Owners of some Chevy Corvette C7 models who require replacement rear tires may face delays due to low supply, GM Authority has learned.
Here’s what happened: all tire manufacturers were affected by factory shutdowns in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, tire supply worldwide fell to sub-optimal figures. Once production started back up, tire manufacturers began to focus on replenishing stocks at resellers and distributors.
As it stands, tire makers currently seem to be prioritizing refilling stocks of mainstream tire sizes, rather than the comparatively niche sizes used on the C7 Corvette. As a result, most tire companies that typically supply tires for the C7 are either not producing tires that would fill most variants, or have only recently started to do so.
Luckily, not all models of the Corvette C7 are impacted by the situation. For instance, the C7 Stingray and its 285-30-20 rear tires are not affected. However, supply of rear tires for all other C7 model variants – the C7 Z06, C7 Grand Sport and C7 ZR1, is minimal, if not non-existent. All three models run on 335-25-20 rears.
The problem here is that the 335-25-20 is a very unusual size when taking into account the auto industry. Understandably, the manufacturers have decided to focus on replenishing stocks of smaller, more popular tires which are in outstandingly greater demand.
As of this writing, the only rear tire suitable for Corvette C7 models other than the Stingray that’s not on back order appears to be the Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+, which has returned to production only within the last month. Other tires in this size made by Michelin, Bridgestone and Continental are simply not available at most, if not all, tire retailers and resellers around the United States.
“The issues are related to our spring shutdowns and higher than expected demand in the fall,” a spokesperson for Continental Tire told GM Authority in a statement.
Luckily, the situation should be changing very soon, as those familiar with the matter tell us that production of the 335-25-20 rear tires suitable for the Z06, Grand Sport and ZR1 could be restarted as soon as as mid-March, meaning owners will have to wait patiently for delivery.
As a reminder, the Corvette C7 was offered in four variants, starting the “base” Stingray powered by the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 LT1 engine rated at 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, or 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque with the optional performance exhaust system. Next came the C7 Z06 with its supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 engine rated at 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
The C7 Grand Sport came after that, powered by the same atmospheric LT1 as the Stingray, but making 460 horses and 465 pound-feet of torque, since it was equipped as standard with the performance exhaust. Last but certainly not least was the C7 ZR1, featuring the supercharged 6.2L V8 LT5 engine rated at 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. All four variants were offered in two-door coupe (with a manually-removable roof panel) or the soft-top convertible.