Driven: 2022 Corvette Stingray LT2 Z51 | A super car that’s fun and looks great
CHATTANOOGA, TN — The 2022 Corvette Stingray LT2 continues to be refined and offers incredible performance for the money. For as long as I can remember (and that’s a long time), the Chevrolet Corvette has been referred to as the “poor man’s Ferrari”. Year after year, decade after decade, the Vette has been a solid performing car for the money. It is the de facto “halo car” for Chevrolet. But is it a supercar? That depends on who you ask. It seems as if the term, supercar, is a bit subjective. If you ask some folks, they’ll tell you that a supercar has to be built by hand and incorporate all of the cutting edge in performance and materials used. They’ll say that a supercar needs to be a limited production to have that title. However, with the C8, they cannot make the case of performance – not anymore.
Powering the C8 is perhaps the best naturally aspirated V8 in production – we only know of a few. While the 6.2-liter is not a bespoke engine for Chevrolet it seems to be rather happy sitting in a mid-engine sports car. Chevy has pumped it up to put out 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with an ultra-fast-shifting, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, you can easily nail 0-60 times in 3-seconds or less – with the right tires and road conditions. The combination of having the engine close to the rear wheels and the launch-control system, allows almost anyone to achieve supercar 0-60 times and the quarter-mile.
There’s an EPA fuel-economy rating of 15 around town and up to 27 on the highway. On our extended road test, we did achieve an average of 27 – absolutely incredible fuel economy for a car with this performance. It achieves that highway MPG rating by disabling 4-cylinders at cruising speeds.
Understandably, there were some Corvette fans that still don’t like the idea of a Vette having the engine anywhere but in the front. Since its beginning, the Vette has been a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car. The move to a mid-engine platform, however, has given Chevrolet a solid platform to grow on.
With one look, it’s easy to see why the C8 is closer to the “poor man’s Ferrari” than ever before. It has looks that seem to blend elements of both Ferrari and McLaren, Chevrolet’s design team pulled out all the stops. The bottom line, the 2022 Corvette certainly looks like a supercar. It has all of the design, stance, and road prowess to turn heads. We know, we spent a week with the car and lost count of how many heads turned to stare while we drove it down the road or left it in a parking lot.
If you opt for the Z51 package, you’ll get a rear spoiler, front splitter, performance exhaust, performance suspension, performance cooling system, electronically limited-slip differential, and 245/35ZR19 front tires with 305/30ZR20 tires on the rear.
On the road:
Driving a Corvette Stingray LT2, especially with the Z51 package is a treat for folks who love driving. Even though there’s no manual transmission available, the paddle shifters help you feel its performance. Set to track mode and you’ll hear the exhaust become more lively, singing the sweet song of V8 American muscle. The car stiffens up, the steering becomes more weighted and the magnetic ride suspension becomes far more firm. Using the launch control, there are fewer cars on the road that can keep up, much less beat a C8 off the line. With the winter tires our test car was equipped with, we were hitting 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. This puts the Corvette faster than much of its competition at twice its price. To get significantly faster, you’d have to spend well over $200,000 dollars. The top speed is rated at 198 miles per hour. We didn’t have a track available, so we couldn’t test its top-end.
Take a look inside:
Inside, Chevy once again goes full-stop — well mostly. We love the stitched materials, the use of leather, its comfortable seats, and the audio system. While I’m not normally a huge fan of Bose, the Pro system that is used in the Vette is excellent. You’ll be rewarded with throbbing bass response, very clear midrange frequencies, and smooth highs.
The 8-inch infotainment screen isn’t very big but is adequate. There are several built-in apps and native support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its graphic user interface feels a bit dated and cheap for a car costing $85,000 so we’re hopeful that Chevrolet will make improvements in future models.
An area of disappointment was the lack of a metal accelerator and brake pedal. So many cheaper sports cars include them and they’d surely go a long way to helping the Vette feel a bit more special inside. Also, there’s a bit too much plastic inside. Things like the turn-signal arm, wiper control arm, and other components don’t feel like they belong in Chevy’s flagship car.
Its squared-off steering wheel helps aid grip during aggressive driving and there’s a leather band in the top-middle so you always know, visually, which way is top-center.
Both seats offer superior support for both the driver and passenger, with full lumbar and side bolsters that help hold the occupants in the seat. If you put the car into its normal drive mode, you’ll find it’s a rather pleasant daily driver – as long as you can get in and out of the car, okay. The way the suspension dampens to help ease bumps and how quiet the exhaust gets might even make you forget for a moment that you’re in such a high-performance car.
We love this car:
Is the 2022 Corvette Stingray LT2 Z51 a supercar? That’s debatable amongst car enthusiasts. What is not debatable is that Chevrolet has produced a super car that’s priced in such a way that more people can feel super while driving such an exotic-looking and exotic-performing value.