Corvette fans rejoice. The Stingray is back!

The newest generation Chevrolet Corvette is an absolute gem. From styling to performance to the “wow” factor, there aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to adequately describe the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Regular readers know the Corvette is my dream car. For years I’ve said that once the kids are out of college and the bills are paid off, a Corvette will be in my driveway.

While a huge fan of the previous generation ‘Vette, the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray has exceeded my every expectation.

Powered by a 455-horsepower V-8 engine, it is also the most powerful standard Corvette model ever produced.

And, with an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, it is also one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars in the world.

With a base price starting below $52,000 for the coupe (convertible base price starting below $57,000), the 2014 Corvette Stingray incorporates a number of advanced driver technologies, including a five-position drive mode selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with active rev matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts.

Buyers also have the option of the track-capable Z51 Performance Package, which boosts both horsepower and torque, allowing the Stingray to achieve a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a 12 second quarter-mile time.

I’m not going to mince any words. I absolutely love this car.

This week my test vehicle was the Corvette Stingray Coupe equipped with the Z51 Performance Package.

While fully track ready, it easily handles everyday commuting needs. That said, be prepared to get noticed. I had a steady stream of people follow me into parking lots for photo ops (of the car, not me — though there was no shortage of people asking for a ride this week.

While my track days are over, when my wife finally tells me that it’s my turn, my choice would be the Corvette Stingray Convertible with the six-speed automatic transmission. I know, an automatic on a Corvette is blasphemy and I know, I’m getting old. But, I’m not going to put it on the track and most of my driving will be in town with lots of stop-and-go traffic, so taking that into account, the automatic just makes more sense. And yes, I am getting old — but thankfully there is no age limit when it comes to driving a ‘Vette.

I have to admit, driving around in a Corvette makes you feel younger.

While I thought about listing a few of the many, many new features on the 2014 Stingray, there is just no way I could do it justice in the limited space I have for this column.

I will say the designers and engineers have done a phenomenal job and in order to truly appreciate this remarkable machine, you have to visit your local Chevy dealer and see it in person. Be prepared to fall in love at first sight.  

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is that good. For those in the market for a sports car, this is the one to buy.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2-seat performance coupe or convertible  

Rear-wheel drive

PRICE RANGE:

$52,000-$75,000

ENGINE:

6.2L V8 (455 hp/460 T)

TRANSMISSION:

7-speed manual with Active Rev Match

6-speed auto w/paddle shifters

EPA: 17 mpg city, 29 mpg highway

FUEL: Premium unleaded recommended but not required

STABILITY CONTROL:

StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control

BRAKES: ABS/Brembo performance brakes

LENGTH: 176.9 inches

WHEELBASE: 106.7 in.

WIDTH: 73.9 inches

HEIGHT: 48.66 inches

WEIGHT: 3298-3362 lbs.

TRACK: 63/61.7

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 18.5 gallons

TIRES: 18/19-, or 19/20-in. (front/rear)

0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds.