Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with the Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation.
The Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 466 horsepower (343 kW) and 630 Nm of torque (465 lb.-ft ). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. Moreover, the new Corvette Stingray is the most fuel-efficient standard Corvette ever.
"Like the '63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences," said Dr. Thomas Sedran, President and Managing Director, Chevrolet Europe. "The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today's advancements in design, technology and engineering."
The all-new Corvette Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation Corvette. It incorporates an all-new frame structure and chassis, a new powertrain and supporting technologies, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs.
A Corvette is engineered as a coupe and a convertible from the outset. Hence, the performance technology and capabilities introduced on the Corvette Stingray coupe carry over to the convertible. The only structural changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts.
Corvette Stingray highlights include:
An interior that offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather materials, dual eight-inch configurable driver/connectivity screens, and two new seat choices - each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support
The new Corvette Stingray is built at GM's Bowling Green assembly plant, which underwent a $131-million upgrade, including a new body shop to manufacture the aluminum frame in-house for the first time.
Handcrafted, high-tech interior
The new Corvette Stingray interior blends fine materials and craftsmanship with Chevrolet's advanced MyLink technology that contribute to a more connected and more engaging driving experience, said Helen Emsley, interior design director.
"Every feature and detail in the interior is designed to enhance the driver's connection to the Corvette," Emsley said. "It starts with the fighter jet inspired wraparound cockpit; continues to build with the smaller steering wheel, more supportive seats, and high-definition, configurable screens, and is finished in gorgeous materials."
The smaller, 14.1-inch-diameter (360 mm) steering wheel fosters a more direct, immediate feel to directional inputs. The attention to the driver extends to the smallest details, including the flat, precise stitching on the steering wheel designed to provide a smooth, consistent feel.
Precise and elegant stitching is seen in the available Napa leather trim of the all-new seats, too. Two seat choices will be offered: a GT seat for all-around comfort and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering which provides greater support on the track.
The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They are also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
Additional performance-enhancing details of the interior resulted from designers' "field trips" to GM's Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan, where high-performance driving experiences spurred the design and implementation of several features, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
High-performance driving also influenced elements of the configurable Chevrolet MyLink display screens and available head-up display, which vary depending on the driving mode, including the Track display inspired by the C6.R race car.
The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Stingray are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality, including the sweeping arch motif over the driver cockpit trim and the seamless transition of the line from the instrument panel to the door.
All models feature a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
A blend of hand craftsmanship and machined precision is intended to ensure the fit, finish and ambience of the cabin is first-rate. The leather-wrapped instrument panel, for example, features hand-selected and hand-stretched materials for better grain matching with stitching performed by robots that deliver perfect seams.
There's even a micro-LED screen for the passenger's climate control placed below the vent on the on the dash away from the performance features on the instrument panel.
At the core of the Corvette Stingray's driver-focused technologies is the cockpit-mounted Driver Mode Selector, which allows drivers to optimize the car for their driving preference and road conditions via five settings: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track.
"The all-new Corvette Stingray is really three cars in one: It provides the comfort and functionality of a long-distance GT car, the connectedness of a daily driver and the acceleration, grip and braking of a capable track car," said Harlan Charles, product manager. "With the Driver Mode Selector, we wanted to give the driver an easy way to tailor virtually every aspect of the car to fit their driving environment. The result is a more rewarding, more confident experience, whether you're commuting in a downpour or charging through the Karussell at NÃ¼rburgring."
The Driver Mode Selector is easy to use via a rotary knob near the shifter. The Eco mode is the default setting in Europe for everyday driving; the Weather mode is designed primarily for added confidence while driving in rain and snow; the Eco mode is for achieving optimal fuel economy; the Sport mode is for spirited road driving and the Track mode is for track performance driving.
"Early in the development process, we spent time on the track, driving Corvettes hard. That experience shaped many parts of the interior, such as the instrument display in Track Mode," said Vaughn. "At 120 mph, you experience a sort of tunnel vision, as you concentrate on the next turn. At that moment, you don't need to know the next song playing on the radio."
11 performance parameters are adjusted with the selection of each mode, including:
Gauge cluster configuration: The Tour, Eco and Weather modes feature displays for trip data, audio and navigation; Sport mode shows classic, easy-to-read sports car gauges; and Track mode's configuration shows a gauge design based on the Corvette Racing C6.R race car display with lap timer
The two eight-inch Chevrolet MyLink screens offer excellent visibility in direct sunlight, with 650 cd/m2 of brightness for the one integrated into the instrument cluster and 1,000 cd/m2 of brightness for the one in the center stack, making it among the brightest screens in the industry. The screen in the center stack also features touch-screen control with gesture recognition and can be lowered to reveal a hidden storage that includes a USB input for device charging or uploads.
The Corvette Stingray comes with an advanced connected radio, featuring Chevrolet MyLink technology. An additional USB port in the center console, a stand-alone audio input jack and an SD card slot provide seamless connectivity.
An available premium 10-speaker Bose audio system includes a bass box and two subwoofers - and speakers with rare-earth magnets that deliver greater sound quality with reduced weight and size.
Every line counts on Corvette Stingray's functionally elegant exterior
"Corvette Stingray's provocative exterior styling is as functional as it is elegant", said Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design. "Developing a new Corvette, while every designer's dream, is not an easy task," Parkinson said. "The goal was a bold design statement that embraced the advanced technology of the car, while enhancing its overall performance in everything from the wind tunnel to the track. The result is a new Corvette Stingray - a fantastic car that breaks new ground yet remains true to the fundamental elements that make a Corvette a Corvette."
While no single detail is repeated from previous generations, the new Corvette Stingray includes the distinctive profile defined by a long dash-to-axle ratio - a low, lean proportion emphasized even more on the convertible - and the greenhouse evoking the canopy of a fighter jet with dual-element taillamps. On this foundation, designers built a form vocabulary from two very different sources: aerospace and nature.
"For the new Corvette to be called a Stingray, it had to deliver an incredible, purposeful visual impact - just as the original did in 1963," said Tom Peters, exterior design director. "That visual impact is evident in fighter jets and the Stingray animal itself. Their beauty comes from their purpose, designed to cut through air or water as quickly and efficiently as possible. As with aircraft and living forms, every surface of the Corvette Stingray is purposeful, executed with beauty and proportion."
Lighting is a signature element of the Corvette Stingray's design and reinforces its high-tech aesthetic. At the front, indirect white LED lamps form a distinctive daytime styling cue. They are set in black-chrome lamp housings with standard HID projector headlamps. The turn signals feature edge-lit amber LED lighting.
All-new, dual-element taillamps represent the greatest departure from tradition and are among the car's most dramatic elements. The three-dimensional, sculpted lenses house indirect LED lighting. The state-of-the-art lighting uses hidden LED lamps that cast their light up from the bottom of the housing into a reverse reflector, creating an even glow. LED lamps are also used for the white backup lamps. The taillamps integrate functional aircraft-style air outlets for the available differential and transmission coolers.
The Corvette Stingray convertible features an all-new, fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds up to 48 km/h (30 mph). Its folding mechanism is all-new and enables the top to be lowered in 21 seconds.
With the top up, the convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick, three-ply fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.
With the top down, the Corvette Stingray's signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual black trim panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the seats, bringing the exterior color into the interior.
Advanced computer-aided modeling programs were employed to enable the outstanding aerodynamics of the new Corvette. The computer simulation predicts and tracks airflow over, under and through the new Corvette's body. Engineers and designers also relied on data gleaned from the Corvette Racing program - the most successful program ever in the American Le Mans Series and the 2012 GT class champion - to help balance front and rear grip for high-speed stability.
Many hours were spent in the wind tunnel hand-sculpting surfaces for aesthetics and performance. Functional exterior elements on all models include a new grille/radiator arrangement, hood vents and front fender cove vents. Venting air out of the hood reduces total front-end lift for improved steering response at high speeds, while the fender vents relieve underhood air pressure to reduce aerodynamic drag.
All Corvette Stingray models with the Z51 package (standard for Europe) also feature integral coolers for the rear differential and transmission. For coupe models, the air intakes are integrated on the rear quarter panels, similar to the NACA ducts on the Corvette Racing C6.R. For convertible models, the air intakes are integrated into the underbody.
Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exits through the aircraft-inspired taillamp vents and lower-rear fascia air outlets. The Z51 performance package (standard for Europe) also includes brake-cooling ducts, a unique rear spoiler and additional air deflectors for enhanced track capability.
Engineered to race, built for the road
Both coupe and convertible versions of the new Corvette Stingray take advantage of lightweight materials, advanced manufacturing techniques and technology transfer from the Corvette Racing program to produce an ideal 50/50 weight balance and to deliver excellent power-to-weight ratios.
The technologically advanced foundation is an all-new aluminum frame structure that is 45 kg lighter, and is 57 percent stiffer than the previous-generation convertible. The result is a frame that is so strong that no structural reinforcements are needed. The only changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts.
Compared to the previous generation, which used continuous hydroformed main frame rails with a constant 2mm wall thickness, the new Corvette's frame features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. Each segment's gauge varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored - along with the shape - by the simulation software to optimize the strength requirements for each frame section with minimal weight.
The aluminum frame production uses innovative manufacturing processes at GM's Bowling Green assembly plant. The state-of-the-art facility employs several advanced joining technologies to ensure dimensional accuracy within 0.75 mm.
Each frame features:
354 spot-welds, created using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum
The innovative use of materials includes a standard carbon fiber hood and carbon fiber roof panel on coupes. In addition, underbody panels are created with carbon-nano composite technology, an advanced blend of traditional composite material and carbon fiber for reduced weight and improved strength. Fenders, doors, rear quarter panels and the rear hatch panel are made of lighter-density Sheet Molded Compound than the previous generation.
More power with greater efficiency
The lightweight elements of the Stingray contribute to the ideal 50/50 weight balance. Combined with its estimated 466 horsepower (343 kW), the new Corvette delivers a better power-to-weight ratio than the Porsche 911 Carrera or Audi R8.
Those horses are generated by an all-new LT1 6.2L Small Block V-8 engine, which also produces an estimated 630 Nm of torque. More importantly, it generates 67.8 Nm more low-end torque than the previous 6.2L engine, matching the 7.0L LS7 engine from the 2013 Corvette Z06 from 1,000 to 4,000 rpm.
The engine's performance comes from combining advanced technologies like direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing with an advanced combustion system. More than 10 million hours of computational analysis went into the new Small Block's design, including more than 6 million hours alone on the combustion system.
A dual-mode active exhaust system offers a 27-percent improvement in airflow. It features two additional valves that open to a lower-restriction path through the mufflers. When open, these valves increase engine performance and produce a more powerful exhaust note.
In Europe, the Corvette Stingray is offered exclusively with a seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching. The Corvette retains its distinctive rear transaxle layout for optimal weight distribution.
The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia. The transmission with the Z51 performance package (standard for Europe) includes specific close-ratio gearing for more sporty driving.
"Active Rev Matching makes the new Corvette easier and more fun to drive in performance conditions," said Jeuchter. "It anticipates the next gear selection and electronically 'blips' the throttle to match engine speed for a seamless gear change."
More direct, more connected driving feel
The new Corvette Stingray's chassis and suspension are designed to take advantage of the lighter, stiffer structure. The reduced structural flex allowed engineers to more precisely tune the suspension and steering for a more nimble and responsive driving experience. The components and their calibrations - from the brake size and damper rates to the steering system - are identical between coupes and convertible.
"An important goal for the team was to create an intimate and perfectly connected driving experience for the new Corvette Stingray," said Mike Bailey, chassis vehicle system engineer. "Because they share common chassis tuning, power-to-weight ratios and structural rigidity, the coupe and convertible feel almost identical behind the wheel."
While the Corvette Stingray retains the racing-proven short/long-arm suspension design, front and rear, the components are all-new. Improvements to the suspension include hollow lower control arms which save approximately 4 kg and new aluminum rear toe links which save 1.1 kg over previous steel links.
The Corvette Stingray rides on new 19 x 8.5-inch front and 20 x 10-inch rear forged aluminum wheels. New Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP run-flat tires developed specifically for the seventh-generation Corvette deliver comparable levels of grip than the wider tires of previous models.
As a result, the Corvette Stingray is capable of 1g in cornering acceleration - comparable to the 2013 Corvette Grand Sport. Significantly, that is achieved with narrower and lighter wheels and tires. The reduced "footprint" reduces rolling resistance, steering effort and road noise, contributing to a more nimble feel, more immediate steering response and greater touring comfort and efficiency.
Dimensionally, the new Corvette's wheelbase is approximately 25 mm longer than the previous generation, with front and rear tracks that are almost 25 mm wider. Those changes provide a more stable feel, particularly at high speeds, while the turning radius is decreased to now 11.5 meters for greater maneuverability in tight turns.
In Europe, the Corvette Stingray, which features the Z51 performance package as standard, comes with 45 mm piston Bilstein dampers for more aggressive body control and track capability. It is also equipped Magnetic Ride Control, which features a new twin-wire/dual-coil damper system that reacts 40 percent faster, enabling improved ride comfort and body control.
The new electric power steering system offers variable ratios and effort to tailor responsiveness and feel for each driving situation. It also delivers more precise control and feedback to the driver, along with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving and greater on-center sensitivity and linearity. Steering feel was further improved by increasing steering column stiffness by 150 percent, increasing intermediate shaft torsional stiffness by 600 percent, and mounting the steering gear to the front cradle structure. As a result the steering system is five times stiffer than the previous generation.
A smart electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is included in the Z51 performance package and continuously makes the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm, which factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
The eLSD is fully integrated with StabiliTrak and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
Dual-cast, slotted 13.6-inch (345 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) slotted rear rotors are included. They have 6percent more swept area than the previous-generation Grand Sport and are cooled front and rear for improved track capability.
The Corvette Stingray has been extensively tested on, and fine-tuned for European roads. This includes the German motorways and famed NÃ¼rburgring, a location where racing history has been made and re-written times and again. The testing procedures are part of the GM standard development program and are conducted for each new Chevrolet model before it goes on sale in Europe. On the NÃ¼rburgring, engineers focused particularly on the suspension set-up and the Stingray's steering characteristics.
"NÃ¼rburgring is renowned for its demanding race track and it was perfectly suited for our purpose, which was to fine-tune the ride and handling of the European Corvette Stingray," said Patrick Herrmann, technical manager with Chevrolet Europe. "The performance of this car is awe-inspiring in every respect. It can compete with its rivals but remains affordable," Herrmann added.