Chevrolet introduced the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray a.k.a. the seventh-generation of its most iconic sports car, at the Detroit Auto Show. Using a 6.2-liter V8 engine with 450 hp and 450 lb-ft (610 Nm) of torque, this is the most powerful standard version of the Corvette ever and, as expected, it uses the most advanced technology such as an aluminum structure, part-carbon fiber body work and a seven-speed manual gearbox.
The big surprise is that the Stingray name also returns for the first time since 1976. The Stingray is 4495mm long, 1877mm wide and 1235mm and is instantly recognizable as a Chevrolet Corvette. According to the official press release, the new 6.2-liter V8 engine matches the numbers delivered by the bigger 7.0-liter LS7 V8 found on the Corvette Z06.
The new engine is bolted to the seven-speed manual transmission as standard but as an option, Chevrolet offers a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. No performance figures were released yet, but Chevrolet confirmed the fact that the 2014 Corvette will use a new Drive Mode Selector with five distinct driving modes: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track.
Under that impressive design, there is a new aluminum structure that is 57% stiffer and 45 kg lighter comparing it with the steel underbody structure found on the Corvette C6. Although the manufacturer didn’t announce any numbers, the total weight of the car will be below 1,400 kg.
Only two parts were carried over between the six and seventh generation Corvette and we are talking about the short/long-arm double wishbone suspension design with transverse composite leaf springs. The new steering uses a variable ration electric power steering system and according to Chevrolet this is five times stiffer than the one found on the C6.
A Z51 Performance Package is also available as an option and includes the Magnetic Ride Control, electronic limited-slip differential, a new aero package and improved cooling. As you can see from the photos, the interior is completely new and according to the manufacturer is the most premium and sophisticated ever on a Corvette. We find high-quality leather, carbon fiber and aluminum but also two 8-inch touchscreens that control most interior functions.
With the steering wheel becoming smaller, specifically with a diameter of 14.1 inches (360 mm), it gives the driver a more immediate and direct feel, especially with the directional inputs. In addition, the focus on the driver is seen even on the smallest of details. This includes the precise and flat stitching placed on the steering wheel.
It results in that consistent and smooth feel. The elegant and precise stitching is also present in the Napa leather trim of all the model’s seats. According to Chevrolet, two options for the seating of the Corvette Stingray will be offered. The first is the GT seat ensures all-around comfort. Meanwhile the second choice is the Competition Sport seat whose side bolstering is made more aggressive and delivers better support when on the track.
Further, the frame structure of these two seats is composed of magnesium. This means that when compared to seats that have steel frames, the ones in the Corvette Stingray weigh less but offer more strength. Further, rigidity is better allowing for improved feeling of support when doing performance driving. According to Interior Design Director Helen Emsley, the interior of the new Corvette Stingray is able to combine remarkable craftsmanship and the use of fine materials with superior technologies.
She added that this helps with making the driving experience more engaging and connected. She continued that each detail and feature on the interior was developed with the goal of improving the relationship of the driver with the vehicle.
Emsley said further that it all started with the wraparound cockpit, inspired by a fighter jet. She said that what followed was making the steering wheel smaller with the seats allowing for more support. She also mentioned configurable and high-definition screens and its use of the best materials.