Chevrolet Corvette Stingray UK 2014 review

15 Jan, 2014 9:00am Jack Rix

Can latest version of Chevrolet Corvette Stingray finally give Europe’s finest a run for their money in the UK?

Verdict

4
Many will run a mile from the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s busy styling and brash image, but there are layers to its personality you only discover at the wheel. It feels big on UK roads, but it’s just as good on a commute as it is on B-roads, and the quad-exhaust sound is simply unforgettable. Give it a chance before ordering a BMW M4 – you just might be surprised.

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is as American as gridiron football, which is why its appeal has never really translated over here.

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The all-new C7 Stingray model is as brash as its predecessors, but thanks to improved materials and tech, it finally has a fighting chance to compete with Europe’s best sports cars. We drove the first example to arrive in the UK.

It’s important to have a sense of perspective with this car. At £61,495, it’s undeniably pricey, but that’s still £177,857 cheaper than the Ferrari F12. And while the thoroughbred Italian supercar has four extra cylinders and a good deal more horsepower, the Corvette isn’t far behind whenit comes to automotive theatre.

The styling isn’t for the faint-hearted – every surface is carved up by creases or punctured with vents, while the swooping dash envelops the driver and gives passengers something to grab. Material quality doesn’t match an Audi or Ferrari and the moulding around the tail-lights wobbles when pushed, but the Chevy no longer feels excessively low-rent.

There are some clever interior touches, too, such as a central screen that retracts down into the dash (revealing a secret compartment with a USB port behind it) and a boot that’s big enough for two sets of golf clubs.

Fire up the reworked 6.2-litre V8 engine and there’s no flare of revs – it quickly settles down to a lumpy idle. Toggle through the driving modes – from Eco to Weather, Tour and Sport – and baffles in the exhaust open up, adding a bassy rumble.

Rev it and the cartoonish, trumpet-like exhausts roar into life. Audi and Mercedes build some great-sounding high-performance engines, but there’s still nothing like the gritty sound of an American V8.

European Corvettes are only available with a seven-speed manual gearbox, but that’s no bad thing. With a bit of effort, it slots neatly around the closely stacked lower ratios, while an absurdly long seventh gear lets you waft along doing 70mph at 1,500rpm. Like the Nissan 370Z, there’s a rev-matching mode that automatically blips the throttle for you on downshifts – although heel-and-toeing is so satisfying in this car that we’d avoid it.

There’s plenty of noise from those wide tyres, but switch the adaptive dampers to their softest setting and the Corvette cruises beautifully. Rachet them up into Sport or Track modes (which also tweak the throttle, suspension, electric steering, exhaust and differential), and the car still has a wicked turn of pace. There are two traction-control settings (on and off) and if you feel brave, the Corvette’s party piece is lurid, yet easily controllable, tail slides.

The steering is nicely judged – quite different to the hyperactive system in the Ferrari F12 – but we’d prefer a little more weight as the speed builds. UK cars get the Z51 performance package as standard; this adds larger brakes with plenty of feel that scrub off your speed with ease.

Our only issue is the unsubtle image – yet isn’t that what these cars are all about? If you can get your head around that, then the new Stingray is well worth a look.

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Unsubtle image? Give me a break. Youre only gripe is that the Vette isnt a Jaguar.

This is so boring to hear over and over, "and the moulding around the tail-lights wobbles when pushed". Just like the previous generation car, it is designed this way on purpose so the rear doesn't dent or break in a minor rear impact. Why is this so hard to understand?

"Material quality doesn’t match an Audi or Ferrari". You can buy THREE Corvettes for the price of an F12! Why is this even mentioned? If the Corvette sold for £177,857 it would destroy every sports car in the world for material quality.

The new Corvette is undoubtedly the best value in a Super Car on the planet. Wait until you get a chance to test the Z06.

It's only flaw for the UK is that it isn't available in right hand drive.

Well to be fair it does have an unsubtle image, but that's actually a good point and a reason to love the 'vette. Fabulous value sports car, more thoroughbred than the cheaper Camaro from the same stable, and more racey than the Holden/Vauxhall VXR8. Long gone are the girder and leaf spring chassis, these machines are in your face iconic power beasts with tech to match. GM could make more margin off these, kudos that they choose not to.

It's faster, more striking to look at, more exotic, better equipped and still 22 000 pounds cheaper than 911 Carrera S

And equally historic with a similar continuity of history.

The Stingray costs £61,000 in the UK? That's ~1.6 times the cost in the US. Why the protective tariff? Just to pay for welfare and the NHS or do you fear the Corvette as a killer performance bargain? Just in case you think I'm a Jingoist, I have never owned a "Vette. I own an '05 Jag XJ VDP and an '06 Elise and they are superb. Bang on the Elise fender and the whole car buzzes and wobbles. It's done that way by design. You know, "Add lightness." Same with the 'Vette. We both need to get rid of our barriers to entry and we'll all be better off.

No tariff. The UK price includes all the UK taxes. Compare the UK price to the "drive away" price from a US dealer and it will be nearer but the UK taxes are higher than Us taxes.

More irritating is why a Lotus costs so much more here in the USA than it does in the UK! That's just plain greed on the part of the dealers.

My cousin's husband drives this in LA! I was lucky to be in it last september! very good car @61000 USD
my cousin brother wants to buy it in London

the uk website says -

BLAZE A TRAIL IN THE ALL-NEW 2014 CORVETTE STINGRAY TRUE RACE-TRACK PERFORMANCE IN A ROAD CAR Better-than-ever acceleration, cornering and braking, plus race-track proven aerodynamics, shoot the all-new 2014 Stingray into new territory. Corvette's 7th-generation grand tourer also gives you a hand-finished interior – your theatre for a thrilling, engaging drive – and brilliantly connected infotainment. Stingray even automatically calibrates its systems to match the road ahead. Yours with the maximising Z51 performance package as standard, there can only be one winner. from £61,495.00

so what is the price here in London?

please elucidate?

Key specs

  • Price: £61,495
  • Engine: 6.2-litre V8
  • Power/torque: 460bhp/630Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
  • Top speed: 195mph (est)
  • Economy/CO2: 26mpg/253g/km (est)
  • Equipment: Head-up display, electric seats, carbon-fibre roof, 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) alloys, eight-inch touchscreen
  • On sale: Now
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