2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Track Tested
We Bought a C7 Corvette and Took It Straight to the Track
Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
Did you think we were only going to pick up our kids from school or try to ram a mountain bike into the trunk? A 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray may eventually become just another member of our long-term fleet, but for now, it's our coolest new toy and we couldn't wait to get it to our test track.
More has been written at this point about the 2014 'Vette than some 19th-century presidents, so its basic specs are likely to be tattooed on your brain. However, you may appreciate a quick recap of our particular Stingray's performance-applicable add-ons. The Z51 Performance package adds 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rears, larger slotted brake rotors, a dry-sump oil pan, shorter gear ratios, upgraded suspension, an aero package and an electronic differential. We also selected the dual-mode exhaust that boosts horsepower to 460, and Magnetic Ride Control, which includes Performance Traction Management. We got the seven-speed manual transmission. No explanation needed there.
Obviously, this isn't our first time around the block with the new C7 Corvette, but questions still remain. Namely, are there any differences in performance between the preproduction Corvette GM loaned us and the production-spec unit we purchased and picked up from the factory in Kentucky?
Driver: Mike Monticello/Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6,162/376
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 460 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 465 @ 4,600
Brake Type (front): 13.6-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.3-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P245/35ZR19 89Y
Tire Size (rear): P285/30ZR20 95Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Super Sport ZP
Tire Type: Run-flat summer
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,428
0-30 (sec): 1.9 (2.1 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.9 (3.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.2 (4.7 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.0 (4.5 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.8 (6.5 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.2 @ 116.3 (12.7 @ 113.1 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 25
60-0 (ft): 97
Slalom (mph): 73.1 (70.3 w/ ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.03 (0.99 w/ ESC on, 0.98 w/ ESC on and suspension in basic touring mode)
RPM @ 70: 1,450
Acceleration: We did the first "base" run in the Touring configuration with stability control and traction control fully on (see numbers in parentheses), and without utilizing the no-lift shift feature. With all aids turned off and the car in Track mode, our best run came using a 2,500-rpm launch, allowing us to go to full-throttle pretty much immediately. It hooks up well. The no-lift shift feature allows you to just jam the shifts home, and this excellent gearbox is fully accepting of it. We tried a couple of launch control runs, but because it launches at about 4,300 rpm it gets too much initial wheelspin, making it slightly slower.
Braking: It's amazing that even with a fair amount of nosedive, this new Corvette can stop so short. And even with a pedal that feels a bit soft. But they are perfectly controlled stops with zero side-to-side movement. The first stop was the longest at 105 feet, the sixth stop was shortest at 97 feet and the seventh and final stop was 98 feet.
Slalom: After I had dialed in the mode(s) that best suited my preferred feedback and the demands of the slalom test (Track, Sport2), it became a matter of chipping away at the times with subtle techniques that exploited the car's electronic aids as well as the limits. It's easy to discover the limits and either avoid them or step right over them and file it in the manifest of things the Stingray does or doesn't want to do. I especially appreciated the crystal-clear and highly precise steering, the zippy turn-in, the progressive break-away of the tires and the sophisticated traction control on exit that doesn't merely chop the throttle, but stutters it to maintain momentum and direction. Although I couldn't hear it, I could sense the diff hard at work sorting out which side of the car needed/wanted power at every moment. Immensely capable and highly accessible performance without the C6's vaguely threatening demeanor. Wow.
Skid Pad: Absolutely nutty amount of grip for a road (not race) car. Steering remains informative and precise despite the tremendous loads. The Stingray will either under- or oversteer at will, which speaks to its impressive balance. With ESC fully on in both Sport and Touring modes, the throttle fades out right before the car would need more driver involvement (e.g. steering and/or throttle modulation) to go any quicker. It's likely a "civilian" wouldn't even notice this happening at 0.98-0.99g. Impressive
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.