Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (2013) first official picturesMon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
This is the new C7-generation Chevrolet Corvette. It's the fist 'Vette to wear the classic Stingray badge for three-and-a-half decades, but not much else is retro about the new coupe. Out go the rounded taillights and glassy rear hatch of bygone models, and in comes a sharp new look with hints of Nissan GT-R, Ferrari F12 and Camaro about it.
One word of warning to UK Vette fans: it's still left-hand drive only to start, and will only be officially imported to the UK in small numbers. We hear right-hand drive versions are under consideration for a launch later in the car's life-span.How powerful is the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray?
Under the hood of the base model you see here is a 6.2-litre normally aspirated, direct-injection V8, putting out 450bhp and 450lb ft. That's up from 404bhp from the C6-generation Corvette, while still leaving plenty of room for hotter Z06 and ZR1 models in future. Don't think Chevy will let the new SRT Viper have the 600bhp limelight all to itself...
The new 'Vette will hit 60mph in under four seconds. A top speed figure hasn't been released: reckon on around 190mph flat out, where you'll enjoy better high-speed stability than the outgoing car.Is the Corvette still old-fashioned under the skin?
Well, it's still got transverse leaf spring rear suspension, but given that set-up's been a 'Vette staple for half a century, the GM boys do know a thing or two about how to get the best from it. Transmissions are either a six-speed paddleshift auto or seven-speed manual, which uses an 'Active Rev Matching' system to smooth out downshifts, like Nissan's Synchro Rev-Match gadget from the 370Z. Also included is a a five-position 'Drive Mode Selector', like Ferrari's manettino switch.
Carbonfibre is used for the bonnet and roof panels, and some interior trim, while the bumpers are composite and fixed to an aluminium frame, built in-house in Kentucky. Chevrolet claims the C7 has a perfect 50-50 weight distribution. If you fancy exploiting that on track, you'll want to spec the Z51 Performance Package, which includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oil system, extra differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package.
Inside, digital dials and a large central display dominate the cabin, and overall quality is said to be higher than the off-the-pace C6. The car goes on sale Stateside in autumn 2013, though the first handfuls of imports won't filter through to the UK until early next year.
By Ollie Kew