Greetings from Monterey, California, where I've come to drive the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray!
Five years ago, if you had told me that I'd be this excited to drive a Corvette, I never would have believed you. I spent years dismissing Corvettes as wannabe plastic sports cars best suited for the midlife-crisis, Members Only jacket-wearing, this-woman-with-the-fake-tan-and-artificial-boobs-is-my-niece-wink-wink crowd.
All that changed in 2008 when I spent a week with a base-model LS3 Vette, which had the then-new 430 horsepower engine with the flappy exhaust. I fell in love with the car and started my review of it with a public apology to Chevrolet and Corvette owners everywhere. I thought the car was a perfect reflection of the American persona (and remember that this was 2008, when our popularity with the rest of the world was not exactly at its peak): You may not agree with it's world-view, but spend some one-on-one time with a Corvette and it's damn near impossible not to like it.
Since then, I have driven a cadre of C6 Corvettes: The almighty ZR1 (man, what a thrill), the Z06 Carbon, and the Grand Sport, which combined the base models' 430 horsepower engine with the tighter suspension and steering setup of the Z06. (The Grand Sport remains my favorite, and I've been told by the Chevy folks that the new C7 delivers a very similar vibe.)
Was the C6 'Vette perfect? Not by a long shot. Its interior was cheap and dated. You could flex the entire rear fascia just by poking the bumper with your finger. It never felt as finely engineered as a 911. But it was loud, fast, fun, and ridiculously inexpensive for what it delivered. I love the C6 Corvette and I'm already lamenting the fact that I can't just call up Chevy and book some time with one.
So here we are in 2013, with a new Corvette on the way -- and for the first time, I'm really excited. For me, this is more than a new sports car; this is our sports car. I cannot wait to drive the new C7 Corvette and I cannot wait to tell you about it. Be sure to check back tomorrow for my first impressions. -- Aaron Gold
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