RAC Cars News


New Corvette C7 On Its Way To UK

By raccars Published

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The C7 Corvette Stingray is one of a pair of new American muscle cars about to hit British roads, both updated to reflect a more European sensibility and, hopefully, expand their international appeal to boost manufacturers' sales figures. From the outside it all looks pretty familiar – big V8, manual transmission, brawns over brain, rear wheel and left hand drive. However ,don't be fooled – this 'Vette is hiding its light under a rather brash bushel...

The power output is delivered by a modern version of an engine that's been in use by Chevrolet for more than half a century. This V8 has been massaged with direct injection, active fuel management technology and a cylinder shutdown feature, that converts it to a V4 when driving conditions suit. The result is that a famously thirsty beast has managed to cut its fuel consumption down to a more palatable in Europe 34.3mpg in the right conditions – still far from clean and green but a distinct improvement upon earlier versions.

Where the engine's ability to shove has never been in doubt, handling in the past has resembled a chubby hippo wading through a mud pool. The UK will still only get a left hand drive version of the C7 but it's surprisingly neat and agile. The transverse leaf, double wishbone rear suspension is comfortable with a wide range of useful, adaptive damping settings. The Tour and Sport modes are probably the most suitable for UK roads and, thanks to an old school manual gearbox and pretty much evenly loaded weight distribution, add up to a very engaging drive. It's a proper sports car, settling nicely on the fine line between comfort and body response, grip that's tenacious enough to keep you safe but laid back enough to have a little fun and just the right amount of oversteer.

Fortunately, there's a great set of brakes to keep a handle on the 460bhp power output and enough throaty exhaust growl to put a smile on your face.

Chevrolet has also managed to answer another common criticism of this class of car, by fitting a rather good quality interior. Understated it's not, with an overload of red leather and switchgear, but it's stylishly put together and can boast a practical amount of boot space.

Prices for the UK specification Corvette C7 start at £61,495, which is pretty reasonable for what you get in return.

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