Story: Sam Schembari
After no shortage of rumors and speculation, the Stingray is back in Motor City. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray—yep, it’s called the Stingray again—broke cover on Sunday night at a packed sneak preview on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show. And when we say all-new, we really mean it. The newest Corvette shares only two parts with the C6 model.
The heart of the new Corvette Stingray is the new LT1 6.2 liter V-8, making 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, which should be good for a sprint from 0-60 in under four seconds. That would make the C7 the most powerful base Corvette ever with 20-hp over the previous generation. The LT1, which is the first engine in GM’s fifth generation small block family, uses a higher compression ratio, variable valve timing, direct injection, and cylinder deactivation to make more power while still achieving better fuel economy than its predecessor. Pretty impressive for a pushrod motor. It should also pull about one g on the skid pad.
Another new-for-2014 feature is the seven-speed manual transmission, similar to the industry-first in the 991-series Porsche 911 Carrera, but with active rev-matching, like in the Nissan 370Z. The Vette will also be available with a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic. To save weight, the base car will use carbon-fiber for the hood and for the removable roof panel, another first, and will have an aluminum frame. There are two options for seats, one ideal for grand touring and the other for track-rats; both feature a magnesium frame in the name of weight savings.
While the Stingray is still obviously, unmistakably, a Corvette, it is very aggressive looking—more so than the C6, with large air vents and quad exhaust lined up in a row.
A Z51 Performance Package adds an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, transmission, and differential cooling, and an aero body kit that improves high-speed stability. Although no official numbers have been released, GM claims that the new base C7 is already faster around a track than the higher trim C6 Grand Sport.
The Stingray name, according to GM, is only used for special Corvettes, so it’s safe to assume this new Vette is going to be, well, special. The C7 Corvette Stingray should arrive at dealerships this fall, for around the same price as the outgoing ‘Vette.
Return of the Stingray: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette
DETROIT – Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with today’s debut of the all-new Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.
“Like the ’63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today’s advancements in design, technology and engineering.”
The all-new Corvette Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation Corvette. It incorporates an all-new frame structure and chassis, a new powertrain and supporting technologies, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs. Highlights include:
-An 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 that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
-An 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
-Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
-A sculptured exterior features advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
-Track-capable Z51 Performance Package including: an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.
“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over.”
The new Corvette Stingray will be built at GM’s Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant, which underwent a $131-million upgrade, including approximately $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the aluminum frame in-house for the first time.
“We believe the Corvette represents the future of modern performance cars because it delivers more power, more driving excitement and better fuel efficiency,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “The result is better performance by every measure. The 2014 Corvette delivers the fastest acceleration, the most cornering grip, the most track capability, the best braking performance and what we expect to be the best fuel economy ever for a standard Corvette.”
The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.