- - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

You can bet the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is going to turn heads, but even if it is one of the sexiest cars around, it also drives as good as it looks too.

While most folks only look at the Corvette’s exterior, the suits over in Corvette World decided a full redesign might stir talk about all things ‘vette again — and so it has.

The result is not only the powerful V8 engine that Corvette fans have come to expect but also an upgraded interior and more room in the cargo area.

It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to the complete redesign for 2014, there is the official name — the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

As for the competition in the world of Corvette lovers, there is the BMW M4, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Nissan GT-R, SRT Viper and the Porsche Boxster.

You can choose the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in either the coupe or convertible option. And you get two trims, either the base or the Z51. You have even more choices in sub-trims, choosing from the 1LT, 2LT and 3LT.

Starting at the bottom, the base Corvette 1LT comes with 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels, xenon headlights, heated mirrors, a removable roof panel on the coupe, a power-operated soft top on the convertible, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. For the technology lover you also get OnStar, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, as well as an eight-inch touch screen and Chevy’s MyLink electronics interface and a rearview camera.

The Stingray Z51 1LT offers 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels with exterior aero trim, performance brakes and suspension tuning, revised transmission gear ratios and a limited-slip electronic rear differential.

The Corvette Stingray 2LTs have additional auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, and an upgraded sound system with a cargo shade, driver memory settings, heated and ventilated seats and power lumbar seat adjustments.

For the 3LT, add upgraded leather and a navigation system.

If you opt for one of the Z51 trims, it will come with adaptive suspension dampers as an option add-on and, on the Stingray overall, other options are a dual-mode exhaust system and the coupes come with painted and removable carbon-fiber roof panels. Either that or you can order a special roof panel that will be either exposed carbon fiber or transparent.

Under the hood is where the 2014 Corvette shines, with a 6.2-liter V8 engine in rear-wheel with a whopping 455 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque, that is an increase from years past and that includes more pound feet of torque too.

The transmission is a seven-speed manual, with a six-speed automatic option as well. Another thing to take note in regard to the engine is the fuel injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.

Worth a mention, the seventh gear takes on the job of improving fuel economy since it acts as a cruising gear. Beyond that, the manual option shines with automatic rev-matching for up shifts and downshifts, ala, easier to take the road with confidence.

Safety features on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray include the typical anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, side-impact airbags and a rearview camera. Of course, OnStar comes standard with automatic crash notification and not only roadside assistance but also remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

As mentioned earlier, the interior upgrades stand out, but more specifically, it’s really the new design that gets kudos. The center stack is race car ready, and an eight-inch touch screen rocks with MyLink smartphone integration and a cool gauge cluster that again says cool, unruffled composure.

The quality of the material inside this year’s version of the Corvette is softer, with the leather taking center stage and therefore upgrading the look and feel all over.

It’s also worth mentioning the seats that offer more support and feel more like a sports car should, but the 15 feet of cargo space offers a standout upgrade from in years past so it’s a sports car with a twist for traveling.

For the convertible option the top is not only power-operated, but it’s up and down in a mere 20 seconds and even then the trunk still offers 10 cubic-feet with the top down.

Now for driving the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, since after all, getting behind the wheel is the whole reason to buy it, right? You won’t be disappointed since hit the gas pedal and you’ll be off like a rocket. It sounds like a rocket too so people not only see you coming, but they also hear you.

I had the automatic version of this Corvette for my test drive, of course, only the manual can kick the gears the way the Corvette is supposed to, but the automatic was not a shabby substitute by any means.

Refined for 2014 and still a touring car since there is room enough for luggage, the seats are comfortable and the feeling on the open road can only make you feel like you not only own the road, but the entire world and really, who can argue with that.

Should You Need to Know: Take note of the new leather stitching that is much more impressive than in years past in the interior. Also, it would be remiss not to mention the zero to 60 on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it came in at about four seconds on the Z51.

Miles Per Gallon: The estimated fuel economy on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a combined 21 miles per gallon with 17 in the city and 29 on the highway or with the automatic transmission 16 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: On the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible I drove the price tag was $73,525.

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