2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Stingray RWD 2-Dr Coupe V8 man trans

2014 chevrolet corvette Reviews and News

2014 Callaway Corvette SC627 Front Three Quarter In Motion 05
Malibu, California – It’s 6:40 a.m. and the photo team isn’t due until 7. Twenty minutes to play. I arc the long, black hood off Pacific Coast Highway and onto the foot of a canyon road, the narrow tarmac ahead steep and sinuous and, in the hazy yawn of a seaside sunrise, all mine. A few turns to find a rhythm, feel out controls and conditions, and then, on a long uphill straight, my right foot goes down flat.
The next 20 minutes go by in 18.
2014 Callaway Corvette SC627  Side Profile In Motion
Extraordinary experiences are the norm when you bolt a supercharger onto a Chevrolet Corvette V-8. But the black beauty you see here is not a Z06, the factory-pressurized beast that wowed us in our May issue (“Balance of Power”). This is the new SC627, the latest creation of longtime Corvette tuner Reeves Callaway (and, more recently, son Pete, now Callaway Cars’ general manager). For a minimum outlay of $17,995, Callaway will transform any stock C7 Corvette -- coupe or convertible, manual or automatic -- into a 627-hp SC627. The cars are available by order at select Chevrolet dealerships (the Callaway package is not offered as a retro-fit) and come with a full three-year/36,000-mile warranty. (An optional five-year/100,000-mile powertrain contract is available for $2,900.) Therefore, if you opted for a base Chevrolet Corvette Stingray LT1 and zero Callaway extras, you could have an SC627 for $73,990 -- versus the $78,995 base sticker of the 650-horse Z06. Yet the buying proposition isn’t as clear-cut as “get the Callaway and save $6,000.” The SC627 and the Z06 turn out to be remarkably different animals.
2014 Callaway Corvette SC627 Arthur St Antoine Driving
The heart of the SC627 is a Callaway-designed, patent-pending supercharger that incorporates 2,300cc Eaton rotors. Key to the system is a proprietary three-element liquid-to-air intercooler that, Callaway says, makes for significantly cooler inlet-air temperatures than in competing systems. (Without mentioning names, Callaway is looking at you, Z06.) Additionally, because the high-volume supercharger extends right through an opening in the hood (no clear polycarbonate cover as on the Z06), Callaway claims additional conductive and convective cooling benefits.
Compared with the base Chevrolet Corvette C7 (without performance exhaust), output in the SC627 climbs 172 horsepower (to 627 at 6,400 rpm) and 150 lb-ft (to 610 at 4,400 rpm). Our test car also featured Callaway’s optional Sport exhaust ($2,890), ShortThrow seven-speed manual transmission ($530), and a set of gorgeous, nine-spoke black-chrome wheels ($3,890). So equipped, the SC627 ripped to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and flashed through the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 123.7 mph. Those are impressive figures, all right. Yet the last stock, seven-speed Z51 C7 we’ve tested wasn’t far behind, gunning to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and tripping the quarter-mile lights in 12.0 seconds at 118.4 mph. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06? Thanks to its additional brawn and meaty Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, it’s in a different realm entirely: 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds, the quarter in 11.3 seconds at 126.2 mph.
2014 Callaway Corvette SC627 Rear Three Quarter In Motion
So, no, the SC627 isn’t “a Z06 for thousands less.” Indeed, go generous with the options and the price can climb fast. Before receiving the Callaway treatment our test car received such factory add-ons as a transparent roof, a multimode exhaust, and MyLink with navigation. Total as-tested price: $93,350. And, of course, the SC627 lacks such Z06 upgrades as a performance suspension, variable driving modes, carbon-fiber roof and hood, and available Brembo brakes.
2014 Callaway Corvette SC627 Gear Shifter
What the SC627 delivers is its own unique flavor. It outguns the standard C7 while being sleeker and less flashy than the Z06 -- a stealth rocket (that prominent blower up front notwithstanding). It sounds completely different than Chevy’s own supercharged ’Vette, too, blaring to the redline with a decidedly higher-pitched exhaust note and a seemingly more linear flow of power. (The Z06 switches from mild to wild in an instant.) And just as Callaway says, I drove the hell out of the car all day and never saw the various temperatures budge a whit above normal.
Callaway’s take on a short-throw shifter is unique, too. It’s short but not sweet; Chevy’s standard seven-speed lever is notably smoother. Play with it for a while, though, and you quickly grow accustomed to the notchy, quick-draw mechanism. It works, and it’s fun. Different. I can see some Callaway buyers preferring the feel of it to the more relaxed action of the standard Chevy tranny.
2014 Callaway Corvette SC627 Front View In Motion 02
Ultimately, it’s those very dissimilarities that make the Callaway. The 2015 Callaway Corvette SC627 looks different, drives different, feels different. Speed of a different color, but refined and civilized just the same. For buyers seeking a Corvette apart from the rest, the SC627 offers a fast and tempting twist on the C7 formula.

2015 Callaway Corvette SC627 Specifications

Price As Tested: $93,350
Engine: 6.2L supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8/627 hp @ 6,400 rpm, 610 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed manual
Layout: 2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
L x W x H:176.9 x 77.1 x 48.6 in
Wheelbase: 106.7 in
Weight: 3,532 lb
0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
Quarter-Mile: 11.7 sec at 123.7 mph
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Front End Static
Palm Springs, California -- As surely as darkness falls, as mountains have avalanches, as the North Star is fixed in the empyrean, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will have a convertible top. Long before it was ever revealed, the 2014 Stingray's convertible top was fixed in the minds of Corvette engineers. Now that we have lowered it and driven the Stingray convertible through the fresh air of mountainous places in Riverside and San Diego counties, we can say that they got it right.
We used the key fob to remotely lower a white convertible's fabric top, which at 48.6 inches reaches the exact same height as the Stingray coupe. The first benefit was beholding the beautiful interior. We had been so accustomed to the flea-market aura of past Corvettes that our initial sight of all the brown leather and suede trim inside the car nearly resulted in a head-first tumble. Rawlings, MacGregor, Wilson, and all the other old-time makers of baseball gloves would doff their hats in salute. Owners of older Vettes, particularly the previous two generations, will gnash their teeth.
Choosing between automatic and manual transmissions
Our choice for a test drive came from the lineup of red, white, and blue cars in front of the breezeblocks of the Parker Palm Springs hotel, which opened in 1959 as California's first Holiday Inn and has been owned by Gene Autry and Merv Griffin. More recently, designer Jonathan Adler bestowed it with an interior worthy of 1963, when Autry's Los Angeles Angels baseball team lodged here for spring training and every one of them probably wanted to buy the first Sting Ray.
Back then, Angels pitcher Dean Chance made $18,000 and the four-on-the-floor was a pricey $188 option. Today's 2014 Stingray convertible is equipped with a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Inserting two fingers through the gap under the door seam, we squeezed the soft-touch door opener and took our places in the bucket seats, reaching way back over the shoulder for the harness. At a touch of the dashboard's starter button, the 460-hp V-8 eagerly barked; then it began to prattle dismissively about the new Ford Mustang.
And so we set off, staying in the Tour driving mode (over Eco, Sport, Weather, and Track), which paid off as soon as we traversed patchy, fractured asphalt on Routey 111 in Cathedral City. Yes, magnetic ride control makes a positive difference.
Older Vette owners feel other envies
"Hey, trade you!" the driver of a yellow C6 coupe with British Columbia plates said at an intersection. If he only knew the level of content, he would have started adding loonies and toonies into the bargain. The $4210 2LT options package includes heated and ventilated seats and the supercool head-up display.
Heading up the mountainside, we switched to Sport mode, which adds a rev-counter and gear indicator to the projected speed display. What's more, Sport activates the electronically controlled valves of the optional $1195 sport exhaust, and our entrancement grew.
Nevertheless, despite the rising and falling soundtrack that would put any ballpark organist to shame, we could always converse, and no hat ever blew off a head. As rock walls scrolled past, we remarked on the well-weighted steering and the perfect line the 73.9-inch-wide (but only 177-inch-long) Stingray would hold through bends that offered no margin for error.
After this ascent and some frolicking in the highlands, we were wondering why anyone would bother with the seven-speed manual. Returning to Palm Springs, we decided to sample the manual box in a red-on-red Stingray convertible. The clutch pedal, we found, has just the right taffy consistency, and shoving the gear lever around proves to be as much of a sure thing as assembling an IKEA kit.
The preference for azure sky and clustered cogs
We stayed in third and fourth while ascending the mountains, and when the road leveled out and crossed an interior valley, we could redline the engine at 6600 rpm in third and upshift at 105 mph, which made some cows wonder what was going on while also making our driving partner, a neophyte from a gear website, squeal with glee and demand a repeat for the sake of video.
Whereas our partner had depended on the automatic rev-matching for his own downshifts -- an excellent feature for the young buyers Chevy expects to attract -- we did it the old-fashioned way, with our feet, ultimately deciding the seven-speed manual gearbox is in fact our preferred transmission.
And, of course, the convertible will be preferred by many over the coupe. In performance, it gives up nothing one would ever miss. (The coupe weighs 64 pounds less.) Chevy says the new aluminum space frame is 99 pounds lighter and 57 percent stiffer than the previous car's, and no additional reinforcement is required for toplessness. The chassis never once became discomposed, the windshield never rattled, and the cowl was Gibraltar.
With the fully automatic and well-lined top in place, the cockpit is serene, and you can actually make use of the ten-speaker Bose audio system. Even with 33 percent less cargo room than the coupe, there remains enough trunk space for two carry-on roller bags and a couple of satchels. The Stingray convertible is a practical, usable car. The only other sacrifice is limited vision through the small, heated-glass rear window.
Casting eyes ahead, we noticed a few things on our driving route that had nothing to do with the car. There were the fast-fanning wings of the Costa's hummingbird; the self-assertion of a crested vermilion flycatcher perched on a stop sign; and, implausibly for early December, the orange-blossoming plant where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Route 74, some 4906 feet above sea level.
Along with the deep blue sky, everything was perfect -- matching the impressive sports car Chevy has created, an astonishing value at a base price of $56,995. It almost seemed logical to assume that the cascade of natural wonders we observed before twilight's rapid descent must somehow have been Chevy's doing as well.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible

Base Price: $56,995
Price as Tested: $71,775
Powertrain
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8 with direct injection
Power: 455 hp @ 6000 rpm (460 hp w/performance exhaust)
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm (465 lb-ft w/performance exhaust)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic or seven-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted rack-and-pinion
Suspension, Front: Double-wishbone, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock
Suspension, Rear: Double-wishbone, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock
Brakes: Four-wheel disc, ABS
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport
P245/40R18 front, P285/35R19 rear
P245/35R19 front, P285/30R20 rear
Measurements
L x W x H: 176.9 x 73.9 x 48.6 in
Wheelbase: 106.7 in
Track (F/R): 63.0/61.7 in
Weight: 3362 lb
Cargo volume: 10.0 cu ft
Performance
Track (F/R): 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: N/A
EPA Mileage: 17/29 mpg
Chevrolet Corvette 7 Generations
It was a Corvette moment. Here we were on Carmel Valley Road, just over the hill from the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Pebble Beach concours, and Chevrolet had not only put all seven generations of the Corvette in front of us but also invited us to drive each one.
Think of it, the story of the Chevrolet Corvette right from the beginning, and they were just going to hand us the keys to each one. Really, who gets to do such a thing? Seven at one blow! We felt a little bit like Mickey Mouse in The Brave Little Tailor. Maybe we could get a belt made or something.
Everyone in America has a moment when the Corvette gets his attention in a kind of supernatural way. It surprises or awakens them, and they are never the same afterward. These moments come to all of us. You don't even have to be a particular enthusiast of the Corvette (we're not). All you have to be is an American.
It's like being drafted into the Marines
Mike Yager's moment came as a kid, when he caught sight of this magical sports car when his brother drove by the old Corvette assembly plant in St. Louis. When Yager had grown, he started selling Corvette license-plate frames out of the trunk of his car at swap meets. Now Mid America Motorworks, Yager's massive distribution facility for Corvette accessories in Effingham, Illinois, is the destination for 15,000 people every fall who come for a kind of Corvette picnic. He says each one has a story to tell about a Corvette.
On the day of our high school graduation, we drove a Corvette for the first time. Larry showed up with his uncle's 1965 Sting Ray C2 roadster, which had been set up for autocross. With its 327-cu-in V-8 (lake-type exhausts in the rocker sills!), four-speed Muncie transmission, independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, wide Goodyear tires and sleek yet scientific bodywork, it was the most high-tech car on the planet. It wasn't like our father's Chevy Corvair at all. (The Corvair wasn't so bad; it taught us about trailing-throttle oversteer on the way to Ann Scholey's house one afternoon.)
Met Zora Arkus-Duntov once. He was the chief engineer of the Corvette for the C1, C2 and C3 generations, though it's really the C2 that is his car. We probably didn't exchange ten words. He liked to drive too fast and he liked to chase women. There's probably some kind of lesson in that. It's amazing think that the Corvette C3 has become collectible. Drove a 1977 model up along the Hudson River, and its emissions-strangled V-8 was wheezing and its fiberglass body panels were flapping. C/D's Don Sherman said the next Corvette should be like the mid-engine concepts developed in the late 1960s by Duntov and Chevrolet R&D's Frank Winchell. (He's still saying that, as a matter of fact.)
What would the Mad Men drive?
When you see an early Corvette C1, you can't help but think of its origins as one of GM design director Harley Earl's show cars at the 1953 GM Motorama, which was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. At the time, the Mad Men of advertising on Madison Avenue were driving cars like the Jaguar XK-120, and Earl thought they should be driving a Chevrolet instead. In fact, the C1 started out as a kind of XK-120 – lots of style, a six-cylinder engine, and that's about it. Trouble was, it was priced like a Ferrari, so it was almost sales-proof.
Designer Robert Cumberford acknowledges that the 1958 Corvette is his, even though it's widely acknowledged as the ugly one. He says it would have been even worse if he hadn't been there to keep Harley Earl from adding even more chrome. Cumberford also did the SR-2, a car that came about because Earl's son wanted to race a Ferrari, and the big man wasn't having any of that. At the time, just about every Corvette designer was a graduate of Cumberford's high school in California, Hollywood High. Harley Earl grew up in Hollywood himself and designed cars for movie stars.
The Corvette finally got serious when Duntov put a V-8 into it for 1956. Every road-racing driver of the 1960s has told me stories about racing one. Dan Gurney once drove a car for a guy who was famous for buying Corvettes, reporting them stolen, and then building them into racing cars with the insurance money. Bob Bondurant is a fanatic about sitting close to the wheel, but maybe it's because the C1's driving position didn't give you a choice. And the C1 V8 car is so nose-heavy that you have to trail-brake into the corners like Bondurant to get the thing to find an apex.
An overnight success at last
We visited the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the first time because it had become the start of the annual drive in which we select Automobile of the Year. (The Corvette assembly plant is across the street.) We remember coming to the part of the display that discussed Corvette advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, when a one-page advertisement would tell a new story about the Corvette every month. They were stories that shaped the car enthusiasm of people across the nation in a way that still resonates today. The display made a big deal about two of the most important and well-known copywriters of the time, David E. Davis, Jr. and Jim Ramsey. And then we turned around and there they were, part of the usual cast of characters at Automobile Magazine, standing just a few feet away.
The Corvette C4 was introduced at Riverside International Raceway in California, only it was winter, so a rainstorm blew down all the displays the day before we showed up, plus the track was supposed to be plowed under in the next ten minutes to make a shopping mall. When they showed us the C4's bare chassis at the crummy old Holiday Inn, it was beautiful. Gleaming with aluminum bits here and there, it was a rigorously intelligent and tightly integrated masterpiece, the very essence of American industrial design. The Corvette C4 not only reinvented the Corvette as a legitimate sports car but also set every carmaker in the world back on its heels.
Our friend Bill Cooper raced about everything during his decades as Bondurant's chief driving instructor, and he found his way to the Corvette C4 in 1985 for the Corvette Challenge, a racing series formed because the SCCA said the car was too fast for regular showroom-stock racing. And like that, Cooper became a champion. He said a Corvette is so easy to drive fast, he wondered why everyone didn't race one. He still says the same thing about his 600-hp Corvette C5 hill-climb racer.
Time, speed and distance
It seemed pretty ridiculous to drive a bunch of sporting cars to New Orleans from Detroit, an Acura NSX among them. But somewhere in Illinois, it became clear just how great the Corvette ZR-1 could be on the road, It was comfortable, yet its Lotus-engineered, Mercury Marine-built DOHC V-8 made it brilliantly fast. A ZR-1 set a record by averaging 175 mph over 24 hours, traveling over 5,000 miles in the process. (Bill Cooper was there.) Corvette experts are telling us that this ZR-1 is the last undiscovered collectible Corvette, a relatively affordable car with a big increase in valuation not too far ahead.
Designer Jerry Palmer had a great vision for a mid-engine car with his Corvette Indy concept car, but there was no money for a new platform, so instead his beautiful shape had to be squashed onto the C5's front-engine platform. Yet this long-wheelbase improvement of the C4 became enormously significant, starting a trend toward longer, wider cars that were better able to cope with 150-mph speed.
When we're on the road out there in America, we always see a couple of Corvettes. We almost never see a Porsche 911 or even a Nissan Z-car. A Ferrari is seen only on a trailer. Apparently a Corvette is meant for travel in a way that other sports cars are not. Maybe this is some kind of cultural memory of Route 66, a famously artistic television series of the early 1960s in which two guys traveled the famous highway between L.A. and Chicago in search of America while driving a red Corvette C1 V-8.
As it sat there in the courtyard of GM's West Coast design studio in trashy North Hollywood, the brand-new Corvette C6 didn't look too different. We were pretty disappointed. And then you noticed that every little sub-system of the car had been improved. It made us realize that this is the way that racing cars are improved, as time is soaked from every little thing, not just one big thing. And then we remembered that Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Porsche had been forced to build special cars to counter the Corvette's speed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And we were content.
The car that came through
When GM North America president Mark Reuss climbed the stage to present the Corvette C7 to the throng gathered just before the 2013 Detroit auto show, we braced for the usual lights-and-flashes theater. But instead Reuss told a wonderful story about driving to the Corvette shop on the GM proving ground as a little kid while sitting next to his father Lloyd Reuss, an engineer and enthusiast of leading-edge technology in his own right as well as later the president of GM.
It was Mark Reuss's own Corvette moment, and you could feel the pride he felt in the effort from all the people at GM to come through bankruptcy and create this car. No excuses, it's the best we can do, and never mind all those people who said we wouldn't achieve great things ever again.
It's hard to say why the Corvette has such power over us. You think that it's just another car, and then you realize that there's something about it that defines you as a car enthusiast, both the things that you love and the things that you hate. Whether you like it or not, we're all Corvette people.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Front Left View
If you want to totally enrage Corvette fans, here's a fun thing to do: argue that the Corvette should be a four-cylinder. Then watch the capillaries burst in their cheeks as red-hot indignation flows like 93-octane through a Holley double-pumper. The notion of neutering the Corvette down to anything less than full V-8 glory is right up there with pawning the Constitution to China or outlawing hamburgers or declaring soccer the national sport. And yet, when you see a new seventh-generation Corvette lope past on the street, chances are it's powered by a four-cylinder -- 3.1 liters, 126 hp, and 221 lb-ft of torque. Oh, great. Texas just seceded.
Fear not, fellow Americans, for the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray's four-cylinder antics are strictly temporary, and the new 6.2-liter LT1 small-block can be instructed to keep all eight cylinders ready to spin out 460 hp at a prod of the throttle. But the fact that the Corvette even offers cylinder deactivation is a signifier of how thoroughly reengineered the C7 is compared with its predecessor. This is not a C6 with 25 more horsepower and LED strips draped along the headlights.
I get my crack at the C7 at GM's Milford Proving Ground, where the first order of business is for a security guard to carefully place GM-issued stickers over my iPhone's camera lenses. Then we head out to the Black Lake to drive a . . . C6? The yellow Z06 is stuffed with what looks like Mars Rover lab gear beneath the hatch -- data-gathering equipment for the new active electronic differential, dubbed eLSD. GM developed the eLSD in-house, and this Z06 mule can demonstrate the breadth of its capabilities with the flick of a switch. Essentially, an open diff lets the rear end rotate and point the car into a turn, as evidenced by the tank-slapper that ensues when the steering wheel is cranked 45 degrees at 60 mph. A locked diff helps put the power down but results in a car that wants to go straight, a point proved by the Z06's dogged understeer after the same 60-mph juke to the right. Thus, the challenge was programming the electronic diff to progressively manage those two goals in real time as the car circles a racetrack. If you're going to go through all this trouble, why not go all the way and have a torque-vectoring active diff?
"Well, torque vectoring adds weight and cost," says Heath Holbrook, the guy in charge of developing the eLSD. "And if you've already got a lightweight, well-balanced platform, then you get 90 percent of the benefit without the drawbacks."
"So torque-vectoring is kind of a Band-Aid?" I ask.
"You said it, not me!" Holbrook replies.
The C6, frankly, needed some sort of Band-Aid where its ten-tenths behavior was concerned. Although it was always a world-class speed demon, a C6 at its limits is one of the scariest rides that doesn't involve rodeo clowns. Maybe it has something to do with GM building its own private racetrack ten years ago, but more recent cars like the Cadillac CTS-V and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 feel much happier on a road course than the outgoing Corvette does, even if they're not as fast.
To see whether that situation has changed, I fire up a searing red C7 and head onto an autocross course set up on the yawning expanse of blacktop. Chris Barber, vehicle performance engineer, rides shotgun. First impression: this thing sounds like a Vette, with a deep, ragged rumble that smooths out as you release the clutch. Second impression: great seats. Much has been made of the fact that the C7 offers two seating options: all-around touring seats and track-biased competition chairs. I ask Barber if this is the competition seat, and he informs me that this is actually the relaxed-fit base model. Compared with the old car's flabby, lazy-river chaises, even these standard seats are like Le Mans prototype racing shells. "I think the standard seats would be fine for most people, even for track driving," Barber agrees.
After a few acclimation laps, I run through the Vette's driver-assistance programs as I get more daring with the throttle. Like the ZL1, the C7 will progressively draw back the curtain on its capabilities according to your comfort level. Track mode is the last stop before "everything off," and the idea is to provide the kind of high-performance traction control that would be outlawed in most actual race cars: flatten the pedal on corner exit and the car will deploy as much power as the tires can handle, just like a Ferrari 458 Italia in race mode.
The Corvette's power management isn't as smooth as Ferrari's -- when your throttle foot overwhelms available traction, the big V-8 makes anguished stuttering noises that let you know it's struggling not to Hulk out and spin you into the bushes. But man, does it work. GM says that a pro driver will turn the fastest laps with everything off, but a driver who's merely really good will be fastest in track mode.
Out here, with nothing but cones to hit, I want to find out if the eLSD has tamed the Vette's appetite for destruction. So I deactivate stability control and go hot into the wide sweeping left at the beginning of the course. Tires howling, rear end crabbing, this would be the point where a C6 would reveal exactly where my skills run out. But the C7 hangs on and swings through the next slalom, the nose darting into the corners on lift throttle and the tail settling with a dose of power. Of course, I test the laws of physics and manage to spin a few times, but on the last set of corners, the rear tires leave a neat pair of stripes scribing an ess out onto the main straight. "I never could've done that with a C6," I say. Barber, gamely abiding these shenanigans from the passenger seat, translates my observation to engineering terms: "The C7 will tolerate more slip angle." Now let's go to the track.
The Milford Road Course is 2.9 miles of climbing, plunging, twisting pavement designed to make cars unhappy. If a lap here is fun, that's an accidental byproduct of the main goal, which is to exorcise chassis demons before production vehicles are sent out into the world. I don't think it's a coincidence that GM's cars have become ever-better road-course weapons since they built this place. "Here, you're pulling 0.9 g on the straightaway," says Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. You know it's a tough track when the straightaway is a corner.
Weight is the enemy of lap times, and that's the one area where the C6 trumps the C7. Despite the C7's aluminum frame, carbon-fiber hood and roof, magnesium-framed seats, and center-tunnel insulation made from Aerogel -- one of the world's lightest solid materials -- the C7 is heavier than its predecessor. GM lists the base Stingray at 3298 pounds, 90 pounds more than last year's model.
In the most basic sense, the new car offers a lot more features than the old one, and additional capabilities generally presage additional weight. For instance, adding cylinder deactivation required a move to a steel torque tube instead of aluminum, because V-4 mode generates low-frequency resonances that only a steel torque tube can smother. "That added eight kilograms [17.6 pounds]," says Juechter. "From a performance perspective, that is trivial. So for the huge gain in fuel economy, you've got to do it." Juechter says that on the street in Eco mode, his best twenty-five-mile drive averaged 37.2 mpg.
That new interior adds weight, too, for the simple reason that padding and nice materials are going to weigh more than naked plastic. I talked with interior design manager Ryan Vaughan, who told me that weight was the single biggest concern. "In a normal program, you fight for every dollar," he said. "Here, everybody knew what we needed to do and there was no resistance to spending what it took. There was more discomfort when there was something that added weight, because they were very sensitive to that."
Whatever it weighs, the new interior is killer. The eight-inch high-res display in front of the driver is particularly entertaining, as it can morph into several different presentations (including my favorite, a Motec-style rpm bar graph). It's flanked by analog gauges, which help hedge the inevitable digital-display datedness that will set in when 2014's high-res looks like an Atari 2600 compared with the new hyper-realistic holoscreens in the 2024 models.
Speaking of the C7's future as a used car, buried in that display is a gauge that will prove useful for comparing secondhand Vettes: in addition to mileage, the C7 logs total engine revolutions. So you should be able to get an idea of whether a given car spent its life loping down the highway in seventh gear or clocking hot laps at the nearest track.
At Milford, GM coned off two areas that might prove deleterious to the health of the C7 and its drivers. A chicane breaks up a particularly brutal high-speed section, and the steeply banked carousel-style corner will not be scraping off any chin spoilers this afternoon. I strap on a helmet and climb behind the wheel of a Stingray equipped with the $2800 Z51 performance package. There isn't much choice in the matter, as every car here has the Z51 Performance Package. Which makes sense, because you'd be silly to buy a Corvette without it.
Opting for Z51 gives you the all-important eLSD, as well as dry-sump lubrication, differential and transmission coolers, and aero upgrades. Performance-wise, you'll also want the magnetic ride control with performance traction management ($1795) and the dual-mode exhaust ($1195). If Chevy is looking for a slogan for that optional exhaust, I'd like to suggest, "It only adds five horsepower, but it sure does sound like more!"
The cars queued up at the track are all manuals, too. The automatic puts more weight on the rear tires, making it the nominal 0-to-60-mph champ, but out here the stick is what you want. Shift paddles flank the steering wheel with either transmission, but with the manual they control the transmission's electronic rev-matching function, with the prominent center-display gear indicator changing from white to yellow to indicate the system's activation. With that display showing a yellow "1", I go booming away from the pits and out onto the track.
Up to 4700 rpm, the LT1 makes almost as much torque as the old Z06's LS7. Running in track mode, there are corners where I could probably downshift to second, but third still pulls hard enough to invoke some electronic torque management if I unwind the wheel too fast. The C7 isn't as explosive as a C6 Z06, but the lazy low-rpm behavior of the LS3 is definitely banished.
I'll admit that I never turn off the entire electronic safety net on this particular gray-hair-promoting course, but track mode allows enough chassis leeway to reveal that this car is much, much friendlier than the C6. Most gratifying is that this Vette is predictable. Whatever you're trying to do, whether it's trail-braking into a hairpin or powering out of a 100-mph sweeper, somebody has already thought about that situation and tuned the differential lockup, throttle response, suspension stiffness, and about a million other parameters to make the car respond consistently. There's even a system that predicts the tire temperatures and adjusts the chassis controls to raise the thresholds of intervention as the tires warm up. You can turn off traction management and disable rev matching, but there are nonetheless always a lot of computers at work figuring out how to keep you hurtling toward the next apex.
Yet, you're really not aware of any of that when you're driving. Like many a Vette before it, the C7 coughs and bellows and invites you to pop off its targa top and lay down an endless pushrod V-8 burnout like the lout it's always been. Never mind that variable valve timing means that any rough-camshaft idle shake is premeditated. Never mind that the targa top is exotic-car-worthy carbon fiber. And never mind that the parallel stripes of rubber you'll paint on the pavement might be enabled by a hydraulic clutch pack running its own dedicated ECU programmed with in-house algorithms.
The trick with modern performance cars is adding these new layers of digital speed enhancements without ending up with a car that feels like a driving simulator. And that's the real achievement with the Corvette Stingray. In the course of optimizing this torrent of ones and zeros, Chevrolet still remembered to make the C7 loud, brash, low, wide, and menacing. It's smarter and sharper -- and sometimes it's a four-cylinder -- but it's still a Corvette.

Figuring it Out

A while back, a delivery-truck driver loading a Ferrari FF told me to push down on its front end with the ignition off. The car bounced freely. He said that Ferraris loaded tightly on trucks have been getting dented hoods because they bounce up and down so much. I hypothesized that the magnetorheological suspension must go AWOL with the ignition off, so without power they basically lose their dampers.
At Milford, I asked Tadge Juechter about this, and he said that’s exactly what’s happening. Actually he said something like, “Oh, I guess they haven’t figured that out.” He said GM wrestled with the same problem and used to solve it by shipping Corvettes with pucks inserted into the suspension to prevent them from moving much during shipping. Problem was, dealers would sometimes forget to remove the pucks. “One guy complained to me that his Corvette had an awful ride even though it had this high-tech suspension,” he said. “So I reached under it and sure enough, the pucks were still there. I pulled them out and it was like I’d magically fixed his car.” So GM decided that the puck system wasn’t working. Standing there next to a parked C7, I pressed down on the fender and the car barely moved. What was the solution? “We figured it out,” he said.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Price: $51,995/$69,775 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine: 16-valve OHV
Displacement: 6.2 liters (376 cu in)
Power: 460 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis / Steering:Electrically assisted
Front Suspension:Control arms, transverse leaf spring
Rear Suspension:Control arms, transverse leaf spring
Brakes: Vented discs, ABS
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP
Tire sizes F, R: 245/35R-19 (89Y), 285/30R-20 (95Y)
Measurements
L x W x H: 177.0 x 73.9 x 48.6 in
Wheelbase: 106.7 in
Track F/R: 62.8/61.6 in
Weight: 3402 lb
Weight dist. F/R: 50/50%
0-60 mph: 4.1 sec
Top Speed:185 mph (est.)
EPA mileage: 17/29 mpg (est.)
2014 Chevrolet Corvette
2014 Chevrolet Corvette

New For 2014

Everything -- and we do mean everything. The first 500 2014 Corvette Stingray coupes off the assembly line are Premiere Edition models, which sport unique exterior trim, exclusive exterior and interior badging, and fitted luggage. A 2014 Corvette convertible will launch in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Vehicle Summary

After sixty years, the Corvette name needs no introduction. America's sports car was born in 1953 and is now in its seventh generation. Although the Corvette grew heavy and slow in the 1970s and early 1980s, later models -- notably in ZR1 and Z06 guises -- managed to keep pace with European competitors but lacked the sophistication of their peers. After nine model years, the sixth-generation Corvette was finally discontinued, and an all-new seventh-generation model, known as the 2014 Corvette Stingray, debuted at the 2013 Detroit auto show. A convertible variant debuted two months later at the 2013 Geneva motor show.

Overview

Don't deny it -- you've been ogling the 2014 Corvette Stingray since its momentous launch in January. You're not alone. The automotive world has paid close attention to the 2014 Corvette, and for good reason. It may not be a high-volume model, and it may never contribute significantly to General Motors' bottom line like the new Silverado will, but despite its niche market, the seventh-generation Corvette is a metric for the abilities of New GM as a whole. Can the Corvette compete with European exotics without having to apologize for a low-rent interior? Can it set new standards for the segment instead of merely keeping pace with exotic machinery? Is world-class no longer a marketing buzzword but an honest description of the machine itself?

From our initial impressions, we'd say all signs point to "yes."

Let's look past that sharp-yet-sensual skin, with its functional cooling apertures and controversial rectangular quad taillamps. Look past even the interior, despite its upgraded materials, fanciful contrast stitching, and liberal use of leather trim. Macroscopically, the Corvette looks the same: front engine, rear-wheel drive, aluminum frame, and so on. But look closer. That engine, for instance, is an all-new 6.2-liter V-8 that boasts variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and -- believe it or not -- a cylinder-deactivation function for fuel economy's sake. That active fuel management works only under light throttle; punch the gas pedal, and the V-8 serves up a healthy 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Launch the car right -- launch-control systems are at the ready -- and the Corvette can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Both seven-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available, but the former is more entertaining -- especially since it now boasts a nifty rev-matching function that essentially heel-and-toes for you. Nifty? Wait until you learn more about the stability and ABS controls that adapt their settings to real-time tire temperatures.

Despite increased use of carbon-fiber bodywork and a standard aluminum frame (previously the domain of Z06 and ZR1 models only), the new Corvette actually tips the scales at 90 pounds more than the outgoing car. That extra heft is largely attributed to the overhaul within the cabin. For the first time in decades, the Corvette has a modern, attractive interior, with switchgear and materials that no longer feel as if they were sourced from the bottom of a GM parts bin. Bucket seats, even in their base form, finally offer the support demanded by a sports car, and the optional leather interior package dresses things up even further.

Tick every option box, and it's possible to load up a $51,995 2014 Corvette Stingray to well over $73,000. If you truly want to exercise the Corvette to its full potential, do make sure to at least opt for the Z51 Track Package. Although it adds $2800 to the price tag, it brings dry-sump engine lubrication, differential and transmission coolers, and a few aerodynamic tweaks. Most importantly, it also adds a new electronic limited-slip rear differential, which helps put down the V-8's power without inducing understeer.

That's a big change from previous Corvettes, which were either neutral or tended to push in corners. The 2014 Corvette is more than happy to rotate into corners, and it exhibits tremendous grip. But the biggest change may be evident only on a racetrack: the C7 is far more stable, sorted, and fleshed out when driven at its upper limits, even with its various traction and stability control settings defeated.

You'll like:

  • Tenacious grip and eager turn-in
  • More stable and linear behavior when driven hard
  • Interior finally looks and feels worthy of an exotic sports car

You won't like:

  • Purists cringe at the rectangular taillamps
  • Options quickly drive costs sky-high
  • Z51 package not available on the convertible

Key Competitors

  • Audi R8
  • Porsche 911
  • SRT Viper GTS
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 Coupe Front Three Quarter In Motion 04
For much of its history, the Chevrolet Corvette has made promises it couldn’t keep. America’s sports car has always aimed to beat European competitors costing twice as much, and it frequently has put up the necessary performance stats to do so. But from behind the wheel, this bold quest has almost always come up short. Although fast and fun, the Corvette has usually lacked the refinement and attention to quality that makes a relatively expensive sports car worth that extra money.

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New 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Pricing

Fair Market Price what is this?
$48,840
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
$53,000
Estimated Monthly Payment to Own
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Estimated Monthly Payment to Lease
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Certified Pre-Owned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$52,925

Used 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$53,000

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
6.2L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
17 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
29 MPG
Horsepower:
455 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
460 ft lb of torque @ 4600rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
100,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
100,000 miles / 72 months
Roadside
100,000 miles / 60 months
Maintenance
24,000 miles / 24 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS
Summary
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles manufactured April 23, 2014 to April 25, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) may experience an internal short circuit, resulting in the deactivation of the air bags and seat belt pretensioners.
Consequences
If the SDM short circuits, the air bags may not deploy and the seat belt pretensioners may not activate in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
Remedy
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM), free of charge. The recall began on August 1, 2014. Owners may contact General Motors customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14219.
Potential Units Affected
33
Notes
General Motors LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Summary
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles manufactured April 23, 2014 to April 25, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) may experience an internal short circuit, resulting in the deactivation of the air bags and seat belt pretensioners.
Consequences
If the SDM short circuits, the air bags may not deploy and the seat belt pretensioners may not activate in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
Remedy
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM), free of charge. The recall began on August 1, 2014. Owners may contact General Motors customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14219.
Potential Units Affected
33
Notes
General Motors LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SEAT BELTS
Summary
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles manufactured April 23, 2014 to April 25, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) may experience an internal short circuit, resulting in the deactivation of the air bags and seat belt pretensioners.
Consequences
If the SDM short circuits, the air bags may not deploy and the seat belt pretensioners may not activate in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
Remedy
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM), free of charge. The recall began on August 1, 2014. Owners may contact General Motors customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14219.
Potential Units Affected
33
Notes
General Motors LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS
Summary
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles manufactured November 20, 2013, to March 25, 2014, and equipped with optional sport seats. The seats do not meet internal specifications for injury protection in relation to an unbelted young child.
Consequences
In the event of a crash necessitating side impact air bag deployment, an unbelted young child may be at an increased risk of neck injury.
Remedy
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger's side impact air bag, free of charge. The recall is began in early August 2014. Owners should not allow small children to ride in vehicles unbelted or in the front passenger seat. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14240.
Potential Units Affected
712
Notes
General Motors LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SUSPENSION:REAR:SHOCK ABSORBER
Summary
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles manufactured February 12, 2014, to March 14, 2014. Due to an improper weld on the rear shock absorbers, the shock absorber tubes may separate from the shock absorber clevis brackets resulting in a sudden change in vehicle handling.
Consequences
A sudden change in vehicle handling increases the risk of a crash.
Remedy
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace both of the rear shock absorbers, free of charge. The recall began on August 18, 2014. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1- 800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14302.
Potential Units Affected
1,939
Notes
General Motors LLC


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Depreciation
43.5%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$26,600
43.5%
Insurance
$9,545
15.6%
Fuel Cost
$12,752
20.8%
Financing
$5,897
9.6%
Maintenance
$5,143
8.4%
Repair Costs
$649
1.1%
State Fees
$579
0.9%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $61,165 What's This?
Value Rating: Above Average