.

The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:

  • Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional heads
  • Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
  • High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection
  • Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
  • Stainless steel exhaust headers and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
  • Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.

The LT4 will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y., and at the new Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky.

Eight speeds, no waiting The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.

“Unlike most ultra-performance cars, the Corvette Z06 offers customers the choice between two transmissions to suit their driving styles,” said Juechter. “The seven-speed gives the driver the control of a true three-pedal manual transmission with perfect shifts enabled by Active Rev Matching. The new eight-speed automatic offers drivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and manual control for track driving.”

The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.

The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to 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.

In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and 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.

“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car.”

Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.

The eight-speed automatic will be built at GM’s Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.

Designed for downforce The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.

“Practically every exterior change served a functional purpose, as this beast needed more of everything,” said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, “The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability.”

The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.

To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the Z06 was fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.

To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.

The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:

  • The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
  • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.

To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.

The Z06 will offer three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:

  • The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package
  • An available carbon-fiber aero package – in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce
  • The available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.

The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.

The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.

Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. To cope with the additional airflow, the Z06 has also has larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.

Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.

Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.

The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.

The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Z06 are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.

Track-proven technologies The 2015 Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.

“Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every “g” of grip and every pound of downforce,” said Juechter. “It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”

For the first time ever, the Corvette Z06’s aluminum frame will be produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it will be used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.

The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.

The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.

Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:

  • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
  • Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
  • Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
  • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.

The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.

The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:

  • Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
  • Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes. This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
  • Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.

The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015. Performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.

About Chevrolet 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 4.5 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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Hype News: C7 Corvette Stingray Z06 & C7.R Reveal Confirmed For Detroit Auto Show

Posted on 01.06.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2014 Corvette Crossed Flag Logo

Chevrolet has made it official: the next Z06 as well as the new C7.R race car will both make their world debuts in Detroit at a special event this month; January 13th to be exact.  To make sure everyone can catch a glimpse of the reveal the event Chevrolet will host a live stream which can be viewed at chevy.com/Z06Reveal.  The stream is set to begin at 9am EST with the official press conference starting at 10am EST.  Unfortunately, I won’t be in Detroit so I’ll be watching the stream with the rest of you on the 13th!  Should be fun!

[Source: Chevrolet]

 

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