It’s The Complete Package
By Christian Seabaugh
Motor Trend Magazine
There are some cars that just elicit responses from those nearby. Usually these cars are pretty exotic. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG usually gets thumb-ups, as does the McLaren 12C, but in my time at Motor Trend, never has something as seemingly common as a Chevrolet Corvette Convertible generated so many reactions from pedestrians and other drivers — especially in Los Angeles. To be fair though, this is a pretty special ‘Vette, as this look-at-me yellow 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 Convertible is among the quickest Corvette convertibles we’ve ever tested.
Even when not exploiting its 460-hp LT1 V-8, the new Corvette Stingray Z51 Convertible is an attention magnet. Maybe it’s the ‘Vette’s bright-yellow paint, or maybe it’s the fact that the new Corvette Stingray is arguably the best-looking Corvette since disco was a thing. Whatever it is, the drop-top Stingray turns heads. A simple drive to the grocery store resulted in an Accord pacing me, with its backseat passengers snapping pictures. Neighbors knocked on my door to check it out. Parked out on Santa Monica’s Main Street on a Friday night and I got questions galore – everything from “Is that a Ferrari?” (Nope) to “Are you a DJ?” (Negative). The most remarkable thing about all this attention is that it was mostly from younger generations. For the first time in my lifetime, the Corvette actually appeals to younger drivers whose only real car-related concern could be when their next Lyft arrives.
The new Corvette Stingray Z51 Convertible doesn’t just look good, it drives well too. It should, with a glorious new 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood, pushing out 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the performance exhaust. Our seven-speed manual-equipped ‘Vette came with more performance add-ons than just an exhaust; it also came with the track-tuned Z51 package, and magnetic ride control. It’s no surprise than that the Corvette Stingray Convertible is quicker out of the gate than California Chrome. Our yellow ‘Vette accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, and goes on to finish the quarter mile in 12.2 seconds at 116.9 mph. That 0-60 mph figure is just a tenth of a second slower than the Stingray coupe, while the quarter mile time is just two-tenths of a second off. The Corvette Stingray convertible also manages to match the old LS7-powered C6 Corvette 427 in a race to 60, though the 427 starts to walk away from the new Stingray in the quarter mile – there’s no replacement for displacement, is there? At any rate, at least the Corvette Stingray convertible can out-brake the Corvette 427, stopping from 60 mph in 90 feet, as opposed to 101 feet.
Related Forum Discussion: First Test: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 Convertible