Detroit Motor Show 2013: Corvette Stingray
After one of the most impressively leak-free launches of the last 10 years, Chevrolet has revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Motor Show. Bringing back the iconic Stingray name not seen since 1976, this new Corvette aims to be the most advanced model yet and brings in a new, more European style for the US supercar.
Visually the new Stingray is still instantly recognisable as a Corvette, but brings in a much more modern style, with tight surfacing and sharp creases for the bodywork, with a definite hint of Lotus Exige about the stance. The front end has a wide grille that links back to the 70’s models and the bonnet has a raised bulge in the middle with deeply sculpted channels running up to the wings. There are vents down the side of the wings and over the rear arches and the usual targa top roof is on offer again.
The rear sees the biggest change in Corvette history though, with four rhombus shaped lights instead of the usual circular items, a mainstay since the very first. There is a pronounced ‘gurney flap’ on the trailing edge of the bootlid and the traditional four circular exhaust pipes sitting in the centre of the rear diffuser.
Inside there are massive changes to the interior design, with a driver-focused dash and leather adorning almost every surface. Chevrolet has worked long and hard on the new Corvette’s interior to make it feel more luxurious and worthy of being a Porsche rival and from the images it certainly looks as if they’ve succeeded design wise. There are still a few details that grate though, such as the large black plastic panel to the side of the infotainment screen, with a big ugly button that says ‘Screen’ on it. We assume this controls the brightness, but that panel really jars with the rest and is symptomatic of the fact that US cars have a tendency to only go 99% of the way.
Powering the Stingray is an all-new 6.2 litre V8, producing 450 bhp and 450 lb/ft of torque, the most power a ‘base’ Corvette has ever had. It’s matched to either a seven speed manual or a six speed automatic with paddle shifters and rev matching on downshifts. The rev matching function, which blips the throttle on downshifts is also standard on the manual gearbox, like you get on the Nissan 370Z. Performance figures have yet to be released but expect 0 – 62 mph in less than 4 seconds and a top speed of around 190 mph.
An optional Z51 Performance Package adds an electronic limited-slip differential, a dry-sump oiling system and an improved differential and ransmission cooling system. The model is also distinguished by an aerodynamic body kit that further improves high-speed stability.
We can’t wait to see how the new Corvette handles, as Chevrolet are making bold claims about the new Stingray’s ability. The Stingray will be available in the UK in LHD later this year priced around £55,000. There may still be the possibility of a RHD model later next year, but Chevrolet is keeping details of this quiet for now.
Images courtesy of Chevrolet