Every few years Chevrolet updates the Corvette in design, performance and technology and this time is no different. The new Vette has a more radical and menacing look that is more taught and has more character lines than the outgoing model.
There are also functional vents in the hood, front quarter panels and atop the rear fenders that add contrast on the red car pictured as well as functioning in aiding in better aerodynamics and assisting in cooling the engine, transmission and even the brakes on certain models.
Speaking of the hood, it’s made of carbon fiber, to help reduce weight. Another carbon fiber piece is the removable roof panel, meaning that glass was considered too heavy, and that the new Corvette is still a targa. Other weight-saving implements include composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels, a carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame.
Out back, Stingray still has four taillights but those are now slanted towards the outside and are housed in a black surround that makes it look like a super hero’s mask or something. Add to that four stainless exhaust tips and the rear end looks quite menacing…and since that how most people will probably see one on the road, at least it’s nice to look at.
Like most things in America, the Corvette Stingray has grown by an inch in length, an inch wider in both front and rear tracks. Unlike most things in America, those added inches translate into better handling and better cruising at high speeds.
Powering the new Stingray is an all-new 6.2-liter small block V8 that makes 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque which Chevy claims should push the Stingray to 60 m.p.h. in under four seconds! On the opposite side of all that power is the promise of better fuel economy than the outgoing model due to the use of direct injection and turning the engine into a V4 when coasting.
Putting all that power to the pavement is a new seven-speed manual transmission, or a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic that adjusts is shift points depending on how you’re driving. That seven-speed also has something Chevy is calling Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifting.
Another added tech feature is Drive Mode Selector with five different settings that tailors 12 different vehicle attributes to how frisky the driver is and what condition that roads are in: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track. According to Chevrolet, those modes break down like this: The Tour mode is the default setting for everyday driving; Weather mode is designed primarily for added confidence while driving in rain and snow; Eco mode is for achieving optimal fuel economy; Sport mode is for spirited road driving and Track mode is for track use. (see below for a breakdown of the 12 attributes)
One interesting attribute of Eco mode is that the engine runs as a V4 until full power is needed. It’s an interesting take on cylinder deactivation to eek the best fuel economy out of an engine platform that is famous for being very thirsty.
To keep Stingray competitive with the few cars it competes with, materials in the cockpit were upgraded to real carbon fiber, aluminum, micro-suede and Napa leather. Along with dual eight-inch monitors, one that is the instrument panel and one for infotainment options.
With its striking new design, 450 horsepower, a new seven-speed manual transmission, along with a slew of technological upgrades, Corvette Stingray promises to be a force to be reckoned with.
Here is how Chevy describes the 12 different attributes that the Drive Mode Selector controls:
- Gauge cluster configuration: The Tour, Eco and Weather modes feature displays for trip data, audio and navigation; Sport mode shows classic, easy-to-read sports car gauges; and Track mode’s configuration shows a gauge design based on the Corvette Racing C6.R race car display with lap timer
- ETC (Electronic Throttle Control): Adjusts the throttle input curve for the selected mode for improved responsiveness
- Paddle-shift automatic transmission: Adjusts shift comfort and shift points
- Active Fuel Management: in normal mode, the LT1 engine uses V-8 power during acceleration and V-4 power when coasting; in Eco mode the engine remains in V-4 mode to improve fuel economy until aggressive acceleration is needed
- Exhaust (active exhaust system): The system adjusts the timing of the electronically controlled exhaust valves to enhance audible feedback from the V-8 depending on the drive mode
- Electronic limited-slip differential (Z51): Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions; more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes
- Steering: Assist effort is adjusted in the modes to provide the driver with the correct steering feel for the driving condition
- Magnetic Ride Control: Adjusts shock damping based on road conditions, from optimized comfort to performance driving
- Launch control: Available in Sport and Track modes for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
- Active handling (StabiliTrak stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Sport and Track modes and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
- Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
- Performance Traction Management: Available in the Sport and Track modes and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving.