Posted on April 01, 2014
Not many sports cars have been in existence as long as the Chevrolet Corvette has. A staggering 60 years in production really puts into perspective the history and heritage behind the Corvette. Since the inception, the formula has always been the same, front engine and rear wheel drive. The incredible styling always made it stand out from everything else, causing the brand loyalty to build from generation to generation. Over the years Corvette engineers have always pushed the envelope with the car, always trying to maximize performance and ride comfort, blended with a purpose build sports car. This years going out model (C6) was something of a marvel when it was released back in 2005. For the first time, the Corvette was redesigned with a new purpose and given the ability through better suspension and more powerful performance. Not only was it faster in a straight line than it’s predecessor, but it was able to out-handle it as well. It truly is America’s sports car with its exotic looks, low center of gravity, wide body, and all around performance; Chevy brings the supercar formula to the masses.
I got behind the wheel of a true specimen, 2013 Corvette Coupe 2LT package with extra options such as dual mode exhaust and magnetic ride control. Not a bad way to spend $56,050. It’s been a long-time misconception that sports cars, since they are built for race tracks, ride poorly and are a chore to drive around casually as a daily driver. This is not true at all. With magnetic ride control, and the suspension which was offered on the Corvette coupe, the ride is surprisingly smooth and relaxing, when set into Comfort Mode. When in Sport Mode, the suspension gets a little tighter and offers a sharp response to your steering, everything you look for in spirited driving. Other sports cars basically rip out your spine when they go over bumps or imperfections on the road, but not the Corvette; the suspension makes a surprising transition that you barely feel. With comfort in mind and a complete driving experience, nothing is more comfortable then never having to remove your glance from the road ahead of you. That’s what it’s like having a heads up display (HUD) in your windshield that reads out the engine rpm’s, speed, lateral G’s and engine temperature. All the basic things that you would need to know.
The base coupe comes with a 6.2 liter small block LS3 V8 churning out 430 Hp and 424 lbft, with optional dual mode exhaust that this car comes with it brings it up to 436 Hp and 428 lbft. This performance offers a 0-60 time of around 4 seconds, and a top speed of 190 mph. A TR6060 6 speed transmission is standard and is setup for performance and fuel economy in mind, with 6th gear being a total cruising highway gear. The Corvette is capable of 26 mpg on the highway, not a bad feat for a 6.2 liter V8. All manual Corvettes get launch control standard, for maximizing performance on a test track. In Competitive Mode, the system will hold a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. This allows the driver to quickly release the clutch and the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. Every Corvette comes standard with traction control and stability management to maintain control for drivers who may not be used to the power.
There have been a lot of complaints of the interior of the car over the years. Many say that the interior is cheap looking and doesn’t look and/or feel that great. It is true; I tried to be as objective as possible without listening to what others have said, but they are right. For a car that costs as much as the Corvette does, the interior doesn’t impress you. It’s very crude, and everything is the plastic that Chevy has been using throughout the years. That’s the main problem. It just feels old fashioned. The seats are horrible; They provide very little lumbar support and are mostly made to serve the purpose of comfort instead of track driving. The navigation system works well and is actually very useful when combined with the HUD to receive direction right on the windshield. The only problem is that the voice control on the navigation system doesn’t really understand you at all. However, one thing that makes the interior bearable is the Bose audio system; it plays CD’s, mp3’s, satellite radio and obviously AM/FM. You have the ability to connect your iPod or iPhone to play music in the car and it integrates pretty well, only problem is, it’s not controllable on the audio screen, you still have to use your phone to change tracks.
All these things will hopefully get taken car of on the next generation (C7) Corvette. As we have seen in the past, the engineers do listen to us and do listen to the customer base; they will do everything they can to make the car better and better. That isn’t to say that the Corvette coupe is a terrible car and that you shouldn’t buy it. NO WAY! It really does embody everything you want in a sports car for a bargain price. The styling is really what makes the sale on that end. Not only does this car perform, but it also looks like a beast, OK, a subtle beast. It’s a great buy for a sports car enthusiast with a middle class budget. I personally believe that the sixth generation corvette will be a car people will be buying for years to come. It will turn into a sought after car, and it’s the first time GM has incorporated the magnetic ride with one of the best engines you can buy in a car. Granted, if you don’t consider the Z06 and the ZR1, those cars and their engines are in a whole other league. Check out the review below and post your comments below or on YouTube. I would love to know what you think and how you feel about the Corvette as a sports car?