The unveiling of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January was one of the biggest events of the year in the automotive world. Not only did fans of the iconic sports car get treated to a new name for their beloved coupe, but they also got to see a complete overhaul of the Corvette from both a design and a styling standpoint. The most significant refresh of the Vette since 2005, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray keeps the car in the running as an attainable performance car that can hang with much pricier metal out on the track.

01. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Is An All-New Design

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray shares only two components with C6 model that came before it, which makes it a more significant departure from the past than the previous Corvette was when it was first introduced. The vehicle’s aluminum frame is brand new, and it is covered by body panels that make use of a mix of exotic materials, including carbon fiber, composites, and even carbon-nano structures. If these specs sound like the product of racing-level technology, then your guess is right: Chevrolet has learned many lessons from its competitive Corvette campaigns over the years and has applied them to the C7 generation of the automobile.

02. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Features Evolutionary Styling

There were some who expected that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray would make a dramatic break with older Vette designs and visually distinguish itself with more exotic looks. Truth be told, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is more of a mix of traditional cues (including the original 60s-era Stingray from which it takes its name) and modern butch muscle, with a flurry of air vents, character lines, and LED lights making the car look as mean as possible even when standing still. The car also comes with a removable carbon fiber roof panel, which can be painted, left bare, or even ordered transparent (for those looking more for sun than weight savings). Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Corvette Stingray’s new duds are its taillights, which are square instead of round – a decision that sparked significant discontent amongst purists.

03. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Delivers A Fresh V-8 Engine

Another area where the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray maintains a link with tradition is under the hood, where an LT5 V-8 engine happily resides. Once again the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray mixes the old with the new, as the 6.2-liter mill comes equipped with cylinder deactivation technology and variable valve timing to go with its push rods. Total power production for the eight-cylinder motor is listed at 455 horses and 460 lb-ft of torque in base form, with an additional five ponies and five lb-ft of twist on tap when its performance exhaust system is installed.

04. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Breaks The Six-Speed Barrier

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s manual transmission comes with not one, but two ground-breaking features to go with the car’s redesign. The first is the addition of an extra gear at the very top of the shift range, making the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray one of only two seven-speed manual-equipped cars on the planet (the other being the Porsche 911). The additional cog is intended to offer better fuel mileage for the coupe while it cruises down the highway. Next, the Corvette Stingray now provides drivers with an automatic rev-match feature that blips the throttle when downshifting in order to smooth out transitions when traveling at a high rate of speed. The feature operates seamlessly, letting drivers worry about the corner ahead instead of their heel-toe technique. A six-speed automatic transmission remains available with the Corvette.

05. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Is Phenomenally Fast

In case you haven’t put it together from reading the specs above, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is poised to deliver more impressive performance than any base model Vette that has come before it. GM has estimated the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray as being capable of sprinting to 60-mph in just four seconds, on its way to a top speed of roughly 190 miles per hour. Handling is also predicted to be excellent, given the car’s light weight and available magnetic ride control adaptive suspension system, and braking is accomplished via enormous Brembo four-piston brakes at all four corners.

06. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Features A Dramatically Revised Interior

For decades, the biggest complaint about the Corvette was that its interior quality didn’t match the expectations generated by its high performance image. Those days are now behind us thanks to a top-to-bottom revision of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s cockpit that introduces not just better materials and a more attractive design, but also a level of luxury that simply wasn’t available with older models. Elegantly stitched leather covers seats and panels, the curse of hard plastic has been banished to the dust bin, and Chevrolet even offers the option of upgrading to sport seats designed to hug the body when tackling a road course – answering another frequent gripe from Corvette owners.

07. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Comes In Three Trim Levels

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray starts out in LT1 trim, which includes HID headlights, dual automatic climate control, power leather seats, keyless entry and ignition, 18-inch wheels up front and 19-inch wheels riding in the rear, Bluetooth connectivity, the Chevrolet MyLink smart phone integration feature complete with touchscreen interface, and satellite radio. The Corvette Stingray LT2 introduces HD radio, automatically-dimming mirrors, heated and ventilated memory seats, and a head-up display, while the 3LT adds navigation and even nicer hides for the vehicle’s leather seats. As mentioned above, buyers can also select the option of a dual-mode sport exhaust system, install track-ready seats, and choose from a number of removable roof panel choices.

08. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Offers The Z51 Option

For those who want to take the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to the edge of its performance envelope, the vehicle is offered with the Z51 option. Available across all three trim levels, this package provides wheels that are one inch larger front and rear, a close-ratio transmission (manual-equipped cars), a dry-sump oil system suitable for high speed cornering, a cooler for the electronic limited-slip differential, better brakes, improve aerodynamics, and stiffer suspension. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 also opens up the availability of a magnetically controlled suspension system as well as the Drive Mode Selector, which includes five different settings for enhancing handling and acceleration.

09. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Is Also Available As A Convertible

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is initially being marketed as a coupe, but it won’t be long before a convertible version of the car is offered alongside it in Chevrolet showrooms. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has already been shown off at a variety of international auto shows, and the car features a power-operated soft top and essentially the same degree of body stiffness as the coupe (thanks to the efforts of GM’s top engineers). The Corvette Stingray coupe will go on sale this coming fall, and roughly six months later – in early 2014 – the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible will hit the market, just in time for the summer season.

10. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Is Priced To Sell

With so much technology stuffed under the base model’s composite skin, and with such a high degree of care taken to upgrade the coupe’s interior design and options, it was expected that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray would come with a price hike concomitant with its new performance and luxury trappings. Not so. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will retail for an MSRP of $51,995, an amount that is tens of thousands of dollars less than other sports cars offering comparable – or even lesser – levels of speed and handling prowess. The convertible will also remain affordable, featuring a starting MSRP of $56,995. The most expensive edition of the coupe will likely top out at just over $73,000, which is below the price of entry for vehicles like the Porsche 911 and the SRT Viper.

By Benjamin Hunting