There aren't many cars that make my heart flutter more than a Corvette. And over the last 20 years, I've been lucky to have driven many.
This redesigned 2014 model—which we first saw in Detroit—might turn out to be one of the best ever. It gets an all-new frame structure and chassis, a new powertrain and supporting technologies, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs.
GM says the new model is the most powerful standard Corvette is history—about 450 horsepower from its 6.2-liter, direct-injection V8. Fast? The company estimates that 60 mph arrives in less than 4 seconds. And unlike Ferrari, you can still get an honest-to-goodness manual transmission—now with seven speeds (a six-speed automatic is also offered). So sports car fans get all this while still bringing home an estimated 26 mpg on the highway (courtesy of cylinder deactivation and highway-friendly gearing). A 450-hp supercar getting respectable fuel economy... until you put your foot down.
I'm also glad to see that they brought back the "Stingray" name. Yes, the design is as distinctive as the 1963 original, and no, the split-window look is not coming back.
Both coupe and convertible models will be offered.
The interior—always a sore spot in our evaluations—will get genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim as well as hand-wrapped leather materials (it can only get better).
And I'm happier than a dog in a tail-wagging contest that GM decided not to kill this hallowed nameplate. I read that there were some touch-and-go moments during GM's bankruptcy hearings about whether or not the Corvette was going to survive.
The new Corvette is here and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with it as soon as we can buy one to test. Because when you think of Corvettes, it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that Sting.