The return of the Stingray.
January 13th, 2013 was a day that most automotive enthusiasts had marked on their calendars. Leading up to the date, General Motors had released a number of preview videos that teased the new 2014 C7 Corvette model. The C6-generation was a great car, but had its flaws, most notably being the interior. Not only did GM improve upon the interior in the new C7 Corvette, but they also took virtually every aspect of the American super car a step further to create a world-class automobile that proudly bears the “Stingray” name.
The new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette(C7) is completely different and only two parts are carried over from the previous-generation model. Arguably the most exciting new part of the super car is the new standard engine that helps make it the most powerful, quickest, and fuel efficient standard Corvette model ever. An all-new 6.2-liter small block LT1 V-8 that the company has invested over 10 million hours into (six million with the combustion system) produces 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. of torque. The LT1 engine boasts direct injection, active fuel management, continuously variable valve timing, an advanced combustion system, and cylinder deactivation that turns the engine into a V-4 for better efficiency. New active exhaust systems are available, the standard being 2.75 inches in diameter and ending in four tailpipes to offer a 13-percent better improvement in backpressure. The optional dual-mode exhaust has a 27-percent better airflow and two valves that open up to reduce backpressure and create a more powerful V-8 note.
The new LT1 engine is a part of a rear-transaxle layout to help contribute to the optimum 50/50 weight distribution and is mated to either and automatic or manual gearbox. The TREMEC TR6070 seven-speed manual features a rev-matching system for smooth and easy gearshifts while a six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80 paddle-shift automatic is also available as an option. The seven-speed manual utilizes a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch while C7 Corvettes with the Z51 Performance Package features shorter gear ratios for better acceleration. A new eLSD electronic rear differential comes standard in the Z51 Package that electronically alters the clutch engagement and varies torque in tenths of a second for better grip and handling. The new drivetrain will help the 2014 Corvette achieve a 0-60 mph time better than any standard Corvette before by reaching the mark in less than four seconds.
The new Chevrolet Corvette was built from the ground up with technology gained from the American Le Mans Series Corvette program that has proven to be incredibly successful. The new aluminum frame is 57-percent stiffer and 99 lbs. lighter than the steel component on the C6 models. The frame is made from five different aluminum segments with thicknesses that vary from 2- to 11 mm for optimum weight and strength characteristics. A motorsports-inspired long/short arm suspension design with hollow lower control arms and new aluminum rear links sharpen up handling and save 11.4 lbs. The new C7 Corvette is also about one inch longer and has a one-inch wider front and rear track to improve the overall grip and handling characteristics of the super car. New 35 mm Bilstein monotube shocks work in conjunction with the third-generation Magnetic Ride Control to instantly alter suspension settings and characteristics depending on the driving mode to provide optimum handling and feel whether it be for comfort or sport. In the Z51 Package, 45 mm Bilstein dampers are used and the Magnetic Ride Suspension Control is 45-percent faster than before.
Standard on the 2014 Corvette are Brembo brakes with four-piston fixed calipers with 12.6-inch front and 13.3-inch rear rotors with a nine-percent better stopping distance and 35-percent more swept area than the previous-generation model. Corvettes with the Z51 Performance Package boast 13.6-inch front and 13.3 rear slotted rotors with 6-percent more swept area and a 5-percent better stopping distance than the standard setup. The Corvette Stingray comes with a standard 8.5 x 18 front and 10.0 x 19 rear wheel setup with Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires or forged aluminum 8.5 x 19 front and 10.0 x 20 rear wheels with the Z51 Package. The new wheel setup is narrower than the previous Corvette models but is still able to achieve over 1G of cornering acceleration due to the new chassis and body design.
The one aspect that is going to elicit some of the biggest criticisms is the newly designed exterior that incorporates advanced computer-aided aerodynamics and new technology while also incorporating classic Corvette aspects that make it a true American super car. The profile was designed to have a long dash-to-axle ratio and a fighter-jet inspired greenhouse with an overall design that takes after the aircraft and sting ray animal to effortlessly slice through air. A more aggressive front design features a wide air intake and carbon fiber painted hood with air vents. Standard HID projector headlamps with a black chrome housing and LED daytime running lights help to change the face of the new Corvette Stingray. New, sculpted lines run down each side and a large air outlet is positioned behind the fender to help dissipate heat while a black A-pillar help to emphasize the new greenhouse and carbon fiber roof panel. The rear is arguably the most polarizing aspect of the new Stingray’s design as it features new dual-element LED taillights sit below a trunk-mounted spoiler. New aircraft-style air outlets are integrated into the rear taillight housings and help to cool the transmission and differential. Like the previous-generation Corvette, the new C7 Corvette Stingray features a quad center-mounted exhaust that are positioned together compared to the twin-dual center setup in the previous model.
One of the biggest criticisms and negative aspects of the C6 Corvette was its interior that wore cheap materials and a terrible build quality. GM focused a great deal of its efforts on drastically improving the interior to create a driver-oriented cockpit with premium materials built with a precise mix of handcrafted and machine-made components. New, advanced technology, hand-stitched components, real carbon fiber and aluminum, and fine nappa leather are all used along with soft-touch materials throughout the interior to create a high-quality and comfortable atmosphere designed for performance. New dual high-resolution information screens display real-time information to the driver and can be configured with a wide variety of telemetry. The fully-wrapped interior of the Corvette Stingray features a sweeping arch design with a fighter-jet style driver-oriented layout that is all about establishing a connection with the road. A new, smaller 14.1-inch diameter steering wheel with flat-stitching gives the driver more control and feel while driving while magnesium-frame seats reduce weight and provide ample support and comfort whether it be the standard GT model or optional Competition Sport seats.
A wide range of driver-selectable technology options come standard to allow the C7 Corvette Stingray to be a daily driver with variable comfort or aggressive sport settings. Virtually every aspect of the car can be altered ranging from the traction control to the efficiency of the engine depending on the type of driving the Corvette will be performing. Information will be displayed in real-time on three different screens to the driver and are completely customizable. An infotainment system with Chevrolet MyLink, high-definition radio, and On-Star with three-dimensional maps comes standard while a ten-speaker rich sound system with rare-earth magnets, bass box, and two subwoofers provides a superb audio experience.
The new, seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will go on sale in the third quarter of 2013 and be built at the Bowling Green, Kentucky manufacturing facility that has recently undergone new upgrades and renovations. Pricing has not been released.
Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray Video
Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray Gallery