Formally confirming rumors that had been circulating since the new C7 Corvette made its debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet has announced the 2015 Stingray will be available with a GM-designed 8-speed automatic transmission that will replace the existing 6-speed autoshifter. The new 8L90 is based on the same 8-speed automatic that will be offered on the upcoming supercharged 2015 Corvette Z06 model but features unique clutch/torque converter specs matched to the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 used in the baseline Stingray. News of the 8L90 was originally leaked in a Society of Automotive Engineers tech paper last December but it was removed from the SAE site shortly thereafter.
Equipped with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, the new 8L90 uses enhanced control systems and programming that allow it to deliver the same kind of lighting quick cog changes as a dual-clutch transmission but retains the refined feel of an automatic with torque converter. Despite gaining two additional gears - the better to keep the LT1 engine in its sweet spot - the 8L90 is no larger than the outgoing 6L90. Increased use of aluminum and magnesium components also help make this new transmission more than eight pounds lighter. Factor in a significant reduction in internal friction and GM says the new transmission also is expected to account for roughly a five percent increase in overall fuel efficiency. If so, it could push the highway EPA figure for the 2015 Corvette Stingray up to 30 mpg.
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