2014 Chevrolet Corvette: Skip-Shift and Seventh Gear
November 19, 2013
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