The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a very impressive car; in part because it delivers so much exotic performance, for far less than an exotic price. But, also because that performance doesn’t keep it from being a very comfortable street driver. Still, this new Corvette needs a race track to really show what it’s made of. And fortunately for us, GM sent us this Laguna Blue coupe for a little further research.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is already an unqualified success. As we go to air with this test, there is already a 6-month waiting list. Thus to say they least, they are hard to get. So we were very pleased when this C7 was delivered just so we can get some serious track time to see if it fully lives up to its potential.
Our exam took place on the Shenandoah Circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park, and having never driven this particular piece of West Virginia asphalt, the Stingray proved to be a willing companion to learning a new track, as that friendly nature that we’ve always praised, remains.
The track is tight with not too many places for the 'Vette to really stretch its legs, but it still made easy work it. The standard Active Rev Match feature that comes with our cars 7-speed manual transmission was certainly appreciated for easing our way into the track’s many corners.
With the Driver Mode Selector set to track, getting off of those corners, the LT1 6.2-liter V8 made the brief stretches between them feel far shorter than they are. It’s really an insane amount of power for a stock Corvette and it truly makes us drool in anticipation for the upcoming insanity that will be the next Z06.
As for the overall balance of the car, it felt that we were sitting closer to the front wheels, which is always a good thing. Steering is quick, turn-in is spot-on, and with our car’s Magnetic Ride Control there’s only minimal body movement.
Of course we also needed some further research at the drag strip, so down our home 75-80 Dragway we went, with the quarter-mile taking 12.8-seconds at 116 miles-per-hour. Very cold track temps didn’t help when it came to getting a good launch however, but we still saw a 4.2-second romp to 60 after getting the rears heated up enough to grab traction.
It’s an all business affair, as this ‘Vette plies it’s trade with big power throughout the entire rev band. The shifter feels slick and throws are short. In our standard brake test the Brembos got the job done fine with stops averaging a very short 107-feet from 60, with a totally firm pedal.
And now that we’ve gotten all of the fun stuff out of the way, a quick review on the new Stingray’s facts and figures.
The latest LT1 V8 cranks out a standard 455-horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque. Adding the performance exhaust option bumps those numbers to 460 and 465. A worthy upgrade indeed.
Though when it comes to bang-for-your-buck upgrades, none beats our car’s Z51 Performance Package, which adds a more track-worthy suspension, dry sump oiling for the engine, an electronic limited slip rear, bigger slotted brake rotors and black painted brake calipers, painted aluminum 19 and 20-inch wheels, lower aspect ratio tires, revised gear ratios, additional cooling, and an aero package. All of this for just 28-hundred bucks more? It’s the performance bargain of the year.
And of course we can’t get out of here without spending a little time discussing the eye catching exterior design of the new Stingray, and there’s a lot more to it than just the non-round tail lights.
The aggressive styling certainly grabs everyone’s attention. It’s full of purposeful lines and vents, like a real bully that would likely be picking on just about every European exotic on the playground. There are composite body panels of course, but also carbon fiber for the hood and removable roof panel, and the frame is all aluminum.
The interior has seen major transformation as well with better materials; including real carbon fiber and aluminum trim, more technology features like a splendid reconfigurable gauge display, and better seating. Though on that point, the Europeans may still have the last laugh.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are impressive for such a car; 17-City, 29-Highway, and 21–Combined. Though we didn’t quite see the high numbers some are claiming, we averaged a quite good 26.4 miles per gallon of Premium. The Energy Impact Score is average for all vehicles at 15.7-barrels of oil used annually and 7.0-tons of CO2 emitted.
Stingray pricing starts at $51,995; Z51’s at $54,795. Need we say more?
So with our research complete, we have determined exactly what the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is made of; high tech substances, honest quality, and lofty performance. All brewed up in GM’s simmering cauldron of molten awesomeness. We hated to see it leave, but we loved to watch it go!
Engine: 6.2-liter V8
Torque: 460 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.8 seconds @ 116 mph
EPA: 17 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 15.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 7.0 tons/yr