Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

Eight ways to swing your sports car!

"The Corvette offers blistering performance, a fantastic V8 soundtrack, and even better fuel economy than before" said Issam

"Another effective scoring by General Motors!"

As you may know, the Chevrolet Corvette two-seat sports car remains one of the best performance cars for the money, rivaling vehicles that cost more than double its price in terms of quality and driving dynamics. The Nissan GTR is the second best sports car after it. The 2015 Vette comes in with an eight speed automatic transmission instead of the six speed automatic from previous years.

I grabbed my test car from IMPEX, official distributor of Chevrolet in Lebanon, for a long weekend drive. What was the outcome? It was off the hook, objectively speaking!

First of all, due to the high taxes on vehicles in Lebanon, people often opt for used cars that usually come from the USA, Europe and Dubai. Whenever you want to buy a brand new car from the dealer, it costs a fortune. Yes, if you want to get a decent sports car (zero kilometers), it needs to come from the dealer.

Second, when you shortlist the category, you end up with two affordable vehicles: the Corvette Stingray and the GTR. The Corvette Stingray starts at $117,500 USD (on the road). Our test car came with the Z51 package and all options fitted on it with a price tag of $155,000 USD (on the road too). The GTR's price tag starts somewhere around $135-140,000 USD.

Third, I was really surprised when the following happened. It was Saturday night, I went out to party and parked the car in front of the place. I came back late at night and the valet parking guy ran toward me and said in a loud voice, "What did you do to the customers?" I replied in a shocked tone, "What's happening?" At first, I thought he meant that someone had bumped into the car. I never imagined that an American Sports Car like the Corvette would make such a thrill in the parking lot. It seems there were a couple of supercars parked next to me, such as a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 458 Italia and couple of Porsches… People were taking pictures next to the corvette and didn't even look at the other supercars. I can only say that the blue Laguna color had an effect, and with no doubt, the look of the sports car is what makes it a super car!

Driving Impressions
So what was the outcome of the weekend drive? Handling and acceleration were brilliant despite the fact that it isn't offered with a dual-clutch transmission. GM's Magnetic Ride Control helps the car transition through turns while an electronic limited slip differential allows the Corvette to put power down efficiently. Ride quality is another strong get-up due to its solid body, making it feel as rigid as any rival sports car, though opting for larger wheels makes it slightly more jarring. The new eight speed automatic, on the other hand, makes the car faster with smaller step sizes that allow it to accelerate better off the line while improving fuel economy.

Verdict
From C5 to C6 and now to C7, Chevrolet has improved the Corvette in every possible way. I was honestly impressed by the car's responsive new eight speed automatic transmission because it made it quicker and more fuel-efficient. The chassis makes it a great car on circuits and as a daily driver due to its good ride quality. The car's ability to operate in V4 mode means that it can achieve extraordinary fuel economy despite having more than 450 hp!

Pros: supercar levels of performance, good fuel economy, exceptional ride quality, striking exterior look
Cons: the plastic feel of the paddle shifters
Rivals: Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 Carrera, Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SL, Jaguar F-Type R
4.5 stars
One word: affordable

Specs
Engine: 6.2 liter V8, 455hp @ 6000 rpm, 624Nm @ 4600 rpm
Transmission: 8 speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode, RWD
Performance: 0-100 kph: 4.2 sec, 10.5 L/100 km, top speed: 280 kph
Weight: 1496 kg

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