2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray makes bold style statement
Last fall Chevrolet introduced the C7 Corvette Stingray coupe garnering an enormous following and awards including “2014 North American Car of the Year.” The follow-up act is a 2014 C7 convertible, which provides the ultimate in headroom and curb appeal.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible makes a bold styling statement and embraces advanced technology. With the top down, the Stingray’s signature profile was further accentuated with black trim panels, spoilers, black wheels and meaty tires (P285/30R20 rears) that enhanced the body lines of the car. With the top up, the profile is not as clean and looks a bit angular.
New Stingray convertibles feature a fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely (in 21 seconds) using the key fob, or in-car with the push of a button. I also liked that the top can be opened or closed on the go up to 30 miles per hour.
Styling and drop-top fun are only part of the deal. If you opt f or the Z51 Performance Package (my test car) Chevy provides 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque from the 6.2-liter V8. My test car came with a seven-speed manual with Active Rev Match that achieves 17 city and 29 highway Environmental Protection Agency mileage numbers.
Additionally, the Z51 package features integral coolers for the rear differential and transmission, and a free-flowing exhaust system. Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exits through the aircraft-inspired taillamp vents and lowerrear fascia air outlets. The Z51 Performance Package also includes brake-cooling ducts, a great-looking unique rear spoiler. and additional air deflectors for enhanced track capability.
Slipping inside you’re greeted by a pungent plastic/leather/carpet smell. From behind the wheel, you would never know the coupe and the convertible are different cars with the top up. The thick fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, does a decent job of quieting/sealing the cabin.
The biggest knock on the last two Corvette generations was the low-rent interiors. With the C7, Chevrolet has greatly improved and upgraded the interior. Seat comfort takes a priority, as they are the most supportive and best-looking seats in more than 10 years. There’s a lot going on inside on the dash from performance readouts, navi, infotainment, vehicle systems data and a heads up display presented on configurable electronic gauges and screens. The design, build quality and materials are much better and befitting of a car of iconic status. Storage could be a little better, and Corvette’s trunk only holds 10.2 cubic feet and no spare.
On the street, dial it into one of four Driver Mode Selections engaged via a rotary knob near the shifter. A Tour mode default is for normal driving;Weather mode is for rain/snow conditions; Eco mode maximizes fuel economy; Sport mode for aggressive road driving, and Track mode for maximum performance driving. In Sport, the sweet exhaust note is worth the price of admission. Corvette still has some “old school” flavor, as it rumbles and shakes at idle, and while the steering is electric it feels very communicative. The shifter with Active Rev Matching shifts instills confidence, making you feel like a professional drag racer. Once you launch, hold on tight as the front end rises, and the rear can kick out on you. Depending on which “mode,” you’re in, the ride ranges from firm to comfortable.
At $62,995 for a Z51 equipped convertible, the 2014 Corvette Stingray drop-top is the best convertible performance bang for the buck.