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Location: WAPA Rally 2014, Boyds, Maryland

Having been on sale for over six decades, the Chevrolet Corvette needs no introduction and with 28,909 sales October year-to-date, up 146% versus last year, it continues to be a major player among American muscle aficionados. As its current sales rate indicates, the C7 Corvette, which came out last year, has truly outdone itself and has separated itself from all those that came before it. The newest-generation model has already sold more units in 2014 than the C6 did as far back as 2008, with two sales months remaining this year. There is no better way to see what all the hype is about than to get in the driver’s seat myself though, which is why it was just my luck that I had the opportunity to drive the Stingray Convertible at the WAPA Rally.

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Once in the driver’s seat, it was readily apparent that the sports car’s main priority was to go fast, really fast, while raising hell in the process. The cabin was much like a cockpit of a serious sports car, yet felt quite upscale in the design, layout and execution of the interior, from the premium bucket seats to the materials on the dash and center stack. A digital gauge cluster and projected head up display were also nice touches as they were bright, easily to see and well done, overall. From an exterior viewpoint, the Corvette looks like a genuine supercar fit for a superhero, with aggressive lines, a low stance and a modern design on par with other leading sports cars. As the pinnacle of American muscle, the Corvette is a very well-rounded vehicle as opposed to being merely raw and brutish, with LEDs, a convenient rear vision camera and a 9-speaker Bose® audio system.

To my pleasant surprise, the Corvette that GM brought to the event was equipped with the Z51 Performance package that includes extra goodies such as an electronic limited slip differential, larger brakes and performance gear ratios, but to top it off was the inclusion of the company’s new 7-speed manual transmission. What all that equates to is a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a 29 mpg highway rating, giving the driver best of both worlds with blazing speed as well as fantastic fuel efficiency. The supercar boasts a 6.2L V8 putting out 460 horsepower engine and a relatively scant 3,298 lb curb weight in an aerodynamic package that has a very low 0.32 drag coefficient. All of the adjectives and performance figures can only do some much to depict what the car is like, however, as ultimately no amount of data can truly describe what GM’s newest supercar is like from the driver’s seat.

Since I felt compelled to test the Corvette’s abilities, I launched the car and instantly felt the engine pull while pure physics caused my body to become firmly pressed in my seat. Having visited two amusement parks recently for Halloween, I had many different roller coaster experiences to compare the muscle car with, yet no matter how fast and thrilling the coasters were, they all took a back seat to the exhilaration generated by the Corvette. Despite the unbelievable speed capable of the Corvette, it always feel planted and stable in all conditions, whether on rolling hills or windy roads, but even more amazing is how comfortable the ride is even when driven normally like that of a daily driver.

Having been someone who was previously unfamiliar with how good the new Corvette is, I can attest to its seemingly otherworldly gifts, not only as an attractive, speedy muscle car, but also as a very livable, accommodating machine. Topping it off is the fact that it is a remarkable bargain, arguably being the best value on the market for all that it offers, starting at $54,995 and $59,995 excluding destination for the 2015 coupe and convertible models, respectively. Although I have only driven the new Corvette Stingray one time, I would expect that the feeling one gets when rocketing off in the GM supercar is something that takes very long to fade away, if at all. My eyes have now been opened to the hype and can verify that the 2015 Corvette Stingray is all that and more. For those who have yet to jump on the bandwagon, it’s time to get on the same page lest miss out on what is truly one of the best vehicles on the market.