Edmunds.com has tested the new 2014 Corvette Stingray against just about every car seemingly imaginable, including the 2014 Porsche Cayman S, 2013 BMW M3, 2014 Nissan GT-R, 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S, and 2013 SRT Viper.
Now along comes the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500.
Before the test, Edmunds wonders aloud if the Corvette can overcome the deficit of 202 horsepower and 166 lb-ft to Ford’s supercar. The quick answer is an overwhelming yes.
The Shelby does use its bigger muscles to beat the Stingray to 60 mph (4.1 to 4.3 seconds) and in the quarter-mile (12.1 to 12.4 seconds). Likewise at the Streets of Willow Springs road course, the Ford outruns the Chevy on the longest straightaway, 113.1 mph to 112.5.
But that brawn isn’t enough to overcome the “coordination, balance, and engineering” of the Chevy, as Edmunds puts it.
“You can feel the difference on regular roads at civilian speeds,” Edmunds reports. “The Stingray turns with an eagerness that hints at what it is capable of, but it isn’t twitchy and it never feels as if it’s going to bite if you up the pace. The Mustang will oblige in corners, but it always feels as if it’d be happier if you were in Texas on, say, a cross-country road trip, where corners are bends and they’re fewer and farther between.”
That adds up to a dominating show for the Corvette, which showcases its superior balance and lighter weight on the slalom test: 73.5 mph to 67.4 mph, 1.05g to 0.97g, and an 11-foot-quicker stop for the Stingray. The Z51 Vette completed a lap on the Streets course in 1:24.6, “an eternity” of an advantage over the Shelby’s time of 1:27.3, Edmunds says.
The C7 is friendlier at the gas pump (with a 3 mpg advantage) and also finally packs a mighty punch in the interior, where Edmunds says “the cockpit now feels like a true sports car. It’s got a well-sorted driving position and supportive seats that don’t feel over-bolstered for daily use.”
The Shelby, meanwhile, just feels like a glorified Mustang “with a few nicer materials here and there.”
The two cars cost about the same money, but Edmunds believes that the Shelby does offer more exclusivity for its owners – “It’ll always be special,” they point out – but overall the cachet of the Shelby name just can’t live up to the athleticism of the Stingray.
“The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 walks away with this one,” Edmunds concludes. “Coordination, balance and solid engineering really can erase a 202-hp deficit and make us wonder why we’d ever need any more.”
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Edmunds Track Tests the 2014 Corvette Stingray vs the 2013 SRT Viper