Count Jay Leno as a big fan of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray already.
On a recent installment of his Jay Leno’s Garage, the words “amazing” and “exciting” and “beautiful” are heard frequently as he and designer Ed Welburn do a walk-around inside and outside the car at Brown’s Classic Auto in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Leno calls the new design “the most dramatic change” in Corvette in years, describing it as “pretty revolutionary” instead of the evolutionary nature of the C6.
“The whole idea,” Welburn says, “was to do … kinda like taking a world-class athlete back to the gym and getting it fit, muscle tension and all that, take a lot of mass out, get it much more agile design.”
Aerodynamics also played a big role in the design, Welburn tells Leno. As he describes the way the various vents work on the car, he points out that the “flow of air over, around and through the car is pretty amazing.”
Leno says one thing he finds exciting about the Stingray is “any picture you take of this car, any section of it, I would think you would guess European, $200, $300,000, you would be thinking Ferrari, Lamborghini, in that category. It’s a very European car. Corvettes look American, but this looks like a hybrid, American technology with some very kind of European sexy styling.”
This car, Leno believes, “would be right at home on the Autobahn or in Italy.”
“Wouldn’t that be fun?” Welburn chips in.
As it has been for years, the new Corvette is “the best value for the money sports car,” Leno says. “To get this kind of styling, this kind of power, this kind of looks, in this price range, is pretty amazing!”
“Jay,” Welburn says, “you captured it all. It’s building on the great history of Corvette. It’s obviously a Corvette more European inspired because we wanted to go after a younger market. It’s already in Gran Turismo. Young people are connecting with it in a big way already.”
Welburn tells Leno about the upgraded interior, saying that they started from scratch to make it much nicer, and about the new engine, the latest version of the famed V8 that now uses even more high-tech features to get fuel economy up close to 30 miles per gallon – all while propelling the car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
“You know I grew up in the era when under 7 seconds was amazing,” Jay says with a laugh. “So under 4 seconds is unbelievable.”
It’s just part of the overall package that makes the Corvette Stingray a practical supercar, believe it or not.
Another thing he likes about the Corvette is “you have normal ground clearance. There are so many European cars so low, you literally can’t pull up to driveway ramps or gas stations,” Leno says. “A Corvette is meant to be a driver’s car … you can go anywhere with it.”
As he looks into the rear storage area of the Stingray, Leno turns to the camera and offers some ammo for us married guys out there who are making a pitch to our wives to sell them on the C7.
“You can make a case for a Corvette as a sensible car,” he says with a grin. “You can go on a trip with it. Look at all the groceries … how much you can carry in this car. You can actually go places with it. You can put luggage in here, and it probably has more luggage space than any sports car I can think of.”
See the whole video here and get some real-world images of the new Stingray in action.
Jay Leno’s Garage
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