Automotive

2016 Corvette Stingray glides in for a review

2016 Corvette Stingray glides ...
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the best that American automotive has to offer the world
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the best that American automotive has to offer the world
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1967 Corvette Stingray and 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible meet and greet
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1967 Corvette Stingray and 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible meet and greet
1967 Corvette Stingray and 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible nose to nose
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1967 Corvette Stingray and 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible nose to nose
2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible in the park
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2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible in the park
The Corvette Convertible's top comes down in about 12 seconds and can be operated at up to 30 mph
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The Corvette Convertible's top comes down in about 12 seconds and can be operated at up to 30 mph
2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible in the park
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2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible in the park
The C7 Corvette is both muscular and sexy
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The C7 Corvette is both muscular and sexy
Quad pipes for maximum exhaust effect from the big V8
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Quad pipes for maximum exhaust effect from the big V8
The big V8 purrs contentedly at idle
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The big V8 purrs contentedly at idle
The heavy cant of the radiator allows air to be pulled in from underneath the car, much of which vents through the top of the hood
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The heavy cant of the radiator allows air to be pulled in from underneath the car, much of which vents through the top of the hood
Infotainment sees a big upgrade in this new Corvette
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Infotainment sees a big upgrade in this new Corvette
Available Kalahari leather is a beautiful upgrade
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Available Kalahari leather is a beautiful upgrade
Plenty of "oh !@#%" grab handles for the passenger
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Plenty of "oh !@#%" grab handles for the passenger
The new symbol of the Corvette adorns the car at several points
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The new symbol of the Corvette adorns the car at several points
The Stingray is now a signature mark
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The Stingray is now a signature mark
With the top down and the windows up, the interior is remarkably quiet on the road
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With the top down and the windows up, the interior is remarkably quiet on the road
Speeding down country lanes is the C7 Corvette's happy place
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Speeding down country lanes is the C7 Corvette's happy place
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe's roofline is distinctively appealing
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The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe's roofline is distinctively appealing
Note that the pop-top on the Coupe model removes easily and is manageable by just one person without fuss
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Note that the pop-top on the Coupe model removes easily and is manageable by just one person without fuss
Big haunches are a hallmark of the new Corvette's look
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Big haunches are a hallmark of the new Corvette's look
Note the Coke Bottle design of the body
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Note the Coke Bottle design of the body
Sexy only gets us started when describing the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
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Sexy only gets us started when describing the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
Pavement hugging is part of the 'Vette's charm
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Pavement hugging is part of the 'Vette's charm
The front shoulders are strong, yet feminine
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The front shoulders are strong, yet feminine
The tones emitting from the engine when idling or pressed are second to none
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The tones emitting from the engine when idling or pressed are second to none
The covers on the 2016 Corvette's engine are plastic and aluminum
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The covers on the 2016 Corvette's engine are plastic and aluminum
Note that the infotainment screen slides down out of view to reveal a felt-lined box behind with an integrated USB port
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Note that the infotainment screen slides down out of view to reveal a felt-lined box behind with an integrated USB port
Comfort and quality are a new idea in today's Corvette, making up for skimping in the past
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Comfort and quality are a new idea in today's Corvette, making up for skimping in the past
Beautiful sport seating with excellent stitching and a solid hold during performance driving are now integral to the Corvette
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Beautiful sport seating with excellent stitching and a solid hold during performance driving are now integral to the Corvette
The lightweight carbon fiber top removes easily and stores in built-in clips in the rear hatch of the Coupe model
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The lightweight carbon fiber top removes easily and stores in built-in clips in the rear hatch of the Coupe model
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the best that American automotive has to offer the world
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The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the best that American automotive has to offer the world
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In Americana, few things are as iconic as is the Chevrolet Corvette. From the concepts of the 1950s to the current generation, they are universally loved as collectible works of automotive beauty. For the sports car industry, the 'Vette pioneered the "Coke bottle" design concept, brought advanced lightweight body work to the masses, and has crafted seven generations of a model name synonymous with classy American style. Here's our hands-on look at the latest of those.

For most of its history, the Chevy Corvette has seen its Stingray model as the best selling of the car's options. This holds true today as well, with the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray still offering the most performance, style, and premium comfort for the buck. This two-seat piece of rolling art is available as either a removable-top coupe or a drop top convertible. In either case, a big, throaty V8 powers the rear wheels through a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

Gizmag didn't just drive the current-generation 'Vette, though. We drove the Corvette Stingray in both its convertible and coupe forms and with both a standard shift and automatic transmission. No skimping at this joint.

The styling this seventh-generation (C7) Corvette carries is at once sinuous beauty and powerful muscle. Onlookers are treated to the classic hourglass shape of the 'Vette's historic appeal with all of its feminine undertones. The shoulders of this lady are strong, but thin and well-rounded, dipping quickly to the thin waistline that begins at the door. This flares out into wide, powerful hips that promise plenty of movement.

The big V8 purrs contentedly at idle
The big V8 purrs contentedly at idle

Under all that innuendo lies an engine and drivetrain that motivates this car extremely well. A 6.2-liter V8 pushes 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 pound-feet (624 Nm) of torque through the transmission. A performance exhaust option raises HP by five points and adds a lot of throat in the process. The base transmission is a seven-speed manual with automatic rev-matching. An eight-speed automatic is an option. Both transmissions have a launch control mode and power the rear wheels exclusively.

Several performance tuning options, including the aforementioned exhaust treatment, are added through the Z51 option package. This adds a performance-tuned suspension, an electronic limited-slip differential with cooling, and improved gear ratios in the transmission. An optional magnetic ride control allows the driver to tune the suspension through button-push selection. Our test vehicles included all of this.

Chevrolet says that the Corvette Stingray has a 0-60 mph (96 kph) time of 3.7 seconds on the track. We managed just under five seconds in the coupe with a manual transmission and just over five seconds in the convertible with the automatic. Not surprisingly, driving with these kinds of numbers means that the EPA rating of 29 mpg (8 L/100km) on the highway is unrealistic. When driven nicely, though, the Corvette can make that estimate. Be forewarned that it requires gargantuan quantities of self-control to drive that way in this car.

We also note that real performance geeks who have little interest in everyday drivability and comfort can look towards the supercharged Corvette Z06 model with its 650 hp (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft (881 Nm) of torque and tuning to match. Zero to sixties nearing 3 seconds are possible in this version of the 'Vette.

Plenty of "oh !@#%" grab handles for the passenger
Plenty of "oh !@#%" grab handles for the passenger

All of that exterior beauty is matched, for the first time in the Corvette's history, by the interior's quality. Previous generations of the 'Vette, back to the beginning, were notoriously skimpy in interior refinement. Not so with the C7. It begins with a driver-centric layout, including a canted center stack, and excellent materials choices.

Seating is very firm, but well-balanced and comfortable, offering plenty of bolstering for security during the drive without becoming confined. Seating upgrades in the Z51 package add adjustable side bolsters to go with the adjustable lumbar that's standard. Sport seating is also available.

All Corvettes now have five drive modes, selectable by the driver: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Track. Each changes the throttle response, steering assist level, and transmission vectoring as well as how the stability control systems operate. Adding the optional Magnetic Ride Control also adjusts suspension dampers with these settings. Weather mode optimizes for inclement weather driving, although a rear-drive sports car is not likely to do well in snow or on ice however much tuning you give it. Eco mode optimizes fuel efficiency. The other three each do unique things to the car's feel, with the Tour mode offering the most cushion and comfort while Sport and Track each move progressively towards performance driving at the expense of comfort.

Also improved for the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the infotainment system. An 8-inch MyLink touchscreen interface is featured in all Corvettes of this generation. This screen slides away to reveal a hidden, felt-lined compartment behind, with an integrated USB plug as a stash point for electronics. Also included in the Corvette is another 8-inch information screen embedded into the instrument cluster, providing a host of vehicle information and options for the driver. Some upgrade packages add a heads-up display for the driver as well. This shows at the bottom of the windscreen and is easily adjustable with options for various outputs to be included. A simple three-switch control system to the left of the wheel on the dash operates the full-color HUD, including one for dimming or switching it off.

Infotainment sees a big upgrade in this new Corvette
Infotainment sees a big upgrade in this new Corvette

The infotainment system in the 2016 Corvette now comes standard with Apple CarPlay and, in models built later in the year, Android Auto. This allows the smartphone user to project some apps to the infotainment screen and utilize them from there, often with hands-free voice interaction available. Also featured in some packages is the very fun and useful Performance Data Recorder, which records driving through the car's front-facing camera with various overlays available for recording speed, performance, or other metrics. This also doubles as a recording device for valet service when the car is in Valet Mode, letting the owner know what was done with the car after the keys were handed off. All recordings are saved on an SD card which mounts in the glove box (it locks when in Valet Mode).

Out on the road, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a smooth, gliding machine that fits its namesake. It's not only beautiful to look at, but it's lovely to drive as well. Performance aside, for everyday driving around town or on the freeway, the Corvette is unmatched in its category. Thoroughly enjoyable sensations, from the low tone of the exhaust to the perfect road feel in the pedals are all indications of the C7 Corvette's design.

In the convertible, the top can be raised or lowered at up to 30 miles per hour (48 kph) and in the coupe, the 13-pound (6 kg) carbon fiber roof lifts off easily and stows in the rear hatch with secure, integrated mounts. There are few things in life as satisfying as is driving a Corvette Stingray, top down or off, on a sunny summer's day. The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the best that American automotive has to offer the world. And it's brilliant.

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11 comments
S Michael
Gezz GM... Innovate. This still looks like the same old 60's Vet. Can't you, or don't you have anybody in your company that has new ideas?? Won't sell, and I don't care.
Daishi
@S Michael The Corvette remains one of the best bang for the buck deals to go fast around Nurburgring. The ZR1 has a 7:19, the Nissan GTR is 7:24 and almost nothing else south of $200k is even close.
ChesterGraham
1. Congratulations to General Motors for maintaining the tradition of a performance car that the rest of the world respects. 2. Were not the "Coke bottle" haunches first seen on the Buick Riviera, in the early 60s?
AliciaRussell
Without trying to be crude here, Corvettes tend to stimulate a woman's Bartholin & Skene glands. Always have, always will. Google them up guys, then go buy a "Vette".
cmosbum
Haters will be haters. The C7 Stingray design actually predicted the design look of the upcoming Ferrari F12tdf (just look at the preview pics and the resemblance is stunning), yet some people reflexively say it looks like the classic Vettes of the '60s (iconic designs adored in museums). On top of it, the car is just as fast (or faster depending on options) at one-third of the cost. GM has innovated ... big time!
mookins
Nobody does styling like GM.
jerryd
The pics don't do it justice as much better looking in person. As have been the last couple yrs. Anyone who thinks this looks like a 60's Vette doesn't have a clue. I'm seriously thinking of doing an all composite body/chassis 63split window Coupe looking 300 mile range fast EV for much less money. As for performance few can beat a Vette for the money or even at 2-5x's as much as it'll beat a lot of supercars which I believe it is.
GregSnyder
@ SMichael: 2016 Vette models are out now. 2014 &'15's outsold all mkt projections (.."won't sell and.."). Rectal Optimitus is a tragic but mostly self-induced disease whereby the head becomes permanently lodged within the anal cavity and the untreated sufferer "can't see for sh.t"! (.."still looks like same old 60's Vet."(sic)) I'm no GM fanboy, but these comments were so outrageously ill-informed I felt compelled to respond. (WikiLeaks Syndrome) So, I went out to my garage,did a close comparison between my '67 427 roadster and my new, 650hp ZO6, and you know-- actually you were right,S! Both Vettes have 2 doors,4 wheels,2 seats and V8 pushrod engines. But even a Prius-loving, bike riding, Gluten-free Trunk Monkey wouldn't say they looked alike! S, your final words ("...and I don't care.") actually say it all: why even comment on this well-written but innocuous article? A tip: the real world (the one beyond your parents' basement and X-box) doesn't really care that you "don't care". But it has accepted as "settled science" the fact that the C7 Stingray looks nothing like a 50+ yrs-old C2 Corvette. Apologize that this comment is so long, but I multitasked it on iPhone while hunkered down on the throne (which 'looks like the same old...').
owlbeyou
Mechanically, I'm sure this machine goes like a bat outa hell, and for the money, it's a deal, but the design will always draw a subjective reaction. The "Corvette" panel in front spoils the mouth. Remove it! The seats should have at least two tones. The monocolor leather lacks definition. The ass end looks cut off from the side and the taillight treatment is meh. The exhaust trumpets look great, but four in a row? GM is trying a little too hard on this design, even if it's a fine set of mag wheels with a great interior and sensuous curves. PS. The new Corvette wing logo also bugs me.
CharlesMaricle
Just bought my 2016 Stingray (arctic white) and sold my 2006. I was a C7 skeptic but no more, such a better car than my C6. This is my third Vette and I am not disappointed. Only concern is that the Camaro is looking more Vette-like and the Vette look should be exclusive and not copied parts wise to any other GM platform and that includes the powertrain, the Vette should always have the highest engine options. Or as my Vette club friends say "Mustangs are for boys, Corvettes are for men."