A couple of us at AutomotiveAddicts.com were able to join Chevrolet Performance Cars Marketing Manager, John Fitzpatrick and other General Motors engineering staff for a quick run-down and test drive of the all-new 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray. Down in sunny Miami, FL we took a quick spin of the new Corvette Stingray equipped with the Z51 performance package.
Initial impressions of the new Corvette Stingray surmount to an aesthetically pleasing sports car that has many traits of a grand-tourer with an attitude. The new 7-speed manual transmission on our test vehicle mated to the new 455 horsepower V8 engine (460 horsepower with Z51 package) were at the heart of the new Corvette C7 allowing us to experience acceleration to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Of course a couple launches down the streets of Miami Beach quickly came to a dashing stop as we did not want to end up handcuffs.
The over-all driving impressions of the new Corvette were set high as we were greeted by the best interior found in any Vette yet. The sporty cabin was laced with leather, nicely accented stitching, leather dashboard insets, real aluminum trim pieces and a minimal amount of plastics delicately placed around the shifter housing center dashboard stack. Just as Chevrolet has previously claimed through previous communications before the Stingray’s public debut, all materials are made of what they look like. This holds true throughout the cabin even where you can option it out with a carbon fiber trim package to replace the small amount of plastic surfaces that remain. Otherwise, the sporty seats are supportive yet hold you in place in preparation for hitting twisty roads or the track.
In terms of driving excitement the Corvette aims to please driving much like a tamed beast in the most selectable pre-programmed drive modes (eco, weather, default normal). Placing the vehicle in either Sport or Track driving modes really spices things up by first opening up the exhaust valve for a mean exhaust burble and firmer magnetic dampers. Leaving traction control and stability control intact, the new Vette moves with authority through the lower gear cogs making the best use of the V8’s wide and torque-filled power band. The 7-speed manual transmission is rather direct and frees up your abilities to make quick money-shifts. The new rev-match system allows for seamless downshifts through blipping the throttle as you down-shift – only hindered by a subtle delay before you can release the clutch. It is possible that this minor hiccup is dependent on the drive mode, which we left in Sport for the duration of our quick 30 minute drive. The 7-speed manual gates are also designed with some forward-thinking intelligence by locking you out of the 7th gear gate when shifting from 4th to 5th. Additionally, the tranny seems to assist in limiting any fumbling through unwanted gear gates having that extra 7th gear spot.
Besides engine management and the electronic limited-slip differential, the new Corvette Stingray is an adaptable road-going machine. The balance of the ride quality and true handling abilities really shine through the new 50/50 weight distribution and chassis giving you plenty of confidence in any near-illegal maneuvers you make on public roads. Nevertheless, track days are expected to be a blast as we suspecting the quest for the new Vette’s handling limits may take many laps around a demanding track before you really find it. It just feels that good.
In our limited time behind the wheel of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray our biggest takeaway was the quality and enthusiast-injected capabilities in this being the best Corvette ever. The C7 exhibits the heartfelt drive from American ingenuity and a newfound pride in building an excellent sports car bred from true enthusiasts all the way down from the design team, engineers and racecar test drivers. The new Corvette Stingray exhibited all of the expected traits that the long lineage of the iconic American sports car has for many decades. Only the new C7 model tacks on unsurpassed quality and technological advancements all for a much smaller price of admission when pitted against its direct competition.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C7) Z51