Some new cars are simply made to take your breath away. Just ask the crowds who flocked to see the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Nearly 62%* of people attending such events go to check out fresh designs and concept cars. And the hordes thronging around the Stingray certainly got their money’s worth.
Looks you’ll love and others will envy
To create the new model’s devilishly good looks, Chevrolet commissioned a global design competition from within its own ranks. This yielded more than 300 proposals and head-turning results including:
- Rakishly contoured long bonnet, now made from lightweight carbon fibre, with cockpit poised above the rear axle – for the iconic Stingray profile, loved and envied for 50 years
- Rear quarter windows – making space for air vents above the rear wheels, and giving you better sight of the vehicles you leave in your wake
- High-intensity front headlamps and video-game inspired hexagonal tail-lights to carve swathes through the darkness and signal your arrival
Sensual, driver-centric interior
Journos and auto fans at Detroit also gawped at the Stingray’s sensually styled cockpit. Hand-stitched leather wraps the dashboard, and you can also select leather to encase your choice of magnesium-frame touring or competition seats.
What’s more, GM’s designers did race-track lap after race-track lap behind the wheel to understand how the interior should function. As a result, all controls angle towards the driver. Select ‘touring’ for your drive mode and an 8-inch video monitor screens a range of data. Switch to ‘sport’ mode and you get a large tachometer; switch to ‘track’ and you get a race-car inspired layout complete with lap timers.
You use a second 8-inch monitor to adjust the cutting-edge MyLink infotainment system. This also controls the radio and the navigation system, and even responds to your hand-swipe gestures.
Power, pace and economy
What looks alone couldn’t tell those under the Stingray’s Detroit spell is how the car performs on the road. “We set out to redefine modern performance,” says Corvette chief-engineer Tadge Juechter. “We scanned the world for technology. But we didn’t make changes just to be different. These had to enhance the driving experience.”
In practice, this means an all-new aluminum 6.2-litre V8 engine, with direct fuel injection, which rockets you from 0-60mph in less than four seconds. Yet compared to many of its European and US rivals, the Stingray will save you money at the pumps too. Once at cruising speed, cylinder cut-off technology kicks in, trimming petrol consumption to that of a 3.1-litre V4 car.
Detroit may be the first of 2013’s major international auto shows. But it’s certainly not the last the new Stingray will be wowing.
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