Performance Features Need Unbundling - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Performance Features Need Unbundling

April 7, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has some of the most technologically advanced performance feature available on, well, any car. The Magnetorheological shocks go from super comfy to super stiff and are essentially magic. The Performance Traction Management reduces the risk of catastrophic crashing AND makes you faster around a road course. It's also magic. And then there's the variable exhaust. Not as fancy as the other stuff, but it sure does work.

The trouble is they've bundled these features together in ways I don't like. Is it too much to ask for a "Custom" mode?

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Here's how it works...

Normally, the car is in T. T for Tour. In this mode, the suspension's all comfy, the exhaust is all quiet, the stability control is all-controlling and the throttle has about as much sensitivity as a frost-bitten foot. Slow mode, right? Nope. With this setup we recorded a slalom speed of 68 mph, cleared the quarter-mile in 13 seconds and pulled .99g on the skidpad.

Turn the dial a little more and you get Sport Mode. In Sport, the exhaust mode mercifully switches to its burbley Sport mode, the steering goes to sport twitchiness, the limited slip goes to mode 2 or 3, the Magnetic Selective Ride Control goes to bumpy-bumpy sport mode and, best of all the throttle progression is switched to sport. This switches the throttle from requiring a swift kick, to a gentle poke to get that motor movin'. It's the way the engine should always respond.

Turn it one more step and you get Tr for Track. This is my favorite mode. It enhances the Sport mode with a Track exhaust setting, track-oriented traction control (hooray, powerslides), turns the suspension to track and allows the use of the competition PTM functions.

Unfortunately, the streets of Los Angeles aren't made for a track suspension setting so driving this way keeps my attention with the fun noises, good throttle response, quick steering and more lenient nannies, but shakes my brainstem loose. Not good for the road, not good for rough tracks.

So here's what I want: Custom Mode. With this mode I would be able to customize the car for me. Track exhaust, Track steering, Sport throttle, Track traction control and TOURING suspension. Both Audi and BMW have programmable settings on their sporty offerings and Porsche allows for suspension control separate from the other sport settings.

Mike Magrath (@Mike_Magrath), Features Editor @ 16,280 miles


  • speednet speednet Posts:

    When the C7 was first announced in January 2013, they stated that you would be able to customize the settings. It's my understanding that when GM did their captured test fleet testing in the Spring and Summer of 2013, it was determined that the customizations made the interface too confusing, and they backed out the feature. Hopefully in the future they will create an "Advanced" mode of the touch screen controls to turn on all the "confusing" stuff. Most tech-savvy people can handle it.

  • dgcamero dgcamero Posts:

    It looks like adding the ability to customize the settings would not be difficult, given the unmarked scroll wheel pictured.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    I think that is a very reasonable thing to ask for--with memory for, maybe two drivers' settings. Maybe even leave in absurd combinations like eco settings in track mode.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    not to mention most tracks benefit from very low body roll from chassis but very complient shocks and springs. just making everything super stiff does not actually make you pull mor G's or go faster around the track.

  • pakohotdogs pakohotdogs Posts:

    This could simply be fixed via a firmware update, no?

  • joner800 joner800 Posts:

    also curious if re-starting the car means it goes back to the default Tour mode. that would also annoy the living heck out of me.

  • speednet speednet Posts:

    @joner800: No, it stays in whatever mode it was in when turned off. The only thing that resets is the Rev Matching (for manual transmissions). It always turns off when you turn the car off. That's a pet peeve of mine.

  • saiheron saiheron Posts:

    Pages 5-41 and 5-42 of the owner manual describe how to individually set the exhaust, steering, and suspension independently of the drive mode.

  • speednet speednet Posts:

    @saiheron - We were talking about customizing the presets, or else having a custom preset, not turning individual settings on or off across all presets. For example, the ability to change the throttle or steering settings on Tour mode to the same setting

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