Let’s take an inside look at one reason (or four reasons, actually) why the seventh-generation Corvette Stingray handles so well.
We all know that Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and his talented crew worked wonders making the 2014 Corvette such an improvement over previous models.
Now watch this video to see our host, Meteorologist Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel, go on a Corvette hot lap in a Laguna Blue Stingray around the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds in South Carolina, which consists of more than a dozen special tracks and surfaces for tire and suspension system testing, driving training, and event management, all situated on 3,300 acres.
“A performance car needs a performance tire, doesn’t it?” our host Jim asks Michelin driver Mike.
“This is where the original equipment vehicle manufacturer can come and put their vehicle and their tires through the paces at the limits of the tires,” Mike says.
“Let’s go drive fast,” Jim responds. “I’m psyched.”
After strapping on their helmets and getting buckled into the Stingray, the two men take off on a fun high-speed Corvette hot lap around the track.
“So besides going fast,” Jim wonders, “what are we gonna look for in a tire?”
One of the most important things for an ultra-high performance vehicle, Mike replies, “is to have a lot of traction, but what we really look at is how much grip the tires have, so when you get on the gas, does the car accelerate out of the corner or are you always fighting the car trying to slide? We want the car to have a lot of traction, but we also want it to be easy to drive.”
Jim quickly becomes a believer in the Corvette-Michelin pairing.
“All right, we slid right through that turn right there,” he says, “but it held it, it held it beautifully. You could feel the tire taking the car back.”
Mike quickly impresses Jim again.
“Just took that corner at 100 miles per hour!” Jim says. “You gotta be freakin’ kidding me, oh my goodness, you gotta be kidding me!”
No kidding, Jim! Mike may be biased, but he points out that the Michelin Pilot lineup is basically the pinnacle of performance tires. Jim would agree.
“Oh my God!” he says as the Corvette finally comes to a stop. “What a ride, Mike, what a ride! Man, that was incredible. So I mean there’s no way you get the kind of performance out of this thing without these kind of tires.”
Exactly, Mike says.
“The Michelin Pilot Super Sport that comes original equipment on this Corvette – it’s a tire that’s designed specifically for this car,” Mike explains, “so you can see when I’m going through the corners, I’m turning, the front of the car turns quickly, it gets down to the apex really quickly, you can really hammer on the gas coming out of the corners and you got tons of grip and you’re able to utilize the performance of the vehicle.”
Not to mention, Jim quips, “you sold me a new car! I gotta get me one of these!”
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