Skip-Shift and Seventh Gear - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette: Skip-Shift and Seventh Gear

November 19, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Torque. Our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette has it. And even though its gearing is very tall (it helps fuel economy) even in Z51 trim with its shortened gearset, it's still got enough grunt that you can skip a gear when such driving circumstances arise. I do this in many cars from time to time, even ones with far less torque than this one.

Now, skipping one gear is one thing. GM's infamous 1-4 skip-shift, however, is still in place in the C7, and it's still obnoxious. It's simply too large a ratio drop for the engine to manage cleanly. I drive around the skip-shift (and thus forgo whatever fuel savings it would have provided).

Just as the tall gearing and skip-shift are intended to boost fuel economy, so too is its seventh gear. It's an ultra-tall cruising cog, and gears 1 through 6 in non-Z51 C7s are carried over from the previous six-speed gearbox. Still, the C7 pulls its 7th gear cog better than the Viper pulls its 6th gear. The 'Vette's seventh is surprisingly usable.

I do wish the C7 had a 7th gear lockout. It's too easy to inadvertently slot the gear lever into the 7th gear gate, especially when shifting nonsequentially through the pattern. Porsche's seven-speed manual locks out 7th gear at all times, unless you select 6th gear first. Clever, that.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    The first thing I would do if I had a manual vette (any year w/skip shift) is take it to a specialist that can take it out of the programming. I'm just too used to choosing for myself. If that could not be done I might just choose the automatic. I can see your point about the 7th gr lockout, but again, I might feel the car isn't letting me do something I want to do, although I currently never shift up out of sequence.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I think the skip-shift eliminator is the most common modification to Corvettes, and cheap and easy too.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    "Still, the C7 pulls its 7th gear cog better than the Viper pulls its 6th gear. The 'Vette's seventh is surprisingly usable." Probably because the 'Vette has VVT - lot more room under the curve from 1200-2500 rpm than before.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    I personally would get a sequential transmission and have fun with that.

  • 330i_zhp 330i_zhp Posts:

    I've been skeptical about the 7th gear for the reasons you mentioned. I think Porcshe's idea is perfect and one that Chevy should copy. Seems like such a simple solution to what could be a very pesky problem.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    A lot of cars incorporate some sort of lockout ring or button you need to move in order to access reverse gear. The same sort of mechanical lockout could be used for seventh gear, especially since it's on the same arm of the H pattern as reverse. It doesn't need to be an electronic lockout, which is important for anyone wanting to skip 6th.

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