“Wow, I’ll bet that gets great fuel economy on the highway!” is the last thing that most (normal) people think when seeing a Stingray cruise down the street. And yet, it’s true. The Corvette’s long been known (by those who know) to deliver solid MPGs when conservatively driven out on the open road. At long last, I had the opportunity to test it.
The positively scrumptious 6.2 liter V8 in the 2015 C7 Corvette pumps out 455 horsepower and 460 foot pounds of torque. It features cylinder deactivation and an Eco-mode (for fuel economy, of course) and can be fitted with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. I was double-lucky to test a manual-equipped car. I found the clutch pressure to be reasonable, the shift mechanism quite good. Dealing with an overload (seven!) of speeds in the gate is eased by gear indicators on the digital dashboard and heads-up display (HUD).
Swapping back in to Slambo after a week of driving the Z51 Performance Package Corvette Stingray was quite shocking. An experience made all the worse by a vicious thunderstorm and the fact that it was Father’s Day. Imagine having spent a week with a dream car, only to have to give it up on Father’s Day in the pouring rain, to get into a primer gray $2700 Honda Civic. Welcome to my life in a nutshell.
Slambo scared me on startup, when I pushed in the clutch for the first time in a week. It felt like there was no pressure at all. While the Corvette’s clutch didn’t seem overly heavy (like Goldilocks, it was just right), Slambo’s clutch felt non-existent. I panicked for a moment, thinking that the clutch was shot. But I soon realized that’s how it normally feels.
The 2015 C7 Corvette is officially (and realistically) rated at 17 city / 29 highway miles per gallon. I had no problem beating those numbers, as long as I wasn’t beating on the car. While Eco Mode provides a few extra MPGs, I did just fine in Touring mode (MPG-wise), without invoking the cylinder deactivation feature. I found Touring mode to be much smoother, avoiding the noticeable transition between four and eight cylinders.
I had to deal with a bunch of rain during my week with the Stingray. I had just enough time to get the job done, but I longed for more. That this was a convertible made it even tougher. I longed to take it for a long extended road trip, rather than my standard highway testing loops. Alas, it was not to be. I’ve been in hundreds of test cars over the years, but none have provoked the response this one has. A car is a car.
A Corvette is something else, entirely.
– by Daniel Gray