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When the original Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuted five decades ago, Zora Arkus-Duntov, one of the key creators of the Corvette, is claimed to have said, "For the first time, I now have a Corvette I can be proud to drive in Europe." We could very well imagine a lot of people saying the same thing about the all-new Corvette Stingray.
The original Stingray-named Corvette, which started with the car's second generation in the early 1960s, brought about dramatic changes in refinement and style and made America's sports car a much more competitive model against European sports car of the time. The new Stingray takes similar leaps and is now a more impressive car for the global stage. The one thing that remains constant, however, is how much fun the Corvette is to drive. And that's good news for sports car fans everywhere, no matter what Chevy has decided to call it.
Current Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Specs
While Chevrolet's decision to bring back the legendary Stingray nameplate may be the most obvious sign that the Corvette is all new for 2014, the changes go way beyond the chrome stingray silhouettes that have been added to the front fenders. Outside, the new angular styling gives this latest version of the iconic American sports car a much more aggressive look. The handsome driver-focused cockpit receives an equally extensive makeover as well, with noticeably nicer materials and new technology features. Under the Stingray's skin is a more powerful V8 engine that's also more fuel-efficient than before.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is offered in both hatchback coupe and convertible (available spring 2014) body styles. There are two distinct trim levels, base and Z51, each of which can be had in three different sub-trims.
The entry-level 1LT comes well-equipped with 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a removable painted carbon-fiber roof panel, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touchscreen display and a nine-speaker sound system. The 2LT adds a few nice extras including a head-up display, heated/ventilated seats and a 10-speaker premium audio system. Springing for the 3LT gets you all the above, plus upgraded leather upholstery and a navigation system.
Standard equipment on the 1LT version of the Z51 includes 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, aerodynamic bodywork, firmer suspension tuning, upgraded brakes and a limited-slip rear differential. The 2LT and 3LT trim levels add the same upgrades as they do on the base model. Options for either the base or Z51 Corvette include clear or exposed carbon-fiber roof panels, a dual-mode exhaust system and competition seats (late availability).
Under the hood, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gets a revised 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. With the optional dual-mode exhaust system, those numbers climb to 460 hp and 465 lb-ft. Engineers also made a number of changes this year to boost fuel economy, including adding cylinder deactivation technology and direct fuel injection.
All that power gets delivered to the rear wheels by way of a new seven-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The manual transmission features an automatic rev-matching feature, which greatly simplifies and smoothes out shifting during enthusiastic driving.
If there was one thing previous-generation Chevrolet Corvettes were consistently dinged for, it was the down-market look and feel of their interiors. Chevy designers have rectified that by giving the Stingray's cockpit a more modern, upscale appearance that's enhanced by soft-touch materials that finally put it on par with competitors. The fact that this new design retains the familiar large rear hatchback opening and cargo area means this will continue to be one of the most practical two-seat sports cars on the market.
On the road, the Corvette Stingray should continue to thrill driving enthusiasts with abundant acceleration that's now delivered across a wider rpm range. The roar from the available dual-mode exhaust, which increases the exhaust's sound under hard acceleration, should only heighten that experience. A stiffer all-aluminum frame along with numerous suspension tweaks and massive new tires should also improve handling so this new Stingray is even more capable when the straightaway ends and the curves begin.
Used Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Models
The Stingray is an all-new model for 2014. For information regarding previous generations of the Corvette, please see our Chevy Corvette review.
Going back even further, the first Corvette Stingray (originally, "Sting Ray") debuted for the 1963 model year. Chevy continued to use the Stingray name until 1983.