To some it’s America’s automotive sweetheart while to others it’s a mid-life crisis on wheels. To car guys it’s one of the world’s best sports cars, while others see it as below-the-belt compensation. As a person who reviews cars for a living, I see it—as do many of my fellow car journos, gay and straight—as the most impressive new automobile of 2014. I’m talking about the Chevy Corvette Stingray.
While its new styling is unmistakably Corvette, it appears to have been genetically spliced with exotic Italian DNA with its long, beveled hood, angular body sides and a bad boy backside featuring huge, can-sized quad exhaust pipes poking out from below. Especially in the searing Torch Red of my test vehicle, the ‘Vette looks a lot like a Ferrari, and that’s no accident.
It drives like one, too. All new Corvette Stingrays are powered by the same, inappropriately loud, 450-hp V-8, with excellent manual and automatic transmissions doing the shifting. (I prefer the manual.) They’re not just fast in a straight line, either—brilliant steering and scintillating handling make bombing along Mulholland Drive just as enjoyable as hitting the dragstrip in Pomona or bursting from stoplight to stoplight along La Cienega. It’s fast everywhere, a
license-eater if ever there was one.
Fortunately, the ‘Vette is even marvelous idling in a parking lot, with the huge V-8 rumbling beneath you, tickling your naughty parts while you
savor its world-class interior, the first time since the 1960s that its interior could be characterized as such. The Tron-inspired décor and computerized gauge cluster are more sci-fi than Euro-chic, but most of the materials used match the stuff found in similarly pricey sports cars from Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The seats are body-hugging buckets that shame the floppy lounge chairs found in prior models, and there are not one but two low-mounted “oh-shit!” handles for your passenger. They’re gonna need them, too, at least with someone like me at the wheel.
The Corvette has a practical side, too, with hatchback models offering Costco-trip cargo space, and even the convertible boasts a broad, capacious trunk. And did you see that fuel economy? It’s no Prius, but for a car with such a huge V-8, it’s pretty stellar. Unlike the Prius, this one will get you laid.
If there’s one problem with driving a Corvette, it’s other people. Apparently nothing brings out nastiness in some drivers like seeing a red Corvette (at least one they’re not in). No matter how deferent I was driving down the street in this car, or how much I smiled at other drivers, I was constantly being cut off or blocked from merging. I’ve found that we gays
appear split into three camps—clueless haters, obsessed
maniacs and guys who pretend to be haters but secretly are
obsessed maniacs. I can’t speak to the first camp because they’ll never understand, but to the latter, I can say that your obsession is fully justified. The new ‘Vette is absolutely terrific.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette by the Numbers
Price as tested (incl. dest.): $65,790
Interior décor: *****
Interior space: *****
Seat comfort: *****
Cargo Space: *****
EPA fuel economy (city/hwy): 17/29
L.A. CAR CULTURE
History has given us lots of notable Corvettes, but here in L.A. there may be none more iconic than Angelyne’s famous pink Corvette. Currently the local billboard legend is driving a C6 model—predecessor to the all-new 2014 C7 profiled on this page—but her huge blonde hair, self-titled vanity plate and custom bubble-gum paint have graced multiple generations of Chevy’s finest sports car over the last three decades. Why she drives the car, I totally understand. How she drives it in heels—that’s beyond me.