Now in its seventh generation, the rear-wheel-drive 2017 Chevrolet Corvette continues to push the envelope for what is possible from an affordable, efficient, made-in-America sports car.
Styling is excellent and sharp, with purposeful lines that give the car a slippery .29 drag coefficient. Body materials include a carbon fiber hood and roof panel, while the doors, fenders, quarter panels and rear hatch all benefit from lighter density sheet molding over the previous car. On convertibles, the power convertible top is operable at speeds up to 30 mph. The Corvette features an aluminum space frame that is 99 pounds lighter than its predecessor yet 57% stiffer, while a carbon nano-composite floorpan replaces the heavier balsa sandwich construction of the previous generation.
Inside, the Corvette boasts a cockpit that puts it on par with some of Europe's best. The driving position is near perfect, and the seats are vastly improved over previous generations, with increased comfort and better support for hard driving. An 8-inch touchscreen dominates the center console, while soft-touch materials are abundant. Finally, the car offers 15 cubic-feet of cargo room under the rear hatch -- enough to hold luggage, golf clubs, or all the money saved by not buying a Porsche 911.
The heart of the Corvette, is of course, its powerplant. The 6.2L delivers 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled to a standard 7-speed manual transmission that features Active Rev Matching, which blips the throttle during up- and down-shifts, eliminating the need for heel-and-toeing by the driver during braking. The combination is good enough to propel the Corvette from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds, while also returning 17 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. An 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters is optional, as is a performance exhaust, which increases output to 460 horses.
Coupes and convertibles both come in standard models and high-performance Z51 guise, which allows for a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds. The Z51 Performance Package adds larger wheels (19-inch front and 20-inch rear) with Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP summer-only tires, a dry sump oil system, electronic limited slip differential, larger front brakes (13.6-inch vs. 12.6-inch) with slotted rotors, performance gear ratios, special suspension components, differential and transmission cooling and an aerodynamic package to reduce lift and improve high-speed stability. Chevy's trick Magnetic Selective Ride Control is optional across the model line.
The 1LT, or base trim, offers a 9-speaker Bose audio system, rear vision camera, keyless access with push-button start, power tilt/telescopic steering column, 8-way power leather seats, two 8-inch HD color displays and a Driver Mode Selector, which allows drivers to customize the driving experience by selecting one of five distinct modes -- Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track. Each mode adjusts steering, throttle, traction and more.
2LT-specced Corvettes get heated and ventilated seats with Corvette emblems, an upgraded Bose sound system, auto-dimming mirrors, Chevy's color Head-Up Display and SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year subscription. Finally, 3LT Corvettes offer all of the above plus a custom leather-wrapped interior with Napa leather seating, navigation and color-matched instrumentation to the interior.
The Z06 package adds a supercharger to the big V8, resulting 640 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet claims that 0-60 runs are achievable in less than 3 seconds in the Z06. Available as either a coupe or a convertible and with either an automatic or a manual transmission, the Z06 has the necessary performance to rival just about any vehicle on the road. The Z06 C7.R Edition includes the Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber ground effects, a suede competition sport seat, steering wheel and shifter and more. The package is available in either black or Corvette Racing Yellow.
Standard safety features in all Corvette Stingrays include stability and traction controls, a rearview camera, driver and passenger front and side airbags and a 6-month subscription to OnStar.
The big news for 2017 is the introduction of the Grand Sport model, or GS for short. The Grand Sport adds a bevy of aerodynamic enhancements and styling cues to the standard C7 Corvette Stingray. With a deep chin spoiler and unique wheel design, the GS looks track ready, looks that are backed up by standard Brembo brakes. The Grand Sport bridges the gap between the standard Stingray coupe and the hard-core Z06, offering many of the handling upgrades without the bonkers supercharged engine.