For decades, sports cars were all about compromise. The stiff suspension and quick throttle response that made them fast on the track often made them a handful on the street. Likewise, a car softened up for daily driving wouldn’t always yield entertaining track days or fast autocross times.
While magnetorheological suspensions (used on select Corvette C6 models, the Cadillac CTS-V and the Ferrari 458 Italia, to name a few examples) have given drivers an impressive range of suspension settings, the ideal car setup would also involve things like shift time, throttle response, stability control and steering ratio.
Enter the new Corvette Stingray, which gets a “Driver Mode” selector switch to call up one of five pre-programmed settings, including Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track. Each mode adjusts the suspension, transmission, traction control, stability control and fuel map to optimize performance, grip, comfort or fuel economy.
The new Stingray also gets an electronic limited slip differential, which adjusts the torque output to each rear wheel multiple times per second, based on available traction. Unlike mechanical systems, there’s no delay in shifting torque from one wheel to the other, meaning that the driver never feels the system in operation.
While other companies (such as Audi) use similar changeable-mode technology, the Corvette could have perhaps the broadest range of settings. We’ll reserve judgement until we get a chance to drive the new Stingray, but we imagine Eco mode and Track mode will feel as if you’re driving two different cars. Frankly, we can’t wait for our own turn behind the wheel.