2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 VIR

In fact, the 2014 Z51 nips at the heels of the last 2012 Corvette Z06 we tested, and it even keeps the 2013 Corvette ZR1 we recently tested in sight, too. The Z06 reached 60 mph just three tenths of a second sooner, and ran the quarter four-tenths and 7 mph quicker. The mighty ZR1 shaved another tenth from that 0–60 time, matched the quarter-mile time, and achieved 2 mph more in the quarter. Allow us to state the obvious: If the regular Vette can match Chevy’s claims, we’re positively giddy for what the next Z06 or ZR1 will be capable of.

Chevrolet also says it eked out a 2:51.78 lap time around Virginia International Raceway’s 4.1-mile Grand Course configuration. We conduct our annual Lightning Lap performance-car lap-time test at the same circuit using the same Grand Course configuration. We’ve tested several Corvettes at VIR over the years, and compared to those, the new C7 Corvette’s time falls directly between the two C6-generation Corvette ZR1 models’ performances.

Those cars rode on near-racing-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and still-zesty Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires, and were capable of 2:50.7 and 2:51.8 lap times, respectively. For reference, the two ZR1s currently rank as the fifth- and sixth-quickest cars we’ve ever tested there. We suspect that Chevy’s lap time at VIR was aided slightly by plenty of driver practice—our Lightning Lap testers have just three days to set a best time in several cars. Still, it bears repeating: impressive stuff, and once again, we can’t wait to get behind the Vette’s wheel.

By Alexander Stoklosa