Why are we talking about the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, one of today’s best performance deals, in the month of January while another round of winter weather batters the GTA? Simple: the boffins at Chevy recently hauled the covers off an electrified all-wheel drive version of America’s Supercar – which means we all have Corvette Stingray on the brain right now. Also, your author is cold and is pining for better driving weather.
The electrified Corvette, called the E-Ray, won’t appear until the 2024 model year and will carry a price tag well into the six figures. Until then, why don’t we have a gander at what the most affordable Stingray, the $78,198 Coupe 1LT, has in store for the Base Camp buyer. Slung in a midship position behind the driver is a 6.2L V8 making 490 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft of torque, all of which is fed through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission on its way to the rear wheels. This should be good for a sprint to highway speeds in a touch over 3 seconds. Unless one pops for an optional package (more on that in a bit), all Stingrays make the same amount of power.
Despite being labeled a Coupe, this model actually has a removable roof panel which opens the heavens to both driver and passenger. Tire sizes are staggered, measuring 19 inches up front and 20 in the rear (245/35 and 305/30, respectively). So-called ‘carbon flash’ exterior accents and badges are part of the deal, as are body colour trim and LED lamps. Silver, black, white, and red are all $0 paint options, with other costing between $995 and $1,495. A dizzying array of stripe packages are also on tap.
The main differences between the 1LT trim and its 2LT/3LT brothers are, option packages notwithstanding, interior features. The base car comes with digital real estate equal to its pricier counterparts, made up of a 12-inch colour gauge pod in front of the driver and an 8-inch infotainment screen in the centre stack (though it is sans
navigation in the 1LT). Ten audio speakers are present instead of fourteen, which is arguably good for weight savings.
Dual-zone climate, leather seating surfaces with perforated inserts, remote start, and parking assists are all on board - though you’ll have to bring yer own smartphone charging cord. Oh, the humanity. At least there is wireless capability for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What We'd Choose
Gearheads that we are, the spendy $7,495 Z51 Performance Package warrants a mention. It adds Brembo-branded brakes, performance-oriented suspension tuning, and a different rear axle ratio to go along with an electronic limited slip differential. Heavy-duty cooling, gummy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and a bump in power to 495hp/470tq are also Z51-specific. These cars are easy to spot with their unique Z51 splitter and spoiler, while a different exhaust announces its presence to the neighbours.
That’s a lot of scratch but is an investment, we feel, is worth the cash. To us, it is a far better spend of money than vanity items like stripe packages or stand-alone wings/spoilers, to say nothing of pricey wheels which may be ditched for new units at some point in the car’s life, anyway. Fire away $610 on Torch Red seatbelts to jazz up the interior if you must, but a Z51-equipped Corvette Stingray 1LT for $85,693 represents an appealing package considering this car’s outrageous level of performance.