[B]The last several months of lead-up to the unveiling of the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette, all new for the 2014 model year, have been filled with equal measures of hype and hope: can the new Corvette live up to its legend?
The wait, at least, is now over. The 2014 Chevy Corvette is here, unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show as the Corvette Stingray. Yes, Chevy has revived a classic nameplate not seen in several decades for this seventh-generation Corvette or C7 as it’s known to fans.
Combined with an edgy new design that's still instantly recognizable as a Corvette, a new engine line, and the promise of even better handling and performance thanks to weight reduction, improvements to the chassis, and more, it seems like it's got the right stuff for sports car fans all around the world.
At the heart of the 2014 Corvette Stingray is a new LT1 V-8 engine. While it displaces the same 6.2 liters as the previous base Corvette’s LS3, the LT1 is lighter, more powerful, and more fuel efficient. Rated at 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is about 5 percent more potent than the last car--but it's lighter, too.
In fact, when fitted with an available Z51 Performance Package, which adds a host of upgrades, Chevy boasts its latest 'Vette will accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1 g in cornering grip. For comparison, that’s almost quick as the previous C6’s Z06 trim.
The Z51 Performance Package is designed for track enthusiasts and includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that’s said to further improve high-speed stability.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray is also expected to be much more fuel efficient, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the outgoing model. This is thanks in part to a seven-speed manual transmission, just like the one in the latest Porsche 911, but also cylinder-deactivation technology. A paddle-shifted six-speed automatic will also be offered.
The interior of the 2014 Corvette Stingray has also been substantially upgraded from the C6. Improved materials, more modern design, and significant upgrades to technology such as the Drive Mode Selector and latest-generation Chevy MyLink infotainment help bring the Corvette on par with European and Japanese offerings in the highly competitive, but relatively low-volume super sports car segment.
All Corvette trims get a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. Customers also have two seating choices: a regular GT seat and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering for greater support on the track.
We can’t comment on handling just yet but a light chassis, made possible thanks to the use of carbon fiber and other composites in its construction, have helped shed the pounds. Chevy hasn’t mentioned a curb weight but says the car has an ideal 50/50 weight balance and a world-class power-to-weight ratio.
We'll be driving the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette soon, and we'll update this initial preview with more detailed information, including driving impressions, so check back for more in the near future. If you’re interested in booking a test of your own, the first cars are scheduled to hit showrooms in the third quarter of 2013.[/B]