Left lane, please
But the Sting Ray was not built for puttering in the right lane—and maybe not for transporting one's baggage, either. We did positively assess that the car's independent suspension could handle life well at all speeds, but the coupe really excelled on the track when we took it into the upper numbers on the speedometer, revealing the car’s true destiny. Sprinting from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, the Sting Ray was more than twice as fast as the six-cylinder Ford Mustang Fastback we tested in the same issue.
“On the sports car track, during the high-speed handling tests, the Corvette's handling was excellent, even when pushed through the corners much faster than any of our other test cars. The power-steering behavior proved how good power steering can be, and should be, on all cars—the ratio was very quick, the effort moderate, and the feel precise.”
The Corvette’s two-speed transmission, a technology that had not impressed us in other cars, performed well with enough power to offset the need for additional gears.
Let's take a brake
We also had high praise for the Sting Ray's braking system. “It is one of the few high-performance U.S. cars—if not the only one—with a standard-equipment braking capacity to match its performance level. . . . The Corvette passed the repeated-stop test very well, although there was measurable fade after the 10th stop. The important characteristic of the Corvette four-wheel disk brakes was the feeling of predictability and confidence they provided whenever they were used.”
This hallmark continues, as we found the new Corvette delivers record-setting stops in our tests.
Under the hood
The pleasure of the Sting Ray's speed was paid for in the economy of her space. The packed placement of parts under the hood made the cabin space seem spacious by comparison. We found that the battery was tucked under one fender and covered by the radiator header tank, making the task of checking the battery fluid level or adding fluid almost impossible. On our test Sting Ray, we reported that “the heater hose plumbing was so close to the battery that the sharp-edged battery cover wore a hole through the hose after less than 1,000 miles.” And, we've already mentioned the testers' contortionistic attempts to extricate the spare tire.
Bottom line: Expensive, impractical, and worth it
Like many beauties, the Sting Ray could be high-maintenance and impractical, but our testers determined that she was worth it. “To sum up, if a domestic high-speed road car, seating two persons only, fills your requirements for personal transportation, then the Corvette, with its powerful performance, excellent brakes, and excellent steering and handling may be your best choice. . . . The car is expensive, and in many ways impractical, but there is nothing else quite like it manufactured in the U.S.”
Those words could equally apply to today’s Corvette. Read our detailed 2014 Corvette road test.