2016 Corvette C7 Instruments, PDR
Amongst the areas where the C7 continues to amaze and impress is instrumentation. Not only is the amount of information considerable, the way it is presented should qualify it for an award and pay raises for those involved. The configuration possibilities are many; you can set it up to get exactly what you need to know and - maybe more importantly - not be burdened with what you don't need to know.
One of the more interesting and useful gauges for the performance minded driver is the friction bubble which measures lateral and longitudinal G forces. Accelerating forward causes the bubble to move down and braking moves it up. Cornering G forces moves it horizontally to the left and right. Just the ticket when evaluating those handling performance modifications.
Left: Tire pressure readings are available for all four tires; a distinct advantage over the simple warning notice. Right: Tire temperature is available but only indicates cold (below 45°F), warm (45 to 115°F) and hot (above 115°F) - likely only to be found at track events.
Driver Information Center (DIC) offers a generous supply of information including oil pressure, oil temperature, battery voltage and transmission fluid temperature.
Attention Numbers Geeks:
The DIC offers Engine Hours and Lifetime Revs data along with the customary odometer. Our test car had 317.4 hours on the engine and 8,573 miles on the odometer. A bit of math reveals that so far its average speed (Which would include idling at 0 MPH) was 27.01 MPH. The Lifetime Revs count is 22,480,000 so the average RPM works out to 1,180 RPM. This might sound like a mistake but keep in mind that highway cruising in eighth gear is under 1,500 RPM and time spent at idle is included.
Some would consider this information of questionable usefulness. But it can come in handy when examining a used C7 Corvette as it can tell you how the Corvette you are looking at was treated by previous owners.
The Sport mode offers "pocket gauges", small gauges to the left and right of the sport mode tachometer. Above: Configuration choices include oil pressure, oil temperature, battery voltage and horsepower. Or for those adverse to information overload, none. . Water temperature is not available as a pocket gauge.
One of the more interesting pocket gauges available is the horsepower gauge. There's no information on how the reading is derived, our guess is that it's based on RPM and throttle position. It's more of a novelty and, other than to demonstrate how little horsepower it takes to maintain freeway speed, is of questionable value.
The Heads Up Display, popularly abbreviated as HUD, was updated to feature color for the C7. Part of the 2LT and 3LT option groups, it has been often used and highly appreciated by Corvette owners since it was available in 1999. Like the interior instruments, it is nicely configurable. On the right is the race mode tachometer; notice how it can be configured to provide only the necessary RPM data, which is all you'll need or want in competition settings. The HUD also is a solution to the distracted driving problem that plagues many car designs since the information is displayed at eye level.
The Heads Up Display works with the navigation system and displays upcoming turns as you approach them. In addition to the convenience, distracted driving is minimized. Above right: At the same time, the navigation info appears in the Driver Information Center on the drivers screen.
Performance Data Recorder
The Performance Data Recorder, or PDR as it is popularly known, was introduced in the 2015 model year and is one of the more interesting options offered on a Corvette. Designed as an aid for performance drivers and included with the 3LT/3LZ option, it records video from a 720P HD camera located in the windshield header trim near the rear view mirror. Audio inside the passenger cabin is recorded although the function can be turned off.
Although the PDR can be used as a dash cam and GM lists it as a possible use in their marketing material, the way it works in 2016 does not encourage the practice. Every time you want video recorded you have to make a conscious effort to do so by selecting the PDR on the console touch screen. Conventional dash cams start recording when the car is started so the user only has to set it up once and then forget about it. Word has it that GM looks at the PDR as an experiment of sorts, and depending on consumer reaction and how it plays out the PDR could feature typical dash cam abilities in the future.
There is also a valet mode which enables you to review how your Corvette is treated when you entrust it to others - ever see the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" Audio is not recorded in valet mode due to privacy laws in some areas.
The Performance Data Recorder stores its data on a FAT32 formatted SD Card located inside the glove box. The information is not stored anywhere else. An 8 GB card can record about 200 minutes; a 32 GB card is good for over 13 hours.
Performance Data Recorder in Track mode. The aim is to provide race track drivers with feedback on their technique, enabling them to improve lap times and get more out of their Corvette. Included with the video is telemetry data that can be viewed using the Cosworth Toolbox software
for Windows 7 and 8. Information such as accelerator, brake and steering angle can be displayed along with the video playback enabling an instructor to offer suggestions to improve lap times. You can even compare your laps with those driven by a professional driver.
There are four PDR modes:
- No Overlay This mode records only video and audio. This would likely be the mode used for dash camera use.
- Sport Includes minimal data such as speed and G forces.
- Performance Timing Used to record and 0 to 60 mph, 1/4 mile elapsed time and speed and 0 mph to 100 mph to 0 mph runs.
- Track Offers the most information, such as friction bubble, gear selected, tachometer, throttle and brake bar graphs, and steering angle. If you're on a race track, an outline of the race track appears in the top left and the GPS shows your position on the race track.
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