In every Corvette generation, there are a number of changes. Eight to ten years is a long time for a car to go without a full revamp, and in that time Chevy has a habit of making important changes, both to show off what they're working on and to meet general demand from the public.
With the C7 recently unveiled and hitting showrooms later in 2013, let's look even further forward to what will come when the C7 is souped up, updated and improved even further.
Looking to Past Upgrade Cycles
It's hard to measure any one generation of Corvette against another, even when the Stingray name is being used, but if you look at what Chevy did with the C6 and how it lead to the many advancements and rather surprising integration of new technologies and building materials in the C7, we can begin to prognosticate at least some about what we'll see in future revisions of the C7.
To start, there were the engine upgrades, the progressive increase in differential size and addition of more horsepower. The C6 launched with a 400-horsepower engine; the C7 with 450 horsepower. Other changes we saw over the C6 lifespan included integration of aluminum framing to decrease weight and the eventual use of carbon fiber on upper production models, all integrated into the C7.
Future Changes to the C7 Line
Now, what about the C7? What is Chevy likely to change in the next 5-10 years and how will it affect the inevitable C8 in 2020 or beyond?
We already know we'll see an unveil of the convertible C7 at the Geneva auto show - not a surprise as all Corvettes have come in both coupe and convertible versions, but it will be nice to see nonetheless.
Other changes we are likely to see include a further increase in raw power. The Z06 and ZR1 models of the C6 were both more powerful than their predecessors and we're likely to see the same thing with future revisions of the C7 - how much more powerful remains to be seen. Will we get a new Corvette production model power record? Or will the ZR1 remain the king of that mountain?
Other changes that have been rumored include an improvement in fuel economy. The current C7 is the same as the 2013 C6 with 21 MPG. That's not bad for a sports car, but it's not great when gas costs nearly $4 a gallon, and with sales down so much in recent years, it might become a market indicator, not to mention increasing cafe standards and the desire by Chevy to keep the Corvette out of the "gas guzzler" tax bracket.
What we'll see next remains to be seen, but we do know it will be incredible because if we know nothing else, it's that Chevy is serious about this generation of the Corvette.
Bradley White is a racing fan who blogs for Tennessee-based Volunteer Vette, a website that sells C3 Corvette parts as well as parts for other Corvette generations.