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New 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray Review (plus Z51 Performance Pack Info.)

The 2014 GM Corvette C7 Stingray is an entirely new high-performance vehicle redesign from the ground up. The 7th Gen Chevy Vette improves upon the most successful engineering elements of earlier Corvette's and adds a multitude of new technologies while literally using only a handful of carryover pieces. The 2014 GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray goes on sale in the Fall of 2013. In short, the new C7 Vette is more refined and fuel-efficient, has better braking, is faster, and provides superior track, touring, and daily-driving capabilities over that of any that proceeded it. Also, for added exposure, the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray is the 2013 Indy 500 Pace Car plus it's a player in the "Captain America" film productions.

Car & Driver informational video on the new 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray
GM designers and engineers talk about new C7 Vette and the Z51 Performance Packag

Overview: The all-new Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray platform will take the new Vette through this decade and beyond as each generation of Corvette is generally in production for about 10 years or so. The base or standard Corvette Stingray, fearsome from the start, and even more so with options like the Z51 Performance Package, is the new rock-solid production and racing platform which is poised to accept upcoming hyper-performance engine and gearing modifications that will put the C7 Corvette among the best in the new modern world-class supercar speed wars; this time with a top-notch interior to match. Watch the official General Motors Stingray introductory video.

General Motors strategy was also to price the new Stingray where if you could afford the previous C6 Corvette, you can afford the new C7. Basically, the 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe will be priced at $52,000 USD and the convertible at $57,000 USD including the destination fee but excluding exclude tax, title, and license. Most of the Stingray hardtops with the Z51 package you see pictured here will run about $73,000 nicely equipped. View more Stingray pricing details towards the end of the article. Note: The first commercial that actually revealed the entire Stingray released near Super Bowl XLVII at the end of Jan. 2013.

Picture of a red 2014+ C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with the historical C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes parked in the background.
The new 2014 Chevy C7 Stingray on the tarmac
The (left to right) C6, C5, C4, C3, C2 and C1 Corvettes parked behind

There are many reasons to get excited about the new 2014+ Corvette Stingray, but in short, the most interesting new elements of the C7 include a standard light-weight carbon-fiber hood and removable roof panel (which lowers the center of gravity by pulling weight off the top of the car), a finely tuned light-weight and super-sturdy aluminum frame with magnesium and aluminum chassis components, the carbon-nanotube composite underbody panels, a prioritized new first-class and highly scrutinized level of fit and finish (very noticeable on the interior), the powerful and fuel-efficient LT1 V8 engine with its advanced combustion technology, an overall ruggedized design, a lower than ever center of gravity (for the engine and the entire vehicle), a choice of ultra safe and solid magnesium framed seats, a more advanced suspension system, and a highly functional new cockpit design with superior centralized controls along with adjustable and high-definition driver information and entertainment systems which pull the most important operational info into the drivers focal point.

The Corvette has always been a pioneer in the usage of lightweight building components and the C7 Stingray has a better power to weight ratio than that of the Porsche 911 Carrera or Audi R8 and a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

When thinking about this first C7 Corvette Stingray remember that many things seem familiar with the standard historical Corvette design philosophies; it is still a forward mounted V8 powered two-door two-seat modern looking hatchback with rear-wheel drive, but unlike many new sports-car redesigns the new 7th Gen Vette has had every single piece of the vehicle reworked and redesigned for a superior all new supercar. This is not a refresh! It's all new, and beyond evolutionary, the new C7 Stingray is revolutionary in nearly every way whereas the previous C6 Corvette was strongly based on the C5 Corvette engineering that came before it, but the C7 is not.

Picture of a red 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray in the Gran Turismo 5 video game developed by Polyphony Digital in collaboration with General Motors for this particular vehicle. The realism is unreal. GM says (quote) Getting behind the wheel of the all-new Corvette Stingray – the most powerful, most efficient and most sophisticated standard Corvette ever – is sure to be a thrilling experience (end quote).
 Super detailed Gran Turismo 5 video game 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray
Polyphony Digital worked with General Motors to get this C7 right

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Gran Turismo 5 video game: With the widespread popularity and "unreal" realism in present day video games, the Corvette Stingray in Gran Turismo 5 makes it possible for anyone to hot-rod around with the Stingray sports-car in virtual reality. The game graphics available today are not lost on the car manufactures and General Motors worked directly with  Polyphony Digital, the creators of Gran Turismo 5,  to get the Stingray right. Nissan did the same thing with the GT-R, but also used Polyphony Digital to program the R35 GT-R's center multifunction center mounted dash display. Non-gamers may brush these virtual worlds away with a snicker, but remember, the military uses the new modern-day remote pilots and programmers for flying drone aircraft and they develop virtual worlds for elite field combat and police training; also the aviation and shipping industry use virtual control centers to train their operators; robots operate remotely for a multitude of worldwide tasks; surgeons practice complex tasks in virtual reality, and the list is endless. In other words, all else being equal, the first time driver of the new Stingray who has mastered the car in Gran Turismo is going to have an advantage over the driver who's simply rifled through a few magazines.

The first 2014 GM Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray VIN #001 sold at a Barrett Jackson auction for $1.05 million to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick who is also one of the most successful Chevrolet dealers in the United States. The Stingray seen at the auction is a tour car and Rick will get to spec out the first production Stingray with the color and options of his choice as well as being able to pick it up at the Bowling Green, KY assembly plant when it rolls off the line providing for historic photo opportunities.
First 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray Vin #0001 sold at Barrett-Jackson auction for charity
NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick  won with a 1.1 million USD donation

Picture of Joe Flacco who is the Baltimore Ravens Quarterback as he was given a 2014 GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray for being chosen as Super Bowl XLVII MVP in New Orleans, LA. Flacco led his team to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on 2013 Super Bowl Sunday. Chevrolet is the official sponsor of the Super Bowl XLVII MVP Award.
The 2nd 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray to publicly change hands was with the Super Bowl XLVII MVP
The Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco is the Baltimore Ravens Quarterback

Stock base or standard 2014+ Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray performance specs: 

Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray
LT1 6.2L (376 cu in) V8 w/ 6,600 rpm redline
450+ horsepower
450+ torque
0-60 mph (seconds) sub 4 second (estimated)
1/4 mile (time/maximum speed) 12.3 seconds at 118 mph (est.)
Braking distance 70-0 (feet) 155 feet
Maximum lateral acceleration (road holding) over 1g (w/ Z51 pack)
Top speed 190 mph (estimated)

* General Motors official specs, unless noted: independent pro testers will soon better these performance stats

Picture of the 2014+ GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette viewed from the driver's door area with the removable carbon-fiber roof top stowed. While we're looking inside the new C7 Corvette Stingray let's think about the new LT1 engine that powers the base and Z51 Corvette. The Speed Wars has an entire article on the new LT1 engine but in short the C7 Vette Stingray LT1 engine is a 6.2L or 376 cubic inch small-block naturally aspirated V8 with a 6,600 rpm redline, direct injection, active fuel management and variable valve timing. The LT1 engine has an aluminum block and heads, is a classic push-rod design, and shares only a few nuts and bolts with the previous LS3 upon which it is partially based. The pushrod engineering also allows for a very low profile design because the cam is burried deep in the block which allows for a lower center of gravity and a more compact engine that is 4 inches shorter than a comparable overhead cam design. This pushrod LT1 design also reduces weight as well as makes room for the low swept hood line. Let's just say that the Gen 5 small-block LT1 engine is most powerful (in horsepower and torque), fuel efficient, and emissions friendly standard (base) engine ever produced for the Chevy Corvette.
2014+ Chevrolet C7 Corvette interior viewed with removable carbon-fiber roof top stowed
GM implemented a new level of refinement with superior fit and finish on the C7 Vette

Next: Corvette Stingray interior...
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C7 Corvette interior: It's expected that all new model Corvette's will have cutting edge exteriors and mechanicals, but this new C7 Stingray now also has a finely crafted interior on par with what the Europeans have been producing for years. This fully covered and detailed interior will be the first thing that hits you when you open the door. There are various mixes of leather, carbon-fiber and aluminum available throughout. We're hearing a lot about Nappa leather these days on American sports-cars, and it's an option in the C7 Vette. Nappa leather is one of the most desirable leathers due to its durability and soft feel and is usually made from unsplit goat, lamb, or sheep-skin. Great pride is also taken with the detailed interior stitching. The new world-class seating options will be covered shortly.

The "infotainment" displays are high-def units with rich and detailed output which are superior in direct sunlight. The center stack 3D high-def navigation and entertainment (plus "OnStar" and "MyLink") display includes gesture recognition (touch-screen) and the display panel lowers to reveal a USB port and hidden storage. The instrument cluster high-def display is tunable for your choice of display configurations. Both the instrument cluster and center mounted NAV/radio are 8-inch displays. There is also a configurable color head-up-display (HUD) available.

The center console includes a steel reinforced passenger grab-handle as well as side padding for the driver and passenger to brace themselves when in hard turns and the new arm rests offer maximum comfort.

You'll have a 7-speed manual with driver activated (paddles on the steering wheel) electronic rev-matching for perfect shifts, or an adjustable (via the mode selector knob) 6-speed auto with steering wheel tap-shift controls. You can pop the carbon-fiber roof off for open air driving. Of course there is also the class leading storage volume behind the seats.

The driver mode selector knob is located by the shift lever. It includes 5 settings or modes (Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Track) which electronically controls 12 vehicle performance parameters.
The "driver mode selector" knob has 5 settings that control 12 different performance parameters
The button in the center of the knob turns traction settings on or off

​There's also the central control unit "driver mode selector" knob that's mounted below the shifter and includes 5 settings (modes), which besides adjusting the driver instrument cluster readouts, controls 12 different performance parameters via the 5 settings. Also, for high performance driving the center of this "driver mode selector" knob also includes an on/off button for the "StabiliTrak" stability control, and for "Performance Traction Management" while in "Track" or "Sport" mode.

  • The 5 selectable modes from most conservative to most aggressive are: 1) Weather, 2) Eco, 3) Tour [default], 4) Sport, and 5) Track.
  • The 12 performance parameters adjusted within the five modes are 1) Gauge display cluster readout configuration, 2) Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) for improved responsiveness, 3) Paddle-shift automatic transmission shift point control, 4) Active Fuel Management (AFM) or cylinder deactivation, 5) active exhaust system control to improve the acoustics when in V4 economy mode, 6) Electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) control for the Z51, 7) Electronic steering control resistance or feel, 8) Magnetic Ride Control [optimizes shock dampening], 9) Launch control for maximum off-the-line acceleration, 10) Active Handling (StabiliTrack) which can also be deactivated for complete driver control, 11) Traction Control for Weather mode, and 12) Performance Traction Management which offers torque reduction and automatic braking for track type conditions.

You have 5 different interior (2014 Corvette) color options and you can mix and match for a variety of looks.

The new C7 or 7th-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray stopped on the track with the standard removable carbon-fiber roof stowed and the passenger side door open to reveal the new  styling lines both inside and out. This C7 Corvette is the most rock solid and capable standard model Corvette ever produced. In standard trim it offers the best gas mileage yet (exceeding an EPA-estimated 26 mpg) , over 1g of road holding force minimum, a 0 to 60 mile per hour acceleration time of less than four seconds, superior braking with 70 to 0 miles per hour in an estimated 155 feet, a top speed of about 190 mph, an estimated quarter mile time of 12.3 seconds at 118 mph, and engine torque that matches that of the legendary LS7 Corvette 427 Z06 engine from 1,000 to 4,000 rpm.
This C7 Corvette is the most rock solid and capable standard model Corvette ever produced

C7 Corvette exterior: The body on the new C7 Corvette, besides the lightweight carbon-fiber hood and removable roof panel, include doors, front fenders and rear quarter panels fabricated using a new advanced SMC composite construction technique. These body panels save 37 pounds. The Vette is famous for using advanced composite construction which began with production fiberglass. There were even experimental magnesium bodies in the late 1950's. Today General Motors progresses forward with modern advanced composites such as carbon-fiber and the SMC or Sheet Molded Compound found on the doors, fenders, and rear quarter panels. Also, as far as the future goes, GM is a world leader in new magnesium sheet metal structure developement. Most magnesium pieces used today are of cast construction (thicker and heavier). 

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The new slippery futuristic C7 exterior styling with jet-fighter aircraft inspired design cues incorporates a fine balance between low drag coefficients and grip enhancing down-force. Many people look only at low drag coefficient (Cd) numbers by themselves, but creating road hugging down-force generally increases friction and drag so you have to decide on the best blend between the two, and the lowest Cd is not necessarily the best. Great planning went into not just the air that goes over, around, and under the new Vette, but also to the air that goes through the vehicle for cooling and balancing of high-speed low pressure zones. The new Stingray has a drag coefficient of 0.28 which is equal to that of the sleek C6 Corvette (0.28 Cd).

The new lower side mounted spoilers along with the redesigned chin and rear spoilers act in harmony with the low hood , windshield rake, and roof-line to push the tires to the pavement. Also take note of the rear upper quarter panel intakes and the enlarged front grill opening; and the hood, front fender side cove, tail-lamp side, and lower rear fascia exhaust ports. The hood exhaust vents draw hot air up and over the windshield and roof for superior cooling instead of blowing it along the driveline components underneath. This engine compartment vacuum system, assisted by the side cove front fender vents (which also reduce drag), draws more air than ever through the enlarged front grill and new forward tilting radiator which all work in conjunction to aspirate heated engine compartment air and to allow the engine to breathe while also reducing front end lift at speed for improved steering response.

High angle overhead passenger rear side view photograph of a red 2014+ GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray. You'll probably hear or read about where people make a comment about how the new C7 Stingray doesn't resemble the earlier C2 Sting Ray or even the C3 Stingray Corvettes, but General Motors never had the intention to go retro on this, or any other, Corvette. All Corvettes have been front engine rear wheel drive 2 seat sports-cars and every new generation is built to produce a more capable sports-car than the one that preceded it by using new materials and technologies. Nothing is written in stone though, for example, Chevrolet has considered mid-engine designs in every generation of Corvette except for the first Gen 1953 to 1962's, but all the most desirable design elements were always better accomplished with the traditional front engine layout. Anyhow, the Stingray name was used with the new C7 Corvette to signify the massive design improvements that were made with the new model Corvette as was the case with the original Stingray's. Also remember the 1968 to 1982 Corvette Stingrays battled through stifling emissions regulations and still retained good sales figures. The new Stingray has become completely harmonic with environmental, economy, and safety rules and regulations and is set to launch into the future with innumerable even higher-performance possibilities than ever before.
Note hood and side cove front fender exhausts and rear quarter panel air intake

Also, the new intake vents on the upper side of the rear quarter panels under the side quarter windows push air through oil heat radiators. The vent on the driver's side draws air through a transmission fluid heat-exchanger for either the Hydra-Matic 6L80 automatic 6-speed paddle shift or the optional Z51 close-ratio 7-speed manual with active rev-match. Another intake vent on the opposing passenger side upper rear quarter panel is part of the the heat-exchanger setup that's part of the optional (eLSD) electronic limited-slip rear differential. Another benefit you'll notice is that all the venting pulls heat away from the cabin for a more comfortable ride.

These cooling and aerodynamic tricks came straight from the competition smashing grand tourer GM Corvette C6.R endurance race cars. 

There is a choice of ten different (2014 Corvette) exterior colors which include: Black, Laguna Blue Tint, Crystal Red Tint, Cyber Gray Metallic, Lime Rock Green, Night Race Blue, Torch Red, Blade Silver Metallic, Arctic White, or Velocity Yellow.

​Lighting: Besides the ultimate interior high-res and high-visibility "infotainment" displays (650  cd/m2 of brightness for the instrument cluster, and 1,000 cd/m2 for the center stack unit), the exterior lighting has also been completely rethought. Upon first glance people instantly notice the new rectangular rear lighting which replaced the decades long-lasting circular rear 4 lamp assemblies.

Four circular round rear tail-lights were a hallmark of the Corvette since 1961, but the new C7 Stingray starts 2014 with rectangular rear assemblies that include exhaust ventilation ducts on the outside edge for the rear gear assembly (transmission/differential) heat exchangers. The new C7 rear lighting package design is part of the overall loosely based jet-fighter aircraft design theme. The LED (light emitting diode) rear lighting includes dual element three-dimensional sculpted tail-light lenses which are bottom lit with reverse LED powered reflectors that provide a very even overall illumination.

Close up picture of the new 2014+ C7 Corvette Stingray rectangular tail-lamps that are powered by offset LED's which provide consistent diffused illumination. The tail-lamp housings also include exhaust vents on the outboard sides. Little changes like this are big news for some as the Corvette has traditionally had 4 round tail lights for as long as many can remember. These new C7 tail-lamps fit into the loosely based jet fighter aircraft styling theme that one of the designer refers to as having muscular tension.
The new C7 Vette hexagonal tail-lamps put an end to the decades long lasting rounded 4-lamp rears

The front lighting on the new C7 Stingray includes aerodynamically enclosed black-chrome lamp housings. The previous 6th Gen Corvette's also used encapsulated head-light housings that had replaced the long-standing pop-up or hide-away headlamps that began in the late 1960's. The C7 Vette headlamps are bi-functional (single bulb replacing two) high-intensity discharge (HID) frosted projector head-lamps with LED side lit amber signals and sinister looking LED daytime running lamps along the bottom outer edge.

Next: Z51 Stingray option...
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​Z51 Performance Package option: The optional Z51 Performance Package includes the close-ratio 7-speed manual transmission with electronic rev-matching and a heat-exchanger cooled by the driver's side air intake below the rear quarter-window (as previously mentioned). The Z51 Performance Pack also includes slotted brake rotors, brake cooling ducts, and larger wheels and tires, and a different rear spoiler along with additional air deflectors designed for the track. The new Gen 3 (40% quicker reacting) Magnetic Selective Ride control (FE4) is also available on the Z51 as is the eLSD or electronic limited-slip rear differential whose electronic controller gathers and analyzes parameters from the steering wheel angle, brake pedal and accelerator pedal angle which it uses to send down the appropriate traction instructions. The Z51 electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) also incorporates a passenger side air intake below the quarter window for its heat-exchanger. The Z51 pack also swaps out the oil pump assembly and changes the plumbing for a dry-sump oil system (vs. the standard wet-sump) for superior lubrication while cornering hard.

Tires and wheels: The Stingray wheel or rims are 18 x 8.5-inch front and 19 x 10-inch rears standard, or 19 x 8.5-inch front and 20 x 10-inch rears with the Z51 Performance Package. The rims are forged-aluminum. The specially designed new Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires are thinner than the previous Corvette C6 tires for increased levels of fuel economy but the new design does not sacrifice grip as a Z51 equipped Vette is capable of over 1g of lateral road holding force. The modified Z51 Michelin Pilot Sport tires are different from the standard tires and are tuned more for the track in that they blend in a stickier rubber compound such as that found in racing slicks.

Seats: The previous C6 Corvette seating received its share of criticism, or let's just say everyone who felt they knew the C6 Corvette felt obliged to bitch and complain about them, so the C7 Corvette seats are an all new design and we're dedicating this section to this highly appreciated improvement over the C6 Vette. The design of these new seats is like the proverbial "Brick-house", they're "mighty mighty, ...". The Commodores - Brick House (Cheers and applaud!).Seriously though, the frames on the new Stingray seats use super sturdy magnesium for a rock solid feel along with superior driver and passenger safety. The new Stingray seating offers class-leading comfort, support, safety and style.

There are two choices on the style of seating. Both include fine leather and stitching. The first and standard seats are of a supportive and fairly plush sports "GT" style design. Secondly, the optional "Competition Sport" racetrack type seating design choice provides more lateral support, visible carbon-fiber, and includes upper cutouts for easy aftermarket race harness installation. Upgraded fine Nappa leather is available on all new Corvette seating. View the picture gallery for high-res pictures of the seats and other components on the C7 Stingray.

GM Chevrolet 2014+ C7 Corvette Stingray completely redesigned cockpit interior drivers view picture. The first things to hit you with the new 7th generation GM Corvette interior is the upgraded craftsmanship throughout, the smaller 14.1-inch steering wheel, the upgraded high-def driver and information (or entertainment displays), the seven-speed manual (if the six-speed automatic was not selected), the upgraded top-notch GT or Competition Sport seating; leather, aluminum or carbon-fiber coverings; the driving mode selector (with five settings) on the center console, and a host of other changes and upgrades. Ultimately, a fair share of your attention will be focused on the center mounted, always in your field of vision, driver information display with it configurable screen, and yes, it remembers your last settings when you restart the vehicle.
The all-new C7 Stingray cockpit represents a new age of fit and finish for the Corvette

C7 driver technologies: One of the most important design elements of the new Corvette Stingray include historic levels of build quality in every area. From a drivers perspective you'll note that the adjustable high-definition driver information instrument cluster and controls are centered within the drivers focal point and reach, while the high-def NAV/entertainment and secondary controls go out to the sides. An auxiliary passenger side HVAC control is positioned on the outboard side of the right dashboard section for passenger controlled comfort. Also, the drivers dead center high-res instrument-cluster pod readouts can be switched via a center console mounted mode-selector knob. The computer system displays also remember what setting they were in when you restart the vehicle.  

Engineering overview: Being that the historical Corvette "Stingray" name is revived for the C7, many people comment that the new Stingray looks nothing like the C2 (2nd Gen) Sting Ray or the (C3 3rd Gen) Stingray. The new C7 Stingray was never intended as a retro design and besides using the basic 2-seat coupe front engine V8 rear wheel drive platform with advanced lightweight building materials Corvettes have never been retro in design, but a Corvette is always designed to look like a Corvette. Also, mid-engine designs were considered for every generation of Corvette except the first, but again the jury decided to go with a front engine on the new C7. The Stingray name is a marker indicating that the new seventh-generation Corvette is a revolutionary design as were the original Stingrays. Note the C3 and C7 Corvette use Stingray as one word whereas the C2 had Sting Ray separated as two words.

Speaking of history, the 2013 introduction of the new 7th Gen 2014 "Stingray" makes it about 60 years since the very first Corvette was introduced in 1953. Besides that, the previous C5 and C6 Corvette's borrowed heavily from one another, so that makes the C7 the first major redesign in nearly 20 years. To have accomplished this in uncertain economic times is remarkable.

The new 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray took inspiration from cars such as the 1959 Corvette Sting Ray racer which was a concept design that started out with the 1957 Corvette SS. These prototypes preceeded the 1963-67 C2 Corvette and had a strong influence in it's development.
The new Stingray inspiration came from cars like this historic 1959 Sting Ray racer

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The designers describe the new sharper angular edges and overall dramatic design of the new Stingray as having a kind of muscular tension that works in harmony with the jet fighter aircraft design cues that ultimately blend together to give the new Corvette a new more appealing international flair. Much effort also went into the new window glass designs as well. The new rear quarter windows have not been seen on a Corvette for over half a century.  Also, the massive production capabilities and buying power of General Motors assures you that there really is no better value for your money in the sports-car market, especially if you love Corvette's.

Direct drivers side view of the 2014+ GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette lightweight and rigid aluminum frame structure. General Motors had plenty of time to test the long term durability of aluminum frames with the C6 Corvette Z06 and ZR1. The 2014+ C7 Stingray Corvette lightweight aluminum frame is an all new design that only looks similar to the outgoing frame because occupants, engine, chassis, and other parts go in roughly the same position on the new Corvette. The older Z06 and ZR1 aluminum frame was generally the same thickness throughout each individual piece whereas the new C7 Corvette frame is tuned and varies in thickness along the length of each individual piece or segment. This new method optimizes strength while reducing weight.  The C7 Corvette Stingray aluminum frame is put together in a new Bowling Green, KY, USA laser welding shop where precision and tolerances are unbelievable at around 0.001-inch.
2014+ C7 Corvette Stingray tuned aluminum race capable "space" frame w/ structural center tunnel
Each side has 5 sections:  front & rear crush zones, front & rear suspension castings, and center hydroformed rail section

​C7 aluminum frame: General Motors had plenty of real world time perfecting aluminum and magnesium chassis components with the C6 Z06 and ZR1 Corvette's (and others), but the new standard C7 Corvette frame is an all-new design and they have pulled the final assembly (all welding) in-house with the all-new ($52 million USD) body shop at the Bowling Green Kentucky Assembly Plant (which underwent a $131 million USD upgrade, which included the body shop, for the new C7 production). This new Vette welding shop seems like something out of a science-fiction film with robots and computer controlled laser welders with accuracy that's way beyond what's possible when done by hand with 0.001 inch tolerances. Build quality inspections are done by hand though, as well as by using computer controlled and highly accurate scanning sensors.

The outgoing C6 Corvette Z06 and ZR1 aluminum light-weight frame was basically one thickness throughout. The all-new C7 Stingray frame varies in thickness from piece to piece which reduces weight and allows for a much higher level of tuning for ultimate rigidity or for flex were needed, such as in impact safety crumple zones. To demonstrate this frames rigidity think about the fact that previous generations of Corvette's used steel frames for convertible Corvette's (including the famed 2013 C6 427 Convertible) because the Z06 and ZR1 aluminum frame depended on the roof  bracing as part of the overall structure. The C7 frame incorporates the removable carbon-fiber roof panel and is near convertible ready right off the bat. GM refers to this frame as an "open air structure". 

The C7 frame is 99 pounds lighter and 57-percent stiffer than the base model C6 steel frame that proceeded it. This new aluminum frame with its reinforced structural center tunnel and the familiar Corvette front engine rear transmission driveline layout connected via the amidships torque tube makes the new chassis a very stout and formidable piece of road or racetrack engineering.

Direct overhead view picture of the GM 2014+ Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 7th generation powertrain and suspension. This C7 powertrain hooks up to the newly designed lightweight aluminum frame for one of the best handling sports-car chassis's on the market. Note that the powertrain by itself is an advanced and rigid race capable structure. For even weight distribution the 6-speed paddle shift automatic or 7-speed manual transmission is mounted in the rear of the vehicle and connected directly to the drive wheels differential. Also look at the torque tube that runs between the engine and rear end. This torque tube rigidly connects the front mounted engine to the rear gear assemblies, and besides being used in the new C7 Vette, the torque tube was also used in the C5 and C6 model Corvette's. The engine, which in this case is the standard 2014+ C7 Corvette Stingray 6.2-liter 376 C.I.D. LT1 small-block V8 with a cast aluminum block and heads that incorporates direct-injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and a totally revised and improved combustion system which helps it put out more than 450-horsepower and 450-lb-ft of torque along with superior fuel economy.
C7 Corvette Stingray all new 6.2-liter 376 C.I.D. LT1 small-block V8 w/ aluminum block and heads
The LT1 engine uses direct-injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing

LT1 Gen 5 small-block V8 engine: More detailed information and pictures on the new 2014+ V8 Vette motor are available in the Speed Wars Stingray LT1 engine article, but in short one of the most talked about features is the economy mode where the LT1 engine runs in a V4 mode under low-load conditions (cylinder deactivation) to provide superior fuel economy. The level of interdiction the Active Fuel Management (AFM) or V4 mode plays can be controlled by the Driver Mode Selection knob (Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, or Track) but either way, the switch between economy mode and full on V8 power is instantaneous, non-intruding and ferocious if the driver demands it.

The Gen 5 LT1 small-block (not to be confused with the 7th Gen or C7 Corvette) is a naturally aspirated pushrod design that allows for a low center of gravity due to the camshaft being mounted low inside the block. It has a cast aluminum block and heads and is NOT lighter than the previous similar Gen 4 LS3 small-block engine mainly due to the heavier and robust steel secondary cam driven fuel pump mounted in the engine valley (the other standard lower pressure sending pump is aft by the fuel) and the heavy-duty fuel lines and injectors needed to operate at very high fuel pressures (2,175 psi or 150 bar). The lack of overhead cams also gives the LT1 about 4 inches more overhead clearance than its competitors. The compression ratio is 11.5:1.

​The three predominant technologies on the totally redesigned 6.2L 376 cu in LT1 Corvette engine include Direct injection (DI), the Active Fuel Management (AFM) or cylinder deactivation, and the Variable Valve timing (VVT). There are dimensional similarities between the LS3 and the LT1 engine but General Motors did a complete "melt and repour" on the new design. Only a few fasteners cross between the two. Power output is 460 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque with the power band equal to the famed 427 LS7 Z06 motor on the bottom end (1,000 to 4,000 rpm) of the power curve. Redline is 6,600 rpm. This naturally aspirated LT1 engine is the most powerful (in both horsepower and torque), fuel-efficient, and emissions friendly standard (base) engine ever produced for the Chevy Corvette.
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2014+ General Motors Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray rear independent suspension, differential, drive, and braking system. The optional Z51 Performance Package includes an amazing electronic limited-slip differential or eLSD whose electronic controller gathers and analyzes parameters from the steering wheel angle, brake pedal and accelerator pedal angle which then sends traction instructions to the rear Z51 limited-slip diff based on any measured instabilities. You can also identify different rear end packages on the C7 Corvette by the anti-roll bar, or lack of it. The base FE1 suspension package has the REAR anti-roll or stabilizer bar tuned out of the package and does not include one, whereas the Z51 package includes either a 26mm rear stabilizer bar with the FE3 package or a 31mm rear stabilizer bar with the FE4 package.
C7 Stingray rear independent suspension, differential, drive, and braking system
In this case the rear anti-roll bar indicates it's part of the Z51 package

Rear drive assembly: Corvette transmissions are mounted at the rear of the vehicle bolted to the rear differential (making up a transaxle) with a solid torque tube connecting it to the front mounted V8. This setup provides superior front vs. rear weight distribution as well as a rock solid driveline. A computer controlled electronic limited-slip rear differential (eLSD) is available with the Z51 Package. The eLSD provides superior stability for all types of acceleration scenarios.

​The rear drive, brake, and suspension assembly pictured above can be identified as the optional Z51 Performance Pack unit by the presence of a sway bar. The rear sway or anti-roll bar is tuned out of the standard model Stingray (none exists). With the Z51 pack either  a 26mm (FE3) or 31mm (FE4) rear sway bar is present. All Stingrays have front anti-roll bars. The front anti-roll bars on the base FE1 Vette is a 26.7mm hollow type while the optional Z51 front anti-roll bars are 28mm (FE3 and FE4).

Automatic paddle-shift 6-speed transmission: The Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed paddle shift automatic transmission includes a heat exchanger (mentioning again) that's cooled by the air passing into the drivers rear quarter panel vent (below the rear quarter window) which then passes through the cooler and finally exits via the rear exhaust mounted on the outboard side of the tail light assembly.

Manual 7-speed transmission: The 7-speed TREMEC TR6070 driver controlled electronic rev-matching transmission is standard, or is modified for the Z51 Performance Package to include close-ratio gearing (for more precise shifting) and a heat-exchanger which is fed via the driver's side quarter panel vent (as is the Hydra-Matic 6L80 automatic mentioned previously). The TREMEC TR6070 7-speed is mated to a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disk clutch. The previous C6 Corvette manual was a 6-speed.

The TREMEC TR6070 7-speed driver activated automatic electronic shift rev-matching works for both upshifts and downshifts. It's activated or deactivated by triggering switches mounted behind the steering wheel where the tap-shift selectors would be had the automatic transmission been present. The 7-speed manual automatic rev-matching circuit blips the throttle via a Hall sensor mounted on the rear transaxle which senses the start of gear changes.

Shocks (suspension): 35mm Bilstein shocks come with the base (FE1 suspension) C7 Corvette Stingray. 45mm Bilstein's replace those with the optional Z51 (FE3) Performance Package, while the more advanced Z51 (FE4) Performance Pack upgrade uses the Gen 4 magnetic ride control (MR). Also, the lower control arms went from cast-aluminum to hollow-cast aluminum in order to shave weight while increasing rigidity at the same time. The front cradle was also changed from solid aluminum to hollow-aluminum while becoming stiffer and lighter as well.

​Steering: The new steering wheel is smaller at 14.1 inches which gives the driver the tactile impression of a smaller car with a quicker and more direct feel. The steering column on the Stingray is 150-percent stronger than that of the C6 which along with other improvements makes the steering system five times stiffer than before. Also, the Corvette now uses electrically powered steering (EPS) vs. the outgoing hydraulic type. The electric steering provides excellent road feel via an attached mechanical belt-drive worm-gear setup that simulates the desired and programmable road feel through the EPS. The C7 also has a 1-inch wider track both front and rear as well as a 1-inch longer wheelbase for added stability.

Direct rear view picture of a new 2014 GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray. The LED sculpted rear lights are distinctive, as is the quad-tipped exhaust system pictured. When viewing the rear of the new Corvette Stingray remember, besides the air going around and under the vehicle, greater than ever attention has been engineered into the routing of the air that flows through the vehicle. The front has hood vents that draw air through the engine compartment for cooling and to reduce front end lift, and at the rear, air exhausts through the lower panel and around the tail-lamps for increased mechanical rear gear sets cooling efficiency. As far as the exhaust system goes, there is a choice of active exhaust systems with the standard system giving a 13-percent improvement in exhaust flow, and the higher performance dual mode active system  giving a 27-percent improvement in exhaust flow when compared to the systems that came before it. Both exhaust systems have valves that optimize flow when in the fuel saving V-4 mode, with the optional higher performance system adding an additional set of valves that reroutes exhaust through a less restrictive route through the mufflers as needed.
Rear end view of a red 2014 GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray
Note the new LED sculpted rear lights and quad-tipped "active" exhaust

Brakes: The base and Z51 Stingray Corvette's both use power-assisted Brembo fixed 4-piston front and (4-piston) rear calipers. The rear discs (rotors) are 13.3-inches for both the standard and Z51 Stingray. The front discs (rotors) are 12.6-inches for the standard Vette while the Z51 gets larger 13.6-inch units. The rotors are also slotted with the Z51 option. Yeah, having smaller rotors for the front than the rear on the base Corvette seems odd, but GM specs read it that way. We'll update if untrue.

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Exhaust: The new quad-tipped "active" exhaust system is available in two different configurations. The standard C7 active exhaust system offers a 13-percent improvement in exhaust flow over the previous C6 Vette's, and the optional dual-mode active exhaust system offers a 27-percent improvement overall. Exhaust tubing has been enlarged from 2.5-inches to 2.75-inches. All C7 Corvette's get the "active" exhaust system which includes a computer controlled butterfly-valve installed right before the mufflers. This butterfly valve is responsible for tuning the exhaust system while in the fuel saving V-4 mode to provide a pleasant aural experience while running on half the cylinders (cylinder deactivation). The optional dual-mode active exhaust system adds another set of valves which reroute the exhaust through a less restrictive path inside the mufflers to offer even better performance and a more aggressive sound.

​Aftermarket tuners: Everything is under wraps until the C7 Stingray hits the streets, but the most monumental work outside of General Motors will probably come from Katech, Inc. The LS7 Z06 and C6.R 427 engines were in large part due to Katech Motorsports designs, and the upcoming C7.R and LT1 high(er)-output Corvette engine designs will no doubt be based on the work that comes out of Katech shops. Do believe that the new ruggedized LT1 engine design, and especially the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system, is optimal for a radical intercooled supercharger setup with minimal modification. Oh how sweet the supercharged whine will be on the new C7 Stingray Corvette.

Racing: The C7 Stingray development relied upon millions of miles and a decade worth of C6 Corvette production road car data to go along with an equal amount of R&D time which crossed back and forth between the Corvette C6.R race-cars offering the ultimate test bed for durable high-performance technology. General Motors refers to the C6.R race and C6 street car co-development as their "Technology Transfer". The new soon to be released C7.R race-car will be a showcase for the Corvette Stingray as well as the fine tuning platform for upcoming hopped-up Vette supercars and the proving ground for new C8 Corvette ideas. We'll have details here on the Speed Wars when the Corvette C7.R hits the racetracks.

Picture of the new 2014 plus General Motors Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray flying V Vette emblem. The new revised C7 Corvette racing flag emblem is nearly the same as the original, however, the logo forms a deeper V shape than the C6 Corvette logo.
Newly revised C7 Corvette flying-V racing flag logo forms a deeper V than the C6 emblem

2014 Corvette Stingray pricing starts at 52k: In a nutshell the 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe pricing starts at $51,995 USD while the new Corvette convertible begins at $56,995 USD. These prices include a thousand dollar destination fee but exclude tax, title, and license costs. As mentioned previously, you can deck out a 2014 Corvette Z51 coupe, like many of these seen here, and run that price up closer to $75,000 USD.

Following are a few of the 2014 C7 Corvette major options and prices (basically copied directly from official General Motors media):

  • $2,800 - Z51 Performance Pack *
  • $8,005 - 3LT interior package (includes leather-wrapped interior and killer Bose sound system)
  • $2,495 - Competition sports seats
  • $1,995 - Exposed-carbon-fiber roof panel
  • $1,795 - Magnetic Ride Control with Performance Traction Management
  • $1,195 - Dual-mode exhaust system
  • $  995 - Carbon fiber interior trim
  • $  995 - Sueded, microfiber-wrapped upper interior trim
  • $  595 - Red-painted calipers
  • $  495 - Black-painted wheels

* From Chevrolet: "The Z51 Performance Package includes: high-performance gear ratios; transmission-cooling system; larger 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels and tires; larger, slotted rotors and brake-cooling ducts; electronic limited-slip differential and differential cooling system; unique chassis tuning; and available Magnetic Ride Control active-handling system with Performance Traction Management. Equipped with the Z51 package, the Corvette Stingray is capable of accelerating from 0–60 mph in under four seconds, and more than 1 g in cornering."

 

Next: C7 Stingray specs...
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2014+ GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette base or standard model specifications:
View the official General Motors 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray order guide below
(.pdf 32 pages, opens in new window)
 

Overview
Models: 2014 GM Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray
Standard Model Stingray
USD base price - soon

Stingray w/ Z51 Package
USD base price - soon
Body styles / driveline
 
two-door hatchback coupe with fixed roof; rear-wheel drive same
Construction


 
composite and carbon-fiber body panels, hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components same
Manufacturing location Bowling Green, KY same
Engine (motor)
                       6.2L 376 C.I.D. V-8
(LT1) 
6.2L 376 C.I.D. V-8
(LT1)
Displacement (cu in / cc / liter) 376 / 6162 / 6.2 same
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92 same
Block material cast aluminum same
Cylinder head material cast aluminum same
Valvetrain
 
overhead valve, two valves per cylinder same
Fuel delivery direct injection same
Compression ratio 11.5:1 same
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm) 460 / 343 same
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) 465 / 630 same
Oil delivery wet sump dry sump
Recommended fuel    
EPA-est. fuel economy
(city / hwy):
better than 26 (est.)
 
same
 
Transmission (tranny) - Both auto and manual available on base vehicle
Gear ratios (:1)           6-speed auto
Hydra-Matic 6L80
7-speed manual
TREMEC TR6070
7-speed manual
TREMEC TR6070 close ratio
First coming soon.... soon soon
Second      
Third      
Fourth   1  
Fifth      
Sixth      
Seventh: none    
Reverse      
Final drive ratio      
Chassis/Suspension
                 
Front:



 
short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber same except: Gen 3 Magnetic Ride Control available
 
Rear:



 
short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber same except: Gen 3 Magnetic Ride Control available
 
Traction control:
 
StabiliTrak; electronic traction control
 
same except: adds Magnetic Selective Ride Control w/ FE4
Brakes
                                                 
Type:

 
power assisted 4 wheel power assisted discs; 4 piston fixed calipers front and rear includes slotted rotors
larger front calipers
 
Rotor diameter (in / mm)
 
front: 12.6 / 320
rear:  13.3 / 338
front: 13.6 / 345
rear: same
Brake swept area (sq in / mm) coming soon  
Wheels/Tires
              
Wheel size:
 
front: 18-inch x 8.5-inch
rear: 19-inch x 10-inch
front: 19-inch x 8.5-inch
rear: 20-inch x 10-inch
Tires:
Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat
front: P245/40R18
rear: P285/35R19
front: P245/35R19
rear: P285/30R20
Exterior dimensions
     
Wheelbase (in / mm) 106.7 / 2710 same
Overall length (in / mm) 177 / 4495 same
Overall width (in / mm) 73.9 / 1877 same
Overall height (in / mm) 48.6 / 1235 same
Curb weight (lb / kg) coming soon  
Weight distribution  (% front / rear) 50 / 50
 
same
 
Interior dimensions
   
Seating capacity 2 same
Interior volume (cu ft / L) coming soon same
Headroom (in / mm)   same
Legroom (in / mm)   same
Shoulder room (in / mm)   same
Hip room (in / mm)   same
Capacities
   
Cargo volume (cu ft / L) coming soon same
Fuel tank (gal / L)   same
Engine oil (qt / L)   same

* specs are taken directly from official General Motors sources 

2014+ Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray road test videos: Will be posted in the fall when the Stingray enters production.

Trivia: The first Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray (#0001), which was a 2014 of course, sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction for 1.1 million US dollars with the benefits being contributed to education . Two thumbs up to NASCAR team owner, and first 7th generation Corvette buyer, Richard Hendrick.

The second C7 Vette to be publicly released went out to Super Bowl XLVII MVP Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco.

2014 Vette pictures - LT1 engine info - Pricing 



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