review of the Corvette and you'll see the same list of compliments and
complaints: great performance, terrible interior, or some variation
thereof. The Corvette team has an answer to that, and it's called the
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray making its star turn at the 2013
Detroit auto show. It starts at the core of the car. Every 2014 Corvette
now features an aluminum frame, not just the higher-performance models.
Instead of two uniformly thick, hydroformed rails, the chassis is now
made up of five sections using hydroformed aluminum, cast aluminum, and
extruded aluminum, with each section tailored to its purpose in strength
result is a 99-pound weight reduction with a 57 percent increase in
stiffness. That's 60 percent stiffer than today's Z06 with the C7's
removable roof in place, and 20 percent stiffer with the roof out. Curb
weight should be about the same after accounting for other changes.
Moving outward, the C7 features redesigned suspension hardware with new
aluminum control arms and stiffer links, knuckles, and bushings. The
front and rear cradles are now hollow cast aluminum with stiffer
attachment points for the suspension. Bilstein shocks are standard and
upsized on the Z51 performance model (which returns after a four-year
hiatus) for stiffer body control -- or why not spring for third-generation
magnetic shocks? Whichever way you go, they hold down narrower 18-inch
front/19-inch rear wheels (19 and 20 inches, respectively, and forged on
Z51 cars) that improve the turning radius without sacrificing grip. In
one of many crossovers from racing development, the same Michelin
engineer who designs tires for the Corvette Racing Team now also designs
the standard Pilot Super Sport Run-Flats that are unique to the C7.
those wheels are standard Brembo brakes that, while slightly smaller in
diameter than before, boast 35 percent more swept area thanks to larger
pads that cover more area on the rotor face. Z51 cars get larger front
discs (13.6 inches versus 12.6 on the base C7) with 6 percent more swept
area than a current Corvette Grand Sport and a lot more bite. Chevrolet
says the new Stingray will stop 11 feet shorter than before, putting its
60-0-mph braking comparable with that of the mighty ZR1, which we
measured at 94 feet. Things upstream of the wheels have improved as well.
In the front end of the current car, Corvette Racing found consistent
failure points in the mounts for the steering system.