While designing a new version of an existing vehicle is always a complicated process, the 2014 Corvette Stingray takes this to the extreme. Not only is the car’s styling new, but its engineers even began with a blank sheet of paper to create the frame and a portion of its body panels.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray will use an aluminum frame in all models, a change that increases stiffness by 57-percent over the C6. The C7’s composite body structure also uses carbon fiber panels for the rood and removable roof (if equipped), and a “carbon nano hybrid” material for the under tray.
While the Stingray’s body structure is some 99 pounds lighter than the body of the C6, the curb weight of the new car isn’t expected to be significantly lighter than the outgoing one.
The good news is that the C7 feels “carved from a sheet of granite,” without upping the weight over the C6. The use of advanced materials in the body will help with panel fit, too, as carbon fiber and carbon composites don’t expand and shrink the way the some more conventional materials do.
Likening the car’s assembly to a ballet that requires precise choreography, Chevrolet is really hyping the Stingray’s precision and craftsmanship. While there’s no denying the C7 is a big step forward from the C6 (on paper, at least), we can’t help wonder how big of a price increase the new car will bring with it.