Making its debut at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show, the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe aims at reviving the success of the original Corvette C2 Sting Ray, the 2nd generation that was produced from 1962 until 1967.
The 2014 Corvette is also the most powerful standard model ever, with an all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine delivering 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm).
It can accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieves more than 1g in cornering grip. At the same time, it is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.
The new Corvette is based on a new aluminum frame structure which includes two main rails -each divided into five segments – with extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.
After the below video we report selected details on the exterior and interior design along with the designers and design managers’ comments.
The exterior of the new Corvette Stingray is very bold and aggressive, with a sculptured look which is also aerodynamically optimized, thanks to the extensive virtual simulations and wind tunnel testing as well as the experience gained with the Corvette Racing program.
The body panels make extensive use of lightweight materials: carbon fiber for the hood and removable roof panel; composite for the fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite for the underbody panels.
While there is no single detail shared with the previous generations, the new Corvette Stingray maintains the distinctive profile defined by a long dash-to-axle ratio and the greenhouse evoking the canopy of a fighter jet with dual-element tail-lamps.
To this foundation, designers built a form vocabulary from two very different sources: aerospace and nature.
high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
The decision of incorporating the word Stingray in the model’s name also had some direct consequences on the design development.
“For the new Corvette to be called a Stingray, it had to deliver an incredible, purposeful visual impact – just as the original did in 1963,” said Tom Peters, exterior design director.
“That visual impact is evident in fighter jets and the Stingray animal itself.
“Their beauty comes from their purpose, designed to cut through air or water as quickly and efficiently as possible. As with aircraft and living forms, every transition on every surface of the Corvette Stingray serves a purpose executed with beauty and proportion.”
Lighting is a signature element of the Corvette Stingray’s design and reinforces its high-tech aesthetic.
At the front, indirect white LED lamps form a distinctive daytime styling cue. They are set in a black-chrome lamp housing with standard HID projector headlamps. The turn signals feature edge-lit amber LED lighting.
All-new, dual-element taillamps represent the greatest departure from tradition and are among the car’s most dramatic elements.
The three-dimensional, sculpted lenses house indirect LED lighting. The state-of-the-art lighting uses hidden LED lamps that cast their light up from the bottom of the housing into a reverse reflector, creating an even glow.
LED lamps are also used for the white backup lamps. The taillamps integrate functional aircraft-style air outlets for the available differential and transmission coolers.
“From the front or rear, the signature lighting brings the new Corvette to life,” said Peters.
“It looks beautiful, sinister and more than a little intimidating. It gives the Corvette a nighttime appearance unlike anything else on the street.”
Many hours were spent in the wind tunnel hand-sculpting surfaces for aesthetics and performance. Functional exterior elements include:
- All models have a new grille/radiator arrangement and hood vents. Venting air out of the hood reduces total front-end lift for improved steering response at high speeds
- The front fender side coves also help vent underhood air pressure to reduce aerodynamic drag
- Models with the automatic transmission or Z51 Performance Package feature a functional vent on driver’s left side directing air over a heat exchanger for the transmission fluid and a similar arrangement on the passenger side that directs air over a heat exchanger for the electronic limited slip differential
- Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exit through the aircraft-inspired taillamp vents and lower-rear fascia air outlets
- The Z51 Performance Package also includes brake-cooling ducts, a unique rear spoiler and additional air deflectors for enhanced track capability.
“Every square inch of the 2014 Corvette’s exterior is designed to enhance high-performance driving,” said Kirk Bennion, exterior design manager.
“The team delivered a great balance of low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability – all in a sculpted design that excites in all the ways that a Corvette has for six decades.”
Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design, commented: “Developing a new Corvette, while every designer’s dream, is not an easy task.”
“The goal was a bold design statement that embraced the advanced technology of the car, while enhancing its overall performance in everything from the wind tunnel to the track. The result is a new Corvette Stingray – a fantastic car that breaks new ground yet remains true to the fundamental elements that make a Corvette a Corvette.”
“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design.
“We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over.”
The new Corvette Stingray interior blends quality materials and craftsmanship with advanced technologies and focuses on offering a more connected and more engaging driving experience.
“Every feature and detail in the interior is designed to enhance the driver’s connection to the Corvette,” said Helen Emsley, interior design director.
“It starts with the fighter jet inspired wraparound cockpit; continues to build with the smaller steering wheel, more supportive seats, and high-definition, configurable screens, and is finished in gorgeous materials.”
The attention to the driver extends to the smallest details, including the flat, precise stitching on the steering wheel designed to provide a smooth, consistent feel.
Stitching also is seen in the available Napa leather trim of the all-new seats.
Two seating choices will be offered: a GT seat for all-around comfort and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering which provides greater support on the track.
They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
Additional performance-enhancing details of the interior resulted from designers’ “field trips” to GM’s Proving Ground in Milford, Mich., where high-performance driving experiences spurred the design and implementation of several features, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
High-performance driving also influenced elements of the configurable display screens and available head-up display, which vary depending on the driving mode, including the Track display inspired by the C6.R.
The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Stingray are complemented by the sweeping arch motif over the driver cockpit trim and the seamless transition of the line from the instrument panel to the door.
All models feature a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
A blend of hand craftsmanship and machined precision is intended to ensure the fit, finish and ambience of the cabin is first-rate. The leather-wrapped instrument panel, for example, features hand-selected and hand-stretched materials for better grain matching with stitching performed by robots that deliver perfect seams.
There’s even a micro-LED screen for the passenger’s climate control placed below the vent on the on the dash away from the performance features on the instrument panel.
“To ensure the high quality of the interior, we spent time working on the line alongside the team that builds the Corvette every day at Bowling Green Assembly Plant,” said Ryan Vaughan, interior design manager.
“And thanks to that collaboration between design, engineering and manufacturing, we were able to make adjustments that allowed us to maintain the integrity of the design, improve the assembly process and ultimately deliver what we believe to be a world-class interior.”
Frame and Chassis
The all-new aluminum frame structure is 57 percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter. The greater torsional rigidity reduces unwanted noise and improves ride and handling.
Compared to the previous generation, which used continuous hydroformed main frame rails with a constant 2mm wall thickness, the new Corvette’s frame features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points.
Each segment is tuned – varying in thickness from 2mm to 11mm – tailoring the gauge, shape and strength properties to optimize the requirements for each frame section with minimal weight.
The frame is assembled at an all-new welding shop at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant using a unique laser welding process in which a computer-controlled beam of high energy joins the components with exceptional precision and tolerances of about 0.001-inch (0.025 mm).
Supporting the frame’s greater strength and lower weight are complementing chassis elements, including hollow-cast aluminum front and rear cradles that are approximately 25-percent lighter and 20-percent stiffer than the solid cradles used on the previous structure.
(Source: General Motors)