way Chevrolet tells it, General Motors design chief Ed Welburn told
his team the company "might" revive the Stingray name if
they did a great job on the seventh-generation of the Corvette. It’s
a good story, and every time I heard it, my cynical journalist’s
heart said, "Yeah, right," and I sneered a little.
A week with
the four-star 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray wiped the sneer off
The car is
stunning. Its design, performance and fuel efficiency raise the bar
not just for the Corvette, but for luxury models that cost twice as
lame cup holders, but that’s about the only fault I can find. The
new Stingray earned the name that raced into legend when it debuted
on the magnificent 1963 Corvette Stingray.
Prices for the
new Corvette Stingray start at $51,000 for a model with a
seven-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission
adds $1,350. All Stingrays come with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that
produces 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. A performance
exhaust system valves boosts power to 460 horsepower and 465
pound-feet and improves the exhaust note by increasing air flow. A
convertible goes on sale soon. Prices have not been announced.
I tested a
Stingray with the Z51 performance package, performance exhaust, an
electronic limited-slip differential, Bose audio, Bluetooth phone
and audio compatibility, navigation, head-up display, voice
recognition and a luxurious interior that featured a leather-wrapped
instrument panel, leather seats, matte carbon fiber trim and suede
microfiber on the A- and B-pillars and roof. It cost $70,965,
excluding destination charges.
competes with some of the world’s finest sports and luxury cars,
two-seaters and 2+2s like the Audi R8, BMW 650i and M6, Jaguar XK
and F-types, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Carrera and SRT Viper.
flowing design and top notch materials hold their own with interiors
from the best luxury brands. It also features Chevy’s MyLink
control system, which combines excellent voice recognition, a touch
screen, steering wheel controls and conventional buttons and dials.
A useful storage compartment hidden behind the touch screen has a
USB port and room for sunglasses and other gear. A compartment in
the center console adds storage and has USB and 12V outlets.
The seats of
the ’Vette I tested were wrapped in chocolate-colored leather.
They provided fine support and comfort.
holders could use rubber flanges to hold bottles, cans and cups
secure, particularly if Chevy hopes to sell ’Vettes in Europe,
where automakers routinely add a special receptacle scaled to little
Red Bull cans. I also expect a blind-spot alert in a car this price.
has fallen noticeably from the previous model’s 22 cubic feet to
carbon-fiber panel in the roof allows the coupe to do a reasonable
impersonation of a convertible. The hood is also carbon fiber.
Chevrolet spared no effort reducing the Stingray’s weight to
maximize performance and fuel economy. The removable panel weighs
just 16 pounds, a 10-pound reduction from the previous ’Vette’s
It takes a
while to learn the seven-speed manual’s shift pattern, but the
clutch is light and the shifter has a smooth, precise movement.
6.2-liter V-8 features direct injection and variable valve timing.
The 2014 is the most powerful base model in Corvette history,
accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
The EPA rates
the manual-transmission Corvette Stingray at 17 mpg in city driving,
29 on the highway and 21 in combined driving. The combined figure
beats all the competitors I’ve named except the 911 Carrera, which
trails the Stingray I tested by 110 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of
adaptive magnetic rheological shock absorbers combined an
exceptionally smooth ride with excellent road holding.
Corvette’s wheelbase, length and width all grew from the previous
model, but the new Stingray looks tidier to my eyes. The designers
handled the proportions beautifully, sculpting a dramatic and
aerodynamic shape that approaches the visual balance of the 1963
out, aesthetically and technically, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is a
CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51:
vehicle: Rear-wheel-drive two-seat sports car
Four out of four stars
buy: Performance; value; looks.
Luggage room; cup holders; no blind spot alert.
6.2-liter OHV VVT direct-injection 16-valve V-8.
horsepower at 3,900 rpm; 465 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm with
weight: 3,298 pounds
exclude destination charge.