Chevrolet Corvette - An American Icon

455-650 Horsepower. When numbers this large come to mind, normally thoughts are drawn high dollar import cars. America has always had a response to the powerful sports cars imported from around the world. This car is none other than the Chevrolet Corvette.



For example, in 2009, the Ferrari F430 was able to reach a top speed of 198 MPH for its MSRP of $217,318. On the other hand, the Corvette ZR1 was able to reach a top speed of 205 MPH, with a sticker price of less than half of the Ferrari at $106,880. The Corvette was therefore the go to car for those wanting to match speeds with Ferrari’s on a relative budget, which helped cement its status as the best-selling American sports car of all time.


While the ZR1 was able to compete with the world, Chevrolet wanted to bring the Corvette into the future. Enter its 7th generation, complete with some of the best technology the United States has to offer. Compared to the speed machines from Italy, I love how the Corvette is still a relatively blunt instrument, with around 650 horsepower in Z06 trim, no active aerodynamics, and in track mode the heaviest steering you can find this side of a garbage truck. Even with its raw performance, it is a pretty comfortable car, with all of the creature comforts you would expect that had been absent from the previous generation Corvette. It can also sometimes be described as rather practical. It is known to be pretty reliable, is able to get 30 MPG on the highway, and can carry more than enough from the store to keep a small family happy.  


One of the things I love the most about the C7 Corvette is the simplicity to do massive burnouts. Hop in, Traction Control off, 1st gear, dump the clutch and create clouds that could be mistaken from a house fire from far, far away. It may not have the pedigree of a Ferrari, or the scientific precision of a GTR, but at the end of the day when Americans need a response to the speed machines from Europe and Asia, the Corvette will always be the go-to car to respond and defend America’s sports car culture.   

((Special thanks to Billion Chevrolet of Iowa City for providing the beautiful Torch Red Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Grand Sport pictured in this review.)

Bram Williams

Iowa Baja Racing, 200 North Madison Street, Iowa City, IA, 52245