The Chevrolet Corvette has been an iconic nameplate in the sports car world since its introduction back in 1953. The early hand-built Corvettes powered by inline six-cylinders gave way to larger production quantity and much larger and more powerful V-8 engines. Through the years, the Corvette became more powerful and more technologically advanced, and now, as we are in the Corvette’s seventh generation, the Corvette is more powerful and advanced than ever before.

The C7 Corvette, which was introduced in 2014, also brought about the reintroduction of the Stingray name. With a year under its belt, the 2015 Corvette arrives with a new eight-speed automatic and an optional Performance Data Recorder.

The 2015 Stingray comes complete with a 6.2-liter V-8 that boasts loads of cutting-edge technology despite its old-school cam-in-block, pushrod design. Making 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, the V-8 enables 0-to-60 times under four seconds while achieving nearly 30 mpg highway. Other state-of-the art technology surrounds the engine, including a lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis, a complex traction system, and either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

After much anticipation, I finally had the chance to sample the new 2015 Stingray, complete with the all-new (and optional in the Z06) eight-speed automatic transmission and performance exhaust. Fitted with the 2LT Package and ZF1 Appearance Package, but lacking the sporty Z51 Performance Package, my tester took a middle-of-the-road approach to its option list. That certainly didn’t stop fun, however. Keep reading for the full run-down.

Click past the jump for the full review

  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed auto
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    460
  • MPG(Cty):
    16
  • MPG(Hwy):
    29
  • Torque @ RPM:
    465
  • Energy:
    Direct Injection
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, Rear Drive
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

TopSpeed Garage


Exterior

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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It pulls so much inspiration from the third generation Corvette, including the Stingray name.

My tester came dripping in the bright Velocity Yellow Tintcoat with matching brake calipers hiding behind the optional black aluminum wheels. I’ve never been a fan of yellow cars, but this thing looks good. Matching the black wheels is the front grille, hood-mounted heat extractor, side gills, and rear fascia. The mirror caps and rear spoiler came optioned with the Carbon Flash paint.

Getting beyond the optional equipment and specific configuration of this Vette, the Stingray Coupe as a whole is a stunning car. It pulls so much inspiration from the third-generation Corvette, including the Stingray name. The high-rise front fenders crest with a sharp angle that falls nicely into the side mirror base and picked up again by the rear haunches. This modern take on the classic Coke bottle design makes the car look thin yet wide and fun yet purposeful. Its sporty nature is enhanced knowing that nearly every duct, vent, and extractor are completely functional and add to the car’s performance.

Interior

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven Interior
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven Interior
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Interior
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Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system works well and all the sub settings and menus are logically positioned.

Sitting within the confines of the Stingray’s interior, I’m quickly forgetting the horrors that were the innards of the last-generation Corvette. Gone are the flimsy plastics, terrible information displays, floppy seats, and unmentionable built quality. That’s replaced by an interior deserving to be within such a sports car. Proper materials feel rich under hand. The leather-covered steering wheel with silver stitching is shaped just right, the leather seats with their suede inserts conform to your back, the controls have a heft to them, and the ergonomics are all thoughtfully executed.

Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system works well and all the sub settings and menus are logically positioned. It does take a somewhat heavy touch to render a response, however. The driver’s gauge cluster is a hybrid combination of analog gauges and a highly customizable TFT display that changes with the Drive Mode Select system. The heads-up-display is configurable to show everything from a basic digital speedometer up to a full race tachometer with speed, lateral acceleration, gear selection, and shift lights.

Rear trunk space is actually surprisingly good for a two-door sports car. Weekend luggage for two should fit just fine. When empty, the luggage compartment holds the removable carbon fiber roof panel in place.

Powertrain

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven Drivetrain
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Shifts come lightening quick and prevents a loss in acceleration, yet doesn’t jerk the car forward with each upshift.

Under the hood lies the mighty 6.2-liter LT1 V-8. The naturally aspirated engine features GM’s new-for-2014 EcoTec3 technologies that include direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and Active Fuel Management. The highly tuned engine still uses a cam-in-block design that helps keep weight lower in the engine bay and eliminates complexity in the valvetrain.

Thanks to my tester’s optional Multi-Mode Performance Exhaust, the engine cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque — five additional ponies and pound-feet more than the standard engine. The exhaust also adds plenty of rumble, pops, and roars.

New for 2015 is the eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s the same unit fitted to the Corvette Z06 and comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Though it’s not a dual clutch, the transmission behaves in much the same way under heavy throttle. Shifts come lightning quick and prevent a loss in acceleration, yet they don’t jerk the car forward with each upshift. During normal acceleration, the auto box shifts quickly but with butter-like smoothness. The paddle shifters allow for complete control of the tranny, and call shifts with commendable speed. I did find the paddles themselves to be a little unrewarding to pull. Their plastic construction and longish pull quelled my enthusiasm for manual mode.

Driving Impressions

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven Interior
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Corners are consumed just as ferociously, despite the lack of the Z51 Performance Package.

Driving the Corvette is an engaging experience. The car communicates what’s going on through the wheel and seat bottoms with great accuracy. The steering is on a college reading level with the road, transmitting the finest feel of the front tires while isolating out harsh vibrations and road imperfections. The GT bucket seats are perched just ahead of the rear tires and do the same thing.

The five driving modes, Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Track, really change the driving character of the car. The steering and throttle response are the most noticeable changes, with things getting more tight and abrupt the closer you get to Track mode.

Acceleration is blisteringly fast. On straight sections of road, the speedometer seems to count by 10s while the throttle is matted. Corners are consumed just as ferociously, despite the lack of the Z51 Performance Package. The Michelin Pilot Sport tires do a great job at gripping the pavement yet letting the back end dance out with a quick throttle spur.

The view from the driver seat reminds me a lot of the third-generation Stingray. The similar hood design and bulging fenders bring back memories of driving my dad’s 1971 Stingray with the 454 big block. That, perhaps, was my favorite part of the entire experience.

Pricing

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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While a base Corvette Stingray can be had for $53,000, my tester came packed with options. First on the list is the $4,160 2LT trim package that includes power and memory seats with bolster and lumbar adjustments, a cargo shade, heated and dimming exterior mirrors, heated and cooled seats, the universal home remote, the upgraded Bose sound system, and the color heads-up display.

The $1,995 ZF1 Appearance package includes the upgraded wheels and tires from the Z51 Performance Package without adding the extra mechanical upgrades. The eight-speed auto was another major cost at $1,725 as was the Performance Data and Video recorder with Navigation at $1,795.

Also added is the Performance Exhaust ($1,195), the Velocity Yellow paint ($995), the matching yellow calipers ($595), the black wheels ($495), the suede seat inserts ($395), and the carbon flash-painted rear spoiler and side mirrors ($100).

Add the $995 destination charge, and the total comes to $67,445.

Competition

Dodge Viper

2015 Dodge Viper SRT Exterior
- image 580054

The Viper has certainly gone through a rough patch over the last few years with sales dwindling and Chrysler halting production, but things are quickly turning around. Now back under the Dodge brand rather than SRT, the Viper enjoys a $15,000 price drop and a five-horsepower increase. The changes have been enough to excite buyers and sales have spiked.

Of course, the standard Corvette is a bit outmatched with the Viper, as the snake employs a 645-horse V-10 beneath its hood. Nevertheless, owners of both cars are in a club of their own.

The Viper’s new price of $84,995 does help it compete more with the Corvette, though the new Z06 is more of a fair fight.

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Jaguar F-Type is the British version of the Corvette — a two-seater coupe with a long hood, rear-wheel-drive, and a V-8 engine. The eight cylinder is found in the F-Type R and packs 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque from the 5.0-liter. Helping bring its brand back into relevancy in the sporting world, the F-Type offers a fantastic ride with a gutsy punch behind the throttle pedal.

The supercharged V-8 and its eight-speed automatic transmission push the car to 60 mph in four seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.

The Jaguar is a bit more expensive than the others here, with a base price starting at $99,000. Jaguar does offer less powerful models for less money, including the 380-horse supercharged V-6 in the F-Type S.

Conclusion

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The Corvette Stingray is an amazing machine. Its performance abilities are never fully maxed on public roads yet still offers a great sense of speed and agility on the everyday commute. It can be just as docile or rowdy as you want it to be — just choose the driving mode and how much you press the skinny pedal on the right. Getting 29 mpg highway in a 460-horsepower sports car seems just as crazy as only paying a shade of $53,000 for a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds.

Anyone who says the glory days of horsepower are over must live under a rock.

  • Leave it
    • Paddle shifters have unrewarding feel
    • Longs for a fully digital gauge cluster
    • Performance Data Recorder video quality
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