2015 Chevrolet Corvette Review

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Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
June 17, 2015

With exceptional performance, style, comfort, features, and most of all value, the 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray is a remarkable sports car.

With an all-new Z06 supercar version joining the Stingray, there’s a coupe or convertible version of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette to suit a wide range of performance and styling appetites. Whichever flavor you choose, you’ll find the Corvette range to offer some of the very best bang for the buck in the industry.

Styling takes the Corvette in new directions, even if around familiar themes, both inside and out. Sharp lines, crisp angles, and vents aplenty give a definite supercar air to the design that matches the car’s performance. It’s wide, low, and looks fast even at a dead stop. Inside, the Stingray’s design is much improved over the previous generation of the Corvette, and while nothing changes in the standard model for the 2015 model year, it retains its refreshing and surprisingly luxurious look. The Z06 adds to the Stingray's exterior and interior design with wider fenders, an array of aerodynamic add-ons, and a performance-themed cabin treatment.

Under the hood of the Chevy Corvette Stingray is the same 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine introduced last year, still generating the same 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed manual transmission is also available, offering an enhanced version of its automatic rev-matching downshift feature for 2015. The new addition to the powertrain is an all-new, in-house designed and built 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Z06, on the other hand, gets a supercharged LT4 V-8 that's rated at 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.

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The new transmission is the highlight of the technical updates to the 2015 Corvette Stingray, and it aims for the strongest competition on the non-manual market: Porsche’s PDK. Chevrolet claims the new 8-speed executes shifts a full 80 milliseconds quicker than the German dual-clutch unit, measured from the time the driver requests the shift to the time it’s actually executed. That’s a small fraction of a second, but it can make a big difference when driving a very fast car at the limit. Both the Stingray and the Z06 will be available with a choice of 7-speed manual or the new 8-speed automatic.

And the 2015 Stingray is a very fast car, indeed. That 455-horsepower V-8 engine offers plenty of push to accelerate the car, hitting 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds—or even faster at 3.7 seconds with the new 8-speed automatic. Quarter mile times are a mere 11.9 seconds with the automatic, or 12.0 with the seven-speed manual. Whether tackling the straights or the curves, the Stingray offers ample performance, with surprising grip, nimble reflexes, and a great deal of communication through the seat, pedals, and steering wheel, all of which inspires driver confidence. A Z51 package is available to further enhance the Stingray’s performance. In Z06 trim, the manual version of the car can click of 3.2-second 0-60 mph runs, while the automatic is even quicker, clocking in at 2.95 seconds.

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 2015 Corvette Stingray carries forward the substantial upgrades from the C6 launched last year. 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 Convertible will also be available in Z06 guise.

The 2015 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 eight-speed automatic is actually nearly as efficient, rating 16 mpg city and 29 mpg highway according to GM. The new seven-speed manual transmission adds a taller cruising gear for greater highway mileage, and cylinder-deactivation technology also helps both transmissions extract the most from each gallon. Ratings for the new Z06 haven't been released yet.

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.

9

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Styling

Classic Corvette themes translate well into 21st century design, and the Stingray wears its edges well.

Few cars with 50-plus-year histories are as instantly recognizable in all their many forms as the Chevy Corvette. For better or worse, it’s an icon.

The second generation's dapper look grew into an indictment of Malaise Era styling and smog regulations in the third generation. The fourth generation fell into plainer realms, which the fifth replaced with sleek smoothness, while the sixth-generation car started with a fresh look that, while not quite aged by the end of its run, didn't hold up as well as expected.

For the seventh-generation car, the Corvette's look has evolved into a high-tech, vents-and-creases theme that, to some eyes, is just as good as the original Sting Ray's, though it's built for descendants of the Computer Age, rather than Mad Men.

It's hard to take the Corvette on the details; each individual element could be seen as alternately too plain or too over-the-top. It works best on an all-or-nothing viewing.

Taken as a whole, you get the long, low hood, steeply swept windshield, and bluff rear end that has come to define the Corvette's proportions. Each is a confluence of smooth curves and sharp creases, planes that intersect and warp. It's a high-tech--almost exotic--design theme that somehow still transmits the car's classic DNA.

The 2014 Stingray's interior look has also been upgraded. Gone is the plasticky kit-car-like cabin of the previous Corvette; the Stingray's interior is fully wrapped, even in its most basic form, and can grow into true luxury accommodations in its higher trim levels. 

The shape of the center stack and instrument panel is driver-focused and simple, but with a high-tech touch that makes it clear that the Corvette Stingray is all about performance. A carbon fiber instrument panel surround looks like it comes from a six-figure supercar; suede and rich leather trim and upholstery is available, with deep colors that speak of designer influence.

10

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Performance

Seriously fast, incredibly fun, and a monstrous value, the 2015 Corvette Stingray sets a benchmark for performance.

At less than $55,000 delivered, if there’s a better performance value than the 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package, we don't know what it is.

Starting at 455 horsepower (up to 460 hp with the performance exhaust option), the LT1 6.2-liter V-8 provides ample power, and does it willingly. Likewise, it makes all the right sounds, and it mates very well with the new seven-speed manual transmission.

Updates for 2015 include an improved rev-matching algorithm for the manual gearbox, and an all-new eight-speed automatic with shift paddles that Chevy says beats Porsche’s PDK shift times by 80 milliseconds—a relative eternity in the land of performance transmissions. In our time driving the car on the street and the track, the new eight-speed does a remarkable job whether clicking the paddles manually or letting the computer figure out which gear is best—and it doesn’t feel in any way slower than the manual. In fact, it’s quicker to accelerate thanks to a wider gear spread, shaving a tenth of a second off the 60 mph and quarter-mile times, down to 3.7 seconds and 11.9 seconds respectively for the automatic.

All of that power, plus an electronically-actuated rear differential (in Z51 package cars) mates impressively with the new aluminum-intensive chassis and suspension setup, particularly when configured with the magneto-rheological adjustable dampers.

Add to that Chevy's latest Performance Traction Management system, and the Stingray is bred for performance--that is, speed in the curves as well as the straights. Flat cornering, over 1 g of lateral grip, and surprisingly accurate (if slightly numb) electric power steering combine to yield truly addictive driving traits for the enthusiast. There's an experience to driving the new Corvette, just as there should be with every long-running, history-rich sports car family.

It's important to remember, too, that this is likely the slowest Corvette of the seventh generation. A higher-performance Z06 sporting 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged LT4 V-8 engine is due soon.

At the end of the day, the Corvette runs with cars that cost twice its price or more, while mostly hiding its cost-savings in other areas.

And if you're considering a Corvette Convertible, don't be afraid of compromised performance. In fact, don't be afraid of stepping up to the track-ready Z51. That's because the C7 Corvette was engineered as a roadster to begin with, so you won't be sacrificing any structural integrity.

8

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Comfort & Quality

The 2015 Stingray's cabin is a pleasant, comfortable place to be by sports car standards, with fine materials and solid build quality.

With the many legitimate beefs owners of the sixth-generation Chevy Corvette had in regard to interior quality and materials a year behind us, the second year of the seventh-generation Corvette continues to impress on comfort, materials, and overall build quality.

Once a rather chintzy agglomeration of plastic and (optionally) mid-quality leather, the 2015 Stingray’s interior now offers materials that, even in out-of-the-way places, are very good, with soft-touch surfaces at almost all interface points. The style is sharp and modern without being annoyingly avant garde.

The standard sport seats are surprisingly comfortable despite holding occupants in place well, and upgraded seats with more race-inspired form and function are available for those who’d like yet more secure positioning for spirited driving.

The driver’s seat is highly adjustable, and the tilting/telescoping steering wheel makes it easy to acquire a comfortable driving position for a wide range of body types and sizes. In manual-transmission models, the shifter falls right where you'd expect it to, at a comfortable height, even across a range of seating positions. Hip, head, and leg room are all good enough even for those a bit over six feet tall (and a bit over the 200-pound mark). The steering wheel is comfortable and fairly small in diameter, making room in the Corvette's snug-but-not-tight cabin.

The 2014 Stingray has space for your things, too. The real magic of the Corvette, as before, is how it makes use of its large, flat cargo area under the rear hatch. It holds a surprising amount of luggage or other cargo, and makes the Corvette a rather practical option for a two-door, two-seat sports car. In the cabin, there are a few cubbies and boxes for smaller items; even the nav screen has a James Bond-esque hidden compartment behind it with a plug-in jack for your phone.
 
The Convertible offers a tight-fitting automatic top, which requires no additional lock at the top of the windshield, allowing you to raise or lower the top at speeds of up to 30 mph—not that you'd want to, but we appreciate the flexibility.

Wind buffeting isn't as great as in some touring convertibles, but it's not bad either. A dealer-installed windblocker makes a meaningful improvement.

8

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Safety

Though not yet tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, the 2015 Corvette Stingray's standard and available safety features are solid.

Thanks to its higher-priced, lower-volume status, the 2015 Corvette Stingray hasn't been crash-tested by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray does come with standard frontal- and side-impact driver and passenger air bags, six months of OnStar support, a backup camera, daytime running lights, and steering wheel infotainment controls to improve both passive safety and driver attentiveness.

An optional head-up display (HUD) relays instrument panel and performance driving information to a projection on the windshield, helping to keep the driver's eyes on the road.

9

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Features

Upgrade paths for the tech- or luxury-focused buyer add to the well-equipped 2015 Stingray base model's modern feature set.

The 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray is well-equipped as configured in base form, but offers a number of upgrade paths and stand-alone features for those desiring specific improvements in technology and appearance.

Dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration system; an 8-inch color touch screen panel for infotainment control; SiriusXM Satellite Radio; keyless entry and push-button start; a rearview camera; Bluetooth streaming audio; USB and SD car inputs; auxiliary input jack; auxiliary power outlet; cruise control; and a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel are standard features across the full range.

Among the headline optional features for the 2015 Corvette Stingray is the Performance Data Recorder system, which not only records audio and video with a data overlay of key performance and vehicle parameters, but can also record audio and video while the car is being valeted, to help ensure the security of your precious sports car.

For those seeking more luxury or equipment, the 2LT and 3LT interior packages add color and material upgrades to the upholstery; an available Bose 10-speaker audio system; SiriusXM with HD Radio; upgraded competition sport bucket seats; a sueded microfiber-wrapped steering wheel; a custom luggage set; memory-function eight-way power adjustable seats; satellite navigation; and many aesthetic and comfort options.

Performance upgrades include the Z51 package, a roughly $2,800 option that adds upgraded brakes and dampers, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, an electronic limited-slip differential, a dry sump oil system, unique wheels, and upgraded cooling for the differential and transmission. Also included with the Z51 package is a set of aerodynamic upgrades. Magneto-rheological (MR) dampers are available with the Magnetic Selective Ride Control option, enabling various levels of ride comfort and performance.

Delivery of a new 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray can also be taken at the National Corvette Museum across from the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for a unique ownership experience.

8

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Fuel Economy

For the performance, there are few cars that can compete with the 2015 Corvette Stingray's efficiency.

At present, there are two versions each of the Corvette Stingray and Z06 available for gas mileage purposes: the seven-speed manual and the eight-speed automatic. Convertible versions of each are also available, but aren’t rated separately by the EPA.

The Corvette has long had a reputation for getting surprisingly good fuel economy for its performance level, owing to its ample torque and tall gearing. The seventh-generation car carries on that tradition, with the new LT1-powered manual-transmission Corvette Stingray scoring 17 mpg city and 29 mpg highway (30 mpg with the built-in "Eco" mode) for 21 mpg combined; the automatic scores 16/29 mpg for 20 mpg combined. GM expects the eight-speed auto to achieve 30 mpg for the 2016 model year after a slight recalibration; the 2015 model year setup tested to 29.4932 mpg--missing the rounding to 30 mpg by just 0.01 mpg.

The Z06 trades yet more economy for performance: the automatic rates 13 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined; the seven-speed manual is better, achieving 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined.

While those figures won't win over many hybrid drivers, they are shockingly good in light of the standard 455-horsepower output of the Stingray. In fact, it's likely the most efficient car on the market in terms of mpg-per-horsepower, and, if Chevy can secure the 30-mpg rating in 2016, it could become the first car to achieve that figure while also accelerating to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds.

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April 11, 2017
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AWesome performance and great value

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Great looking and handling sports car. This is the latest Corvette of many that I've owned. This Z06 has the Z07 package and power and performance can't be matched until you spend three times this car's price... + More »
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July 3, 2016
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Favorite Corvette since 1967

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They really hit it out of the park with the styling of the C7. Everything is top shelf with the car and the minor bugs are being worked out.
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June 22, 2016
For 2015 Chevrolet Corvette

My 4th Corvette, and by far the best!

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December 12, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Stingray Coupe w/2LT

The best sports car on the market for the money...

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November 15, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Z06 Convertible w/3LZ

2015 Z06 6 months in

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October 23, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Stingray Z51 Convertible w/2LT

Just keeps getting better

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September 23, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Stingray Coupe w/2LT

Delve into the realm of the Exotics at a price for the common man

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I have had the privilege of owning or spending extended seat time in many exotics including all the latest models of Ferrari's and Lamborghini Gallardo's. I currently own a Lotus Evora and a Porsche 911... + More »
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August 28, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Stingray Z51 Coupe w/3LT

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August 16, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Z06 Coupe w/1LZ

Awesome car

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I love this car. It is the best sports car on the market.
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July 26, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 2-Door Stingray Z51 Coupe w/2LT

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Styling 9.0
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