The Chevrolet Corvette has long stood as a performance and luxury icon for GM. In recent years, the luxury part of the Corvette has slipped. A lot. But, Chevrolet decided to fix that with the C7 Corvette Stingray. Unfortunately, Corvette redesigns don’t come around that often. There have only been seven generations of Corvette in 61 years. The performance part was, is, and always is, a part of one of the most iconic cars in American history. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a car that redefines the word “Americana.”
The engine of the Corvette is all-new. Aluminum and other lightweight metals are abundant in the engine. It’s also a lot more powerful and efficient. It makes 455 horsepower at a thundering 5900 RPM, and 460 lb-ft of torque at a lower 4600 RPM. Power is amped up to 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque at the same revs if you opt for the $1,195 Dual-Mode Performance Exhaust. The aforementioned exhaust system essentially bypasses the rear mufflers with a pair of exhaust butterflies. Think of them as flaps that open when Sport Mode is engaged. The rest of the time, they remain closed. The efficiency part isn’t just restricted to the exhaust butterflies. While cruising, it can operate as a 3.1-liter V4, and produce 126 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. That, according to the chief engineer of the Corvette Stingray, is 10 times the power needed to maintain 50 mph, and get the Corvette Stingray up to 90 mph.
Another thing to brag about: Preliminary EPA reports are 17 city/29 highway for the seven-speed manual. The EPA has not released figures for the automatic transmission. These figures rank the Stingray as the least thirsty 450-plus horsepower car currently on the market.
The eDiff in the Corvette Stingray is also noteworthy. When it is open at 60 mph, and the wheel is cranked in either direction, the car will immediately go into a dramatic, smoky drift that would make Ken Block proud. This differential can be programmed in many different ways, and make any driver proud of how well this car performs.
Many people have previously complained about how bad the seats were/are in the Corvette C6. Chevrolet completely redesigned the seats. The base bucket seats are perfectly fine for blasting along a country road at high speeds, but owners who plan to take their C7 to the track should wait it out for the expensive $1,995 Recaro seats.
The Corvette Stingray Z51 (package) is a hoot and a half to drive, but those who are on a budget are probably wondering about the base car. The vinyl interior almost perfectly matches the look of the cowhide interior, but the smells are different. The design team took no chances, and completely redesigned or changed every single part in the interior of the Corvette. All Corvette Stingrays come standard with the big touchscreen. But, it doesn’t do as much as the one in the Z51 model. Because there is no eDiff or fully adjustable magnetic shocks, there isn’t nearly as much to change. The base 9-speaker Bose audio system has a hard time being louder than the raspy thrum of the V4. The 12-speaker system with the big bass box does.
Overall, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a vast improvement over the C6. It’s more powerful, it uses lighter materials (yet a model that Motor Trend tested weighed 69 pounds more – options), it’s more fuel-efficient, and it looks better. You can’t go wrong with this car. I need one. Plus, Callaway, a tuning firm based out of Ohio is building an FIA GT3-legal C7 as we speak. Expect private teams to be competing against Chevy at Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.