Sunday, January 19, 2014

First Impression: Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray

The Chevrolet Corvette is an American icon. It has been around since 1953. The Corvette is a two door, front engine, rear wheel drive vehicle that came either as a coupe or convertible. The Corvette C6 has been around since 2004. Now, Chevrolet has been planning the next generation in 2007. Chevrolet planned to release the next generation Corvette in 2011, but delayed it. The plan is to bring back the Corvette Stingray. A Corvette Stingray concept was shown in the Transformers live action movies. I even saw the concept car at the 2011 Houston Auto Show. However, the concept car was not the C7 Chevrolet ended up releasing. On January 13, 2013, at approximately 6:00 PM CST in Detroit, General Motors revealed the all new Chevrolet Corvette C7. The C7 is the third Corvette to be called "Stingray." The other Stingrays were the C2 Corvette and the C3 Corvette. The Chevrolet Corvette was available for purchase during the fall of 2013. While the C7 has been released, the C6 will still be made in Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR-1 versions.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept at 2011 Houston Auto Show
While the Corvette Stingray Concept was at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, it was absent at the 2013 Houston Auto Show (BOO!). I had to wait until the October 2013 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee to see the C7 Corvette. There were five group together, three coupes and two convertibles. The C7 Corvette looks amazing. I love that Chevrolet pays homage to the original C1 Corvette with the Mako Shark grill that was present on the original C1 Corvette. The C7 has a peak hood, whereas the C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes had flat hoods. I also love how the headlights are designed. The C7 aslo has a nice side profile. I just love the design of the rear end. There are four exhaust tips below the center of the rear bumper. I just love the design of the taillights. This is the best looking vehicle that Chevrolet has ever made, let alone the best looking Corvette. 

The Chevrolet Corvette is powered by a 6.2L V8 engine, paired with either a seven-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission, that produces 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 195 mph. Prices for the C7 Corvette Coupe start at $51,995, including a $995 destination charge. The MSRP for a Corvette 3LT with Z51 Performance Package starts at $62,995. Prices for a base C7 Corvette Stingray Convertible start at $56,995. The MSRP for a Corvette Stingray Convertible 3LT with the Z51 Performance Package starts at $67,800. Compared to its competion, the C7 Corvette is a bargain. A base Porsche 911 Carrera starts at $84,300. 

The C7 Corvette has been featured on Motorweek, Top Gear US, Jay Leno's Garage, Turbo, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The C7 Corvette is playable in Grand Theft Auto V (Invetero Coquette' C7), GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience, Gran Turismo 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Need For Speed; Rivals, and Gran Turismo 6.

Final Thoughts: While it would have been cool to see the Corvette Stingray Concept as the actual C7 would have been nice, the C7 Corvette we got instead is even better. The C7 Corvette is the best looking vehicle made for the Chevrolet brand. The C7 Corvette is a bargain with a starting price of $51,995. This car has near supercar performance at a fraction of the cost of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. The C7 Corvette has been named Automobile of the Year 2014 by Automobile Magazine and Performance Car of the Year 2013 by Road and Track. It is also a finalist for Motortrend's Car of the Year. Chevrolet has announced a Z06 version of the C7 Corvette starting in 2015. This version will have supercharged 6.2L V8 that produces 625 hp. I am hoping somewhere in the next few years that Chevrolet comes out with a ZR-1 version of the C7 Corvette. So far, I have been impressed by the C7 Corvette.

C7 Corvette photos were taken by a digital camera. Corvette Stingray photo was taken by a camera phone.
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