Corvette Stingray Gets an Impressive 30 MPG With Cylinder Deactivation, Eco Mode
With the launch of the long-awaited 2014 Corvette Stingray just months away, every bit of new info about the vastly improved seventh-generation sports car is an explosive bullet point in a long list of reasons why this may be the best ‘Vette ever. 7-speed manual transmission! 455hp! Completely redesigned interior! Seats that don’t make people long for the comfort of a park bench! It also starts at right around $52,000, or a few thousand less than the most potent Camaro. Although it may be less powerful than the ZL1, the Stingray also won’t make you look like a spoiled teenager whose heavy foot and tenuous grasp on car physics will accelerate his demise. Instead, you’ll look like a bald man in the throes of a midlife crisis. Now that we have all the contractually obligated Camaro/Corvette clichés taken care of, on to the C7 news of the day. The Stingray will ship in the fall with an EPA rating of 17/29 mpg city/highway with the stick, while cruising along in Eco mode bumps economy to 30 mpg.
In Eco mode, when the throttle is applied only lightly, half of the C7’s eight cylinders shut down to conserve fuel. This plays a crucial part in earning the 30 mpg rating from the EPA, and Chevrolet refers to the process as “Active Fuel Management”. In the normal Tour mode, fuel consumption increases to 28 mpg. Although the six-speed automatic has not finished EPA testing, look for it to post similar figures as AFM is turned on my default, and is deactivated under the transmission’s manual operation when drivers use the paddle shifters.
The next-gen Corvette can’t come soon enough, as the outgoing C6 is far past the point at which it was initially referred to as “long in the tooth.” That car’s cockpit is its most devastatingly terrible feature, and the sports car suffered for it in most comparison tests. The C7 appears to jettison the ugly old plastic mess for good, and perhaps more will consider it worthy to purchase against its more luxurious and refined (read: pricey) counterparts at Porsche and Audi.