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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Smitten with the Mitten

Miles to Date: 11,647

Joe DeMatiophotographerDavid ZenleawriterChris NelsonphotographerPatrick M. Hoeyphotographer

Our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray spent most of the spring and early summer on the interstate, but as of late, it's been exploring the great state of Michigan. That's not to say it hasn't been piling on plenty of miles, though. Michigan, for the edification of those who typically just fly over it, is really big.

Deputy editor and Michigander-in-chief Joe DeMatio chose the Corvette for his 150-mile drive to his hometown of West Branch (population: 2,116). His family, as it happens, was marking 100 years since Theodore and Emma DeMatio, Joe's paternal grandparents, arrived in the small mid-Michigan town in a Ford Model T. "I have to say, I got there a lot faster in our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray," DeMatio says. His kinfolk and the people of West Branch rendered their approval for the hot new Chevrolet:

"In all my years of driving test cars to my home town, I've never received so much positive attention. Heads swiveled in every car and pickup I passed. I don't think anyone had ever seen a car with this sort of livery: bright white with black accents and black wheels with red calipers. It is VERY noticeable."

All of the DeMatio descendants, men, women, and children, regardless of age, were similarly smitten. "Everyone had to sit behind the wheel. My cousin Tim, who's a youthful 70, recalled driving a buddy's first-generation Stingray 50 years ago."

The Corvette then hauled up to Traverse City, Michigan (population: 14,572), with this writer at the helm. The seating position, which some have found too high for a sports car, keeps legs and butts fresh on long trips. With the dampers set in Touring mode—most editors have forgone the stiff touring and track modes—the Corvette rolls rather comfortably over the Michigan moonscape, although we still try to steer around the worst potholes so as to spare the pricey wheels and low-profile Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP tires.

The GPS estimated the 240-mile trip would take 4 hours. But I was running late, the roads were wide open and rural, and I had 460 hp on tap. Within three hours, I was coasting along Grand Traverse Bay. The people of Traverse City, wouldn't you know it, liked the Corvette, too.

Perhaps the most fun can be had right near our new office, which sits about a block from historic Woodward Avenue. Executive editor Todd Lassa scored the keys for the annual Dream Cruise and found the new 'Vette more than holds its own in "the world's most interesting traffic jam." Once he escaped the congestion, he was able to exercise the 6.2-liter V-8 for the benefit of his car-crazy nephew, who, from the passenger seat at least, preferred the powertrain to that of a Nissan GT-R.

"Although the techno-cool Nissan GT-R twin-turbo V-6's 545 hp outpowers the Corvette, it's hard to beat the exhaust note of a normally aspirated V-8."

The Corvette also spent more than a week at a Dearborn Chevy dealer addressing a number of issues that have cropped up over 11,000 miles. The dealer performed an alignment under warranty to stop the car from pulling to the right. Editors have noticed the shifter clicks going into first gear and occasionally pops out, but mechanics claim it's "working as designed" and say that we must push the shifter past a slight second detent in order to engage first. The techs also dismissed our complaints of chattering brakes, saying the rotors and pads pass inspection. (We suspect we'll be revisiting this issue.) The dealer aligned the passenger door, which had been slightly askew since we picked it up in Bowling Green, and replaced a missing trim piece. Again, no charge. Finally, the dealer has ordered a new passenger-side airbag to satisfy a safety recall (yes, GM is doing lots of those). Until the part arrives, we're advised to "not allow small children to ride in vehicles unbelted or in the front passenger seat."

Those are a few more issues than we'd like to be dealing with after five months. But overall, the Corvette, much like our fair state, grows more appealing the more time we spend in it.

Overview

  • 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

Powertrain

  • 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)

Chassis

  • 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)

Measurements

  • 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)

Equipment

  • 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

Equipment

  • 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