Return of the Stingray: Seventh generation Corvette unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Just over 60 years after the Corvette began production, Chevrolet unleashed the seventh generation of its legendary sports car at a special event preceding the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. While the new car is already known as C7, Chevy decided to resurrect another appellation from its past. The new Corvette will be known as the Stingray.

“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy.” The name was used on a 1959 concept car, and the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray (two words) it inspired.

A new Corvette is always big news, but it doesn’t always involve big changes. The switch from C5 to C6 did not include much new styling, and early reports suggested that the C7’s looks would have a similarly evolutionary tone.

That obviously isn’t the case. While the classic Corvette silhouette is still there, nearly every detail of the Stingray is different from the C6. The grille is wider, the headlights are more streamlined (and feature the now-obligatory LED accents), and the whole car is covered in vents and muscular styling elements.

At the back, nearly half of the rear end is blacked out, and the familiar round taillights have been replaced by square ones. Adding to the intimidation factor are quad tailpipes.

The 2014 Stingray definitely makes a statement, but only time will tell if it becomes a classic like the previous bearers of that name. In the meantime, it’s sure to start a few arguments among Corvette enthusiasts.

One thing that’s hard to argue with is the new 6.2-liter LT1 V8. Chevy says the 2014 Stingray is the most powerful standard Corvette ever. Out of the box, it comes with 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

According to Chevy, that should be enough to get the Stingray from 0 to 60 mph in “less than four seconds,” allow it to pull more than 1g of lateral acceleration in cornering, and exceed the current car’s 26 mpg highway fuel economy rating.

Helping the V8 is a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching, which blips the throttle for smoother shifts. This is similar in principle to the SynchroRev Match system in the Nissan 370Z. There’s also a Drive Mode Selector that adjusts 12 vehicle parameters to suit different conditions.

The 2014 Stingray has also lost weight. The hood and removable roof panel are now carbon fiber, and there are new carbon-nano composite underbody panels, while the fenders remain composite. Standard 2014 Corvettes will also benefit from an aluminum frame, previously reserved for Z06 and ZR1 performance models.

Interior design has never been the Corvette’s strong suit, but the 2014 has a few features that should at least attract attention at the local drive-in. There’s plenty of carbon fiber, a digital gauge cluster, and an eight-inch infotainment screen.

The cabin’s layout vaguely resembles the twin cockpit design of the original Sting Ray and, perhaps taking a page from rival SRT Viper, Corvette designers added a grab handle on the center console for scared passengers.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.