Driven: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Review
Here is Rattanak Kiri’s review of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The Corvette was supplied by Hertz as part of their of rental cars.
What’s the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray all about?
The Corvette is one of the most iconic American muscle cars of all time. With over 50 years of history in the Corvette’s legacy it has been a great car from the start, and over time it’s gone through many years of improvements and upgrades. The latest C7 Corvette is a completely new generation of car; it is the most powerful and also the most efficient Corvette to date.
The C7 Corvette looks very modern, you can tell that it is a successor of the C6 but it’s now jumped straight into the future with its sharp and angular design features. The car looks longer, flatter and more aggressive than ever before. The front of the car still has that long flowing bonnet and an almost arrow like point in the centre of the front bumper. The rear of the car now has squared off taillights that give a very different look to the previous generation, but the real future point is the 4 huge exhaust pipes that populate the centre rear of the car.
The Corvette Stingray is powered by a front mounted 6.2-litre V8 engine and uses a 6-speed paddle-shift controlled automatic gearbox to drive those wide rear wheels. The Stingray’s maximum power output is 455bhp and 460lb/ft of torque. These figures mean that the Corvette will get from 0-60mph in an incredible 3.8 seconds and will keep going all the way up to 190mph.
How does it drive?
Before moving an inch in the modern muscle car you need to get right down low to get into the car. Once tucked into these tight fitting racing style seats you can then hit the start button on that powerful V8 engine. You have a selection of modes which handle how the car functions on the road; it can be configured for Eco, Touring, Sport, Track or Weather. I of course tested all of the settings, but the most relevant for enthusiastic road driving is Sport mode. Enabling Sport sharpens up the throttle response, hardens the suspension damping, adjusts the electric limited slip differential and deepens the exhaust note, let’s drive!
Driving the car on the road the V8 will overwhelm you with its relentless acceleration from the moment you start. Taking the car out for an experimental spin you soon learn that the Corvette has to be taken very seriously. Hitting the accelerator in any gear will end up in a huge burst of acceleration and an enormous amount of noise coming from the rear. Which, as long as you are prepared for and have enough road in front of you, is great.
The Corvette is very rewarding behind the wheel, the seating position is very flat and low to the ground, with your legs out in front of you like a race car. The steering rack is well balanced and provides plenty of feedback without feeling too electrically aided, the brakes are very capable as you would expect in a car with this level of performance, and lastly the straight line performance is incredible. From a standstill, launching the Corvette is an experience which, in my opinion, is as good as they come. The Stingray will rush you forward faster than you can think and if you’re not fully satisfied with just the acceleration, then that brutal V8 engine noise that goes along with it will certainly seal the deal. The Stingray releases a very loud and throaty V8 grumble that will turn heads for miles around.
What’s it like inside?
Inside the Corvette you will find two racing style seats that are positioned in the middle of the car. Most of the interior on the model tested is wrapped in black leather with contrasting stitching, which is reasonably nice, but I do think some customers may be asking for a bit more for a car in this price bracket.
The technology on the inside of the car is fantastic, lots of good points to mention. The entertainment system is controlled by the touch screen central display and has a nice graphical interface which controls the Bose speakers to create a great sound throughout the car. The built in sat Nav was also one of the best I have tested to date; it was both easy to use and very accurate.
There is a long list of gadgets and gizmos on the car, some of the best include the head up display in the windscreen, which also includes a G meter, and the information available on the instrument display is awesome, my personal favourite being the tyre temperatures. There is even a secret storage box behind the LCD screen, the screen slides down with the touch of a button to give you a small storage area, very James Bond-esk, I love it. Overall the car has a very useable and durable interior.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray experience is mind blowing, the performance is painfully fast, the car looks very exciting and people simply seem to love the 50 year legacy that comes with the Corvette. From my week with the car, everyday people were taking pictures of the car and sticking their thumbs up or waving at the car as they drove past, it certainly does catch people’s attention.
The single most dramatic experience of the Stingray is the sound it makes. One press of the start button on the dash ignites a sound of fire and doom behind the Stingray, it even sounds brilliant whilst idling. As you push that engine towards the redline in gear it sounds even loader and even deeper. For me my favourite part of the was the blips on the down shifts, which make you feel like you are in an IndyCar race on your trip to the shops.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is not for the light hearted or unexperienced driver. The Stingray is an iconic car that has supercar performance at a considerably lower price than its competitors, and it still manages to cover the practicality needs of the modern man, in most cases. Most importantly the Corvette has its own unique identity, much loved character, and stands out from the competition.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
- Price: £61,495
- Engine: 6.2-Litre V8
- Power: 455bhp
- Torque: 460lb ft
- Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic
- 0-62mph: 3.8 Seconds
- Top speed: 190mph
- Economy combined: 23mpg
- CO2: 283g/km
Author: Paul Hadley