""Wherever this car travels, it sprinkles halo dust for General Motors.""
That’s no typo above: our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has turned 5251 miles in two months. Indeed, the Corvette is proving to be one of those Four Seasons cars that makes us want to drop everything and go for a ride.
A few of us have done just that: No sooner had I finished driving the car 460 miles from Kentucky to Michigan than road test editor Chris Nelson climbed behind the wheel and sped off to Chicago. I drove back to the Windy City a few Sundays later with no pretense beyond attending an afternoon coffee brewing class (hey, it’s more complicated than you’d think).
Even when the car’s just sitting outside our building, though, we can’t quite seem to leave it alone.
“Drove the Corvette around the office park—my palms are still sweaty,” says associate web editor Eric Weiner.
What have we learned about the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in all this driving? “That everybody loves the new Corvette,” Nelson answers. “A crowd of eight people gathered on my parents’ sleepy street in the Chicago suburbs moments after I parked.” I can confirm the Windy City’s affection for the ‘Vette: even the surly tollbooth operator on the Skyway could not help but inquire excitedly about the gleaming white sports car.
The adulation has poured in just as frantically around metro Detroit, even though C7 Corvettes are already relatively common around these parts.
"Drive by a strip of alfresco diners, and every man will raise his head and turn his neck,” notes deputy editor Joe DeMatio. He doesn’t blame them, noting instead that he took the time to wash the car by hand and that the Detroit V-8 soundtrack “sounds better than LaFerrari.”
Beyond drawing lots of attention, we’ve been able to delve deeper into the 2014 Corvette’s features, starting with its drive mode selector. Touring mode, which offers the softest setting for the magnetorheological dampers, should be perfect for everyday driving, given how bad the roads are around southeast Michigan. But it also makes the steering feel lighter than we like and silences the exhaust at low engine speeds by closing butterfly valves in two of the four tailpipes. “Turning down the exhaust volume on a Corvette is akin to having a long-distance relationship with Allison Brie,” quips associate web editor Jake Holmes, “You're missing out on the most appealing part.” We have since found, buried in submenus in the center touch screen, a way to open the exhaust valves regardless of drive mode. That’s easier, at least, than in the last-generation Corvette, where one had to resort to pulling fuses to make the exhaust loud all the time.
For highway slogs, we do appreciate both Touring and Eco mode. The latter shuts down cylinders during cruising. It’s a little disconcerting at first—a perceptible tremor passes through the gas pedal as cylinders cut in and out. But the results impress: “I saw an indicated 34 mpg on the instantaneous display while in Eco mode,” Holmes says.
We’ve not yet had the time to take our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to a proper venue to explore its most aggressive mode (Track). Still, I tapped into its capabilities when a slight drizzle began to fall on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. I selected “wet” from the stability control submenu, which adjusts both the stability control system and the electronic limited slip differential (this submenu is only available in Track mode). I then jabbed the throttle through a U-turn, executing a perfect tail slide before accelerating away toward the highway. “Nicely done,” said my passenger, clearly convinced that this was a result of my driving skills.
If there’s an early let down, it’s the seven-speed manual gearbox. “The gates are narrow and it’s easy to get lost among all the gears,” Holmes notes. More worrying, a slight click has developed when sliding into first gear, which is something we’ll have to address in our first service appointment. The direct-injection engine likewise voices a number of odd clicks and clacks upon cold startup. “It’s more of a whuuurwhuuurwhuuurwhuur, taptapclickclick, taptapclickclick,” Holmes says (yes, we really do spend our days talking about this stuff).
For the most part, however, our first few months with the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray have been a honeymoon—a celebrity honeymoon, no less.
“People continue to whip out cell phones excitedly at the mere sight of it,” editor in chief Michael Floyd notes, adding, “Wherever this car travels, it sprinkles halo dust for General Motors.”