DAY-LING A SUPER CAR: 2021 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE
Life is full of un-pleasantries. In our business, reviewing cars is sort of like our second occupation and while we may have some limited control over the scheduling of the media cars that we test on this site, our day job can sometimes interrupt our experiences. Unfortunately, the week that the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray arrived ended up being the week we recorded 90-hours on our timesheet. Rude. But this article isn’t about us, it’s about the obvious and since we didn’t drive our sampled Corvette Stingray with the track exploiting Z51 Performance Package like a 12-year old on Grand Theft Auto, we discovered what daily life was like behind the wheel of a super car… mostly stuck in traffic.
There is a 50/50 split of people out there that are for or against the C8 and its new found mid-engine life. But it should come as no surprise that the once muscle car playground bully is evolving into a street hustling tech fest of super car fantasies. What was once geared towards teenagers that thumb tact posters of Cindy Crawford and Lamborghini’s on their bedroom walls is now aiming for the youth that’s screenshots super models and photoshop’s them into their Instagram postings. #HatersWillSayItsFake
Parked in an underground parking garage at 2:00am with the place as quiet as a desert ghost town, starting the Corvette’s 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 teased us like a stripper trying to get us into the V.I.P. room. We know it wants to do naughty things to us. With its dual-mode performance exhaust system, it continuous to shriek inappropriate content in our ears as we blast through the Downtown Phoenix tunnel sorting through the rapid quick-shifting 8-speed dual clutch automatic. Despite us not using launch control during our duration, we probably saved ourselves from not making a mess in the seat with its insanely quick 2.9-seconds to 60-mph.
There is more to the Corvette however than the sweet, flattering romances its engine pipes into your ears. It hits all the right spots of both comfort and track assassinating driving styles. Despite there being different drive modes of Tour, Sport and Track, half of time was spent under Z-Mode. Z-Mode allowed us to manually control what we wanted our Corvette to perform – Exhaust – loud as possible, Suspension – Tour Mode, Transmission – Sport. We wanted the best of all worlds. But when the late nights had us begging for a quiet drive home, Tour provided an atmosphere of relaxation that has us questioning if we were even in a 495-horsepower sports car. No really. With the interior being as quiet as a Cadillac and riding as smooth as a Buick, we thought super cars we’re supposed to torture us, but if this is torture, you can cuff me to this seat any day.
For giggles one night we thought we’d sample Sport mode – bring a little joy to what few hours we had left of the night. Opening the taps of the exhaust to “let’s annoy the neighbors” we’re sure we had some grumpy geezers as we stormed through streets in the wee early morning at 3:00am. Ultimately transforming our tranquility of a quiet Buick riding sports car, the Corvette no longer was teasing us, we were in that VIP room vibrating like our wife was trying to call us to come home. The suspension turned into a proper, back road happy scamp. The steering came to life feeling like we tackle any corner like a Formula One race car, cutting the corners of the freeway on ramp like the apex on a track. The transmission opened its core with sharp delivery between each gear. Short of leaving a mess in our pants, I think the Corvette just popped our cherry.
The interior of the Corvette can be styled in more configurations than our wardrobe. Ours being decked out like an LA Pimp Boss mansion, the blue interior was a bit, uhhh, flashy for our taste. But what do we know; our day job is a Commercial Interior Designer after all – we kind of lean towards the Sky Cool Grey with Strike Yellow accented interior ourselves. But that’s neither here nor there. Like its drive-ability, the interior is shockingly comfortable for what appears to be a tight cockpit. Even for an extra fluff for extra love sized guy like ourselves, there is room to stretch and move about.
Living with the Corvette on a daily basis offers stress free conveniences like its GPS based automatic ride height control system that can lift the front of car roughly 5-inches over any speed bumps, driveways, etc. – over 1,000 locations can be saved and stored by a push of a button and never have to worry about scrapping the front bumper again. Even with its Performance Data Recorder that allows you to record your eccentric driving style can also be used as an onboard dash cam that will automatic activate the moment the car starts. Chevrolet also wanted to make life essential for the Corvette considering its consumer demographic by implementing enough trunk space to fit, say, something like a full set of golf clubs for example.
Now, the Corvette can’t be a proper super car without some sort of super car problems. With our test subject being the convertible that can raise and lower its roof in 16-seconds up to 30-mph made it difficult to see objects behind us – with the roof up, the Corvette uses its digital camera rear-view mirror that fixes that problem; however, once the roof gets tucked away, so does the camera. There are the obvious blind spots that come with a super car and luckily blind spot monitoring was equipped. Usually fuel economy would also play along in this hatred game of super car disparity, but fortunately for the Corvette and our wallets, time at the pumps is not as often as one would think. Over achieving our fuel consumption by MPG more than the EPA rating, we were able to see 28-mpg on the highway and 20-mpg’s combined thanks to Corvette’s cylinder deactivation software that can shut off four of its eight cylinders when nestled at a cruising speed.
Tackling the super car realm, the Corvette has transformed what sort of expectations we have out of the life of a sports car. Owning a mid-engine super car doesn’t have to be expensive, uncomfortable or for the super wealthy – with our subject coming in ten grand under the six-figure price tag and starting at $60,000, the Corvette is enough super car to fulfill anyone fantasies.
Vehicle: 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT Z51 Convertible
Base Price: $67,495
As-Tested Price: $90,775
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8
HP | Torque: 495-HP |465 lb-ft of Torque
Transmission: 8-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
MPG: 15 | 27 | 19 (City | Highway | Combined)
As-Tested MPG: 19.8-MPG Combined | 28.0-MPG Highway (200-miles at 75-mph)
Fuel Range: 240 miles
0-60 MPH: ±2.9 seconds