There are so many new things about the 2014 Corvette Stingray that to explain them all Chevrolet had to come up with a series of educational videos. This new episode tells us about the driving experience of the new Corvette, and how it’s different than the previous generation because the new boy comes with lots of fancy systems designed to enhance that experience.
What’s slightly worrying here is that they put too much emphasis on electronics. The car has five different driving modes governed by a computer; even its Limited Slip Differential is electronically controlled. Not that it’s a bad thing, but electronic stuff usually don’t have much in the way of feel and soul. That’s not good in a sports car.
Twelve performance parameters are adjusted with the selection of each driving mode, including:
- Gauge cluster configuration: The Tour, Eco and Weather modes feature displays for trip data, audio and navigation; Sport mode shows classic, easy-to-read sports car gauges; and Track mode’s configuration shows a gauge design based on the Corvette Racing C6.R race car display with lap timer
- ETC (Electronic Throttle Control): Adjusts the throttle input curve for the selected mode for improved responsiveness
- Paddle-shift automatic transmission: Adjusts shift comfort and shift points
- Active Fuel Management: in normal mode, the LT1 engine uses V-8 power during acceleration and V-4 power when coasting; in Eco mode the engine remains in V-4 mode to improve fuel economy until aggressive acceleration is needed
- Exhaust (active exhaust system): The system adjusts the timing of the electronically controlled exhaust valves to enhance audible feedback from the V-8 depending on the drive mode
- Electronic limited-slip differential (Z51): Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions; more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes
- Steering: Assist effort is adjusted in the modes to provide the driver with the correct steering feel for the driving condition
- Magnetic Ride Control: Adjusts shock damping based on road conditions, from optimized comfort to performance driving
- Launch control: Available in Sport and Track modes for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
- Active handling (StabiliTrak stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Sport and Track modes and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
- Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
- Performance Traction Management: Available in the Sport and Track modes and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving.