2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe new car reviews

This is a Corvette of throwbacks. The Stingray name (nee Sting Ray) was pulled off Chevrolet's flagship sports car after 1976, but has returned to this radically restyled C7-chassis Corvette. The LT-1 engine is also a new design featuring variable valve timing—a first for GM's pushrod V8s—but pulls the name from the iron block motor of decades ago.

It's kept light, too, with all models getting a carbon fiber hood and extensive use of aluminum throughout the chassis. Lean and strong is the effect here, with 460 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque available when equipped with the optional exhaust.

The coupe isn't really a coupe, either, so much as a targa. All coupes come with a removable roof panel, which makes it a great compromise for those who love open-top motoring but don't love living with convertibles.

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Rick Goolsby Rick Goolsby
Events Manager

Having driven the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in pace car form at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Grand-Am race in 2013, I was curious to see how the car behaved as a daily driver vs going around a race track. The car is so easy to drive and well mannered, but at the same time ready turn into the high performance sports car that has made the Corvette marque a household name in American high performance for decades.

What really impressed me was not just the usual performance characteristics of the car, but the way the interior was put together. I have been in Corvettes in the past that just felt cheap and not well put together. Not so in the new Stingray. This interior would rank up there with dare I say some BMW and Porsche products I have driven over the past couple of years.

All in all it was nice to get to spend some quality time driving the new Corvette Stingray just to see what it would be like to drive in everyday life especially after knowing how much fun it is to drive on the track.

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

It's probably no secret I've always been a fan of Corvettes. They're good at what they do, and what they do is super fun. But with each passing generation, the asterisks of "...for an American car" or "...for a Corvette" drift further and further away.

The C7 is almost impossibly good in some ways. No car this low slung and sporty looking should have such good outward visibility. It manages to make the dash feel low and unobtrusive without making you feel like you're sitting up at the top of the seat range. It's like a throwback to an era when impact protection didn't mean shoulder-high sills and dashes you could barely see over.

There's a lot of gadgetry, but it's all pretty easy to come to terms with. Best of all there's plenty of programs available for your track adventures, with various combinations of traction and stability control from mild to wild—or even completely off. Although we hear that even Corvette engineers and test drivers are fastest with a very slight bit of stability intervention, just to take the edge off.

I'll not touch on performance much, because it's a Corvette. The go/stop/turn envelope is big enough to hold every check for $6 you've ever gotten from your bubby. It makes power all the way to the rev limiter, and makes wonderful sounds while doing it. Steering is "pointy," but not nervous. It goes where you point it, but it doesn't get nervous the way C6s could.

I've taken a point off of performance for only one reason,and that's the transmission. Our tester came equipped with the 6 speed auto, and although the manual functioning and paddle shifters are pretty good, it's time for a real twin-clutch paddlebox in this car. If you're going to compete with the world's best, you need to bring the same gear.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Okay, here's a totally random thought for you: Has the Corvette simply gotten too fast for its own good? The limits have gotten so high that it's impossible to even catch a glimpse of them on the street. Every dip of the throttle is met with a flickering orange light on the dash.

I'm wondering, will we soon look back at the C5 Z06 as the best modern Vette ever? Yeah, it was fast, but it wasn't too fast, if you know what I mean. You could enjoy it on the slow side of triple-digit speeds. Plus it did look pretty bitching.

The original Miata works because it feels faster that it is. It makes its driver feel like a hero. The latest Vette is kind of the opposite. Look away for a few seconds, and you're doing a buck-30.

What else? Damn, it looks good. Do it up in black, and it's Dark Vader's latest ride. Cozy cockpit. I love the fact that the green is named after Lime Rock. It has a video/gauge display that works. Pretty decent visibility all around, even in traffic. While it only seats two, there's still room in the back for your junk. It has engine for days, even when coupled with an automatic. (Unlike the latest WRX, this one isn't a bore with just two pedals.)

Sadly, though, the only place you can really enjoy it is on the Nürburgring.

Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

This car finally doesn't feel like a consolation prize. It's not a machine you have to make excuses for. "Oh, it's so fast, that's why it's OK that the interior is cheap. Those 911s can't see your terrible seats when they're behind you."

No, the interior is actually really well designed. It's attractive; the brown leather feels great; even the rear-view mirror is a touch of class, with its thin, transparent surround instead of, as you might expect, a chunky, black parts-bin item shared with a Cobalt. There are soft-touch materials wherever your body lands, and though it's small inside, it doesn't feel cramped. It's cozy, perhaps: You definitely know where you belong—the seat, armrests and footwell—and where the car belongs—the center tunnel, for example. The car isn't making extra room for you, it's merely giving you what you need.

The seats are finally great. Previous-generation seats had these flat, slippery bottom portions that my leg would constantly slide off of. In the C7, they actually fit my body and hold me in. There's a color HUD that is informative and effective, and its focal point is far out near the end of the hood. This means it's easy to look back and forth between the display and the road without tiring your eyes.

That said, the fit and finish of these better materials and components is still somewhat lacking. The automatic shift lever's boot is clearly stretched beyond its comfort zone.
Also, the swoop to the door card is obviously supposed to line up with the instrument cluster when the door is shut, but it's off by a good quarter inch. The driveline also makes an odd chatter at idle. Some of these details need better finishing, but overall, it's remarkably good—especially for a Corvette (there's that apology creeping back).

Selectable drive modes run from Econ to Touring, Sport, and Track, and the car stays in that mode even after you shut it off. Set it to Track when you get to your event, and you won't have to fiddle with the setting again all weekend. Or ever. The steering feels sharp, with good heft. Obviously, the new LT-1 engine makes incredible power and the car moves off with authority. It's definitely something capable.

Straight up: This is a great car. It's not the compromised toy we'd come to expect from Corvettes: At $56,000 and change, it's even a performance bargain with touring capabilities—and very few apologies.

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