In case you just discovered the Internet, yesterday was kind of a big deal for Chevrolet. Of course, the new 2014 Corvette C7 (a.k.a the “Stingray”) made its official world debut. The leaks were all accurate, and despite this, most of the world was not prepared for just how stunning the car is in the sheetmetal. Without a doubt, the Stingray owns the 2013 North American International Auto Show. And after a lot of time up close, we have five elements that we like more than anything else regarding the 2014 Corvette. In no particular order, they are the following:
1. The Design
To be honest, the photos don’t do this car justice. The nearly endless creases, angles, curves and swoops can only be truly appreciated from a real perspective. The look of the new Corvette Stingray is also functional, while every single diffuser, extractor, duct and inlet being integrated into the design with a purpose. And while it’s arguable that the C7 bears a similar front profile to its competitors, it still cannot be mistaken for anything else. This is the Corvette of the 21st century. And it is good.
2. The Interior
If there was ever a blemish on the Corvette C6 (and C5, C4…), it was the interior. From the base model, to the six-figure-priced ZR1, the Corvette’s cabin wasn’t the ideal setup to operate a vehicle that can pull 1G turns. The seats, awful. The sat-nav system, pitiful. The material quality, embarrassing. Not anymore. It seems that for the first time in a very long time, the cabin of the 2014 Corvette could be considered class-leading, putting the driver first, and utilizing several creature comforts and technologies that strengthen the symbiotic relationship between car and driver. Better still, no more fake carbon fiber or metal. Everything is very authentic, with nothing being too gaudy or obnoxious. For crying out loud, the seat frames are constructed from magnesium! Yes, everything about the Stingray’s cabin oozes performance, which is a confidence-inspiring trait the C6 could hardly muster.
3. Proof That GM Can Still Be Bold
The Corvette’s designers were not afraid to piss off their current target audience. We love that. Because it seems that while a lot of old-school Corvette enthusiasts are still in shock that the tail lamps are any shape other than circles, a slew of conquest enthusiasts seem to have taken a keen interest in the new Stingray. These are people who would have otherwise never considered a Corvette because of its “successful plumber” aura. Successful plumbers may still go for this car, but thankfully, so will performance enthusiasts in the market for a Nissan GT-R. If only the rest of Chevrolet’s vehicle development teams weren’t so conservative…
4. The New Powertrain
For the first time ever, GM will introduce a seven-speed manual transmission in the new Corvette, refreshing the way people row their own gears. This new transmission, attached to an all-new V8 engine, with a completely fresh calibration and driving feel, should make the new Corvette its own monster. A lithe, all-American, V8-roaring monster.
5. The Latest Driving-Oriented Technology
The seventh-generation Corvette has a driving mode for just about every occasion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a rock-climbing mode. Despite this minor setback, we still find a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit the driver’s environment. Meanwhile, the new Active Rev Matching (ARM) feature that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time makes its debut in the Corvette. But the hard-core need not worry — all of the do-dads can still be switched off.