Prior to the introduction of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, it was widely believed that the Corvette Stingray would soon feature a new 8-speed automatic transmission and while the Stingray will eventually have this new gearbox – it isn’t like to happen until the 2016 model year…at the earliest.
The 8-speed transmission that is offered in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is revolutionary both because it is the first ever 8-speed transmission from General Motors and it is the first automatic transmission option in the short history of the high performance Z06 package. General Motors had previously avoided the use of an automatic transmission in the powerful Z06 (or the ZR1) due to the power lose through older automatic transmission technology. It was expected that if the 2015 Z06 came with some sort of automatic transmission it would rely on dual clutch technology but GM has developed a lightning fast automatic transmission that the company promises will out-shift the dual clutch used by Porsche.
This new transmission will allow those drivers who cannot handle the manual transmission for whatever reason to enjoy the performance of the 2015 Z06 without much loss of performance and when this transmission introduced – it was assumed that the 2015 Corvette Stingray could also call upon this new 8-speed gearbox.
The new 8-speed automatic transmission will offer the same advantages to the “base” C7 Corvette Stingray as it will the 2015 Corvette Z06. It should offer much quicker shifts than the 6-speed automatic transmission in the 2014 Corvette Stingray while also offering improved fuel economy and better low end acceleration. The “extra” gears allow for overdrive gears that afford better fuel economy when cruising on the highway while still allowing for aggressive gearing on the low end. Better performance and better fuel economy will make this a welcome feature for the Stingray but it could be a year or so before the 460hp Corvette gets this new transmission.
General Motors developed this new 8-speed transmission for the C7 Corvette but with the debut set for the 2015 Z06, the automaker is going to focus on making sure that it perfect before it arrives in the new Z06. Once the Z06 enters production, all of the early units of the new 8-speed will be reserved for the Z06 so that will push back the arrival of this transmission in the Stingray.
If the arrival of the 8-speed transmission is pushed back for the 2015 Z06, the company could either release it late as a 2015 model year (which seems unlikely) or hold off until the 2016 model year Stingray. Introducing the 8-speed option for the Stingray in 2016 would allow GM to tout a new feature so it comes with a little bit of extra marketing possibility.
This is all speculation and there is a chance that the 8-speed automatic transmission could come to the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray but if I was a betting man – I would be betting that the 2016 model year will be the earliest C7 Stingray with this new transmission option. Fortunately, when it does arrive the advantages of this new gearbox should make it well worth the wait.