General Motors: Corvette Stingray – 3.8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph

General Motors: Corvette Stingray - 3.8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph

From General Motors:

DETROIT – Chevrolet released official performance estimates today for the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the most capable standard Corvette ever. Equipped with the available Z51 Performance Package, the new Stingray is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, braking from 60 to 0 in 107 feet, and sustaining 1.03 g in cornering.

Cumulatively, the acceleration, cornering and braking capability of the Corvette Stingray enable it to lap the Virginia International Raceway’s (VIR) 4.2-mile “Grand Course” in 2:51.78.

“For the new Stingray, we set out to elevate every aspect of the Corvette’s performance,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Considered alone, the acceleration, braking and cornering performance of the Corvette Stingray is truly impressive. More significant is how well they work together, resulting in a lap time at VIR that places the new Stingray in the upper echelon of all sports cars.”

2014 Corvette Stingray Z51
Acceleration from 0-60 MPH: 3.8 seconds
¼ mile acceleration: 12 seconds @ 119 mph
Braking distance from 60 to 0 MPH: 107 feet
Maximum lateral acceleration: 1.03 G
VIR ‘Grand Course’ Lap: 2:51.78

The lap around VIR was conducted in Stingray equipped with the available Z51 Performance Package and Magnetic Ride Control. The vehicle that conducted the lap was modified only with safety features like a racing seat and harness, and fire extinguisher system.

“The new Stingray constantly communicates feedback to the driver, which makes you feel incredibly confident behind the wheel,” said Jim Mero, Corvette vehicle dynamics engineer. “That confidence encourages you to attack each corner because the Stingray drives so well: the tire grip is incredible; the steering response is some of the best I’ve ever experienced; the Magnetic Ride dampers allow little body roll through the corner, while still soaking up the rumble strips when you clip the apex,” he said. “It’s just addictive on the track.”

The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013 for a suggested starting retail price of $51,995, excluding tax, title, and license fees. The $2,800 Z51 Performance Package includes an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability. Magnetic Ride Control with Performance Traction Management is a $1,795 option. A Corvette Stingray equipped like the test car used at VIR would cost $56,590.

What do you think about the 2014 Corvette Stingray? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Clues on the Jeep Wrangler redesign

jeep wrangler concept car

Jeep has begun searching for the extra bodies to mount its next big project: the redesign of the Jeep Wrangler. And the job opening descriptions provide some clues as to the changes planned for it’s next generation.

With just one exception, the job descriptions posted on the Web site don’t identify the Wrangler by name. But given the updated five-year product plan Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed in January, some of the jobs identified appear to be for the next-generation Wrangler, due in 2016.

It appears that Jeep has decided to put the next-generation Wrangler on a serious diet, just as Ram did for the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup.

If that’s the case, then the lightweight Wrangler Stitch concept that engineers revealed in March for this year’s Moab Easter Jeep Safari was a harbinger of things to come.

The job descriptions point to Jeep seeking to use advanced high-strength steels for its frame, a feature that pulled 30 pounds from the weight of the Ram. It also looks as though the Wrangler could lose some steel body panels in favor of aluminum.

It’s also likely to pick up the air suspension system used on the Grand Cherokee and Ram. That would provide added clearance when needed and reduce drag on the Wrangler’s rolling brick design at highway speeds and increase fuel economy.

It’s also likely for Wrangler to add the Ram’s pulse-width modulation technology, which pulses the electrical load from the alternator.From a powertrain standpoint, the job descriptions — and executive statements — point to the inclusion of a diesel engine variant into the Wrangler, as well as the adoption of Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic transmission, or a next-generation variant.

Engineers also will look at the Wrangler’s unique closure systems — the clip-down hood, for example, or its somewhat-inviting-to-thieves exterior door hinges.

What’s not clear is whether the next Wrangler might include a permanently fixed wind screen. Only a small percentage of Wrangler owners ever go through the trouble of dropping their wind screen, but eliminating the ability to do so would allow engineers to increase its rake and with it, the Wrangler’s fuel economy.

In many ways, the next Wrangler will be the ultimate engineering test for Jeep under its new Fiat ownership, and its biggest potential trap.

Keeping the off-roader’s capabilities and customizability is paramount from a sales standpoint, while increasing its fuel efficiency is required by ever-tightening corporate average fuel economy standards.

It’s going to be a big, tough job, and it’s good to see Chrysler reaching out early to add the expertise it will need to get it done.


From General Motors: 2014 Chevrolet SS Priced at $44,470

From General Motors: 2014 Chevrolet SS Priced at $44,470

DETROIT – The suggested retail price for the 2014 Chevrolet SS sports sedan is $44,470, including a $995 destination charge, Chevrolet announced today. Title and license fees are extra. The SS goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The U.S.-exclusive SS – Chevrolet’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1996 – comes well-equipped in only one model, with a power-operated sunroof ($900) and full-size spare tire ($500) as the only options.

“The all-new SS is engineered for performance enthusiasts who’ve been clamoring for a rear-wheel-drive sedan,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.  “Adding the SS to the lineup further solidifies Chevrolet’s position as America’s best-selling performance-car brand that also includes the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray and Camaro Z/28.”
Standard equipment includes:

•    High intensity discharge headlamps with Light emitting diode daytime running lamps
•    Automatic Parking Assist
•    Chevrolet MyLink with a color touch screen and GPS-based navigation system
•    Bose® premium audio system – including SiriusXM radio (with 12-month trial)
•    Color head-up display and color driver information center
•    Dual-zone automatic climate control
•    Alloy pedal covers
•    Heated and ventilated front seats with memory
•    Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning
•    Rear-vision camera with rear park assist
•    Keyless access and push-button start.

The LS3 6.2L small-block V-8 powers the SS, is SAE certified at 415 horsepower (310 kW) and 415 lb-ft of torque (563 Nm), which helps it sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

The rear axle has an aggressive 3.27 ratio that enhances the feeling of acceleration. Additional chassis and suspension features include:

•    MacPherson strut front and multi-link independent rear suspension geometry
•    Electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving
•    Standard Brembo front brakes, with ventilated, 14-inch (355-mm) two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers
•    Forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5-inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9-inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires at the rear.

Handling is also optimized with a nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity – attributes made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.

The SS will be available in five exterior colors – Mystic Green, Silver Ice Metallic, Red Hot 2, Phantom Black Metallic and Heron White.  All interiors will be Jet Black and feature sport front bucket seats.

The SS will be subject to the gas guzzler tax. Pricing information will be updated when the charge is determined.


Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

2014 Sierra gains fuel economy, quietness from time in wind tunnel

DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pickup before it, resulting in design changes that benefit both fuel efficiency and interior quietness.

To achieve improved airflow, aerodynamic engineers like Diane Bloch examined every millimeter of the truck to find areas of improvement, debunking some popular myths along the way.

To study the way air passes over, under and around the Sierra, engineers used General Motors’ state-of-the-art Aerodynamics Lab, a 750-foot-long tunnel through which a 43-foot-diameter fan powered by a DC electric motor with the equivalent of 4,500 horsepower can generate winds of up to 138 mph. Aerodynamic advancement is one reason why the 2014 Sierra will be the most fuel-efficient V-8 pickup on the market.

“We can’t stop air; we can only guide it through the path of least resistance. It’s like electricity, without the shock,” said Bloch, GM aerodynamic performance engineer. “The biggest misconception is that it’s all about single components. But a certain side mirror design doesn’t create a certain amount of drag, its interaction with the rest of the vehicle does.”

For example, a new air dam below the 2014 Sierra’s front bumper successfully reduces drag because it directs air toward the ground and away from the truck’s rough underbody. And Sierra’s ducted flow path between the grille and radiator prevents air from swirling inside the truck’s front cavities.

Even the top of the Sierra’s tailgate and the center high-mounted stop light are optimized to guide air cleanly around the truck. And because Bloch’s team detected unwanted airflow between the cab and bed, new sealing has been added.

“We discovered that in the computational analysis we perform,” said Bloch. “The most harmful air between the cab and bed was coming over the cab and down through the gap, so we paid the most attention to that specific area.”

The pickup market has a great number of available aftermarket accessories, and Bloch says those have varying impact on aerodynamics. Add-ons like bug deflectors on the hood, wider tires or aftermarket bumpers can raise the drag coefficient, which is the measure of how air pushes on a vehicle as it moves down the road. The result: added noise and increased fuel consumption.

A long-disputed topic among truck owners is whether a tailgate raised or lowered is better for aerodynamics, but Bloch says a tailgate in the up position is more aerodynamically efficient. As air flows over the truck, it falls over the cab and pushes forward on the rear of the truck. With the tailgate down, the benefits of that airflow are diminished.

“Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all,” Bloch said. “Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”

So what accessories can truck owners add to help aerodynamics? Tonneau covers for the bed help smooth airflow over the truck, and Bloch says soft covers are more beneficial than hard covers because they form to how the air wants to flow. Running boards can also help air flow smoothly down the truck’s sides.

“Round, tube-style running boards can provide a minor improvement to the truck’s drag coefficient,” said Bloch, “Fully integrated, flush-mount running boards are even better.”

2014 C7 Corvette Ordering Guide released

The official 2014 Corvette Stingray Ordering Guide was recently released to Corvette Blogger, who has since published the PDF on their site. (Click here.)

According to Corvette Blogger, only 900 dealers will receive the C7 Corvette when it becomes available this summer, followed by the Stingray Convertible at the end of the year.

The only things missing are the pricing information, which Corvette Blogger says will come during the National Corvette Museum’s Bash Event April 25, and the finalization of the engine and car specification — EPA, official horsepower, torque rating and curb weight.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Pop Quiz!

Do you know how the Corvette got its name? Click on the photo and check this out:

1967 Corvette Stingray

Ralph Gilles announces debut for 2015 Dodge Challenger

Torque News is reporting that Ralph Gilles has released a few details about the 2015 Dodge Challenger.

“The Challenger is about to go under the knife…It’s actually under the knife as we speak,” said Gilles. “We’re doing a lot to [the Challenger] and were going to come with an answer for [the Camaro Z/28] and for our friends at Ford.”

The site also quoted Gilles saying that by this time next year, you will see the 2015 Challenger at the 2014 New York Auto Show. However, it has been unconfirmed whether or not the 2015 would be the start of the next-gen Challenger.

Torque News also said that there was also a rumor that SRT is working on a supercharged Hemi that will increase more power than the current offering, and the new blown Hemi is supposedly named the “Hellcat.”

From here, we can probably expect to see renderings, spy photos and teaser videos, but until anything official comes from Dodge, everything going forward is just speculation.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Chevy Performance highlights 3 high-profile vehicles for 2013


Daytona marked the first time Chevrolet campaigned the SS. It was the perfect start to the 2013 NASCAR season. We also saw the 2013 Camaro ZL1 at the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the 2014 Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Spectators were able to see the production vehicles pacing the races where their track-ready counterparts were competing, and the similarities between production vehicle and racecar might surprise you. Here’s a rundown.

2014 Chevy SS

The 2014 Chevrolet SS is the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet in 17 years. This fuel-injected small-block V-8 served as the basis for both the vehicle that paced the track and the one that Jimmie Johnson raced to victory at Daytona. It’s also the car we’ll sell in the showroom, with all the luxury and performance trimmings. That means standard Brembo® brakes, and available strut and multilink suspension systems in front and rear (respectively) as well as electronic power steering specially designed for sport driving. It also means plenty of luxury and comfort. The spacious, swanky interior features ample legroom, standard leather seats, and “SS” emblems gracing the instrument panel. Great looks aren’t all it has to offer. The SS packs plenty of power, putting out 415* horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, and goes from 0 to 60 in less five seconds.


2014 Silverado

As with the SS and the ZL1, the Silverado we saw pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona was inspired by the production truck that will be available for sale later this year. Available performance trimmings will get you even more power and innovative technology. The 2014 Silverado’s all-new EcoTec3 engines, designed specifically for trucks, provide power and torque when needed, then switch seamlessly to four-cylinder mode for fuel-efficient driving when you need it most.


2013 Camaro ZL1

The 2013 Camaro ZL1 that paced Daytona was the basis for the vehicle Tony Stewart won the Nationwide race in. Bringing track-rivaling levels of performance and technology to the sports-car segment, the ZL1 features a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that produces 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque, and can go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. reveals the livery of the all-new Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR


BALTIMORE, Md. – Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is excited to announce the formation of the RTR Drift Team, their tentative 2013 worldwide schedule, and the reveal of his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR livery. This year marks the beginning of a new era for Vaughn coming into his tenth season of professional drifting with the formation of the RTR Drift Team. He is focused on his duties as RTR Team owner and driver, and is also taking full advantage of the freedoms that come along with being a team owner – as portrayed by his unique new livery. Check out the official VIDEO revealing the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.

“I’m really pumped on this years’ livery and overall aesthetics surrounding our efforts,” says Vaughn. “For the first time in my career, I have been able to start from a clean slate and get a bit crazy with the look of my car that I will be using for battle. Being that the Mustang is my weapon of choice out there on the track, the base of the livery was inspired from old battle ships that were covered with ‘dazzle camo’. From there, we added my XX5 (#25) logo and flag elements, along with some of my favorite colors and a little rock n’ roll to get a livery that I feel really portrays me. I look forward to giving it some real battle scars!”

Vaughn will be piloting a brand new 2014 Ford Mustang RTR built by Autosport Dynamics and will make its first competition debut at Formula Drift Round 1 in Long Beach, California April 12-13. Having worked side by side with Vaughn since 2007, ASD will supply their valued support yet again for the 2013 season. Combining the superior knowledge and car building skills of the ASD crew, with the proven driving ability and aggressiveness behind the wheel of 2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., there is no doubt that the RTR Drift Team will be a serious force on the track. Check out the DETAILED SPECS of the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.


• Roush Yates Racing Engines/Ford Racing Aluminum V8 (845HP)
• Weight – 2900 LBS
• 4 Speed Dog Box Transmission
• MoTeC M84 Engine Management and Dash Display/Logger (CDL-3)
• Nitto NT05 Tires (295/35/18 Rear, 275/35/18 Front)
• Mustang RTR Wheels (18×10 rear, 18×9.5 front)
• Recaro Racing Seats
• Takata 6 Point Harness
• Carbon Fiber Body with RTR Appearance Package
• Custom Exedy 4 Disc Clutch
• Quick Change Differential
• Driveshaft Shop Custom Aluminum Driveshaft
• 6 Piston Front Calipers and Dual 4 Piston Rear Calipers with ASD Motorsports Rotors Hats and E-Brake Assembly
• Magnaflow 5” Racing Muffler
• Bosch Fuel Injectors, Spark Plugs, Alternator, O2 Sensors, Fuel Pump
• K&N Air and Oil Filters