2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Performance Features Need Unbundling
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?
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