Michelin North America Inc. is helping Chevrolet elevate the 2012 Corvette's performance. The new, optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1.
Michelin says the competition-oriented tires are optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability. The tires will be combined with the Corvette's Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance.
Engineers estimate an 8% gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance. Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.
The Cup ZP tires were developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. They are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.
Sports car fans will get their first look at the 2012 models – including the racing-inspired appearance of the Chevrolet Centennial Edition – at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Production begins in July.
"We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track," says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. "For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car."
For more information visit www.chevrolet.com.