U.S. News & World Report recently printed an article with an attention-grabbing headline: “Too Much Testosterone May Be Unhealthy for Older Men.”
That is not what you want to read when a 2014 Corvette Stingray is sitting in your driveway.
This car oozes undiluted testosterone from every pore. The locker room at Florida State, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson after pumping iron, Stallone in his prime—nothing comes close to matching the automotive six-pack this seventh-generation ’Vette delivers.
Want tailpipes? There’s a quartet of them, each the girth of the enormous bass organ pipes at Notre Dame and capable of emitting a voice as thundering as James Earl Jones’.
Want thrust? Prepare to blast from rest to 60 in just 3.8 seconds.
But there’s a huge quantum change here. This is no longer the Dollar Store-quality Corvette we’ve known and loved (sort of) for the past six decades.
For the first time, technical sophistication and engineering brilliance put this new Stingray on par with the best Germany has to offer. Make no mistake; this is simply one amazing driving machine.
At its core is an all-new, glued-and-welded aluminum chassis that’s 100 pounds lighter than the steel frame of the previous C6 ’Vette and stiffer than a guard outside Buckingham Palace.
This kind of torsional rigidity helps heighten the delicacy and precision of the car’s electric-assist steering. Now, there’s so much feedback at your fingertips that you can hit a quarter and tell whether you’re running over the eagle or George W.
It also further heightens the confidence and clarity of the way the car handles curves and cures it of its previous pickup ride quality. It’s now so German, it should have been named the Corvette Fritz.
Of course, you’d need to hot-lap Daytona with Dale Junior behind the helm to discover this car’s limits of adhesion. Even on a snaking piece of mountain blacktop, the 10-inch-wide rubber out back is never going to relinquish its immense grip.
That is, unless you hit “Track” mode—one of five adaptive driving modes—which eases control of the back end and allows you to channel your inner hooligan.
Providing the motivation for this new Kentucky flier is the latest iteration of Chevy’s inimitable small block V-8. Direct-inject and continuously variable valve timing mixes with old-tech pushrods to crank out 460 horses and 465 pound-feet of muscly torque.
You don’t buy a ’Vette for low fuel economy, but Al Gore would approve of the V-8’s ability to shut down four of its cylinders on light throttle openings to return an econobox-like 29 to the gallon on the highway. A four-cylinder Corvette—now that’s a first.
Choose between a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters or an all-new seven-speed stick with so-called “Active Rev Matching” that blips the throttle on downshifts. Either way, you’ll have a blast.
The true icing on the cake is the interior. After six generations of Playskool-plastic awfulness, this is a welcome change. The cabin is awash in butter-smooth leather with contrast stitching, leather on the dash and soft, nicely textured plastics. The new seats are a body-hugging revelation.
Here is, without doubt, the performance bargain of the decade. A base yet still superbly equipped 1LT Stingray coupe will set you back just $51,000, or $56,000 as a convertible. Even loaded with every bell, toy and whistle, you’ll struggle to spend $70-grand.
As for that testosterone issue, if you experience problems lasting longer than four hours, you can always turn off the motor.
Price: From $51,000
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8 Max
Power: 460 hp
Max Torque: 465 pound-feet
Transmission: 7-speed manual
0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: 195 mph
Length/width: 176.9/73.9 inches
Weight: 3,298 pounds
Why we love it: No longer the crude and rude Corvette of old, this new C7 now stands tall against the best Germany has to offer.