I’m unapologetically a fan of the Corvette, yet before getting behind the wheel of the Stingray, I’d never driven one.
Putting my excitement to one side and looking at the Stingray objectively, I still love it. I love the way it looks, I love the way it sounds, I love the drama and sense of occasion it brings and, most of all, I love the price.
For £61,495 in the UK, you get a 466hp 6.2-litre V8, 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, plenty of space and practicality from the 424-litre boot and a nicely trimmed interior that actually feels well put together.
On the last point the Porsche 911 might just have the edge, but it knocks the £92,836 Carrera S with power kit upgrade into a cocked hat in every other respect. Ok, so maybe we’ll leave fuel economy out of the equation…
How the Stingray drives surprised me. I was expecting it to be more uncouth – of course, it can behave like that if you make it – but it feels refined and sophisticated.
The new aluminium chassis is 57% stiffer than the previous car, which means the C7 Corvette delivers some reassuringly faithful feedback through the structure. It also means the car flexes less, so the suspension has a solid platform from which to do its job.
It rides well, dealing with bumps with finesse in Tour mode. Switch to Sport or Track – which stiffens up the Magnetic Ride Control dampers – and it feels like a real circuit weapon.
Its chassis copes with the thump of power available, too. Even with that transverse leaf spring rear suspension setup (albeit made from carbonfibre), it finds traction well, letting you really exploit the engine.
And what an engine. The new LT1 unit burbles away at low revs, but really rips above 4,000rpm, accompanied by a crescendo of noise from the sports exhaust. It is long-geared, so you don’t have to work the transmission too hard, but it’s a pleasure to do so, as it’s mechanical and meaty.
It connects you to the car, just like the chassis, just like the noise, and just like the motor. That’s ultimately why I love the Corvette. It’s an honest performance car that makes no bones about what it is. And it should be praised.