It’s been only three years since the mid-engine C8 finally became a reality. And it’s everything everyone thought it would be while the Z06 version is already the stuff of legends. But…the Corvette that preceded is the one that forced European automakers to take notice.
Running from 2014 to 2019, the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette gives you some of the best bang for the buck in the segment. Although, through GM’s own admission, not much changed from the C6. Still, the seventh-gen still saw the most powerful Corvettes in the sports car’s history. Performance, handling, affordability, and attainability are what make the final front-engine Corvette special.
2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette C7
- Chevrolet Corvette C7
- LT1 V8, LT4 Supercharged V8 and LT5 Supercharged V8
- Power Output
- 450hp to 755hp
- 460 LB-FT to 715 LB-FT
- 6-Speed and 8-Speed automatic, 7-Speed manual
- Rear-Wheel Drive
- Powerful Engine Lineup
- Aggressive Styling
- Upgraded Technology
- Some Cheap Feeling Interior Materials
- Minimal Storage Space
- Difficult To Get In And Out
C7 Chevrolet Corvette Performance And Capability
During the car’s run, GM created not only the most powerful Corvettes in history but some of the highest horsepower American cars ever built. The most common of these is the entry-level Stingray that came standard with the 6.2L small block V-8 that has an output of 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.
Moving up to the Z51 performance package gives drivers a freer flowing exhaust for an extra 10 horsepower and upgraded suspension. Those looking to step up could spend about 20k more to move into the powerful Z06 that gave drivers an additional 200 horsepower and enough carbon fiber to make McLaren jealous.
If money was no object, and you’re okay with the huge premium on the secondary market, the ZR1 created 755 horsepower and 715-pound feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2L LT5 V-8. It is objectively one of the loudest factory cars you’ll ever hear. It’s also one of the fastest Corvettes ever made with a 10.9 second quarter mile and a 2.85 seconds 0-60 time. When equipped with the standard (but less cool looking) lower downforce rear spoiler, it saw a top speed of 212mph putting it in the class of European Hypercars. All are available with a seven-speed manual or six and eight-speed automatic transmissions.
These numbers are impressive, but most drivers will not get the opportunity to drive one due to low build numbers, being priced out, and availability. The more common, more attainable models are the base Stingray and the Z06. Stingray when equipped with the Z51 performance pack is impressive in its own right reaching 60mph in 3.8 seconds. The quarter-mile comes up in 12.23 seconds at 115 mph. Not surprisingly, the Stingray sees the best gas mileage seeing 17 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway.
There were plenty of “firsts” in the C7 Corvette’s design. Along with more powerful engines, designers focused on lighter-weight materials such as carbon fiber for the hood and roof panel. Fenders, doors, and quarter panels saw a lighter density sheet model over the C6. Corvette evolved even more from the changes made to the C6.
Lines were sharp featuring more aggressive angular elements from the previous model. Most everything in the car’s exterior design served a functional purpose. Functional aerodynamic aids are molded into nearly every body panel giving the car one of the lowest drag coefficients in the segment of .29. C7 also featured aggressive new headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights.
The exterior design was not without its detractors. The car received criticism for some of its design elements. The car’s rear was a point of contention with some pointing out its rear taillights, saying they were too like those of the Chevy Camaro. And surprisingly, some were not fans of the center-mount quad exhaust in the rear valance. But what everyone could agree on was the convertible. It features a power-operated fabric top and could be opened at speeds of up to 30mph. Every C7 model is available in a convertible.
Interior Quality And Technology
Chevrolet has never been known for its luxurious interiors. Although GM is credited with building some of the most iconic vehicles, the one criticism that seems to follow them is the lack of quality materials. C7 is a step in the right direction. While it will never be mistaken for its European counterparts, it is an improvement over the previous car.
Step up to the top-level 3LT interior package and drivers will get soft Napa leather seating surfaces and a leather-wrapped dash. Cabin space is still limited with taller passengers struggling to find comfortable seating positions. Average-sized folks will have no problem, as seats are comfortable with plenty of adjustments. Heated and ventilated seats are standard with the 3LT.
Available options include an upgraded Bose 10-speaker audio system, an HD receiver with SiriusXM, and a color heads-up display. Those who are looking to track their cars will be excited to know that there is an available performance data recorder.
C7 Chevrolet Corvette Price And Availability
One thing the Corvette will not be mistaken for is rare. Certain models such as the ZR1 are hard to come by, but they were intended to be that way. Meantime, models such as the Stingray, Grand Sport, and Z06 are in good supply. As of this writing, there are just under 400 available listed on Autotrader within 500 miles. Decent low-mileage Stingrays can be had for around $40,000 which is a bargain when you consider what you’re getting for the money. Expect to pay around $70k for clean Z06s.
If money is no object, and you’d like to get your hands on a future collectible, you should look for a ZR1. But as stated, ZR1s are not cheap. When new, one could be had for around $120,000 – this was a pre-pandemic, pre-addendum, pre-market adjustment, or whatever other fancy wording dealerships have been using for the past three years to add huge markups to vehicles.
Now, if you’d like to get your hands on a C7 ZR1, expect to pay $200,000. That’s right. A C7 Corvette ZR1 can be had for nearly the same price as a Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren 675LT, and an Audi R8 Competition. Chevrolet has come a long way.
Corvette Grand Sport
There is no shortage of cars looking to steal market share from Corvettes here in the States. Low-volume Mustangs like the previous GT500 and the discontinued Dodge Viper are a couple that comes to mind. But, for the past several years, GM has made it clear that it had one car in mind when developing the Corvette and that’s the legendary Porsche 911.
The 911 has for decades been the benchmark for Corvette’s design team. But as Corvettes have been getting lower and lighter, 911s have been getting larger and heavier. The latest iteration, the 992 is nearly 200lbs heavier than the 991 generation and 50lbs heavier than the Corvette. The 911 is more precise more refined and more luxurious than Corvette. But that refinement and prestige come at a price.
Throughout its history, Porsche has been known for two things: Legendary performance and nickel and diming its buyers. Things that are standard on Corvette are heavily priced options on Porsche (see $12k paint to sample option). Corvette will always be the better performance bargain. And as GM continues to move towards a lower volume, a higher priced business model for Corvette, they will soon begin to have a similar prestige as you begin to see less and less on the roads.
Q: How much is a C7 Corvette?
Clean Stingray examples can be had for around $40,000.
Q: Are C7 Corvettes fast?
Base C7s have a top speed of around 190mph while the range topping ZR1 has a top speed of 212mph.
Q: Is the C7 or C8 faster?
The C7's range topping ZR1 has a top speed of 212mph while the current top model Corvette Z06 tops out at 195mph.
Q: Does the C7 Corvette have a V8?
All C7 Corvettes come with a V8 engine.
Q: Why are C7 Corvettes so expensive?
C7 Corvettes are very affordable in comparison to their C8 counterparts. Clean base C7s are about half the price of base C8s.