The New Light Heavyweight
Mar 17, 2014 11:12AM
● By Anonymous
GM’s Bowling Green, Ky. assembly plant — where the Corvette Stingray is built — recently underwent a $131 million upgrade that includes a new body shop to manufacture the car’s liberating and lightweight aluminum frame.
Perhaps no American car has meant more to the history of performance driving than the Corvette Stingray. Originally brought to life by General Motors in 1963, the Stingray (or C2) represented the second generation of the famed Corvette line — and its first as a coupe. Now in its seventh installment, this heavyweight performer has shed some weight through a technologically advanced redesign both inside and out.
The next generation of Corvettes begins with an all-new lightweight frame. Built at GM’s upgraded manufacturing plant in Kentucky, the technologically advanced aluminum structure is 99 pounds lighter and 57 percent stiffer than its predecessors. A new 6.2-liter V-8 engine puts out 455 horsepower to power the svelte frame of this finely tuned athlete. With a track-inspired Z51 performance package, direct injection and the advanced combustion dynamics offered through active fuel management, this vehicle delivers both on the road and at the pump. In fact, “eco” is just one of five selectable driving modes that helps optimize performance across a wide range of road conditions. Combined, no other car offers more horsepower and greater fuel efficiency (29 mpg/hwy).
The Stingray definitely packs a punch, but what strikes first are the stunning lines off its long, lean body, which is punctuated by piercing LED “eyes.” Lighting — a dramatic and high-tech element throughout — gets you both coming and going with expressive glowing tail lamps that might give you reason to pause in a dark alley. Functional and aggressive styling continues inside with equal elements of carbon fiber, aluminum trim and sumptuous leather of the jet-inspired cockpit, all set aglow via dual eight-inch digital displays.
While very few details are repeated from the Stingray’s notably rich history, the latest incarnation maintains a distinctive, high-performance profile that is all Corvette — intriguing, if not a bit intimidating.
Engine: 6.2-liter V8
Horsepower: 455 hp
MPG: 17/29 city/hwy
MSRP: starting at $51,995
0-60: 3.8 sec