By Don Armstrong
Making its much anticipated debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray generated as much media play as Psy’s Gangnam Style at a dance party.
American’s love affair with the iconic nameplate dates back 60 years, and since this is only the 7th generation of the 2-seat sports car, it is a major milestone. If you’ve ever owned one, driven one or just longed for one, this Vette will be the ultimate Bay Area baby when it arrives in showrooms this fall.
The new Stingray will be the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. It will be able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.
The all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel
It incorporates an all-new interior that includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support – and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens.
Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector, tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment along with a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching.
All models have a new grille/radiator arrangement and hood vents. Venting air out of the hood reduces total front-end lift for improved steering response at high speeds. The front fender side coves also help vent underhood air pressure to reduce aerodynamic drag. Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exit through the tail lamp vents and lower-rear fascia air outlets.
Corvette Stingray’s provocative exterior styling is as functional as it is elegant, said Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design.
“Developing a new Corvette, while every designer’s dream, is not an easy task,” Parkinson said. The result is a new Corvette Stingray – a fantastic car that breaks new ground yet remains true to the fundamental elements that make a Corvette a Corvette.
Pricing hasn’t been announced on the 2014 model – the outgoing base version has an MSRP of $49,600 – but expect the new Stingray to continue to be the most sports car for the money.