As Corvette’s chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, explains, “race inspired” is a phrase used by manufacturers trying to establish a link between a race car and a road car. Since the new Corvette Stingray is developed from technology pioneered through racing, the phrase simply doesn’t apply.
Perhaps the car’s biggest electronic step forward is the Stingray’s Driver Mode Selector, which gives the driver five distinct programs to choose from, adjusting the car for a variety of road and driving conditions. Each modifies numerous parameters, ranging from steering through throttle response, shift times and suspension setup.
Weather mode softens things for wet roads, while Eco mode is meant to yield the best possible fuel economy. Tour mode, as the name implies, is great for comfortable cruising, while Sport mode tightens things up for a run through your favorite canyon.
Finally, Track mode optimizes steering, shifting and throttle response, while (likely) dialing back on the stability control’s electro-nannies. Each mode produces a distinctly different feel in steering, suspension and acceleration, as well as a distinctly different sound.
The Corvette Stingray also benefits from an electronic limited slip differential, which precisely controls the amount of torque delivered to each rear wheel, multiple times per second, based on available grip. Its genius is in its transparency, as the driver only senses the maximum amount of grip the road and tires can deliver.
The next Stingray model to be introduced is the convertible, set for a Geneva launch. We'll bring you details as part of our 2013 Geneva Motor Show coverage.