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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.
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.