Corvette C7 – The Real Car

And a bonus report on Amber Rear Turn Signals

The speculation is over; on January 17, 2013, Karen and I drove to the North American International Auto Show to see the newly announced 2014 Corvette – the first of the Seventh Generation of America’s Sports Car.

Amber Rear Turn Signals – Standard in the USA, Finally!

Above – Closeup of tail lights. Camera sees the outer red light as partially amber. However:

Above – Right rear amber turn signal.

Below – Right front turn signal lit (amber LED array beside the headlight).

Finally – a domestic Corvette with amber rear turn signals! Separating the rear turn signal lights from the brake lights makes a lot more sense to me than using the same bulbs for turn and brake. Using amber rear turn signal lights makes even more sense. I’m always irritated to see Saturns and Malibus with amber rear turns and my Corvette didn’t even have separate turn lights. I assumed that the ambers were safer and, sure enough, a while back I found this:

The Effectiveness of Amber Rear Turn Signals for Reducing Rear Impacts
DOT HS 811 115
This purpose of this report is to determine the effect of rear turn signal color on the likelihood of being involved in a rear-end crash. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 allows rear turn signals to be either red or amber in color. The principal finding of the report is that amber signals show a 5.3% effectiveness in reducing involvement in two-vehicle crashes where a lead vehicle is rear-struck in the act of turning left, turning right, merging into traffic, changing lanes, or entering/leaving a parking space. The advantage of amber rear turn signals is shown to be statistically significant. 
Now, about the C7 – I found this at Corvette Action Center as part of a interview by Jake Drennon (C5 Registry) with Kirk Bennion (Corvette Exterior Designer).

Kirk: “The 2014 Corvette tail lamps are actually global-compliant, so we don’t have to put another tail lamp on the car. For Europe, you’ll have one backup and one fog light – it comes out of the same quadrant, and the park and turn stay the same, but the inner are changed out. So, in Europe, for the people that don’t use the fog lights, the lamp look is the same between domestic and global.”

These tail lamps also have amber LEDs. Amber LEDs are the most expensive. So typically, a lot of cars won’t use amber LEDs for that reason, but here again, in keeping with wanting to raise the bar, that was something we told Tadge was a have-to-have.”

Above – Backup light location( and reflectors glowing).

Kirk talks about ‘quadrants’ because, I think, the tail light on each side has four different sections:

– Outboard unit with a 3D u-shaped lens surrounding a flat lens
– Inboard unit also with a 3D u-shaped lens surrounding a flat lens

And here is my take on what Kirk was saying (are you still following?) –
Domestic –
Outboard 3D lens – Diffused red LEDs, two stage:
– Standard Brightness, Park (and running) Lights
– Brightest, Brake Lights
Outboard flat lens – Amber LEDs (YES!!!):
– Turn Signals
Inboard 3D lens – Diffused red LEDs, two stage:
– Standard Brightness, Park (and running) Lights
– Brightest, Brake Lights
Inboard flat lens – White LEDs:
– Backup Lights

Export – in Countries Requiring Switchable Bright Red Rear Fog Lights

– Same as Domestic Except:
Inboard flat lens – White LED (one side only – drivers?):
– Backup Light
Inboard flat lens – Red LED (other side):
– Switchable Rear Red Fog Light

Export – in Countries NOT Requiring Switchable Bright Red Rear Fog Lights
– Same as Domestic

I am glad to see that the Corvette team got the funds to make Corvette drivers safer by giving us amber rear turn signals.

Also, at the Los Angeles Peterson Museum reveal, it was stated that –

The European side mirrors will have the mandatory repeater lights on the side.


Corvette C7 — 3 Comments

  1. Hi, I have a C7 that needs to be converted to EU standard. Do you know where i can buy these lamps that are approved in the eu?

    With friendly greetings from Finland

  2. I agree – it is about time that Corvettes had amber turn signals – safer than the previous versions that had the brake lights the same color as the turn signals and on the side that the car was turning you did not know whether the brakes were being applied because both clusters blinked at the same time – that was not good.  Also the amber turn signals give the car a more affluent look.


    • Thanks for your comment, Mark. I am so fanatic about separate amber turn lights, I spent over $300 on my, then brand new, 2001 Coupe to buy export lights and spent an hour or so to install them:

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