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Future Corvettes May Come With Engine Stop-Start Tech

 
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray first drive

We'd bet that few potential Corvette buyers give the car's fuel efficiency much consideration. It's a car built for MPH, not MPG. That doesn't mean a few gallons saved here or there can't be appreciated though--if you can save some gas in traffic, that just leaves more for the open road.

It's why, says Edmunds, General Motors is considering gas-saving stop-start technology for the Corvette, helping improve its city gas mileage. General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] apparently considered stop-start for the 2014 Corvette Stingray, opting out on the basis it might hurt the car's high-performance image.

The current car is already the most fuel-efficient Corvette GM has ever produced. Equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 and seven-speed manual transmission, it's rated at 17 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 21 combined by the EPA--1, 3 and 2 mpg better respectively than the 2013 Corvette with its own 6.2-liter V-8.

The new car's LT1 V-8 manages those figures despite being more powerful and producing more torque than the previous engine. Direct injection and cylinder deactivation also contribute to the new model's improved figures. The latter cuts four cylinders on light throttle loads--effectively making the engine a V-4. It's actually capable of even better than the EPA numbers, if driven right--"I have gotten 38 mpg, cruising along in the new Corvette with the cruise set at 63," said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter to Edmunds.

For some though, stop-start might take the eco-tech a step too far. It adds weight and cost, for a start--requiring a bigger battery and heftier starter motor. It hasn't, so far, harmed sales of the similarly-equipped Lamborghini Aventador or Porsche 911 Turbo... but not all sports car buyers are the same.

Regulations may eventually force GM's hand in any case--unless it sees a customer benefit beforehand and implements it during a mid-life revision. Would you like to see stop-start technology in the Corvette? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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