It's not every day that Chevrolet rolls out a new Corvette. Indeed, in its first 50 years, there were only six generations of the car, each of them striking and radical for their time. For 2014, a new seventh-generation Corvette has bowed and is ready to wow the crowd with many elements that evoke some of Ferrari's newest offerings. Here are a few aspects of the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette that will earn a place on the bedroom walls of teenage boys around the world.
High-Drama Body Sculpting
Chevrolet's new Corvette is a touch longer and wider than the outgoing model, yet it takes on a far stronger presence. Credit the incredible surface sculpting for its sheer exotic-car countenance. The fascia has sharp, Dagmar-style protrusions on the lower lip, and the hood features no fewer than 10 facets stretching from the front back to the base of the windshield. The removable roof drops down in the center and can be rendered in body color, translucent material or gleaming carbon fiber. The body sides are dramatically chiseled, as well. One interesting change that Corvette enthusiasts will immediately notice: For the first time, the Corvette has a rear quarter side window and a blacked-out B-pillar -- extremely evocative of the Ferrari 599 GTB.
Distinctive Headlamps Return
From the caged round headlamps of mid-'50s Corvettes, to the flip-up lights of the '60s, '70s and '80s, headlamp design has always been one of the most emotional aspects of Corvette design. After a somewhat uninteresting design on the C6 Corvette, the C7's lights are amazing, containing white L-shaped LED running lamps for a distinctive daytime "light signature," while a single high-intensity bulb provides both low- and high-beam illumination at night. Turn signals are six LEDs rising up the sides -- once again, like Ferrari's latest designs.
For most cars, air is either fed to the engine through the grille or sent over the body. With the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, air is scooped up and/or spat out on all sides. Besides the wide grille, an air extractor sits about halfway down the hood. More scoops are found atop the rear fenders, while bladelike extractors are behind each front fender. There are even air extractors dropping down from the taillamps. Certainly, they add flair to the design, but that they're all functional shows just how serious a performance car the new Corvette is.
Boy, there's a lot going on the C7's ducktail derriere. Most obvious is the C7's new interpretation of the Vette's trademark quad taillamps. Instead of round or "squircle" shapes, the C7 features 3-dimensional, italicized "U" shapes, rendered in LEDs. The lower half of the back end is a darkened panel, reducing its visual height and providing a high-contrast backdrop for the four center-mounted exhaust tips. The rear spoiler is an unfortunate tacked-on piece; while it is good for aerodynamics, it is cliché, and possibly the weakest part of the design.
For the last, say, three decades or so, Corvettes have been panned for their cheap interiors and horrible seats. Not anymore. The driver-oriented cockpit is rendered in high-quality materials, including top-stitched leather, carbon fiber trim and soft-touch stuff everywhere. Complementing the exterior are super high-tech gauges, as well as a head-up display and nifty capacitive-touch (buttonless) controls. Best of all, the new seats are fantastic. All said, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is more aggressive, emotional and head-turning than ever before. And that's all before you take it out of park.