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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
2019 CORVETTE DELIVERS PLENTY OF PUNCH

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

Corvette buffs have a choice: go with the 2019 rear-wheel-drive hatchback/convertible that still comes in a 7-speed manual. Or wait for the 2020 mid-engine C8 that will be available only in an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is a tough decision but the way we look at it, there may be some deals in the 2019 car.

Regardless, the 2019 convertible is equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine belting out an incredible 460 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 455 pounds-feet of torque @ 4600 rpm. Saving dollars at the pump is the GM Active Fuel Management system, which deactivates four of the eight cylinders. So, it is not only the most powerful standard Corvette ever but also fuel efficient when you consider the massive 6.2 under the hood (we beat the 15 mpg EPA city estimate by eking out 19; highway EPA is 25). The optional 8-speed auto gear box ensures absolutely seamless shifts. And abundant power enables the sports car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and a ¼ mile is caught up in 1.8 seconds. A drive mode selector, which can be operated via a rotary knob near the shifter, offer tour, weather, eco, track and sport options.

Kudos goes to GM for the gorgeous appearance of the Corvette with the carbon-fiber hood, HID xenon headlights, LED park and turn signals, and dual-element tail lamps. Side rocker extensions and the front splitter are the other exterior highlights. The power convertible top can open and close at up to 30 mph. Yes, this is a speed demon but let us not forget that the cabin styling and filament are top-notch. Relax in the first-rate, rich-looking eight-way power heated bucket leather seats and you will be gazing at two 8-inch driver/infotainment touch screens. To ensure clever use of space in the two-seater, there is a hidden bin behind the center touchscreen. Also, the ride becomes a mobile hub thanks to its OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Apart from design packages, the available Performance Data Recorder with in-car video allows you to record video of the driving experience, on or off track. Other welcome goodies are dual auto a/c, power tilt/telescopic flat-bottomed steering wheel, and keyless open and start.

Some of the standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, active handling with electronic stability control, safety belt pretensioners, limited slip differential, magnetic ride control, rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Displaying astounding agility and response, the stunning Corvette Stingray will stop onlookers in their track. With a muscular-styled appearance, which matches the awesome cabin, albeit tight, this icon will continue to be a huge draw. Also, the upcoming 2020 Corvette, despite some reservations, should gain new well-wishers.

CORVETTE (CONVERTIBLE)

Tires: 285/30ZR19 front; 335/25ZR20 rear
Wheelbase: 106.7 inches
Length: 176.9 inches
Width: 77.4 inches
Height: 48.7 inches
Suspension: short/long arm double wishbone front and rear
Steering: variable-ratio electric power
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
Base price: $70,400   
Price as tested: $84,030
Web site: www.chevrolet.com
   
 CALLING ALL CHEVROLET DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com