Engine: Pushrod 6.2 liter V8
Output: 460 HP / 465 LB-FT Torque
0-60: 3.9 sec
Price: $51,995 (Non-Z51) Base
MPG: 17 city/ 29 hwy
Review (a MilesPerHr exclusive):
The new Corvette…where to begin. Ah, yes, the grip. If there’s only one shining feature that you take away from the complete overhaul of GM’s halo-car, it has to be the face-contorting levels of grip. There’s a lot to be said about the complete win GM has come away with thanks to the new electronically-controlled limited slip diff, weight reduction, upgraded cabin, Magnetic ride select system, and so on, but it all culminates in the one fact that the new Stingray (with the Z51 package – a $2,700 option) will not break loose when pushed to absurd limits. Yes, turn off all the electric nannies and mash into a corner at unnecessary entry speeds, and you’ll come out backwards, but that is no longer the only way to come out of a corner. The C7 holds a line amazingly well, especially considering it’s riding on street tires (granted, they’re really good street tires on my test car).
So moving on to its other merits. To be a good track car, it takes more than grip; you need superb brakes that will let you scrub speed quickly, as late as possible. The new brakes (again, granted by the Z51 package) perform amazingly well, without fade. When combined with the brutal force of the new 6.2 liter V8 and the telepathic rev-match feature on the 7-speed manual, the Corvette absolutely eats up a track. At Monticello, I frequently had to alter my expectations for required transition time between laying my foot to the floor and transferring to the brake + downshift. The re-calibrations in my brain came purely from surprise at how rapidly the ‘vette made it from corner exit to corner entry on the circuit. The new engine doesn’t pull, it yanks. Fortunately, the steering is so responsive and the feedback so omnipresent, that you retain a sense of control that was flat out never available before on a standard ‘vette.
Inside the cabin, my impressions are mixed. The seats are great. I experienced the non-competition-spec versions and immediately felt comfortable and supported. Equally great is the new steering wheel; it’s smaller, grippy, and pleasantly thick. GM really listened when hoards of previous owners complained about these two character flaws. This said, I felt the strange sensation that from the driver’s seat, I was looking at a transposed hologram of a new interior over a traditional C6 interior. It’s difficult to describe, but it doesn’t feel all that upgraded. Then you start touching the dashboard, and the wheel, and the center console, and the climate controls. Even if the new interior is a cleverly-disguised C6 setup, it’s a damn fine bit of trickery and you’ll find few faults worth griping over.
My opinions about the styling more than fluctuated during my time with the car. On first glance, I fell in love. GM managed to keep the aggressive stance of the ‘vette intact while adding a healthy dose of unique visuals to the mix. However, more time spent analyzing the car brought disturbing day-dreams to mind. I pictured a typical suburban town with drones of middle-aged men puttering about in this car. It didn’t help that I was surrounded by these kind of journalists, but the fear is genuine: the new Stingray won’t feel special the moment you see more than one a day on the commute to work. Its styling is a departure from normal, especially at the rear, and it looks fitting in person, but the less you see this car, the more attractive it is.
Here lies the problem, then. GM has made such a good car that everyone will want it. Those who love track days will opt for the absurd bargain that is the Z51 package. Mid-life crises gents will get theirs with a maroon exterior and lots of leather. Well-off yuppies will jump on the electric blue version with chromed wheels. From all angles, you have to admire what GM has accomplished…I just selfishly wish no-one else figures out what a home run this new ‘vette is, so it stays special.
Verdict: Track-star, gran-tourer credentials, guaranteed price-gouger at dealers
– Read this review on FastLaneDaily.com–