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Corvette Reaches Fuel Economy High – Still a Dinosaur Suckling

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Corvette - Fuel Economy Fossil
Corvette – Fuel Economy Fossil

As with most sports cars, such as the Corvette Stingray, fuel economy isn’t one of their strong suits, but Americans and their muscle cars seem to be inseparable.

The 2015 Corvette Stingray will still come with the standard seven-speed manual transmission, which many prefer for driving pleasure, but the optional six-speed automatic transmission of yesteryear always left the heart wanting, for both performance and fuel economy. The new and optional General Motors 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission is a boost, but I’m thinking it still doesn’t go far enough to address the greater concerns of fuel consumption and emissions.

Unlike traditional automatic transmissions, which shift between 250 and 500 ms, the new 8L90 transmission shifts in less than 100 ms, just shy of supercar shift times, as low as 8 ms. Still, when the blink of an eye averages 300 ms, the sub-100 ms shift times of the 2015 Corvette Stingray’s eight-speed automatic transmission could be said to be instantaneous. Well, that’s great for performance, but what about fuel economy?

Considering that the Corvette Stingray is powered by a monstrous 6.2 ℓ naturally-aspirated V8 engine, it should come as no surprise that her fuel economy is nothing to be proud of. The EPA estimates that the 2014 version maxxed out at 29 mpg highway, but GM estimates that the 2015 version, equipped with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, could breach the 30 mpg mark. We’re still not very proud.

I know, 30 mpg isn’t really a big deal. Will we ever get over this need for speed and get off the dino-teats? Corvette, if you really want to impress me, drop the 6.2 ℓ and put in a turbocharged 3.6 and a plug-in hybrid electric all-wheel drive system, if you like. You can have your performance, but lay off the petroleum.

Photo credit: Steve Koukoulas / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. @John  hey, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. i’ll admit that it would be FUN to drive the Corvette, and it’s a great-looking car, but it doesn’t fit our needs. true, we NEED transportation, but we don’t NEED it to be a supercar. Transportation is getting from Point A to Point B, and burning more fossil fuels to get there is ignoring the bigger picture. this is a societal problem, not just the supercar crowd, so i’m not picking on anyone here.
    actually, Toyota’s new lineup of Atkinson-cycle engines is supposed to be just as effective on the road as the old Otto-cycle engines, but more fuel-efficient: https://www.greenoptimistic.com/2014/04/11/toyotas-new-engines-improve-fuel-efficiency/ the average Otto-cycle on the road today is just barely 25% efficient, but Toyota’s new Atkinson-cycle lineup is 37% efficient (for the conventional version). Ford and other companies are going for tiny turbocharged engines, which is supposed to deliver good performance as well as fuel efficiency.
    also, hybrid and electric vehicles don’t have to be as “soulless as a Prius” as you assert, but can easily put your seat even better than a 6.2ℓ monstrosity can.

  2. Wait, the 6.2 liter ‘vette with 400+ hp gets 30 mpg in a 200 mph car and you label it as dismal, but toyota decides to use a revised atkinson cycle in their 1.2 liter that will go in their latest transportation appliance and they are ahead of the curve?  Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle#Vehicles_using_Atkinson_cycle_engines, and this is just a current listing.   I read a quote that a toyota exec said that the Avalon is their enthusiast’s car.  Fuel economy is important, but if i want a vehicle with no soul i’ll just take the bus.

    I’m not trolling here, just asking questions.

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