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Delightful (and devilish) dozen: what to drive when styling and performance are paramount

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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Base price range: $54,995-$83,995

Corvette underwent a sea-change redesign for model-year 2014, kicking off its eighth generation with a virtually new aluminum structure, a radically all-new body, a higher-grade interior, and hotter-than-ever performance. Chevrolet even brought back the Stingray name from the 1970s. Choice is big part of the rear-wheel-drive two-seater’s appeal. The 2015 range begins with the Coupe 1LT model starting at $54,995 and tops-out with Z06 3LZ Convertible priced from $83,995. Between the two are no less than 16 different Corvette configurations in a range from pure sport to surprising luxury. Base versions have the 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 with 455-horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Z06 editions get an all-new, supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 with 650 horses 650 pound-feet. Transmission choices are a seven-speed manual or, replacing a six-speed automatic for model-year 2015, an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. LT1 Vettes do 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds with the manual and 3.7 with the automatic. The Z06, the most powerful production car GM has produced, does it in 3.2 with manual and 2.9 with the automatic. All Stingrays look the part with functional air ducts piercing their fiberglass skin and a jet-fighter attitude to their proportions and low, wide stance. Handling is racer-like and this car reasserts its rightful place at the top of the big-bang-for-not-so-big-bucks heap.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]