Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and the Chevrolet Corvette. Few cars have endured more than half a century of continued success, but the Corvette has survived energy crises, numerous recessions and even the forceful hand of transportation legislation. And with every generation, it inches closer to being a world-beater for sports cars.
2014 to Present: Chevrolet Corvette
The seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette, dubbed the Corvette Stingray, debuted for 2014. Sporting more aggressive styling than ever before, the C7 Corvette makes greater use of advanced technology than any model that preceded it. Still, with a 6.2-liter, 455 horsepower V8 up front, the Corvette continues to use classic American brute force for power. A new seven-speed manual transmission was available, along with the carryover six-speed automatic. Coupe and convertible body styles are available. Interior materials were vastly upgraded, Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system became standard and options include heated and cooled seats and Magnetic Ride Control.
For 2015, a new Performance Data Recorder allows drivers to shoot in-car video of their track performance. An eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing six-speed, and an upgraded OnStar telematics system with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot was made standard.
Magnetic Ride Control was made more widely available for the 2016 model year. Additionally, the availability of a new front parking camera and Apple CarPlay were among the major changes.
Earlier Chevrolet Corvette Models
The sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette debuted for the 2005 model year. It was narrower and trimmer than the previous model, which was the result of a bid to make the Corvette a more agile sports car in the vein of the Porsche 911, among others.
Powered by a 6.0-liter V8 engine with 400 horsepower, the C6 Corvette has either a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic, and is available in coupe or convertible body styles. This Corvette was notably the first since 1962 to have exposed headlamps. It also made strides in improving interior comfort and technology, befitting of its ever-increasing price tag.
For 2006, a new Z06 performance derivative was introduced, with 505 horsepower from its 7.0-liter V8 engine. The four-speed automatic transmission was also replaced by a new six-speed unit, and satellite radio was a new option.
Interior refinements were the big news for the 2007 model year, with further enhancements for the 2008 Corvette. That year, the Corvette also received a 30-horsepower boost from its 6.0-liter engine.
The Corvette ZR1 returned for 2009 with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 638 horsepower and sporting an eye-watering price tag because of its limited production status. All other Corvettes gained Bluetooth as an option.
Side air bags and launch control were made standard on the 2010 model, and a new Grand Sport trim package was introduced.
In 2011, the Z06 got some suspension and tire upgrades from the ZR1 in the form of the new Z07 package. Magnetic Ride Control was also available on the Grand Sport model this year. New seats and a new Bose audio system were the big changes for the 2012 Corvette.
In its last year before a full redesign, the 2013 Corvette got two new design packages, the first being the 60th Anniversary edition, while the 427 Collector Edition effectively added the Z06 equipment to the standard convertible.