ROAD TEST EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I said this on my last Corvette drive, but damn, this car is good. This one is $70K, but you could easily knock it down to $65,000 or so. For that you get 455 hp, 460 lb-ft and a power-to-weight ratio that rivals many supercars. And it’s just a blast to drive.

The suede-covered, seven-speed manual is easy and smooth to row. The throws aren’t super short, but I had no trouble banging through them quickly. Clutch weight is a little light, and takes some getting used to, but the catch point is nice and small. The stock brakes are great, and pedal travel is short -- by the time I was an inch in, I had already scrubbed a good amount of speed. The pedals are close enough for good heel-toe action.

The rest of the cabin is fine. I had a tough time finding a good seating position for some reason. I didn’t get enough lower back support. Everything is adjustable, including the bolsters, so I don’t understand why. Side-to-side motion was kept in check, though. I think the upgraded competition seats might be better. The armrests are in a comfortable spot, the radio is reachable and the top is easy to pop. Three levers unlock the targa, and then it’s just a matter of picking it up and getting it into the trunk. It was a little unwieldy, and I’d be concerned if an elderly person was handling my painted roof, but I was able to slip it into the trunk without too much pain. Love a targa, don’t like a convertible.

Power is monstrous from the LT1. It just builds and builds and builds until it's time to shift. It’s fast without even getting near the redline. I think I only maxed out the revs once during my night in the car, and that was enough to remind me what this car is capable of in competition. But it’s nearly as good on the street. It’s somehow stiff without beating up the driver at all. I was avoiding potholes, as I always do, but you probably wouldn’t even need to. That magnetic ride control is must, must have. Steering is a little light, even though it makes things easier at slow speeds, but still direct. It does tighten and quicken up once you start moving. I’ve never track-tested one of these, but I’d love to.

I don’t like the C7 look as much as I liked the C6. But each one I get in brings me around a little bit. There’s just something about that front end that I still don’t love. Maybe it’s a little too busy, maybe it’s too pointy. I don’t know. Great car, great value; if you’re looking for a supercar, you have to test one. You might just save yourself $150,000.

The Corvette Stingray backs its performance capability with more than 450 hp and an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city driving and 29 mpg on the highway with the seven-speed manual transmission.PHOTO BY CHEVROLET

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Young Mr. Lingeman mentions the Stingray’s price in the second sentence. Yes, indeed, the car represents a lot of bang for the buck. So did the last Corvette, the C6. I’d be willing to bet that Chevrolet officials are getting tired of the bang-for-the-buck-cliché; they’d prefer the car gets mentioned as just a great sports car, period, price independent.

So is it? I’d say if not, it’s damned close. The Corvette accelerates like a rocket (duh), has razor-sharp steering, zero body roll, and looks damned fine. That’s not the best part about it, though. I’d argue the best part is how easy it is to milk all the performance. The controls are effortless, the gearbox is delightful around town with a smooth consistent clutch, and the ride quality is fine for a car with this much performance. The car begs to be driven hard, but doesn’t punish you for doing so. I credit the rock-solid chassis for a lot of it, allowing Corvette engineers to tune the suspension as they saw fit. Well done.

This was my first Apple Car Play experience. You control it via the touchscreen; I suppose there’s probably voice activation, too, but I didn’t try that. It’s easy and intuitive: plug in the phone and the Car Play button pops up on the screen, press that and what looks like your phone screen appears, and off you go, able to pick music, maps, whatever. It works well. Whether it’s actually necessary, I need more time with it to determine that. For now, I’d say if automakers start letting Car Play trickle down to less expensive cars, I can see it becoming the norm.

Note I wrote the above paragraph without using the words "connectivity" or “infotainment.” You’re welcome. 

The Corvette Stingray backs its performance capability with more than 450 hp and an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city driving and 29 mpg on the highway with the seven-speed manual transmission.PHOTO BY CHEVROLET

Options: 2LT package including memory package, power seat adjusters, luggage shade, power heated outside mirrors, auto-dimming rearview, heated and ventilated seats, seat badge, universal home remote, premium audio, theft deterrent system, head-up display, XM radio, curb view cameras ($4,455); magnetic ride control ($1,795); performance data recorder with navigation ($1,795); Laguna blue paint ($995); suede microfiber seats ($395)

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