Originally published January 14, 2013
Preview by Mike Schlee, Photos by Mike Schlee and Courtesy of Chevrolet
During the Corvette’s storied 60 years of production, there have been only six complete redesigns of the iconic sports car. So when Chevrolet announced that for 2014 the Corvette would get a complete overhaul, it was big news. As the world’s longest-running continuously produced sports car, and a big seller in such a small niche segment, the eyes of the world were on Chevrolet to ensure they got it right.
Rather than rest on their laurels and evolve the Corvette enough to keep its supporters happy, Chevrolet wanted to upgrade every aspect of the car; they claim only two parts from the old Corvette found their way into the new one. Chevrolet wanted more style, better performance, better efficiency and a more luxurious interior. The goal was to make the car more ‘international’ both in terms of performance and design, which may alienate some Corvette loyalists, but should help the brand find greater global appeal. But in an effort to appease Corvette devotees, the 2014 ‘Vette (C7) is once again officially labelled as the Corvette Stingray.
The Corvette remains a two-seat, two-door hatchback coupe with a removable roof panel, but with the addition of side rear windows. The exterior, although easily identified as a Corvette, has been dramatically reworked with a ‘function over form’ philosophy. This doesn’t mean the Corvette isn’t a good looking car, to me it is absolutely stunning, but the shape had to make way for various vents, slats and tweaks to allow for heat extraction and improved aerodynamics. The hood vent extracts heat from the engine while the rear design works as a diffuser to help suck the Corvette to the ground at high speeds. Chevrolet states that they have incorporated many of these designs from their years of racing the Corvette at places like Le Mans. To me, it looks far more aggressive and modern compared to the C6 Corvette. Although photos make it appear more angular and squared off, the car flows in a menacing way the old Corvette never did.