Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray 2014
The similarities between the new-generation Chevrolet Corvette C7 and the 70’s C3 are apparent. Both offer swoopy styling that bridges a gap between hard-edged American muscle cars and the smooth lines of the Italian exotics. Both carry the Stingray (one word) moniker, and both offer an LT-1 engine (the new car deletes the hyphen). But that’s where the similarities end, and the new 2014 Corvette Stringray pulls ahead-far ahead.
Boasting over 370 horsepower may have gotten you far in 1970 or even 2004, but the lastest ‘Vette takes things further, offering up 460 horsepower and 465 foot-pounds of torque with the optional performance exhaust system. It will, also, take you farther, returning 29 miles to the gallon through the Active Fuel Management system, which can shut off half the cylinders during light engine loads. It all comes thanks to the new LT1. It replaces the LS3 while doling out the highest standard power ratings ever for the Corvette through a variety of small changes that have upped the ante while maintaining the capacity. Direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, high compression, oil-spray piston cooling and dry-sump lubrication are just some of the keywords GM engineers are throwing around. Transmission options include a paddie-shifted, six-speed automatic and, for the first time, a seven-speed manual, which is offered with rev-matching technology.
More power is great, but less to move is even better. An all-new more-rigid aluminum frame is 57 percent stiffer and 99 pounds lighter than the outgoing steel frame. But it doesn’t end there. Other lightweight materials are utilized, including carbon fiber for the hood and the coupe’s removable roof panel and composites for the fenders, doors, rear hatch and rear quarter panels. The rear toe links are now constructed of aluminum, and the suspension’s lower control arms have been hollowed out, saving nine and two pounds, respectively.
But performance is just one area in which the Corvette has already succeeded. Those that have long been skeptical about a Corvette will be glad to hear how much attention was spent on the interior. Chevrolet promises nothing but soft-touch materials, including smooth micro-suede and sumptuous Napa leather, surrounded by genuine carbon-fiber and aluminum trim. This is one area naysayers will need to experience.
No word when, or if, we can expect Z06 and ZR1 editions to soon follow, but until then, we have the return of the Z51. The Z51 Performance Package, in addition to stiffening the suspension, includes an electronic limited-slip differential as well as an aerodynamic package that further improves high-speed stability and aids cooling. As a result, the Corvette Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package is capable of 1.03g in cornering acceleration.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe is now available and the convertible, with an all-new fully electronic top, will be available at the end of 2013.
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8
0-60: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: 208 mph
Transmission: 7-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
Torque: 465 foot-pounds