Want to know if a car is genuinely cool? You’ve got to come to Los Angeles. If it makes the cut out here, you’ll see numerous specimens on the style-obsessed streets of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Previous generations of the Chevrolet Corvette, for better or for worse, never really made the cut. It’s especially notable, then, that the current-generation Corvette (introduced for 2014) has quickly become a common sight in the car-snob capital of the country.
The 2016 Corvette’s bold looks make it a conversation piece from coast to coast.
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette doesn’t really move the needle relative to last year’s lineup, which saw the introduction of the eight-speed automatic transmission and the gonzo 650-horsepower Z06. But frankly, it’s hard to imagine this car getting much better. Beyond the L.A.-approved styling, the Corvette boasts supercar-grade performance, cutting-edge features and a sleek, sumptuous cabin that’s finally up to snuff. You can get it as a removable-roof coupe or a soft-top convertible, with a proper seven-speed manual offered alongside the aforementioned automatic in every model. Unlike its predecessors, this ‘Vette has virtually no weaknesses. Calling it a world-class bargain is no longer faint praise; it’s genuinely hard to believe that you can get this much car for what Chevy’s charging.
In terms of rivals, the Corvette competes well against practically every high-end sports car on the planet.For some enthusiasts, the Porsche 911‘s magical car-driver connection can’t be matched, but the fact is that Porsche charges a lot more for less speed. You’ll spend less for the razor-sharp Porsche Cayman and Boxster siblings, but their power deficit is even more pronounced. The BMW M4 might strike your fancy with its practical four-seat interior and impressive performance numbers, but its styling is relatively plain, and its inline-6 engine lacks the visceral clout of a ‘Vette V8. Higher up the food chain, the Dodge Viper and Nissan GT-R, as amazing as they are, can’t touch the Chevy’s impressive refinement and feature set. We could go on, but you get the point. The car snobs of Los Angeles got this one exactly right — sports cars don’t get much cooler than the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. removable roof panel that stows in the trunk, while the convertible has a power soft top that can be operated while the car is moving at speeds up to 30 mph. The Stingray and Stingray Z51 are split into 1LT, 2LT and 3LT sub-trims; the Z06 comes in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ sub-trims.
The Corvette Stingray 1LT starts with 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, heated mirrors, a power-closing trunk, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Cabin technology highlights include OnStar (with a 4G LTE data connection and WiFi hotspot capability), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch color driver information display, an 8-inch central touchscreen with Chevy’s MyLink infotainment interface, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with two USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack, an SD card reader and satellite radio.
The Stingray Z51 1LT adds 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, exterior aero trim, larger front brakes, slotted brake rotors, sportier suspension tuning, revised transmission gear ratios for snappier responses (manual only), an electronic limited-slip differential, a differential cooler, dry-sump oiling for the V8 engine and a dual-mode performance exhaust (optional on non-Z51 Stingrays).
All Stingray 2LT models come with front-view parking cameras, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, a head-up display, a cargo shade (coupe only), interior-color console and armrest trim, heated and ventilated seats with power lumbar and side bolster adjustments, driver memory settings and a 10-speaker Bose sound system with dual subwoofers.
The 3LT models add premium leather upholstery with extended surface coverage, synthetic-suede upper interior trim, an interior-color instrument panel and a navigation system (optional on 1LT and 2LT) that includes the Corvette’s unique Performance Data Recorder.
Neglected for so long, the Corvette’s interior is now chock full of quality materials, cool tech and eye-catching flourishes.
Both the standard and Z51 trims can optionally be equipped with adaptive suspension dampers. On non-Z51 Corvettes, the dampers come bundled with a Z51-style rear spoiler and summer performance tires. On Z51 models, the dampers come with an upgraded traction management system.
The Z06 shares the regular Corvette’s removable roof panel (coupe) and power soft top (convertible). The Z06 1LZ starts with the Stingray Z51 1LT’s standard equipment and adds the supercharged engine, a Z06-specific sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes all around, wider tires, a carbon-fiber hood, a more aggressive aero package (including wider front and rear fenders, expanded cooling vents and a unique front grille and rear fascia) and the head-up display.
The Z06 2LZ gets the 2LT’s upgrades minus the head-up display (already standard), while the Z06 3LZ gets the 3LT’s upgrades.
Z06 options include the Carbon-Flash Painted Ground Effects package and the Visible Carbon-Fiber Ground Effects package, both of which add an enhanced front splitter and rocker panels along with a larger rear spoiler with a fixed “wickerbill” vertical extension at the back. The upgraded front splitter and rocker panels are also included in the Z07 Performance package (albeit with larger end plates for the splitter), which adds an adjustable see-through center section to the rear spoiler (for fine-tuned track performance), special tires, even larger carbon-ceramic brake rotors and the adaptive dampers.
The Z06 C7.R Edition features the Z07 Performance package, yellow calipers, race-inspired exterior graphics, carbon-fiber exterior and interior trim, sport seats and yellow accent stitching.
Sport seats are optional on all other Corvettes, while all coupes can be had with a transparent roof panel. Among numerous other aesthetic upgrades, the coupe’s removable roof panel can be decked out in carbon fiber, while higher trims can be outfitted with two-tone upholstery.