2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Review – Video
December 10, 2013
The 2014 Stingray Corvette is an incredible piece of vehicular mastery. Ok, that may be a bit much as the car isn’t perfect, but for under $60,000, it is one hell of a fast and refined sports car. To merely say Chevrolet upped the game with this new ‘Vette would be an understatement. And now there is a second Corvette coming to the market: the Stingray Convertible.
Unlike most cars, the 2014 Corvette’s aluminum frame does not include any structurally beams connecting the roof. This enables all Stingray coupes to have a removable targa panel while still retaining high levels of chassis rigidity. It also allows for minimal structural changes to transform the ‘Vette from coupe to convertible. There is an additional compartment behind the seats to store the soft top and the seat belt mounts are relocated. That’s it; no extra ‘strengthening’ beams are stuffed into the doors or the floor.
Just as Fast as the Coupe
This keeps the convertible’s curb weight at a hair over 3,300 lbs.; roughly the same as the coupe. That means Z51-equipped convertibles can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds and achieve over 1g of cornering grip; all with the wind in your hair.
And these numbers aren’t just paper racing hyperbole; the Corvette is the real deal. The cornerstone to this impressive performance is the 455 hp LT1 6.2 liter V8 that gains an extra five hp with the optional performance exhaust on our test vehicle. In today’s crazy high horsepower era, 460 may not sound like much, but the Stingray is deceivingly quick. Throttle down, the ‘Vette gobbles up mile after mile of asphalt while belting out a raucous V8 eruption at high rpm; especially with that performance exhaust set wide open. Torque is instantly available and the engine is flexible to the point where it’s easy to forget this is a big pushrod monster.
Transmission choices remain a seven-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Not only is this car lightning fast, but with the seven-speed manual, combined with a gentle foot, Chevrolet claims the new Corvette can achieve an impressive 17 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the seven-speed.
But who cares about fuel economy? The Corvette is all about performance. Choose the aptly named Z51 Performance Package and the convertible receives a drive mode selector that will adjust twelve functions including the electronic differential, throttle, steering, magnetic ride control and performance traction management.
Driving on the mountain roads outside of Palm Springs, the Corvette’s limits are immense. At first, it is hard to grasp just how quickly the Stingray can be hustled through corners. The potential of the car is felt, but my internal senses tell me there is no way I’m going to get a car to go around that corner at this speed. However, with more time spent behind the wheel, pushing the car harder and harder, the closer the true abilities of the Stingray became realized; massive, yet fairly manageable. Best of all, the convertible truly does feel just as solid structurally as the coupe. No limp-noodle chassis, no cowl-shake.