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2014 Corvette Stingray gets 30 mpg, rated at 29 mpg EPA highway!

How does it get 30 mpg, yet it's rated at "only" 29 mpg on the highway? Well, you may remember from an earlier post - Corvette Stingray makes 460 hp! - that one of the new engine technologies for the Corvette is Active Fuel Management (AFM) which saves fuel by shutting down half of the engine's cylinders under light load driving conditions. Many enthusiasts, myself included, were not too sure what to think about the AFM technology from a performance perspective. Will throttle response be delayed or dull to prevent firing up all 8 cylinders? Will the auto transmission shifts be slower or hunt for a higher gear on the highway to activate AFM? These are among the questions that were worrying me but, as it turns out, enthusiasts need not worry.

At the live reveal of the Corvette earlier this year - The Stingray is back! - Chevy announced that the car will be available with a 5-mode Driver Mode Select (DMS) feature which varies attributes like active handling, throttle maps, magnetic ride control and others. The 5 modes are Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track. If you don't want to worry about shutting down 4 cylinders, simply don't select Eco. That's right, the AFM feature is only enabled in Eco mode so if you're going on a long lazy drive and want the added fuel economy, select Eco. If you don't want to worry about the AFM feature, don't go into Eco mode. That's an excellent strategy by Chevy. When equipped with the automatic transmission though, AFM is enabled in all drive modes unless the driver engages manual-shift mode using the steering wheel paddles.

When equipped with the 7-speed manual, the Stingray achieves 28 mpg highway using the EPA test cycle in Tour mode. Using the cycle in Eco mode results in 30 mpg highway. Chevrolet took the average of the two, 29 mpg, and set that as the rating so although it is capable of 30 mpg on the highway, it is rated at 29 mpg. In the city, it gets 17 mpg. Ratings for the automatic are not available yet but will be finalized soon. For comparison, the current Corvette is rated at 16/26 mpg city/highway when equipped with the manual and 15/25 mpg city/highway with the automatic.

These ratings make the Corvette class leading (although that depends on what you consider to be in the same class). The Corvette's closest competitor, in my opinion, is the Porsche 911 Carrera S which makes 400 hp, 60 hp less than the Corvette, but only manages 27 mpg highway. It does beat the Corvette's city rating though. 

Chevrolet pointed out that no other sports car offers comparable power and fuel efficiency. For example, the Jaguar F-Type S makes 495 hp but achieves only 23 mpg highway. The Audi R8 V10 makes 510 hp and achieves 19 mpg highway.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Porsche Cayman achieves 30 mpg but makes only 275 hp while the BMW Z4 sDrive28 achieves 34 mpg but makes only 241 hp, nearly half as much as the Corvette. 

So far, on paper, the Stingray appears to check all the right boxes and then some. How will the hp numbers and EPA ratings translate into real world performance numbers? Stay tuned to find out once the car is tested!

Source: Chevrolet