2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible
As we regularly made trips to the gas station and watched the amount of money we spent on fuel amass, we were unaware that we managed to put on 1,200 miles in just five short days! This was one of the very few vehicles we had no problem paying this price of admission. To say we all fell in love with the newly designed C7 Corvette is an understatement. While there are so many reasons one would find such a romance with the Corvette, we’ve narrowed it down to our top ten.
The Corvette is among the best performing production sports cars ever built. The 460 hp (with the performance exhaust system) LT1 6.2L V8 responds instantly and aggressively when you push the throttle. There’s so much power and torque that it pins you to the back of your seat when asked. According to Chevy, the Z51-equipped model with more aggressive gear ratios and tires is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 119 mph. The 7-speed manual transmission shifts precisely with short throws. Grip is amazing and the car feels planted, even on bumpy roads thanks to its Magnetic Selective Ride Control that reads the road every millisecond and can make adjustments in under 15 milliseconds. Its weight balance is 50% front/rear and feels well balanced. Brakes feel powerful too and can stop the Z51 equipped Corvette from 60 mph to 0 in just 107 feet.
Have you ever wondered what eight cylinders of American muscle sounds like? In this car, it’s amazing! Just Listen. Our car is equipped with the performance variable-mode active exhaust system that features two additional valves that open to a lower-restriction path through the mufflers. In this video, the Drive mode is set to “Track” so you can hear the vehicle in its most aggressive setting.
3. Active Rev Match
We love a proper manual transmission. And the Corvette’s seven-speed is a joy to use, especially with its rev-matching technology, which anticipates the next gear selection and automatically adjusts the engine speed for that gear for a seamless gear change. Especially being a motorsports focused website, we fully anticipated disliking this feature. While being quite adept at doing this manually, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it enhances the driving experience of the car. We also found ourselves regularly downshifting through each gear while decelerating just so we can hear the “blips”.
4. Dynamic Settings
The Corvette comes standard with a five-position Drive Mode Selector that can change the personality of the car from grand tourer to track car. The Driver Mode Selector is a rotary knob near the shifter. Each mode has its own gauge cluster that displays different information customized for each mode. The different modes are Tour, Sport, Track, Weather and Eco.
Tour mode is the default setting, and is good for everyday driving. It has a softer suspension setting (when compared to sport and track modes) for improved comfort.
Sport mode is for spirited road driving. It provides a heavier steering feel and stiffer suspension. Throttle progression is more responsive, and the exhaust note is louder.
Track mode is for track use. The gauge cluster displays a shift light and lap timer. The steering feel is heavier than in Sport mode and the suspension is stiffened even more to provide maximum responsiveness. The exhaust note is in its most aggressive setting.
Weather mode is designed for use while driving in rain and snow, and can limit power when cruising.
Eco mode is for achieving optimal fuel economy. The engine can run on four cylinders while cruising to conserve fuel until more power is called for.
5. Removable Top (coupe or convertible)
Whether you prefer the coupe or convertible, the Corvette offers a terrific open air experience. They both share the same the same chassis tuning, performance technologies, structure (with the exception of accommodations needed for folding the top and safety belt mounts), and offer similar power-to-weight ratios.
The convertible top can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph and can be lowered in 21 seconds. It can also be operated with the key fob which is useful when parked.
Choosing between the coupe and convertible will be a matter of personal preference, since performance differences are indistinguishable. Dave Gran (Editor in Chief at Go Ahead Take the Wheel) much prefers the convertible to the coupe for daily driving. He loves the convenience of pushing the button to remove the top and would rarely (if ever) take the other top in the coupe, especially for short trips. I on the other hand would prefer to save the $5k and get the coupe since removing the top is not that difficult, and feel as if the open experience in the coupe is almost convertible-like. Only those that are coming from a convertible to the coupe would miss that full open air experience.
Note that if you plan on doing a high performance driving event (HPDE) in a Corvette, you need to get the Coupe, since almost every track’s rules don’t allow convertibles without roll bars.
Let’s face it, looks are important especially when treating yourself to something special. Prior to the Corvette’s redesign, GM had serious concerns about the aging demographic of its buyers. Almost half its buyers in 2012 were age 55 or older. By comparison, only approximately 30% of Porsche 911 buyers were age 55 or older. In order to attract a whole new generation of buyers, Chevy had to make some styling changes. The design is now bold, sexy and chiseled. We received a lot of positive comments about this car from both men and women of all age groups during our time with it. Every surface of the Corvette is styled with a purpose which adds to the beauty of its styling. For example, the new tail lamp design (a controversial subject for some fans of the previous model Corvettes) integrates functional air outlets for the available differential and transmission coolers.
7. Much Improved Interior
As mentioned by Jake Gulick in his 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray – Paying Homage to the Past while Leaping Forward article, “Gone are the yards of cheap looking plastic, the flimsy and unsupportive seats, and the general feeling of “this is where they saved the money”. Instead, nearly every surface you see or touch is artfully sculpted and wrapped in much nicer materials than ever before. Leather, micro suede (essentially Alcantera), aluminum or actual carbon fiber greets the eye and hand.” It also offers dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens. The interior is now much more fitting for a car in its price class as well as cars that cost tens of thousands more.
8. The Way it Makes You Feel
Some things are not tangible. It’s hard to put a finger on any one particular item that makes you feel the way it does. You know, the “It Factor”… That something special that you just can’t explain. The Corvette has “It”. Despite its impracticality, (two seats, small trunk) the Corvette is just one of those cars and is one of the most desirable rides around.
9. Fuel Economy
Not everyone who buys a Corvette wants to race it, or drive fast. I know several people who are not interested in speed at all who own Corvette’s. Whether rich or poor, different people complain about the some of the same things. Gas prices is one of them. The Corvette is capable of achieving impressive fuel economy, especially for a car with such a large engine. In Eco mode, it can run on 4 cylinders and deliver greater than 29 mpg on the highway. This efficiency is helpful if you plan on putting a lot of miles on the car.
Corvettes have always been more about bang for your buck than perfection. And in the last several generations of the Corvette, buyers had to overlook certain aspects of the car, like the interior quality, and seat comfort in exchange for a big V8. With this new model, Chevy overcame all of the gripes we had with the older models. It now has stunning looks, a world class interior, and performance comparable to super cars at a fraction of the price. For us, it’s the first Corvette that we’ve ever liked enough to truly consider owning.
2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible
Engine: 6.2L V8 DI/VVT
Horsepower: 460 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 465 lb. ft. @ 4,600 RPM
Transmission: 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match Technology Manual
Curb Weight: 3,362 lb
EPA Rating (city/hwy/comb): 17/29/21
Base MSRP: $56,000
Total MSRP: 66,080
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