Bottom line: If proof were needed of a resurgent General Motors, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe is it. It is indisputably one of the best sports cars available anywhere at any price.
Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets excellent marks in all three, which can be frustrating. The car is at its full glory on the racetrack. But most of the world’s highways and streets aren’t racetracks.
The new Corvette Stingray is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat sports car available as a hard-top coupe. A convertible is scheduled by spring 2014, maybe earlier. There are two trim levels — base and Z51, the latter which allows you to have the Corvette Stingray you want when you want it via adaptive suspension damping technology that allows you to select vehicle handling preference — wet weather, economical motoring, regular commuting (touring mode), more spirited sport driving or competition track mode.
Engine/transmissions: The car comes with a 6.2-liter, gasoline-fueled, 16-valve V-8 engine with variable valve timing linked to a standard seven-speed manual transmission. The six-speed automatic in the car driven for this column is optional.
Capacities: There are seats for two people. Cargo capacity is 15 cubic feet, enough for two overnight soft-pack pieces. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons of gasoline. Premium grade is recommended.
Mileage: Real-world highway mileage in the model equipped with six-speed automatic transmission was 27 miles per gallon.
Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; post-collision safety system; automatic notification to first-responders via air-bag deployment notification; stolen vehicle tracking system.
Price: The car with six-speed automatic transmission is $53,800 with a dealer’s invoice price on that model of $48,958. Price as tested is $62,800, including $8,005 in options (onboard navigation, premium sound system, premium leather-wrapped instrument panel and other items) and a $995 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $56,997.
Note: This is likely to be a high-demand vehicle. Expect to find dealer markups.