Jun 02

Driven: C7 Corvette Stingray

I have gone on and on about the Corvette Stingray here on IG since it’s launch. Some of you might even be getting tired of it and that is completely understandable. However, thanks to a complete fluke and a very generous person I got to drive the newest Corvette for myself. I suppose one of those big time professional automotive journalists would go through and tell you the storied history of the Corvette from street to racing. I’m not going to do that because if you are here you probably know the Corvette has a rich history and you probably just want to know what the new one is like to drive.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Chevy says the C7 Corvette is the best one yet and I can now confirm that. The new Stingray is more refined, more substantial, and more upper crust. Is it possible that all the focus on refinement could hurt what matters most in a sports car? Does the C7 retain the large quantities of bad ass the C6 had? In short yes, but there is much more to the story.

Interior because like it matters
The big complaint on the Corvette has always been the interior. From the crummy seats to the plastic it seems all the automotive press just could not help themselves from poking fun at it. I get it you have to find faults with a car. However, I never quit understood the gripes. Sure I would have liked to have had more comfortable seats in the old C6, but unless you are an objectophiliac I just do not get to concerned over how the interior feels or looks. As long as it functions I’m fine with that.
The good news for journalists and people who care about those sort of things is the C7 remedies all of that and I mean all of it. The interior is a huge step towards luxury and rivals that of Porsche. In fact I’d say it is better then a 911’s interior. There is nice stitching every where, with heaping helpings of various cow hides and other materials that are not only pleasing to the eye but to the touch as well. Most importantly the carbon fiber trim option is real carbon fiber. Not some weird plastic look alike carbon fiber. I always wondered why some high end cars used the fake stuff. None of that in the Vette.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The instrument cluster has been reworked and is now digital and configurable. It is pretty slick and pretty easy to use. I was afraid I’d hate it, but as it turns out I love it. Here’s a short video of it’s functionality.

Styling, because this is what other people care about
Now that the main gripe of the old Corvette is settled let’s talk about the main gripe of the new Corvette. The Stingray has proven to be a love or hate design. Most people love it, some people hate the tail lights. So much so that Chevy actually made a video explaining the tail lights of the C7 Corvette Stingray.
I think the styling is bold and fantastic. A halo car like the Corvette should be a bit over the top, a bit crazy, a bit out there. I would much rather see a company just go for it in the design then play it safe. Chevy went for it and the result is something very special. I think the Corvette is one of the best looking cars on the road today. It’s stunning profile and intimidating front end really set it apart from the pack. While it looks much more exotic, it still looks very Corvette. The Corvette of the future maybe, except the future is now.

How’s it drive?
Corvettes have always sat low and had a very low, very sprawled out driving position. It often times seems as the driver that you are peering over the hood rather then looking through the window. Drivers of bigger taller cars may have to get used to the driving position. Myself, I love it. It feels like a race car with the cockpit wrapping around your body. The seats are supporting and hold you in place in the corners. Everything seems driver focused. Not only is this a car that is very track capable it feels like it belongs there.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Because it does
One of the great shames of a lot of cars that go fast is that they never get to go fast. They get relegated to a life of Sunday drives and runs to some stupid cars and coffee event. To not drive a new Corvette hard would be a shame. The car feels like magic. It grips for days. The steering feels direct, connected, perfect. The brakes have a great firm feel and the loud pedal is sure to put a big smile on your face. The new LT1 has all the power you want. I will admit a little louder exhaust would be nice but I know there are strict regulations on that sort of thing so from the factory you’ll have to make due with a great sounding but somewhat restrained exhaust. A quick trip to your favorite muffler shop oughta fix that.

Balance is beautiful
The old C6 Vette was great. Especially in Z06 form but it never felt balanced. The back end always felt a bit disconnected from the front. Not in the C7 Stingray Corvette. The C7 is more balanced then a yoga instructor. It’s hard to explain for a regular guy like me but if you drive one you’ll know. In fact connectedness would be a great word to describe the whole car. If connectedness were a word.

Is this the best car on the road today?
Yep! Why? Well that’s where value comes in. A car that looks as good, goes as fast, and costs half the price of a 911 is just better. This car is faster then most anything not deep into the $100,000 range. It’s build quality is good, the interior is great, it’s practical, and fast as hell. This is probably the best car on the road today. or ever? Ok I might be exaggerating that a little. Still it’s a masterpiece. It’s Beethoven’s 5th but for those of us who like classic rock.