The Corvette makes economic mincemeat out of the competition, excelling in design and total performance. A more sophisticated presence simply adds to its desirability.
The new 6.2-liter LT1 engine makes 455 horsepower with the help of direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; shifting is through a seven-speed manual transmission, or no-extra-cost six-speed automatic.
From any angle, the 2014 Stingray – Sting Ray was first used for the artful “split-window” 1963 ‘Vette – is all Corvette, all the time. The wedge-shaped body and grinning grille are symbolic of previous editions, yet most of the car is completely new. The convertible is not merely a coupe without a roof, but a highly detailed sculpture that carries shapes and themes from the body to the interior and back. The dashing cockpit is the design equal to the exterior, something the ‘Vette faithful have waited ages to see. Equally dramatic is the Stingray’s stiffer chassis that uses weight-reducing aluminum, just like the 2013 Z06 Corvette. It’s also stronger, which means the convertible body requires no additional bracing and thus weighs only about 64 pounds more than the coupe. The engine compartment houses a newly designed 6.2-liter “LT1″ V8 worth 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It uses direct fuel injection and variable valve timing to best the previous 6.2′s rating of 430/424. Both the all-new seven-speed manual transmission and optional six-speed automatic are located directly ahead of the rear suspension for improved weight distribution, just as before. The seven-speed’s “Active Rev Matching” blips the throttle when upshifting/downshifting for smooth gear transitions and better vehicle stability, such as when gearing down while braking for a corner. Standard is a five-position selector knob with settings for Weather (ratchets up the stability and traction controls), Eco for maximum fuel economy, Tour (standard default position), Sport (firms up the suspension and throttle settings and reduces exhaust backpressure) and Track (really firm and loud plus adds a lap timer to the electronic gauge panel). The Z51 performance option boosts engine output to 460 ponies and adds a performance suspension and exhaust system, beefier Brembo-labeled brakes, larger wheels and tires and both differential and oil coolers. According to Chevrolet, Z51-equipped Corvettes will dash to 60 mph from rest in 3.8 seconds, or about 0.3 seconds quicker than the base Stingray.
Base price (incl. destination): $52,000 (coupe); $57,000 (convertible)
Type: Two-door coupe/convertible
Base engine (hp): 6.2-liter OHV V8 (455)
Layout: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Seven-speed manual; six-speed automatic (opt.)
MPG (city/hwy): 17/29 (base, MT)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control.
Weight (lb.): 3,300 (coupe)