- Sharp new style still honors the lineage
- Powerful engines
- Good gas mileage for a high-performance sports car
- Still not a green machine
- Where's the turbo V-6 option?
- Numerous body vents only available in black
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray sets a new benchmark for value among well-equipped, comfortable, high-performance sports cars.
The all-new, seventh-generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette has an edgy new design that's still instantly recognizable as a Corvette, plus a new engine line, and the promise of even better handling and performance thanks to weight reduction, improvements to the chassis, and more.
What does it all add up to? That the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible might just have the right stuff for sports car fans all around the world.
At the heart of the 2014 Corvette Stingray is a new LT1 V-8 engine. While it displaces the same 6.2 liters as the previous base Corvette’s LS3, the LT1 is lighter, more powerful, and more fuel efficient. Rated at 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is about 5 percent more potent than the last car--but it's lighter, too.
In fact, when fitted with an available Z51 Performance Package, which adds a host of upgrades, Chevy boasts its latest 'Vette can accelerate from 0-60 in just 3.8 seconds and achieve more than 1 g in cornering grip. For comparison, that’s almost quick as the previous C6’s Z06 trim.
The Z51 Performance Package is designed for track enthusiasts and includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, plus integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that’s said to further improve high-speed stability.
In practice, the Z51 package seriously sharpens the Stingrays already nimble reflexes, as well as giving it the cooling capacity to handle hard use on a hot summer day at the track. Adding the optional magneto-rheological (MR) dampers gives the Stingray a more mellow street ride while preserving the flat, firm handling you want when driving hard.
Balanced and easy to control even near the limit even with the Performance Traction Management system engaged in Track mode (and Race sub-mode), the Stingray can be a bit harder to control with all of the aids off, though it still exhibits remarkable traction and balance. In fact, the Corvette Stingray can realistically run with sports cars costing twice its price.
The interior of the 2014 Corvette Stingray has also been substantially upgraded from the C6. Improved materials, more modern design, and significant upgrades to technology such as the Drive Mode Selector and latest-generation Chevy MyLink infotainment help bring the Corvette on par with European and Japanese offerings in the highly competitive, but relatively low-volume super sports car segment.
All Corvette trims get a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. Customers also have two seating choices: a regular GT seat and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering for greater support on the track.
Even during longer driving sessions, the Corvette's new GT seats are comfortable and supportive, despite the low-slung nature of the cabin. Leg and head room are good even for those over six feet tall, and, as with the last Corvette, there's plenty of room for a weekend's travel in the rear hatch area.
If you're accustomed to the idea of 'cowl shake' yet the Corvette Stingray Convertible intrigues you, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. These drop-top models manage to offer exactly the same level of ride-and-handling prowess as their Coupe counterparts. Since the C7 was designed as an open-top roadster initially, you don't give up any structural integrity. And the automatic soft-top arrangement, which will operate at speeds of up to 30 mph, is tight-fitting and doesn't block too much visibility when it's up.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray is also more fuel efficient than the previous model, scoring 17 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined with the seven-speed manual transmission; the paddle-shift six-speed automatic loses 1 mpg on each score. The new seven-speed manual transmission adds a taller cruising gear for greater highway mileage, and cylinder-deactivation technology also helps.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have crash-tested the Chevy Corvette in recent years, but a rigid chassis, a full complement of airbags, plus stability and traction control, and the Corvette's innate grip and handling should make it relatively secure in emergency situations.