The best cars are often narrowly focused—on cosseting luxury, or ferocious performance, or utter practicality. Set too many goals and it’s easy to arrive at forgettable mediocrity. The
Chevrolet Corvette, however, defies the notion that you can’t please everyone. It’s a sophisticated grand tourer, a hard-edged track rat, an everyday grocery getter with dual trunks. It’s a targa or a convertible, relatively attainable or knocking on the upper cap of our 10Best price limit. Throw on winter tires and it’s completely usable year-round, wherever you live. And although it’s been three years since the mid-engine Corvette hit the streets, it still turns heads. Seeing one is an event, even now.
The Corvette team hasn’t rested on its laurels, either, as evidenced by the spectacular new Z06. That audacious halo car is like nothing else you can buy, at any price, with its daring flat-plane 5.5-liter V-8 shrieking out 670 of the loudest horsepower this side of Circuit de la Sarthe. It’s almost hard to believe that the Z06, a track-focused monster, can tone down its act and behave civilly around town. But it can, smoothly shuffling gears and speaking with its indoor voice until it’s time to unleash hell with one of the more bombastic drive modes.
The same goes for the Stingray, which remains one of the great performance bargains in the world, a spectacular supercar in its own right. There are no duds in the lineup, with the Stingray convertible—traditionally, the boulevard-cruiser Corvette setup—hitting 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and stopping from 70 mph in 147 feet on, get this, all-season tires. Move up to a Stingray coupe with the Z51 package, and 2.8-second blasts to 60 are yours.
The 10Best evaluation process naturally selects for strong flavors, the drives you can’t get out of your mind. And cars like that can also tend to evoke polarized opinions. But the Corvette is a rare machine that seems to generate near-universal acclaim. Critics like us love it for the driving experience and performance. Corvette fans love it because it’s the ultimate realization of their favorite car. People who’ve never had any interest in Corvettes suddenly find that they do now because this one is so different from all that came before. Teenagers see it and give it the index-finger twirl, the universally understood gesture for “light ’em up.”
Traditionally, Corvettes always had a weak spot, be it a cheesy interior or poor build quality. The latest simply don’t have any glaring flaws. But please, throw us the keys, and we’ll be happy to keep looking.
2023 Chevrolet Corvette
490- or 495-hp 6.2-liter V-8, 670-hp 5.5-liter V-8; 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
C/D Test Results (Z06 w/Z07)
60 mph: 2.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.5 sec @ 131 mph Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 189 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 139 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.16 g
EPA Comb/City/Hwy: 14–19/12–16/19–24 mpg
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