October 10, 2014
The Stingray has a massive dead pedal that's useful for bracing yourself while executing the kind of driving that makes the engine overheat.
October 8, 2014
The last time I took our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray out for the weekend, I did some sound testing. I wanted to know just how loud the Stingray was at wide open throttle in a tunnel, so I loaded my iPhone up with a few cheap apps and headed for the hills. I used two local tunnels, did two runs in both directions and I got a sound rating of 100 decibels. The problem was, 100 dB was the iPhone's limit, the microphone couldn't register sounds any louder than that. To get a more accurate reading, I checked out some of the Edmunds official testing equipment and went for a second run.
Ya know, for science.
October 7, 2014
Back when I was in high school I had the opportunity to drive a relative's Corvette. It was a 1996 with the LT4 motor. The last of the C4s. For a few minutes, I was able to escape the reality of the 1994 Toyota Corolla that served me as basic transportation at the time. It was an unforgettable experience, the details of which I will not go into here, even though the statute of limitations has long since expired.
The LT4 is gone, and my family member misses it terribly. Unless a wave of amnesia hits the office and everybody forgets we have to sell our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, one of my favorite cars in our long-term fleet is about to depart. There was no better way to say goodbye than by bringing the Stingray back to where my relationship with Corvettes began.
September 24, 2014
Now, we knew going in there probably wouldn't be a whole lot the dealer could do, especially since the chances of them replicating the problem would be near nil.
But we figured it was the right thing to do.
September 8, 2014
Our long term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray enjoyed an extended moment in the sun as the New Hotness. For years, it was all anyone talked about. C7 this. Stingray that. It was madness. And then it got released, blew everyone's expectations out of the water and stopped grabbing the headlines.
Taking its place in the spotlight is the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. It's Italian. Small and light with half the cylinders, 1/10th the expected production volume (Alfa's building 3,500 4Cs total, Chevy sold 37,000 Corvettes this year) of the Corvette at about the same price.
September 3, 2014
Maybe it's all my fault. The plan, inside my head, was to get an early start for a good old-fashioned flogging of our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on one of my favorite mountain roads.
But plans changed and, instead, it was late morning by the time the Vette and I rolled out.
And it was hot. Like 100 degrees on the flatlands, 93 degrees on the mountain I was aiming for.
The Corvette didn't like it. Overheating ensued. Here's the story.
August 27, 2014
Here's a bit of low-speed fun I discovered with our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray's
Performance Traction Management system. Here's what you do: Turn the selector knob on the center console to Track, and then double-click to invoke the PTM system. Choose the lowest, most intrusive mode, which is "Wet."
Once the tires have some temperature in them (PTM only fully functions if there's traction to work with), nail the throttle in first or second gear as you steer around a corner or intersection. You'll instantly hear the "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba" as it manages engine torque to keep full traction to the tires. That may not be the most accurate impersonation of the sound ever, but let's just agree that it sounds pretty dang awesome.
July 17, 2014
A few weeks ago, I tested our 2014 SLP Panther Camaro to determine just how loud it was in a tunnel. This week, I decided to use the same decibel-meter apps and the same tunnels to repeat the test with our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Ya know, for science n' stuff.
So which was louder?
June 20, 2014
Typically, when you've got a car with a manual transmission and cruise control, the cruise control disengages when you shift gears. This is not the case in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
May 22, 2014
And, as promised, here's a short video clipped together with some different GoPro angles, including car-to-car from a friend's Mitsubishi Evolution.
May 14, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray isn't exactly practical. It doesn't have as much cargo space as a crossover, or a big cabin with lots of cubbyholes, but it fits me like a glove. And for an impromptu weekend trip up the coast to Monterey, I couldn't have asked for a better car. Here's why.
May 9, 2014
After six-months of ownership and about 13,000 miles of driving including testing and a track day under their belts, the factory Michelin Pilot Super Sports on our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray have given up the ghost and need to be replaced.
May 8, 2014
We made it. Two days of burning tires, brakes and fuel (lots of fuel) during our car/motorcycle track weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
First order of business: Food. Authentic Mexican restaurant on the way out of town? Check.
May 7, 2014
Why do we do track days? Sure, there's the pure speed of it all, the skills involved with the desire to make a machine go as fast as you possibly can around a race track. In this case, that machine was our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
But there's more to it. I don't want to get all sentimental on you here, but there's also the whole hanging-out-with-your-buds aspect. For me anyway, there's little on this Earth that I enjoy more than following right behind my buddies in cars or motorcycles, watching them attack the track.
And what a group of people I'm fortunate to call friends.
May 1, 2014
First, it's loud. Second, even this Z51 package doesn't have big enough brakes for this kind of all-out use.
So I adjusted my driving habits in later sessions.
April 30, 2014
With brake rotor cooling rings installed, track pads on, front license plate removed and tires set to 26 psi cold (per Chevy's instructions), it was finally time to take our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray out onto Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for its first track session at this combo car/motorcycle event.
First impression: The Vette sounds absolutely glorious barreling full-throttle down (or actually up) Laguna's front straight. Correction, it sounds glorious on any straight. And fast. Man is this thing fast.
But questions remained. Like would the car's optional dual-mode exhaust pop Laguna's 92-decibel sound meter? And while we swapped on track pads, special brake fluid and the rotor cooling rings, would this be enough to ward off brake fade? After all, when Josh Jacquot first tested the C7 Vette at Chevy's proving grounds, he was getting pedal fade after one hard lap...
April 25, 2014
One of the things they discovered was a clear plastic bag with what Chevy calls "rotor cooling rings" for the front brakes of our Z51 Performance Package-equipped car. But reading through Chevy's documents on "2014 Corvette Stingray track preparation" doesn't really give much of an explanation about exactly how these rings affect brake cooling.
April 24, 2014
Probably the most important piece of preparation before doing a track day in a production car is swapping out the stock brake pads for a set of performance track-ready pads.
Since the decision to do the track day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was made at the last minute, it meant much scrambling ensued. No biggie, last-minute running around is pretty much my entire existence. I need to work on that.
The first step was to put a call into the folks over at Carbotech Performance Brakes.
April 23, 2014
Sure, you can slap four snow tires on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and drive it to and from Detroit, Michigan in the middle of winter. If that's your thing, I say go for it, have a great time.
Me? I'd rather drive the new C7 Vette the way it was intended. Hard. And on the track.
And wouldn't you know it, we just happened to get an invite dubbed "The Greatest Event in Track Day History."
April 9, 2014
The last time we saw a variable redline on an Edmunds long-term test car was in our 2009 BMW M3 Sedan. On startup, the tachometer in our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray starts with a "yellowline" from 3,500-4,500 rpm, with the redline above that. As the engine warms up (as in this photo), the yellow creeps up and eventually disappears leaving the hard redline at 6,500 rpm.
April 7, 2014
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?
April 3, 2014
Look, we've proven that it is possible to achieve the EPA's 29 mpg highway figure with our own 30.8 mpg over a 271-mile "jaunt." But seriously, this is a fire-breathing sports car extraordinaire and we should drive it as such. Fuel economy be damned.
We added 1,417 miles in March, and lowered the worst fill MPG to a new low of 9.4 mpg — as it should be.
Here are the running totals and averages:
March 28, 2014
It had been months since I had driven our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. After I started it, I glanced through the windshield and re-discovered the head-up display. As I was reaching for the button to shut it off (I know, I'm in the minority on this), I noticed it had a secret to tell. It would appear that a previous driver had, ahem, "come to grips" with the Corvette's prodigious grip in corners and the exploit was stored in the display.
March 14, 2014
My friend Scott was interested in buying a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. He contemplated getting the Z51 performance package, since it has made all the headlines and helped the Corvette put up some big numbers on the track.
But it seems as though everyone in the market for a Corvette has the same idea and consequently, supply is low on Z51-equipped cars. Scott was told that going for a Z51 would add an additional five weeks to his delivery time. Plus, it added $4,000 to the price of the car. This raised the question: Do you really need the Z51 package?
March 6, 2014
We introduced our long-term 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray on October 7, 2013. On February 26, 2014, we registered our 15,000 mile. That's something like 142 days. A little division tells us we're averaging about 106 miles per day.
February 24, 2014
When Kurt and I fetched the Corvette from its Kentucky home for a new life in California, we reminded ourselves many times to enjoy the drive. The Corvette would be popular, we knew. We might never get seat time like this again.
Largely, that's been true. But when sign-outs went around for the weekend, which kicked off with Valentine's Day and ended with President's Day, the Corvette went unclaimed. This would not stand. This would also be my first time behind the wheel since the road trip, about 12,000 miles ago. I wanted to see which impressions held up.
The seats and driving position are as good as I remember. The ingress is tricky, yes, and in Magrath's case, painful. I'm not as tall as Magrath or Oldham, nor sit as upright, so I'm fine with the seating position and the views out the window. And there's still a sense of occasion sliding into these buckets, reinforced when you light up the V8. For all its international social climbing, you realize that the Corvette is really just a muscle car raised by good parents.
February 19, 2014
I'm noticing some brake judder on our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. It's not evident all the time, just at certain speeds and with a certain amount of brake pressure.
It's most obvious when you're commuting home, going around 50 mph or so, and need some moderate brake pressure for slowing traffic ahead on the highway.
February 18, 2014
Since its introduction the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray has been a popular addition to the Edmunds long-term fleet. I haven't had too many opportunities to get in it, but somehow over the long weekend it had yet to be claimed. I attribute that to more responsible editors needing larger cars to shuttle people and stuff about. Me? There was only one thing I needed to haul.
January 24, 2014
I called 911. I didn't know what else to do.
The nice man that answered my call said, "911, what is your emergency?" I said I was sorry to bother him, but my car is stuck in the snow and I'm essentially blocking Interstate 70 eastbound somewhere between Vail and Frisco.
He said, "OK, sir. You did the right thing calling us. We'll send out a tow truck as quickly as we can. Please stay in your vehicle. What color is your car?"
"Green," I said.
"And what kind of car is it?"
I paused. I didn't want to tell him. I knew he would think I'm an idiot for driving a Corvette through Colorado in January during a blizzard. "A Chevy," I said.
"What kind of Chevy, sir?"
I paused again. "A Corvette."
And with a snicker he said, "OK, sir. We'll be there as soon as we can."
December 31, 2013
December weather along Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles forces my hand when it comes to removing the top on our long-term 2014 Corvette Stingray. Hard top removal is easy, but at freeway speeds (65 mph and above), the vibrating wind over the top of the Corvette becomes harsh.
December 27, 2013
So the rev-matched downshift feature in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray isn't very quick and the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are intrusive. Luckily, the pedal configuration is perfect.
December 19, 2013
Way back in the day, there was the original Green Machine, the drifting, cool-kid version of the Big Wheel tricycle. (There's a new version of the Green Machine out, incidentally.) But for slightly more expensive grins, I think I'll just go out and drive our Lime Rock Green Corvette Stingray.
December 16, 2013
I've reached the conclusion that on the street there's no reason to use anything except Sport mode in our Stingray. It's the mode that provides the right balance of response, sound and comfort. I'll be leaving it in Sport.
December 13, 2013
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of driving a friend's Lamborghini Countach back from a local car show. Spent maybe 20 miles behind the wheel of the iconic supercar, which, in its day, was a much bigger deal than any Corvette has ever been.
It was epic. But not for the reasons you might think.
December 10, 2013
I just spent a week driving our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray around greater Los Angeles. This was my first time in any C7, and the experience has forced me to confront my prejudices against the Corvette.
I thought I knew what the Corvette was all about: Scary fast (at least in Z06 form), kind of comfy, but I'd never own one. I never liked how the C5 and C6 cars rode, nor the driving position in these cars, nor how their interiors felt like they'd disintegrate after 50,000 miles.
But our C7 Corvette Stingray feels so different from these cars.
December 04, 2013
We picked up our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and after Kurt and Dan drove it home, it had 1,200 miles on the odometer. The Corvette has been in our garage for four short weeks, and the odometer now reads 5,000 miles.
November 21, 2013
When you lift off the throttle in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, not a whole lot happens. The engine essentially freewheels for what seems like a few seconds. Then, finally, you get the engine braking you were expecting, and hoping for.
This "rev hanging" phenomenon is an undesirable byproduct of the engine calibrator's attempt to clean up the emissions of the Corvette's 6.2-liter engine. Basically, by keeping the throttle open during the overrun (you lift off the pedal, the injectors are switched off), the throttle stays open to allow fresh air into the cylinders to help oxidize unburned hydrocarbons. While it is effective at this scrubbing task, it also scrubs engine braking. Bew.
November 15, 2013
Conventional wisdom says that cars with manual transmissions shouldn't have shift paddles on the steering wheel. Our 2014 Corvette does and they're dumb.
November 12, 2013
When I pulled into the car wash this morning, the manager, an affable guy who's very familiar with Edmunds and its long-term cars, raised his eyebrows at the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and at me emerging from it.
"This is too fast for you?" he asked, archly.
"How would you know?" I replied. We laughed and slapped each other's shoulders. All in good fun.
November 8, 2013
As you've likely already read here, our ace photog, Kurt Niebuhr and autoscribe, Dan Frio recently enjoyed a road trip across the country to deliver our newest long-term car to "EdQuarters" in Santa Monica, California. What they didn't know is that they brought some of that road home with them in the right-rear wheel of our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Click through to see where it was hiding.
October 30, 2013
Days Four & Five: Arkansas > New Mexico > California
Early breakfast in Arkansas and today's goal is Santa Fe, New Mexico. At 842 miles, it's ambitious. We leave early, pass through the rest of Arkansas and make our second fuel stop around mid-afternoon in Checotah, Oklahoma. Even here at the southern fringes of the prairies, you can feel the distance between horizons. The sky is massive out here.
Oklahoma's license plates pay homage to its Native American history and its road signs tell you which nation's territory — Seminole, Cherokee, Choctaw — you're passing through. You wonder how long it took men on horseback to traverse this land. Even in this 2014 Corvette, it feels like it could take us days to reach some faraway settlement we see in the distance.
We've covered 777 miles so far and ranged 415 miles on our last tank. The Corvette says we averaged 25.9 mpg. While filling up, a thin man with long graying hair under a baseball cap walks over from his Dodge pickup. His tank top asks "Why You Hatin?" We aren't.
October 28, 2013
Day Three: Memphis > Arkansas > almost Oklahoma
A confession: We spent most of our cross-country road trip driving a four-cylinder Corvette.
That's right: V4, baby, every day, most of the day. That should merit exclusion from any Corvette club with a shred of dignity. But we were game to see what kind of efficiency we could wring from this new 6.2-liter, and but for on-ramp blasts taken in full Track mode, we covered most of our miles under Eco. While the V8 will still kick in during Eco mode, and often did on slight grades or under other murky combinations of speed, RPM and throttle position, the green governor wants to run on four cylinders whenever possible.
October 16, 2013
With the break-in miles completed during our 2014 Chevy Corvette's road trip back from the factory, we immediately proceeded to the track to see what this 460-horsepower beast was capable of.
October 15, 2013
Day One, Continued: Bowling Green to Nashville
The boss wants a burnout photo. The boss always wants a burnout photo. Since we like continued employment, we're happy to oblige. Kurt's more qualified to lay down good stripes than I. My burnout would end on the curb, or in this case, in the ditch. And anyway, with just 27 miles on the engine, I'm happy to let Kurt bear the burden of any piston rings that crumble out the exhaust. I take the camera instead.