By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
The newest 7th-generation C7 Chevrolet Corvette is a car that even purist sports-car lovers can openly lust for, taking the fight to longtime rivals like the Porsche 911, while simply leaving the Dodge Viper in the dust. With exterior and interior styling that's as striking as it is uniquely American, and an incredibly powerful standard V8, the Corvette is nearly untouchable. But that's not enough, as this year, Chevrolet tries to erase that "nearly" from the equation with the 2015 Corvette Z06 coupe and convertible. With 650 horsepower, the new Z06 is more than just the most powerful Corvette ever, or even the most powerful car from General Motors. It's the best Corvette ever. Also among the changes are a new 8-speed automatic and an even better interior.
If you relish the idea of owning one of the best performance-car bargains of the last 50 years, but without feeling shortchanged, you're going to love the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. For the Z06, you'll love it if you like performance that crushes European exotics costing twice as much.
About the only reason you wouldn't want a Corvette is if it will be your only car, and you frequently have to carry more than one passenger. Otherwise, honestly, we're a little hard pressed. At nearly 30 mpg on the highway, even fuel economy is pretty good.
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The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray introduces several upgrades. First and foremost is the Z06 model, available in coupe and convertible, which offers 650 horsepower plus other enhancements. Then there’s the new 8-speed automatic transmission, plus fresh interior trim and other upgrades aimed at solidifying the C7 as the true King of Corvettes.
After driving the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, you'll think it should cost more than it does. Need to get moving quickly? The standard Corvette Stingray snaps to 60 mph in...
... under four seconds. Want to save fuel? The same car will log nearly 30 mpg on a fuel-economy run as the Eco mode's automatic cylinder-shutoff turns the V8 seamlessly into a fuel-saving V4. Steering and braking response rivals Porsche, and the Drive Mode Selector on the center console significantly alters the Corvette's handling, steering, throttle response and even the exhaust note through five driver-selectable programs. It's the same story for the convertible, but with a power top that opens in 16 seconds, at driving speeds up to 30 mph. The additional 200 horsepower in the new Corvette Z06 is only part of the story. The suspension, aerodynamics and other enhancements simply make it the best Corvette ever.
Whether you're driving the standard-issue Corvette Stingray or the new 650-horsepower Z06, you can have an all-new 8-speed automatic at your disposal. Not only is it stout enough for the incredible Z06, this torque-converter-type transmission can actually shift faster than the dual-clutch 7-speed found in a Porsche 911.
First, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 offers a supercharged V8 engine that's the most powerful factory engine ever put in any car sold by GM. Second, it's finally available as a convertible, with no loss of performance. The cost? How about a base price less than $80,000 for the coupe.
It used to be that the Corvette's interior was something drivers tolerated so they could enjoy the car's performance. Now, it's a primary selling point. The combination of leather, aluminum and carbon fiber is as easy on eyes as it is the body, and when combined with the available suede upgrades and the 8-inch color screen on the center dash, this Stingray's interior is a special place indeed. Details include two power USB ports in the center console and excellent cargo space under the coupe's rear hatch; even the convertible sports a big and usable trunk.
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray offers a road presence that has been absent in its predecessors for some time. Still uniquely American, the coupe and convertible also offer up international cues, such as the decidedly Ferrari-esque front grille treatment. Even the iconic round taillights received a modernizing update. The Stingray convertible of course loses the sweep of the coupe's roof, but when the fabric top is lowered and stowed behind the rear seats, it offers a presence all its own. The 2015 Corvette Z06 adds wider fenders and other aggressive styling cues to signify its role as the Alpha Corvette.
Aside from dashing good looks, V8 horsepower and a 7-speed manual transmission, the Corvette Stingray comes with 8-way power-adjustable magnesium-framed seats, keyless entry with push-button start, a power-adjustable tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and 5-position Drive Mode selector that lets you adjust the Corvette's driving personality to match the situation. The dash houses an 8-inch touch-screen display for the standard 9-speaker Bose audio, Chevy MyLink infotainment system and the standard rearview camera. All Corvette Stingray coupes get a removable carbon-fiber roof panel, while the convertible's electronic top can be operated remotely using the key fob.
We strongly recommend the Z51 Performance Package for the Corvette Stingray, which upgrades the brakes, suspension, oiling system, tires and cooling system, while also adding an electronic limited-slip differential. Magnetic Ride Control lets the Corvette go from freeway commuter to racetrack-ready with the turn of a dial, while a dual-mode exhaust amps up the sound and adds a few horses. Interior upgrades include suede trim and a competition seat package. Corvette Z06 owners should opt for the Z07 performance package, which adds carbon-ceramic brakes and other go-even-faster hardware. The new 8-speed automatic offers paddle shifters and lightning-fast shifts.
Two engine options await 2015 Corvette Stingray buyers. First is the standard 6.2-liter V8 engine, with 455 horsepower, 460 lb-ft of torque and a hard-to-believe 29 mpg on the highway thanks to its ability to imperceptibly shut down four of its eight cylinders at light throttle. The 2015 Corvette Z06 comes with a supercharged version of that engine, pumping out 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, the most of any production car ever made by General Motors. Both Corvette models come standard with a 7-speed manual gearbox that sends the V8's glorious power to the rear wheels. An all-new GM-designed 8-speed automatic transmission is available this year, and we have a feeling it's going to get a lot of takers.
455 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
460 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (with available performance exhaust)
465 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm (with available performance exhaust)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/29 mpg (manual), 16/29 mpg (automatic)
6.2-liter supercharged V8 (Z06)
650 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
650 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (manual), 13/21 (automatic)
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray starts with a low Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) tag of about $55,000. Convertible models start at $60,000, and the Z51 package adds about $5,000 to either model. The super high-performance Corvette Z06 starts at about $80,000 for coupes and $85,000 for the convertible, and the must-have Z07 performance package adds about $8,000 to the price of a Corvette Z06. There's not a bad car in the lineup, but whatever Stingray you select, be sure to get the Z51 package and Magnetic Ride Control. Regardless, the Corvette's price seriously undercuts competitors like the Porsche 911, Nissan GT-R, Audi R8 and Dodge Viper. Still, you probably want to save a buck or two, so check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. Luckily, the 2015 Corvette should have one of the strongest resale values of any sports car.