Among iconic automotive names, few conjure up the visceral reaction of the Corvette Stingray. Originally applied to the short-lived C2 Corvette (built for the 1963-1967 model years), the Stingray name came to be associated with advances in both styling and performance.
It’s fitting, then, that Chevrolet is applying the Stingray name to the 2014 Corvette, as the seventh-generation (or C7, to the Corvette faithful) represents perhaps the most significant change in styling since the second generation was launched.
There are big gains in performance, too, with the base model’s 6.2-liter V-8 now producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That’s good enough for sub-four-second 0-60 mph times, and when fitted with the optional Z51 Performance Package, the new Corvette can exceed 1 g in cornering grip.
As impressive as those numbers may be, it’s the 2014 Corvette’s shape that has people talking. Up front, the rounded intake in the lower fascia is reminiscent of the original 1953 Corvette, while the car’s fastback style seems to tie it directly to the C2 models. There’s enough of the current car’s shape in the C7 to be familiar, too.
Out back, the square tail lights tie the car to the Chevrolet Camaro (and, oddly enough, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu), but these are offset by details like the vented and finned hood, or the vertical details of the join between rear fenders and rear bumper. You’d expect this on a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but not on a Corvette.
Inside, Chevy has listened to owner complaints about the previous model’s lackluster interior. Gone are the inadequate seats, replaced by the buyer’s choice of GT seats for comfort or Competition Sport Seats, with additional bolstering, for track use. Both look to be a giant improvement over the chairs available in the C6.
The interior is wrapped in soft-touch materials, too, with material choices (depending upon trim level) including Napa leather, carbon fiber, aluminum and micro-suede. There’s also the latest Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which is shown on a pair of eight-inch displays including one (in the center stack) with gesture recognition.
Adding to the concept of driver-focused technology is the Corvette Stingray’s Drive Mode Selector, which allows drivers to choose between five settings based on conditions. There are Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track setting, with each adjusting engine, transmission and chassis parameters accordingly.
Look for a full drive report from Motor Authority in the near future. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is expected to go on sale in the third quarter, with pricing to be announced closer to the car’s launch.
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