Return of the Stingray: The 2014 Corvette Unveiled
Get ready 'Vetteheads. For only the seventh time in its storied 61 year history, the Corvette has undergone a complete redesign. And from what we saw unveiled in Detroit last week, this new C7 is not only the most powerful, race-ready standard model ever built by Chevy, but its aggressive, razor sharp lines make it the most head-turning model in years. One that's worthy of bringing back—and proudly wearing—the Stingray badge.
“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design told us. “We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over.”
So how complete is this redesign? The 2014 Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation. Everything else from the wheels up is brand new. It's got an all-new frame structure and chassis that's stiffer and 99 lbs lighter than last year's model, a new powertrain with newly engineered supporting technologies, and completely new exterior and interior designs.
But sleek lines, removable carbon-fiber roof, and comfy leather aside, that new powertrain is what we 'Vette fans are most interested in. The engineering wizards over at Chevy weren't messing around... they gave this Stingray some real sting: an all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine that delivers an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of tire-melting torque. This means the 2014 Corvette delivers a better power-to-weight ratio than the Porsche 911 Carrera or Audi R8. The standard model is able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1G in cornering grip. If just hearing that doesn't get your pulse racing, it's time to cut down on the Catherine Heigel flicks.
Just in case the eco side of you tries to talk you out of purchasing one of these muscle-heavy 'Rays, the Active Fuel Management system and other technologies help to make this the most fuel efficient Corvette ever: coming in with an estimated 26 mpg. So feel free to blow past the gas station on your way to the track.
And trust us, you'll want to go to the track… This new 'Vette is packed with performance equipment and technologies that can't be fully appreciated on a trip to the Quickie Mart, including Electronic Throttle Control, electronically controlled exhaust valves, Magnetic Ride Control, Launch control for off-the-line acceleration, StabiliTrak stability control, and Performance Traction Management. Upgrade to the Z51 Performance Package and you'll also get electronic limited slip differential (drifting anyone?), brake cooling ducts, a unique rear spoiler and additional air deflectors for enhanced track capability.
The 'Vette team didn't put all their time into the exterior and engine either. The typically spartan Corvette interior has finally gone as upscale as its rivals. Sitting in your choice of standard or racing seat, you'll experience real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, a color heads up display and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens. There's also a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit your environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time. (Because grinding 'em while passing that cutie in the Miata kinda kills the mojo…)
You'll have to wait a bit before you can get your hands on one, though. Chevy wont have these Stingrays on dealer floors until late summer. But we're already clearing out space in the garage.