Coming Soon to a Dealership Near You: The First Wave of 2014 Corvette Stingrays Ships From Bowling Green
The highly anticipated 2014 Corvette Stingray has finally begun shipping out from its Bowling Green, Kentucky assembling plant and will arrive at dealer lots within the next few weeks. About 1,000 examples have been produced and are relocating to dealerships across the country, and will undoubtedly sell for more than the $51,995 MSRP (although it will likely cost slightly less than the first production C7, which sold for $1.1 million at Barrett-Jackson earlier this year). The seventh generation ‘Vette will finally bring America’s Sports Car into the 21st century with bucket seats that have real lateral support and an interior not ripped from a 2007 Cobalt.
General Motors invested $131 million in the Bowling Green facility in the lead up to C7 production, including a $52 million expenditure to create a new body shop that constructs the C7’s new aluminum frame. Corvette Blogger preliminary pinned the beginning of C7 production sometime around the first couple weeks of August, and going from 0 to 1,000 cars in just over a month is no easy feat. It seems the money was well spent in the manufacturing process.
First unveiled at this year’s North American International Auto Show, the Stingray is moved by a 455hp V8 (460hp with the optional exhaust system) and will be mated to a 7-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The fuel economy spread is 17/29mpg in city/highway driving, although the sports car can manage 30mpg on the freeway with Eco mode engaged. Eco mode is activated with the press of a button in the manual-equipped car (it is the default setting with the auto), the system utilizes cylinder deactivation under light accelerator application to eke out the EPA numbers, which are quite impressive for car driven by an 8-cylinder engine.
Innovations don’t stop under the hood, of course. As previously mentioned, the seating arrangement has been vastly improved, and buyers have the option of choosing between the standard seats for touring or sportier buckets for racing work. Also upgraded is the infotainment system, which is combined with a digital screen in the instrument panel to display information like lap times, cornering force, and tire heat. Over the last few years, automakers developing sports cars and supercars have been pressured to respond to the tech bar set by the Nissan GT-R and its various performance displays, which were created by Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital.
Based on early reviews, it seems that Chevrolet has finally successfully tackled the everyday livability issues of the Corvette that buyers won’t accept in this day and age. In the past, anybody looking to purchase a high performance automobile had to choose between comfort and sporting behavior. That line has become much more blurred in recent years, and even the mighty Ferrari 458 has the option of loosening the suspension for traveling around town. The mentality of having a sports car that is everything to everyone all the time (to the ones that can afford it, that is) has percolated down the line to even the price sensitive Corvette. The only automakers producing hardcore sports cars have names like Lotus and Caterham, and even boutique manufacturers like Gumpert aren’t immune to the demand for supercars that don’t punish their occupants.
Chevrolet seems to have finally created a world-class sports car that toes the line between speed and comfort. And with an adaptable suspension and up to 460hp on tap, the Stingray does both superbly.