It wasn’t all that long ago that 30 miles a gallon would be considered a credible number from even a subcompact sedan. Sports cars could barely get into the double-digits. But Chevrolet says the new 2014 Corvette Stingray can deliver up to 30 mpg on the highway in its Eco Mode setting.
According to new numbers approved by the EPA, the seventh-generation, or C7, ‘Vette will average 17 mpg around town and 29 on the open road. That’s an 11% increase over the old Corvette, despite a 6% increase in power.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will churn out 455 horsepower, a figure that jumps to 460 hp when a buyer opts for the new performance package with its dual-mode exhaust.
The 17/29 rating covers the C7 model equipped with a new, 7-speed manual transmission. The EPA estimate, GM notes, reflects an average 28 mpg highway in the default Tour mode, and the driver-selectable, 30 mpg Eco mode.
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The 2014 Corvette also will be offered with a six-speed automatic. EPA ratings for that package — and for the upcoming Corvette Convertible — haven’t been finalized.
“The Corvette Stingray establishes the benchmark for modern performance cars by using technologies to deliver more performance and more miles per gallon,” said Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer for the Corvette. “We expect more and more performance cars will follow Corvette’s example.”
Actually, one might argue that Chevy is following the rest of the industry by adopting a number of technologies for the 6.2-liter LT1 that have already been gaining widespread acceptance across the industry. These include such things as variable valve timing, Direct Injection and Active Fuel Management, a system that disables four of the V-8’s cylinders when power demands are light.
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GM’s press release bills the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette as “the most fuel efficient sports car on the market.” That claims does come with a big asterisk, however.
While it’s significantly better mileage than sports cars in its general horsepower range – such as the 510 hp Audi R8 that gets just 19 mpg on the highway, there are a number of lower-powered models that top the 30 mpg benchmark, including the 275 hp Porsche Cayman and the 241 hp BMW Z4 sDrive28, at 34 mpg.
GM revealed the new C7 at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. It followed with the unveiling of the Chevrolet Corvette Convertible at the Geneva Motor Show. The Coupe will reach showrooms by autumn, with the ragtop to follow before year-end.
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