The Corvette C7 is a show stopper. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Every other unveiling during the 2013 North American International Auto Show falls into the Stingray’s sharp shadow. Even vehicles like the Audi RS7 and BMW M6 Gran Coupe can’t even come close to matching the hype of America’s latest performance car. But there are a few things we’re skeptical about…
1. The Design
It’s not that we don’t love the design — we do. We’re just not sure how well its revolutionary looks will age, especially the rear fascia. The two-tone color scheme (on certain trim levels like the Z51) and sharp angles are definitely striking to look at now because of how radical they are. But will we feel the same a year from now? It’s definitely something to monitor as the hype begins to settle.
2. The Electronic Emergency Brake
Seriously. Why is such a neutering feature present on a car like the Corvette Stingray? The device is now useless for anything other than parking. Plus, a motorized system adds unnecessary weight thanks to the extra parts, and loses a bit of sexiness at the same time.
3. Still A Conservative Color Palette
So, the new Corvette comes with red leather now. Sweet. But that’s simply not enough. This is the Corvette we’re talking about here. If there’s ever going to be a demand for loud, bold colors, it’s going to be with the Corvette. Blue leathers and purple leathers (or stitching)… something. The bar needs to be raised a little higher here. The same goes with the exterior colors of the C7, which are nearly the same as the C6, sans Inferno Orange. At the very least, we wouldn’t mind seeing some of the outspoken hues offered in the Spark for the new Stingray. It doesn’t really have to be Techno Pink, but we’re not out of line here.
4. Whether Or Not The C7 Raises Corvette’s Brand Equity Is Still A Mystery
We can’t help feeling that while the Corvette team seemingly fixed every complaint in the book, the perception of the Corvette brand will not improve by much. Will its enhancements attract snooty Porsche buyers? Or will it simply be enough to keep the die-hard Corvette customers coming back for more? We like to think that the Corvette’s brand equity is bullish, but at this point it’s tough to be sure.
5. The Lack Of A Flat-Bottom Steering Wheel
The Corvette’s exclusive, all-new steering wheel looks amazing, but we were really hoping for a racing-oriented flat-bottom steering wheel this time around. A flat-bottom wheel setup adds that extra bit of leg clearance for entry and exit of the low-slung vehicle, which is always preferable, while making it that much more maneuverable.
An earlier version of this story only listed four gripes over the new Stingray. After glancing at it a bit more, we now have a fifth. What sticklers we are.