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1407 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Meeting The M4
four seasons long-term tests

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Meeting The M4

Miles to Date: 6157

SUMMER
2014 Chevrolet Corvette reviews to date
"The 2015 BMW M4 is an incredible car. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is equally incredible."

It's important to recognize that each of our Automobile of the Year awards exists only at a specific time. The Dodge Neon seemed like a great pick in 1994, but soon thereafter our opinion changed. So, too, with the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: it was the best sports car when we gave it our coveted award in late 2013, but it could be dethroned at any time if a better car comes along.

To find out whether a regime change is in the works, we head to Michigan's Gingerman Raceway with a yellow 2015 BMW M4 and our white 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The new M4 -- née M3 coupe -- has history on its side. Every version of the BMW M3 has been an enthusiast's dream, with sonorous engines and perfectly balanced chassis. The new 2015 model, with its torquey inline-six and perfectly tuned suspension, is the best expression of that idea yet. Surely this beacon of German engineering can outshine the Corvette?

As we set about lapping Gingerman, the same track used for our annual Automobile of the Year testing, a funny thing happens: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray handily keeps pace with the M4. It's no surprise the cars are well-matched in a straight line, what with America bringing 460 hp to Germany’s 425 hp, but this Corvette keeps up everywhere on the track.

This isn't your uncle's Corvette. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has all the fancy technologies of the M4 -- carbon-fiber body parts, electronic differential, adaptive suspension, direct injection, color head-up display -- and it matches the BMW's every move. Chevrolet has built the greatest Corvette ever, and it's good enough to keep pace with one of the best German cars money can buy. Its lone misstep is an occasional judder through the brake pedal after hard lapping, although they always halt the Corvette with authority.

We're having a riot battling the M4 on track, but also learn a lot on the ride home. Older Corvettes never matched the poise, the sophistication, and involvement of a classic M3. Times have changed. The 2015 BMW M4 is quieter, it soaks up freeway bumps more smoothly, and it has a plusher interior. But it also costs $18,140 more than our Four Seasons Corvette. More tellingly, the M4 fails to evoke the same response from drivers. Road test editor Christopher Nelson, an M4 champion who begged to take the BMW to the track, finally admits even he's jealous of our small-block Stingray.

“When I hear the sound of that V-8, and I see him ahead of me, I can't help thinking I'd have more fun in that car,” Nelson muses as he trails us around Gingerman. Sure enough, when it's time to drive home, he snags the Chevy keys and takes off before we have time to argue.

The 2015 BMW M4 is an incredible car. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is equally incredible. And that realization, that a Kentucky-built icon can stack up to Munich's legend, is the most incredible thing of all.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 2-door coupe
Accommodation 2-passenger
Construction Aluminum spaceframe w/composite and carbon-fiber body panels
Base price (with dest.)$54,795
As tested $68,060
Engine 16-valve OHV V-8
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
EPA Fuel Economy 17/29/21 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.5 turns
Turning circle 37.7 ft
Suspension, Front Control arms, transverse leaf spring
Suspension, Rear Control arms, transverse leaf spring
Brakes Vented discs, ABS
Wheels 19-inch aluminum front, 20-inch aluminum rear
Tires Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP
Tire size F/R 245/35R-19 (89Y), 285/30R-20 (95Y)
Headroom 38.0 in
Legroom 43.0 in
Shoulder room 55.0 in
Wheelbase 106.7 in
Track F/R 62.8/61.6 in
L x W x H 177.0 x 73.9 x 48.6 in
Passenger capacity 52.0 cu ft
Cargo capacity 15.0 cu ft
Weight 3298 lb
Weight dist. F/R 50/50%
Fuel capacity 18.5 gal
Est. fuel range 380miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
  • Standard Equipment
    • Performance suspension
    • Dry-sump oiling system
    • Electronic limited-slip differential
    • Slotted brake rotors
    • Black brake calipers
    • Performance gear ratios
    • Engine oil cooler and heavy-duty cooling system
    • 19-inch aluminum front wheels and 20-inch aluminum rear wheels
    • Aerodynamic package
    • 5-mode driver controls
    • 7-speed manual transmission w/active rev matching
    • Heated exterior mirrors
    • HID headlights
    • Removable carbon-fiber roof panel
    • Carbon-fiber hood
    • Chevrolet MyLink w/8-inch touchscreen
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
    • USB port
    • Auxiliary audio jack
    • 9-speaker Bose audio system
    • Leather-trimmed seats
    • 8-way power seats
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Gauge cluster w/8-inch screen
    • Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
    • Carpeted floor mats
    • OPTIONS FOR THIS VEHICLE:
    • Corvette Museum delivery- $990
    • Magnetic ride control w/performance traction management- $1795
    • Performance exhaust- $1195
    • Carbon-fiber interior package- $995
    • Chevrolet MyLink w/navigation- $795
    • Red brake calipers- $595
    • Black aluminum wheels- $495
    • Personalized plaque- $200
    • Competition sport seats- $1995
    • 2LT package- $4210
    • Memory package
    • Power bolster and lumbar adjustments
    • Corvette logo on seats
    • Color-matched console and doors
    • Cargo cover and net
    • Auto-dimming driver’s side exterior mirror
    • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
    • Heated and ventilated seats
    • 10-speaker Bose audio system
    • Additional 9 months of SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription
    • Universal garage-door opener
    • Alarm
    • Color head-up display
  • Fritz Barowsky
    I can't wait for the next intense article when these 2 auto enthusiasts compare an Aventador or a 458 Spider to a Mustang, or Camaro, or Challenger!!  What a waste of time of REAL automobile comparisons.  I guess however we should know that the American Dream Sports car is now almost as good as a low end German 2dr family sedan!!  Yeah maybe we will catch up some day to the M5 with this desire.  I am not sure why you didn't compare this to the M1 versus the M4.  Even the passenger capability is larger then the Corvette, but again maybe the slightly smaller vehicle and its performance would have shown up the Corvette??Oh well, maybe this is a compliment to all the GM owners, that after 50+ years of building a 2 seater sports car, they feel they are equal in performance now to a 2dr German family sedan.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!Wow, I really just wasted 15 minutes of my life, that I won't ever get back!!
    SuperSoul
    Rather hilarious how carefully nuanced this article is-avoids any mention of actual performance specs as we all know the Corvette will lay waste to the BMW. Especially hilarious how this is supposedly the only Corvette that could "run" with an M3.  I've owned both Corvettes and M3s over the years. The Corvettes are ALWAYS faster in any measurable performance. My C4 would easily outrun my E30 or E36 M3, my C5Z06 had no difficulty dispatching my E46 M3 and my C6 Z06 destroyed the last gen M3.Its no different now.I love how they imply that the Corvette has no sense of performance cred or history-perhaps its the writers that should step out of their tiny, myopic worlds. Digging further into the past the 67 Corvette that I've also enjoyed wouldn't waste a drop of petrol to vanquish a silly little BMW of that era. My 69 alloy headed 427 with a delightful close ration 4 speed and F41 suspension would consider ANY 69 BMW to be nothing more than an easily ignored gnat.
    BlazingC5
    At least compare two sports cars.  The BMW looks like it should be compared to a Camry.  Might as well throw in a Dodge Ram truck too..
    Vicsan
    I have an 07 335i coupe with a different but similar dual turbo, 3 liter inline six. It has Dinan stage 2 software and allegedly (I haven't dyno'd it) makes the same HP and slightly less torque (385). I have over 100k miles with only minor (but expensive) engine problems. I test drove an M4 yesterday and while the brakes, 7 speed tranny and suspension were worlds better, it wasn't any faster than my 335. All of which should be for that much more $$. I also rented a C7 stingray from Hertz last month in Orlando (for $60/day!) and I don't feel it was as fast as my Bimmer. It would get sideways in a hurry with stab control off, which was a hoot, but the auto tranny just felt kinda rough. I need an extended drive with the 6 speed, but I think that Hertz rate was a computer glitch!I'm shopping both against the CTS V, and waiting for the Hellcat!And anyone who talks about turbo lag in the Bimmer hasn't driven it.
    ssranon
    Having sat in both, the BMW 4-series has a great field of vision and is more upright. In the Corvette you are down low and the visibility is worse, especially out the back. The new Corvette is a thing of beauty, and no doubt the Corvette would beat the M4 on the track. But on the road with our 70mph speed limits and constant traffic, that difference vanishes.In the real world, if you have responsibilities like a wife and kids then the BMW becomes a no-brainer. OTOH, if I got the Corvette, I'd have to spend the $18K I saved and buy a Ford Focus for times when I need to bring the wife and kids. (And let's be honest, nobody wants to be seen driving a Ford Focus. :)The BMW gives you the best of both worlds, performance and practicality.
    djetzel1940
    I was in Germany for just over 11 years and driven most of their automobiles. I owned a BMW 3 Series and loved it. However, picking the NEW 2014 Vette is a no brainer, especially sense the BMW cost more. If friends want to tag along, they can hook a rope to the rear bumper and skateboard. Besides, it will get the beer to their  heads  faster....PROAST! 
    the_roadrunner
    I think if they actually showed the track time, the Corvette would crush the M4.  Also curious about MPG.  The Corvette gets 29 MPG highway.  If the BMW M4 can't get at least 30 MPG, then what is the point of putting up with turbo lag, turbo maintenance complexity,and six cylinders?
    OMEGATALON
    Chevy's C7 Corvette is a totally different car from it's predecessors as it is every bit as good as the best of Europe and sales of over 2200 Corvettes per month say that people like what they're seeing as the C7 Corvette is literally sucking the air out of the market segment because why pay more for the same level of performance.
    Rony Giron
    I've had a fetish with German and European cars since I was a child. However, American cars are far more fun to trash around and beautiful to look at. Look at it! I would definitely without a question or hesitation would cash my 401K and go for the Vette if my wife would let me. European cars are far too serious. That level of seriousness gets old soon and one has to rationalize one's existence into a permanent serious mood. We need fun and involvement. The Vette is a serious car without taking itself too serious.
    jmccool6969
    No doubt about, Corvette.
    Zack Kibler
    I would buy a stripped out M4 over the Corvette, if not just because I've always dreamed of owning an M3, and the Corvette was never even remotely desirable (to me) until now. Of course, I've never driven either of the current models, so the Corvette may seduce me if I were ever to actually have the money to buy one. A V8 rumble goes a long way, which is why it's a shame BMW sacked the 4.0L V8 from the E92 M3.
    Loopdelooop
    the vette was always able to keep up with the m3, and should be faster since it has more power more tourque and lighter weight, kudos to bmw for keeping the m3 at 3600 pounds while every other 'performance' sedan is close to 4000 pounds, hell even sports car are now too.
    John D'Angelo
    Do this comparison again in six months when the Z06 is available.  More equally priced to the M4.  Doubt very much the M4 will keep up with the Z06 on the track.
    Mithun Chakravarthy
    Corvette ofcourz......
    Diesel Gould
    Most European cars are overpriced breakdown machines.  Resale sucks, with the exception of some Merc and maybe Porsche.  You can't drive most of the so called "exotic cars" from Italy and Great Britain daily as they are meant for shows and occasional weekend show offs.  The Vette runs circle around many of these cars, but with way less cash, way less maintenance, way less headache down the road, and it looks great.  German engineering is a sure thing, they make great cars, but again, reliability and resale suck. Vette wins and wins big. On another topic, the Nissan GT-R is a force to be reckoned with, and I bet it will chew up cars twice as expensive.
    Chris Jenkins
    Corvette
    Across Joes
    its BMW
    Justin Taylor
    Roman Sumner Decisions Decisions ...
    Shubham Mohite
    Corvette
    gerardthai
    Vette VS Bimmer?  I can't see where these cars would be cross shopped.  meaning...they're in different classes.  The Vette would compare more to a Cayman than the BMW.  And with that, I'd take a Cayman. 
    But...apparently this comparo got the attention of 80 commenters before me so it worked. 
    Heber Esparza Cslash
    Alfonso Esparza
    Gustavo Alonso
    Diego Alonso mirá, a vos que te gustan los del moño
    Karl Thacker
    Neither really, but M4 is more usable.
    Kishan Suthar
    corvette...all time
    Chris Domenichello
    Corvette. Like there was even another option.
    Jeffrey Kayne
    I would take both of them, sell them buy a Hellcat and a Ram Diesel and call it a day lol
    Abdur Rab
    BMW
    Josh Jenkins
    That's tough. More practical BMW but that corvette is so damn good looking and so powerful.
    Raymond Day-Hakker
    Stingray is unique.....The bmw .? ... Yawn...
    Keith Asakawa
    Vette
    Omar Alejandro Prado
    Corvrtte
    Tim Lucas
    Me, because the BMW I owned was the worst, most unreliable car I've ever had.
    Tim Lucas
    In terms of what?
    Tim Lucas
    Corvette!
    Brad Crystal
    @Fritz Barowsky - Some important corrections: (1) The BMW M4 is a 2-door sports coupe, not a sedan. (2) While it does have a small back seat, the M4 can hardly be classified as a family car! (3) There's nothing "low end" about the $80,000 (as typically configured) M4.
    Zack Kibler
    @Fritz Barowsky Yeah, how stupid to compare two sports cars that are similar in power, performance, and price.
    Zack Kibler
    @SuperSoul I think it's also important to note that Automobile has never been about specs. It's about real world driving experience. None of their articles list many raw numbers because they don't tell the whole story. It just opens up the thread to pissing contests between readers who are loyal to one of the involved cars.
    Zack Kibler
    @SuperSoul Um, a C4 Corvette had a MUCH more powerful engine than an E30 or E36 M3, same for a C5 ZO6 to an E46, and a C6 ZO6 to the E92. This is a standard Corvette compared to the M4. At the very least, 0-60 times are almost identical for the two cars, and previous Corvettes (non ZO6 models) would have struggled to keep up with the Bimmer around a track because of their crappy handling.The importance of this comparison lies not in that the M4 and Corvette are close in straight-line performance, but that the Corvette, which was previously only good for quarter-mile shenanigans, can keep up with, or beat the M4 around a track because of how vastly improved its handling is. Also that the interior is no longer a poorly executed prison cell, but one that can be compared to that of a BMW.
    BlazingC5
    @ssranon Which is why it's the BMW shouldn't be compared to a sports car.  Someone interested in buying a car with the track performance and looks of many exotics, is not typically the same as the buyer of a car with a baby seat in the back, with the kids honor student sticker on the back window. 
    Lane M
    @Zack Kibler Their 4.0 liter wasn't all that special and cost a fortune.  Similar performance can be had which is why they dumped it.  The $55,000 M3 was equaled by the $35,000 Mustang GT on the track and the Mustang won't break down like the BMW or require $150 oil changes.
    Smokey Viper139
    @Diesel Gould Preach brother!
    Zack Kibler
    @Diesel Gould Mostly true, though BMW engines themselves are pretty bulletproof. I know a guy with a 2003 M3 with 145K miles that still runs like a top. I took it 145mph on I-86 in NY and accidentally red-lined it because the engine was still so smooth it sounded like it wasn't even trying.The troubles tend to come with accessory parts like water pumps, steering/suspension pieces that wear faster than in an American or Japanese car, etc. Plus, there is an increased perception of lack of reliability because the parts cost so much more.
    Loopdelooop
    @Diesel Gould couldn't agree more, anybody trust a twin turbo m3 is with 100K miles on it?? you know you can fix a small block anywhere..
    mjubie
    @gerardthai I could definitly see myself conflicted on a purchase decision between the 2.  And imagine teh same is true for many...so the comparison was cool.
    mjubie
    and a wife is more usable than a girlfriend, but ask yourself which is more fun and will give you less problems?
    mjubie
    how about a trackor and call it a hick and a half day
    the_roadrunner
    pretty practical compared with the BMW also, far cheaper to maintain, bulletproof V8 versus twinturbo problem potential in the BMW, huge hauling capacity with the hatch.  the only BMW advantage is the rear seat.
    Smokey Viper139
    @Zack Kibler @SuperSoul Zack you are confused. Corvettes have been racing and winning on all types of tracks striaght or otherwise for over 60 years.The M3 is a great car but over the years it has rarely bested the vette in anything other than arguably refinement. Of course as just demonstrated that refinement has come at a higher price. Both are great cars but to insinuate the Vette is unworthy of world class respect is nonesense.
    Zack Kibler
    @Lane M @Zack Kibler In what world, exactly, is a sonorous, butter-smooth V8 that revs to 8,400 rpm "not all that special?" Every single review I read about the E92 waxed lyrical about how delightful the engine was.You could make the argument on every previous M engine that similar performance can be had by another configuration. Small, rev-happy, N/A engines will never be the "best" way to make power, but as for  driving experience and enjoyment, they can't be beat. Also, it wasn't the standard Mustang GT that equaled the M3, it was the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, which had an MSRP of around $45K, but usually went for more on dealer lots. Additionally, looking only at price never tells the whole story. The Bimmer was all around more sophisticated and drivable on a daily basis, and had a much more luxurious interior.Are you the same type of guy who comments on Acura reviews and says, "I'd rather have a loaded Accord?"
    the_roadrunner
    @mjubie agree.  and dony forget the Corvette has a hatch.  It can actually carry a ton of cargo.

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