2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: First Drive


Chevrolet's Corvette sports car has seen only seven redesigns in its 60 years of existence. By 2013, the sixth-generation Corvette (2006 to 2013 model years) suffered due to outdated features and quality for the money for anyone who wasn't a track hound. With the 2014 Corvette Stingray, those complaints are addressed head-on in addition to doing what the Corvette does best: Go fast.

I drove various versions of the 2014 Corvette in Monterey, Calif., sampling the Z51 performance package and the non-Z51 Corvette along with manual and automatic transmissions. One of the biggest takeaways from the drive was how vastly different the Z51 with performance suspension rides is from the base suspension 'Vette. Base and Z51 Corvettes may as well be two completely different cars.

For $2,800, the Z51 package adds invaluable performance features to move the 'Vette as fast as possible around a racetrack, including larger wheels with higher-performance tires, unique chassis tuning and suspension, available Magnetic Ride Control suspension with adjustable firmness and much, much more in terms of performance tweaks.

On the road, this means pain. The Z51 package's ride quality has the subtlety of a battleship in a no-wake zone.

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