Though most auto reviewers have been all praises and plaudits for the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, certain aspects of the vehicle have proven to be polarizing. But there’s no doubt that General Motors and Chevy have done what they could to make the new “C7” Corvette Stingray as appealing as possible to car buyers. In an exclusive interview, GM designers spent time with tech and automotive blog SlashGear at the 2013 New York International Auto Show and freely discussed the “authentic” design of both 2014 Corvette Stingray variants, the coupe and the recently unveiled convertible edition.
As any Corvette connoisseur would attest to, the iconic American sports car isn’t just a pretty-looking vehicle in almost any iteration, but also a car designed with high performance in mind. “You want a compelling design, you want a strong aesthetic” Corvette exterior design manager Kirk Bennion said to SlashGear. “We try to do things where, okay, this gives us a new look that we like, we think it’s attractive, but if we can also benefit with some functionality then it’s a double win. We like to do that with Corvette especially.” To this end, Chevy has made the 2014 Corvette Stingray some 4 millimeters lower, despite being slightly wider and longer than the sixth-generation version. Wheelbase is now an inch longer, with the front wheels moved forward. Radiator design has also been tweaked for the 2014 Stingray, with the radiator tipping forward. That has resulted in a ‘Vette that doesn’t just look the part in terms of appearing more aggressive, but one that plays the part by handling better and potentially performing better on the track.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s taillights have probably been the car’s most divisive feature – some like the new and non-traditional touch, others feel negatively towards Chevy seemingly ditching tradition in favor of something up-to-date and unusual. According to Bennion, there’s a reason for Chevy’s decision to use downward-firing LEDs on the new ‘Vette, and it’s mostly about adding to the car’s striking appearance. “The technology here again is indirect LEDs, so the LEDs are horizontal, they’re throwing the light down into the cavity, for even-lit appearance. They kind of avoid having the spottiness,” said the designer.