Edmunds.com continues its series of road tests pitting the 2014 Corvette Stingray up against some of the world’s best cars. This week, they’re comparing Chevy’s sports car to the 2013 BMW M3, which after a long run is making its farewell journey into the world of used performance cars.
Numbers-wise, Edmunds reports the obvious. The Stingray is head and shoulders above the M3 when it comes to things like overall performance. For example, the Corvette whips the BMW in lap time at the Streets of Willow, 1:24.55 to 1:29.02. The Stingray is 6/10ths of a second faster in the quarter mile, 12.4 seconds to 13.0, and the same amount faster going 0 to 60, 4.3 seconds to 4.9. The skidpad test likewise places the Chevy at the top, pulling 1.05g to the BMW’s 0.93. The C7 also has better brakes, stopping five feet sooner from 60mph and running through the slalom at 73.5mph to the M3’s 70.3.
Test drivers loved the Corvette. Witness the praise Josh Jacquot heaped on the Stingray after his run around the Streets of Willow. “What an instrument,” he gushed. “There’s no need to qualify the Corvette’s performance now. It lacks bad manners. It’s fast. It makes the right sounds. It turns, stops and goes like crazy. It’s predictable, reliable and world class in virtually every way. Remarkably easy to place. Confident. Communicative.”
The Corvette’s high-tech magic also impressed the Edmunds’ drivers, with the Performance Traction Management (PTM) drawing praise for its astounding grip as did the electronic limited-slip and the Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires. Then there is the active rev matching that makes shifting the seven-speed manual an easy task for anyone.
And before you think the Stingray, with its state-of-the-art gadgetry, is guilty of the kind of video game critiques aimed at the Nissan GT-R, Edmunds says “Chevrolet’s finest is still a hugely visceral and exciting car.”
Ironically, though, all this high-tech magic on the Corvette led Edmunds to claim that the M3 “actually proved to be the more memorable drive, leaving us feeling more accomplished and hungry for more.”
And we continue to see the automotive media world still holding a grudge against the Corvette’s interior, even though it’s been tremendously upgraded.
Edmunds almost seems to begrudge saying the following: “There is reason to praise the Corvette’s cabin. The quality of materials and construction is indeed reflective of its price and performance, and with the LT3’s extended leather package, it certainly looks more dramatic than the M3. However, the BMW is without question built to a higher standard. The gap between the two has been reduced monumentally, but it remains.”
In the end, Edmunds says the Corvette is entirely doable as a daily driver – “However, we would still rather have an M3 for such duty,” they conclude.
Edmunds does admit that there’s “absolutely no denying” that the new C7 is “the performance champion here and ultimately the better weekend plaything or extra car in the garage. That’s what most people in this segment want, and the Corvette delivers in ways the M3 can’t match.”
But if you have room for only one car, Edmunds continues, the M3 is “an impeccably crafted, reasonably practical, sufficiently comfortable daily plaything with the ceaseless ability to thrill on roads both twisting and mundane. Farewell, friend. We’ll miss you.”
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