The newest Corvette is finally here!
That’s right. The Stingray name (and its legendary curves) is back.
Though the 2009 Corvette Stingray Concept (CSC) was clearly an influence, the C7 is more transformational than Transformer. So it’s not called Sideswipe; it’s now Stingray.
The ’14 Stingray is indeed a world-class sports car, one that Chevy claims to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in under 4 seconds and corner with over 1 G. It is longer, lower, and wider than ever. (Official performance stats are yet to be posted, as road tests and car magazine thrashings are pending).
According to C7 designers, the Stingray sports an international design. Though Corvette represents America’s one true sports car, it also has been one to challenge and emulate its worldly competition. Things like real carbon fiber and 7-speed manual transmission (with Actual Rev Matching that anticipates and smoothes the gear shifts) take the seventh-gen Vette into the future.
One noticeable improvement is on the inside. Even die-hard Corvette fans have complained about the cheap look and feel of the C6 cockpit. Chevrolet knew it had to drastically re-think the unsupportive seats and plastic-like materials, especially on its flagship vehicle. According to Chevrolet, the C7 interior “blends fine materials and craftsmanship with advanced technologies to deliver a more connected and more engaging driving experience.” The seats (offered in 2 styles) are made of real, stitched leather. In front of the driver is a refreshing (daring, I say) dash layout with a new-age look, but one that clearly says “Corvette.”
Interestingly, the Camaro seems to be rubbing off on its bigger (and older) brother. The hood definitely mimics the new Camaro with a large cowl induction bulge. That outlet at the hood’s front? It is a functional air extractor, looking similar to the piece on the ZL1 Camaro (http://www.chevrolet.com/camaro-zl1-sports-car.html).
Most disappointing is the absence of the split-window treatment (ala ’63), a prominent feature on the CSC. I call Sideswipe’s rear treatment a glassback fastback. Its severely pointed angles would never make a true production rear, but can’t we wish? The production ’14 Stingray boasts a full-width rear window, with a slight taper to the rear for a more practical look.
GM, why not offer a rear split-window option treatment? Better yet, why not design a bolt-on split-window piece that can be sold through Chevrolet Performance catalog?
Regarding the back end styling, there’s a spoiler just over a set of (wait for it)… rectangular lights. Let’s not kid ourselves. Some folks are claiming this as sacrilegious, but the Corvette’s taillights have evolved over the years; this isn't a big deal. If anything, the Corvette is taking hints from the Camaro again (shouldn't it be vice versa?).
Prior to the unveiling, Chevrolet had only made public the facts on the all-new 6.2 liter LT1 V8 with Direct Injection. Engine-wise, the C7 already looks promising, offering even better performance with increased mileage (up to 27mpg from 26mpg). For more in depth coverage, click this link (http://www.examiner.com/article/2014-chevrolet-lt1-v8-gets-direct-injection).
Will the ’14 Stingray live up to the hype? Throughout the next coming months, we’ll find out. The 2014 model doesn't go on sale until the fall (pricing is yet to be announced).
For more information on the 2014 Corvette Stingray, click here (http://www.chevrolet.com/one13thirteen.html).