For 2018, the Chevrolet Corvette receives several minor updates. All models have an improved rearview camera with higher resolution and a wider angle, and HD digital radio is standard. The biggest news is the Cosworth Toolbox, now included in the optional Performance Data Recorder, which offers additional data channels for the Corvette's telemetry: individual wheel speeds; individual suspension displacements; yaw rate; intake air temperature; ambient air temperatures. A Carbon 65 Edition trim package is available on 650 Corvettes in the Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior color, which includes a spoiler, rear quarter vents and steering wheel all trimmed in carbon fiber.
Now in its seventh generation, the rear-wheel-drive 2018 Chevrolet Corvette continues to push the envelope for what is possible from an affordable, efficient, made-in-America sports car.
Styling is excellent and sharp, with purposeful lines that give the car a slippery .29 drag coefficient. Body materials include a carbon fiber hood and roof panel, while the doors, fenders, quarter panels and rear hatch all benefit from lighter density sheet molding over the previous car. On convertibles, the power convertible top is operable at speeds up to 30 mph. The Corvette features an aluminum space frame that is 99 pounds lighter than its predecessor yet 57 percent stiffer, while a carbon nano-composite floorpan replaces the heavier balsa sandwich construction of the previous generation.
Inside, the Corvette boasts a on par with some of Europe's best. The driving position is near perfect, and the seats are vastly improved over previous generations with increased comfort and better support for hard driving. An 8-inch touchscreen dominates the center console, while soft-touch materials are abundant. Finally, the car offers 15 cubic-feet of cargo room under the rear hatch--enough to hold luggage, golf clubs, or all the money saved by not buying a Porsche 911.
The heart of the Corvette, is of course, its powerplant. The 6.2L V8 delivers 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled to a standard 7-speed manual transmission that features Active Rev Matching, which blips the throttle during up- and down-shifts, eliminating the need for heel-and-toeing by the driver during braking. The combination is good enough to propel the Corvette from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds, while also returning 17 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. An 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters is optional, as is a performance exhaust, which increases output to 460 horses.
Coupes and convertibles both come in standard models and high-performance Z51 guise, which allows for a 0-60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds. The Z51 Performance Package adds larger wheels (19-inch front and 20-inch rear) with Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP summer-only tires, a dry sump oil system, electronic limited slip differential, larger front brakes (13.6-inch vs. 12.6-inch) with slotted rotors, performance gear ratios, special suspension components, differential and transmission cooling and an aerodynamic package to reduce lift and improve high-speed stability. Chevy's trick Magnetic Selective Ride Control is optional across the model line.
The 1LT, or base trim, offers a 9-speaker Bose audio system, HD digital radio, high-definition wide-angle rearview camera, keyless access with push-button start, power tilt/telescopic steering column, 8-way power leather seats, two 8-inch HD color displays and a Driver Mode Selector, which allows drivers to customize the driving experience by selecting one of five distinct modes: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track, each of which adjusts steering, throttle, traction and more.
2LT Corvettes get heated and ventilated seats with Corvette emblems, an upgraded Bose sound system, auto-dimming mirrors, Chevy's color head-up display and SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year subscription. Finally, 3LT Corvettes offer all of the above plus a custom leather-wrapped interior with Nappa leather seating, navigation and color-matched instrumentation to the interior.
The Z06 package adds a supercharger to the big V8, resulting 640 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet claims that 0-60 runs are achievable in less than 3 seconds in the Z06. Available as either a coupe or a convertible and with either an automatic or a manual transmission, the Z06 has the necessary performance to rival just about any vehicle on the road. The Z06 with the Z07 Performance Package adds Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber ground effects, a suede competition sport seat, steering wheel and shifter and more.
Chevrolet's Performance Data Recorder is available on all Corvettes and provides advanced telemetry to help improve driving performance. The system records all aspects of a drive, including real-time audio and video and up to 34 channels of performance data. Depending on the chosen setting, recorded metrics include speed, rpm, throttle and braking inputs, g-force, location-based track maps, suspension inputs, lap times, 0-60 mph time, 0-100-0 runs, or even little more than driver point-of-view audio and video captured on a scenic drive through the country.
Standard safety features in all Corvette Stingrays include stability and traction controls, a rearview camera, driver and passenger front and side airbags and a 6-month subscription to OnStar.