Chevrolet’s C7 development team made no secret all along of the car they were targeting with the 2014 Corvette Stingray.
In fact, the Porsche 911 was the only car that the engineering team bought as a benchmark for the Corvette.
However, the Corvette did emerge as tops in a number of categories, but what a price nearly double the Stingray’s can add in “little things” proved to be the winning difference for the 911.
What you can gather from the Edmunds test is that both of these cars are great.
The Corvette, for example, was the leader in torque, with an advantage of 140 pound-feet that come 1,000 RPM sooner, and in horsepower, with a 460 to 400 lead.
Yet the Porsche’s outstanding launch control enabled it to take a win in acceleration testing, both 0 to 60 and in the quarter-mile.
The Corvette bounced back in handling tests, though, with a slalom pass nearly 3 mph better than the 911 and a narrow win on the skid pad (1.05g to 1.04g), and also stopped faster, 99 feet vs. 101 feet going 60 to 0.
“…It’s here, on the track, that the Stingray shows its real merit,” Edmunds writes. “Motivated by what is fundamentally a truck engine, it finds speed in places the 911 doesn’t. Largely, it’s the Stingray’s ability to explode away from an apex that earns it the advantage.
Performance Traction Management is deadly effective in making the laps both fast and easy.”
The Stingray also earned loud applause for its steering feel and response, with Edmunds saying “there’s a confidence in the C7’s steering beyond that of most every other sports car made today. Its front end sticks with intractable persistence.”
Not to say the Porsche is a slouch behind the wheel, though.
Writes Edmunds: “The 911, for its part, remains an amazing car to drive hard. Its light but direct steering makes no concessions when driven at speed. Its brakes are so utterly capable that we began to think they’re actually worth the cost of a nice sport bike. Its balance, communication and honesty at the limit are remarkable.”
Still, the Stingray managed a 1-second win in the best time around the 1.6-mile Streets of Willows Springs road course.
And get ready for this, the 911 still has the better interior, Edmunds believes. “Chevy moved mountains in improving the Corvette’s interior, but there’s still a vast gap between these cars in quality,” they say. “Everything you touch in the 911 is laser-micrometer precise and right-now responsive. The differences matter. In the 911 you move and it moves with you. In the Stingray you punch the touchscreen twice and wait. You step cleanly into the 911. You descend into, over and around the Corvette. And on a hot day, the 911 smells like leather. The Corvette smells like chemicals.”
So did Chevy achieve its goals going up against the 911?
Edmunds believes overall, it did. “Picking the ‘Vette is the obvious choice since it’s supported by ample empirical data. At the end of the day, we can’t deny that the home team nailed at least one of its primary targets. Making the Corvette as quick and rewarding as a 911 is a big task, and it’s been fully accomplished. The Corvette, when driven hard, is as good as the 911, maybe better. There, we said it.”
But hold on a minute.
“But then there’s the undeniable reality that the 911 is the better car,” Edmunds says. “Whether we’re taking our kids to school or adding subtle countersteer to correct that big slide, we’d rather have the Porsche. It’s the car that wins our hearts so it’s the car that wins this test.”
Edmunds Compares 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Z51 vs. 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition
Edmunds Track Tests the 2014 Corvette Stingray vs the 2013 SRT Viper
[VIDEO] 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: 48 Hours with the C7 in Detroit