A new Corvette is always reason to celebrate. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuted to much fanfare at the 2013 Detroit auto show, and we couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel to see if the drive matched the sensational new look. We weren’t disappointed. This C7 generation of the Corvette has basically solved all of the previous models’ shortcomings—most notably the low-rent interiors and subpar seats—while maintaining the quintessential Corvette character and performance-value quotient. As contributor Ezra Dyer noted, “There’s really no longer any obvious reason not to buy this car.”
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is powered by an advanced 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 which makes 460 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the Z51 performance package. This new small-block is packed with technology, from direct injection to variable valve timing to even cylinder deactivation which can shut down four of the eight cylinders for better fuel economy when cruising. All of this adds up to a shockingly flexible engine that makes seemingly endless power and torque throughout the rev range. It’s equally happy hitting nearly 30 mpg while cruising at 1200 rpm on the highway as it is blasting down the straightaway approaching the 6600 rpm redline.
The technological advancement in this C7 is miles ahead of any previous Corvette, but associate editor David Zenlea was pleased with the way that all of this tech enhances the car but doesn’t define it. For instance, there’s a nifty auto rev matching feature for the seven-speed manual, but Zenlea was pleasantly surprised to find that the pedals are nicely placed for the driver to rev match on his own if he so pleases.
There’s also a cool configurable LCD gauge cluster, along with performance measuring systems that keep track of things like lateral Gs. The tech extends below the surface, too, with six different performance modes that adjust steering feel, stability control settings, suspension firmness, and throttle response. In full blown Track mode, the Corvette is a beast, with responsive steering, incredibly sharp turn-in, unbelievable levels of grip, and near-perfect balance. But put it in low-key Tour or efficient Eco mode and it’s perfectly civilized on the street. Senior editor Joe Lorio called the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray “a liveable supercar, at a sub-supercar price.”
So the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray may be the best Corvette ever, but will it win the big prize? Check back on November 16th to see which of the 10 finalists wins the Automobile of the Year trophy.
Photos by Patrick Hoey.
We will be releasing our 10 Finalists for the 2014 Automobile of the Year throughout the week leading up to the announcement of the winner on Saturday, November 16. See our other finalists here: