C7 Stingray drop-top lets in the sunshine, but that sheds light on its strengths as well as its flaws.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard the saying, “Never meet your heroes.” When you idolize someone, they typically stand on top of a pedestal in your mind, seemingly unflawed. But if you were to meet them in real life, they might shatter your pristine image of them by being rude or neurotic or otherwise unpleasant. It’s the same way when it comes to cars. Some people think that if you loved an exotic such as the Lamborghini Countach when you were a kid that you would be much happier in the long run if you never drove it.
For most people, that’s not a problem. Only a few lucky enthusiasts ever get the chance to buy or even experience a car as expensive as the Ferrari 812 Superfast or McLaren Senna. It’s different with the Corvette, though. Droves of people desire it and many of them can actually afford to get it. They can meet their automotive hero and personally discover its true strengths…and weaknesses.
Roadshow host Emme Hall recently got the chance to meet the 2019 Corvette Stingray Convertible 2LT with the Z51Performance Package, which brought the as-tested price to $74,855 and added such goodies as an electronic limited-slip differential, larger front brakes, Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP summer tires, and special suspension hardware.
For the most part, Hall’s encounter with the ‘Vette goes well. Things tend to go that way when you have an open-top sports car with a 6.2-liter V8 up front and rear-wheel drive. Hall praises its composure in corners and the amount of grip the Michelin tires provide. She enjoys the sound of the LT1 firing up so much that she even wants her neighbors to hear it every morning.
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Of course, Hall doesn’t learn all of those wonderful things about the Corvette without finding things that rub her the wrong way. As sonorous as it is first thing in the morning, the exhaust leaves something to be desired at speed. “When you … really get it going, [it] doesn’t really sound that great. I mean, I’ve got the four horns of Jericho back there. Frankly, I expected more.”
The interior also leaves Hall disappointed. Although she likes the driver-centric control layout, she says, “On the whole, the materials in here, kind of sub-par and the quality and the design, it’s just not there.”
One thing that is in the Corvette’s cabin is the shifter for the eight-speed automatic, but that’s not a good thing. Hall considers it “not tuned for sport at all” and too lethargic to take advantage of the LT1’s peak power when it needs to. On the plus side, the paddle-shift auto’s “manual” mode allows her to hold gears as long as she wants to hang onto them.
The Stingray Convertible is not perfect, but then again, no car is once you drive it long enough. It is special, though. As Hall points out, there’s no American car out there that offers the Corvette’s combination of two seats, a convertible top, rear-wheel drive, and V8 power.