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jdilissio

Can C7 Corvette Automatic Transmissions handle HPDE?

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jdilissio

Reading through different online forums and reviews, I read many posts of how the Corvette C7 automatic transmission can't handle the heat of tracking and goes into limp mode. I'd love to hear feedback of C7 AT's ability or shortcomings to handle HPDE. As I work my way up the HPDE classes, I aspire to upgrade from my 2015 Mustang GT to a C7 Corvette Grand Sport. While I'd be fine with a manual, if the AT can handle tracking 4-6 times a year, I'd prefer an AT for the simple fact that it would make my wife much happier. She loves to cruise, and she also makes more than I do, so I'd love to compromise with her on an AT as long as it won't keep going limp when I get to track it.

 

When I asked C7 AT owners at my last HPDE, one said it handles tracking fine and the other said he manually shifts it early to keep the temps down.

 

I'd love to hear what people have experienced, whether from their own cars or what they've heard from other drivers.

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Fr3AkAzOiD

You will want to manually downshift early anyway, but the way I see it invest in a good transmission cooler.

I did that for my A/T Track car and with the cooler plus extra volume of fluid haven't had a single problem since.

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lv2jmp
Reading through different online forums and reviews, I read many posts of how the Corvette C7 automatic transmission can't handle the heat of tracking and goes into limp mode. I'd love to hear feedback of C7 AT's ability or shortcomings to handle HPDE. As I work my way up the HPDE classes, I aspire to upgrade from my 2015 Mustang GT to a C7 Corvette Grand Sport. While I'd be fine with a manual, if the AT can handle tracking 4-6 times a year, I'd prefer an AT for the simple fact that it would make my wife much happier. She loves to cruise, and she also makes more than I do, so I'd love to compromise with her on an AT as long as it won't keep going limp when I get to track it.

 

When I asked C7 AT owners at my last HPDE, one said it handles tracking fine and the other said he manually shifts it early to keep the temps down.

 

I'd love to hear what people have experienced, whether from their own cars or what they've heard from other drivers.

 

Howdy! I just returned from Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, where I drove a C7 Grand Sport A8. I had zero problems with the transmission, and no advise from the instructors about what to monitor, how to shift, etc. We did try to shift around 5500, avoiding the red line.

 

I'm driving at COTA this weekend in my own ride. Should I find something different or specific, I'll post what I learn. And I'll be sure to ask, since this is now my ride!

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lv2jmp

As promised, here is my update from my HPDE1,2,3 experience at COTA. I have a 2017 C7 Corvette GS A8 (automagic-8-speed). My lap times at COTA were regularly in the high 2:40s, with a best of 2:44.60. I barely got the car into 6th gear down the back straight starting from 2nd at apex of turn 11. Most of the track was spent in third and fourth. The transmission has zero issues. I did not particularly care for both windows down (the drag is enormous!), and I've a lot of cleaning to do from the rubber on the body and glass. That is the price to drive a nice car on the track, I suppose. I used the paddles, and did not let the car shift for me except on the cool-down lap.

 

I *did* have an issue that developed just after my last track session on Sunday -- there was a loud banging sound coming from the rear. There were no warning signs other than the check-engine light, but no gauges, butt-feel, pedal-feel, or steering-feel, no dragging, not related to RPM, speed, gear, mode, or turning. It only happened when moving and then only intermittingly. I just got the car back from the dealer, and the problem was the performance exhaust butterflies within the muffler(!) assembly, and this was indicated as well by the codes thrown by the car and the reason for the check engine light. This was replaced under warranty.

 

I have read in some corvette forums that some have had noises coming from the rear of their vette. This noise was not subtle, and therefore worrisome, but now it is fixed.

 

So... does a Corvette with an automatic handle COTA? Yes. Yes it does. Quite satisfyingly well. Only change I made was to replace the DOT3 brake fluid with some Castrol React SRF Racing fluid. Looking at my PDR videoes, I have a significant amount of stopping power yet untouched, while a C6 Z06 running with me had to bail out after 5 laps due to brake fade.

 

And I'll be repeating this coming weekend with another group. So yes, the automatic can very much handle the heat, at least if you're using the paddles.

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427R

Nice write up on your run at COTA. Would love to run it sometime. Would be a nice spot to run a National NASA Championship.

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