New tuning for the Magnetic Ride Control suspension can cut up to a second per lap.
Anyone who’s spent hours toiling under a car adjusting physical suspension parts or hours behind the wheel honing their driving abilities might be bemused at the ease with which Corvette owners can shave a second off their lap times. Chevrolet is launching a new software update for certain C7-generation Corvettes that modifies the Magnetic Ride Control suspension to improve both handling prowess and ride quality.
Magnetic Ride Control is Chevy’s brand name for the clever magnetorheological suspension dampers fitted to the Corvette – as well as certain Camaro and Cadillac V-Series models. Because the dampers’ performance in the car’s various driving modes (Tour, Sport, and Track) is controlled by the Corvette’s on-board computers, a software patch is all it takes to change the car’s handling characteristics.
At GM’s 2.9-mile Milford Road Course test track, the new suspension calibration shaved over a second off the lap time of a 2016 Corvette Z06.
“The result is a greater feeling of balance and more linear responses to driver inputs — changes you’ll feel and appreciate immediately,” Jim Campbell, General Motors’ vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said in a statement.
All it takes is a $350 download at a Chevy dealer to update to the newest Magnetic Ride Control setup – and because it’s a dealer-installed, factory-developed tweak, your Corvette’s warranty will be unaffected.
For now, the updated suspension software is available for the 2014-2016 Corvette Stingray Z51, the 2016 Stingray, and the 2015-2016 Corvette Z06. Chevy says it will share details about new calibrations for other Corvette models later. The Corvette Grand Sport, for instance, also has Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
Other go-fast Chevrolet debuts at this year’s SEMA show include a new COPO Camaro drag racer and a supercharged Silverado Performance Concept pickup truck.
Gallery: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
MAGNETIC RIDE PERFORMANCE CALIBRATIONS ENHANCE PERFORMANCE FOR C7 CORVETTE OWNERS
LAS VEGAS — New performance suspension calibrations offered by Chevrolet Performance enhance ride quality and handling on C7 Corvette models equipped with Magnetic Ride Control.
Announced today at the SEMA Show, the calibrations include new Track modes that enable faster lap times on Z06 FE6 and FE7 models. The roster of new calibrations includes:
2014-16 Stingray with Z51 features new calibrations in Tour and Sport modes.
2016 Stingray (non-Z51) features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.
2015-16 Z06 (non-Z07) features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.
2015-16 Z06 with Z07 Performance Package features new calibrations in Tour, Sport and Track modes.
Calibrations for additional applications will be announced later.
“These new calibrations leverage the latest tuning strategies of the Corvette development team to offer increased performance, while improving ride quality,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The result is a greater feeling of balance and more linear responses to driver inputs — changes you’ll feel and appreciate immediately.”
During testing with a 2016 Z06, the new calibrations enabled more than a 1-second improvement in lap times around General Motors’ 2.9-mile Milford Road Course.
The new Magnetic Ride calibrations are available through Chevrolet dealers for $350 and require no hardware changes. The new calibration is simply uploaded to the vehicle and the factory warranty is not affected.
Approximately 20 Chevrolet models are on display this week at the SEMA Show, Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Follow the action at ChevySEMA.com, #CHEVYSEMA, @ChevroletPerformance on Instagram and Chevrolet Performance on Facebook.