zf-seven-speed-transmission

Pictured: ZF seven-speed transmission

The 2014 Chevy Corvette is in such high demand that some buyers will have to wait six months or more to get the car they really want. By that time, the 2015 Corvette should just about be entering production, and word on the street is that there are some serious changes that could be made. Already rumors of a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission have circulated the internet.

Now a new rumor, started by a since-redacted SAE paper, claims that the 2015 Corvette will be getting an 8-speed automatic transmission called the 8L90, capable of handling over 700 pound-feet of torque. That’s one tough automatic, but why is GM making it so dang beefy?

corvette-transmissionRight now the 2014 Corvette makes do with a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed manual transmission, and neither one is much challenged by the LT1 engine’s 450 horsepower. But with a new Corvette Z06 coming to Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, this new transmission could be put to the test soon.

The 8L90 is rumored to be about the same size as the Corvette’s current 6L80 six-speed, but with two extra gear ratios, a ratio spread of 7.0, a shorter first gear for better launching, and three speed sensors for improved shifting. Torque capacity is said to be rated at 737 pound-feet, pushing the notion that the next Z06 is going to be markedly more powerful than its predecessor.

The paper has since had the tasty bits redacted, but the Internet being what it is, the complete piece was preserved by a member of the Corvette Forums. We’ll find out soon enough just how true this paper was.