Reviewers and car nuts alike greeted the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette with much acclaim and enthusiasm as it moved into its seventh generation with more power, bolder looks, and a more refined cabin.
So proud were designers and engineers of the C7 Corvette that they resurrected an iconic name from the 1960s and early ’70s to carry on its traditional role as the Great American Sports Car.
The ’14 Corvette wasn’t just a Corvette, Chevy said at its unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2013, where it was named the North American Car of the Year. It was a Corvette Stingray.
But even with its success and rave reviews as the most complete and refined Corvette yet, Chevy was not content to rest on its laurels for the 2015 model year.
New on the scene is the Z06 with the company calls the “most track-capable” Corvette yet. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine pumping out an SAE-certified 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the Z06 is the most powerful production car yet from General Motors and is available in both coupe and convertible forms.
Fine, but Chevy did not ignore the base model for shoppers who are looking for something more in the line of an every-day driver.
The Corvette is now available with a new eight-speed automatic transmission that replaces last year’s six-speed. It offer crisp, confident gear changes via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that make for a driving experience almost as fun as that with the standard seven-speed manual tranny. Or you can just leave it in Drive for those high-traffic, rush-hour situations.
The Stingray comes in either convertible or coupe form with the latter featuring a carbon-fiber roof panel that is removable for an open-air motoring experience. The Corvette also is available with several design packages to allow the car to be configured to emphasize its luxury or performance attributes.
In its base form, the Corvette’s 6.2-liter V8 is tuned to 455 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful engine yet in the base Corvette. Chevy tub-thumpers note that is three times the horsepower of the six-cylinder engine in the first Corvette back in 1953.
It also may be set in one of five different driving modes:
—Touring, for everyday situations and driving conditions.
—Weather, for rain or snow.
—Eco, which puts the engine into V4 mode for achieving the best fuel economy.
—Sport, for more aggressive driving as well as enhanced audio feedback from the dual quad exhausts.
—Track, for, well, track use (duh).
The 2015 Corvette may have a throwback name but it is a thoroughly modern vehicle. It comes with OnStar telematics with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to keep you connected with all your favorite apps and data services. Yes, you can quickly let your friends know when you are out for a spin in this American classic. (But, of course you’re not the one to gloat, are you?)
Speaking of its ride, even in Eco mode the Corvette can be a bit on the loud side, and the ante is upped when Sport mode is engaged. The suspension is firm, though it does not make things uncomfortable for the passenger, and changes in road surfaces show up with rises in the road noise. All that really helps keep the driver’s attention where it should be — on the road and what the car is doing.
Pricing for the 2015 Corvette Coupe starts at $53,995 including the $995 destination and delivery cost with the soft-top convertible version upping that by $6,000. The Z06 takes that all the way up to $78,995, but even the base coupe get get into the $60,000 range when such niceties as the 2LT Package (heated and vented seats with lumbar support, head-up display, premium audio, etc.), navigation, the eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and other convenience features are added.
Standard features include stability and traction control (adjusted according to the driving mode selected), rear-vision backup system (which is good because it isn’t easy to see out the back), HID headlamps, the removable roof panel (on the coupe), GT bucket seats, XM satellite radio (with a 3-month subscription to SiriusXM services), and more.
For a closer look at this American classic and more details, check out the accompanying slide show.