Skip to main content

2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 Tested!




It's in a league "well beyond the reach of the current Porsche crowd." That's what Car and Driver had to say about the new Corvette during their test after posting a 1.08 g score on GM's black-lake circle. Much like the outgoing C6 Corvette, opinions about the new Corvette seem to be anonymous. However, unlike the outgoing C6 Corvette which was praised for its performance capabilities and value but criticized for the quality of the interior and the seats, the C7 Corvette Stingray seem to be basically flawless.

We'll get the easy stuff out of the way first - the numbers. The best numbers were achieved by Edmunds, where they were able to do a 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile was dealt with in 12 seconds flat at 117 mph. For comparison, the last Grand Sport Edmunds tested did the same deeds in 4.2 seconds and 12.5 s @ 115.1 mph. The Stingray was able to blast through a 6 x 100 ft slalom at 72.8 mph and hold 1.08 g around the skidpad while the Grand Sport managed the slalom at 69.2 mph and held 0.98 g around the skidpad. It took just 93 ft to come to a stand still from 60 mph, 10 ft shorter than a Grand Sport.



2014 Corvette Stingray Z51           
2010 Corvette Grand Sport            
0-60 mph(sec.):
3.8
4.2
1/4-mie (sec @ mph):
12.0 @ 117.3
12.5 @ 115.1
Slalom (mph):
72.8
69.2
Skid Pad Lateral G (g):
1.08
0.98
60-0 mph (ft):
93
103

So it out accelerates, out handles, out grips and out brakes the outgoing 'Vette. With ease. But how far is it "beyond the reach of the current Porsche crowd"? For comparison here are the numbers for a 2012 911 Carrera S with the 7-speed manual and and the PDK:



2012 Porsche 911 Carerra S 7MT    
2012 Porsche 911 Carerra S PDK    
0-60 mph(sec.):
4.6
3.9
1/4-mie (sec @ mph):
12.7 @ 113.2
12.0 @ 116.5
Slalom (mph):
71.3
71.4
Skid Pad Lateral G (g):
1.04
1.03
60-0 mph (ft):
102
98


This is very impressive, considering that a 911 Carerra S PDK will set you back Corvette ZR1 money - over $45,000 more - assuming PDK is the only option on the 911 and the Z51 package and magnetic shocks are the only options on the Corvette. Add that to the fact that the Corvette weighs 110 lb more than the Porsche, and the numbers become even more impressive. So it still has incredible bank-for-your-buck value and you don't even have to live with a budget interior anymore. Everything looks great on paper then but numbers aren't everything.

Chevrolet announced that there will be a new suite of electronics that will aid the driver and help with vehicle control. Since then, I have been concerned that it will move away from the pure driving experience and will basically be Chevy's GTR - a car with incredible capabilities that also claims most of the credit because of how much the car corrects your inputs. This isn't the case with the Corvette.




Make no mistake, the electronics have come a long way. As Edmunds puts it, it allows you to do things you would never consider doing without such elegant back up systems. One of those things was executing a 100-mph four-wheel slide over a mid corner blind crest on a wholly unfamiliar racetrack. This means that it doesn't intervene at every chance it gets to correct your inputs. It lets you do what you want, it simply keeps you from crashing your brand new Corvette. Most advanced electronic stability, traction and power delivery systems attempt to keep you within the limits of grip of the car. Not the PTM system. It lets you go beyond grip limits but keeps you within the limits of control. It's a very different design strategy.

Alex MacDonald, chassis control performance engineer for the Stingray, said that he understands that exiting a corner sideways is, for many, the most rewarding component of driving a car that works right despite it being slower and man is he ever right. You're not always out there to get the best time. You're not always wheel-to-wheel racing. If you think you don't need the PTM system, though, you can turn it off all together and do all the work. Another point for the design team then.

Moreover, when you are done thrashing it around the track and want to put down a serious lap, you'll have no problem doing so. Everything has been dialled up form control, to feedback to response. The new chassis, as we've learned during the reveal, is 57% stiffer. In fact, the C7 Corvette convertible will be 20% stiffer than a C6 Corvette coupe. The steering column is 150% stiffer than the same part on the outgoing 'Vette. It's a textbook rear-drive sports car. A real driver's car.

And thanks to magical magnetic shocks, it's a perfectly comfortable everyday car. "Even Porsche's do-all 911 can't match the ride/handling balance available in the Stingray," said Edmunds. The seats? Well, the base GT seats are not a problem anymore, let alone the optional competition seats that will be available as an option.

This then is the Corvette Chevy should have built a decade ago. It's an everything sports car for everyone. And it carries a base price of $51,995, only $1,400 more than the outgoing C6 Corvette. The goal of gaining market share seems like it's bound to happen but we'll have to wait and see!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track loads.…

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity.

Grip is noticeably lowe…

Ford Finally Announces HP figure for 2020 GT500

Ford has been teasing the new GT500 for months now and many details are already known about it like specs and even top speed and downforce figures. But the one thing that remained a mystery is the exact horsepower figure. We knew it was going to be over 700 hp, but exactly how much wasn't known. But we FINALLY have an answer now in the form of a video. And what more appropriate way to announce a mad 700+ horsepower figure than a burnout video?


This figure puts it WELL above its primary rivals, namely the Challenger Hellcat with 707 hp and the Camaro ZL1 with 650 hp, but it is still shy of the new Hellcat Redeye with 797 hp, but it should be much lighter, to the tune of 200-300 lb. And while the Challenger Hellcat is a massively capable grand tourer for its size and weight, the GT500 should be in a different league on track, especially with the Track Pack.

Getting that much horsepower makes it the most powerful production Ford ever and the most power and torque dense V8 in the wor…

2014 BMW 335i xDrive M Sport Review

Post-refresh 2015 F30 3-series pictured. 
Which is better, an F30 3-series or an E46? The F30 has certainly taken its fair share of heat. But if you thought I was going to say the E46, you'd be dead wrong. The F30 3-series is better. Far better. It is quicker, faster, safer, more practical, more efficient, more refined, quieter.. the list goes on. A lot of reviews and people I talk to consider the F30 to be an abomination. Frankly, I don't see it. You'd have to be mad to think the E46 is better. Completely out to lunch. I don't know who in their right mind would prefer the E46..  Trouble is, since when were people buying sports cars in their right minds? Here, lies the real problem.

"Raw rather than refined in its noises, pounding ride, heavy clutch, 50 grand and cloth seats?"
".. and not at all shy about its performance compromises. It always acts like the automotive jock it is, every mile of every day."
"Raw and quite loud.. And sometimes ru…

2017 Honda Civic Type R Test - A Closer Look

FWD is for kids. Anyone can go fast in a FWD car. Real drivers learn to handle RWD. That's what a buddy said when I was talking about managing throttle in FWD vs RWD in one of the turns on our track. Another friend of mine who is a diehard VW fan just bought a new Mk7 Golf R. Naturally, we argued about Golf R vs Focus RS as we've done countless times in the past. This time, though, the Civic Type R came up, and he said it doesn't matter because "it's FWD." If you agree with all of that, you can't take this new Type R seriously. You might as well stop reading now and move on. And frankly, Honda has done a pretty good job with the styling to convince you NOT to take this car seriously.. But you might be making a mistake.

A proper, thoroughbred sports car needs to have RWD in my book. But we aren't talking about thoroughbreds here. We are talking about very-hot hatchbacks based on compact economy cars. So the question boils down to FWD or AWD? Well, wha…

Dad's Supercar - A great mid-engine build

I came across this home build on a forum (Cobaltss.net) and thought it was really cool. It's a mid-engine build with an engine out of a Cobalt SS (appears to be an LSJ) with a dry sump oiling system. The goal, according to the page, is to have 450 hp on gas to drive to the strip and switch to methanol, change injectors and tune and run with ~ 1,000 hp.






Rear suspension:


Front suspension:



Check it out the (little) details on the build here: Dad's Home-built mid-engine Supercar


Contact Me

Name

Email *

Message *