2014 Corvette Stingray Beats Arctic Blast of Old Man Winter


Car & Driver magazine is, and has been for many years, one of the top car magazines, with a history of colorful characters (David E. Davis and Brock Yates spring to mind) and outrageous comparison articles (Pontiac GTO vs. Ferrari GTO and the GMC Syclone vs. Ferrari 348ts, to mention just two). They never seem to pass up a chance to tip over the sacred cows of the automotive world.

We weren’t too surprised then when we heard of their latest, and maybe the ultimate, comparison test — a stock 2014 Corvette Stingray vs. the arctic blast of old man winter. This was not just a run-of-the-mill cold start test. You see, C & D’s editorial headquarters are in beautiful downtown Ann Arbor, Mich. and last Friday Michigan was the coldest state in the country. Ann Arbor had an overnight low of -30°F, which was just shy of the -44°F low at the North Pole!

Alexander Stoklosa, Car & Driver’s associate online editor, took their Corvette long-range test car home with him after work on Thursday and left the Stingray outside overnight to fend for itself in the arctic air without so much as an igloo for protection. The official overnight low at the test site was -26°F. If there was a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Corvettes (SPCC), they would have been all over Alexander’s case.

The ice-crystal coated Stingray was there waiting for the big test the next morning. The electronic door release worked as designed and Alexander stepped into the frozen interior. The moment of truth was at hand. After pushing the starter button, it was about 12 seconds of fuel pump whine, the starter noise and the engine turning over before the engine caught and grumbled to life. Houston, we have ignition!

The next step was to see what was happening with the 7-speed manual transmission to make the car actually move. The answer was: not much. It took a two-handed pull on the shifter to get it into neutral to let the warm-up proceed. After a 10-minute drive to the office, engine coolant temperature and oil pressure had arrived at normal levels and the shifter was on its way to working normally. Despite the body making all kinds of creaking and flexing sounds, the Vette was usable as transportation.

Don’t try this experiment at home. Chevrolet does not recommend trying to start your new Corvette below -22°F without using an engine block heater—and you don’t want to run afoul of the SPCC!

The Corvette Stingray has proven victorious over old man winter. Bring on the next match!

Car and Driver

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