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Original MSRP: $49,045 - $59,045
MPG: 16 City / 26 Hwy
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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Performance

This performance review was written when the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette was new.

With performance capabilities matching those of more expensive exotics, reviewers find that the Corvette is like a bargain-priced Ferrari -- and performs as wonderfully as that sounds. Introduced just last year is the Corvette Grand Sport, which features design and performance cues from the all-powerful Z06.

  • "Trust us: Driving is believing when it comes to this American icon. Even a short stint behind the wheel will revolutionize your thinking. The Corvette is silly fast in any form, it sticks to the road and it's more pleasant as a daily driver than anything this capable has a right to be." -- Edmunds
  • "Performance is outstanding, with excellent acceleration from the big engine, nicely tuned handling, the high-tech magnetic-ride system, and better gas mileage than any of its competitors." -- CNET
  • "What really astounds me is that a car priced at 'only' $56,000 (our test model) is recognized globally, just like the Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. And having driven all of those cars in recent months, I can say that if speed and performance are your goals -- but at least some monetary restraint is in order -- this new Corvette is the car for you." -- Boston Globe
  • "The Verdict: One of the best performance values is now even more enticing." -- Car and Driver

Power and Acceleration

The 2011 Corvette is Ferrari-fast -- with Car and Driver reporting a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds. Equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission, the base Corvette makes 430-horsepower. Meanwhile, the Corvette Grand sport makes 436 horsepower, but only when equipped with an optional two-mode exhaust system. A six-speed paddle shift transmission with automatic mode is optional. Though the EPA has yet to rate the 2011 Corvette’s city/highway fuel economy, the highly-similar 2010 model nets 16/26 mpg when equipped with a manual transmission and 15/25 mpg with an automatic.

  • "No question here: The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette can bring the heat. The base car is extremely fast: the Z06, terrifyingly so." -- Edmunds
  • "This engine is a work of art, and uses big displacement to generate plenty of torque and horsepower." -- CNET
  • "Straight-line acceleration is relentless and on par with that of other 6.2-liter Corvettes we've tested: 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and the quarter-mile in 12.6 at 115 mph. The convertible has an estimated coupe-matching top speed of 185 mph." -- Car and Driver
  • "The manual transmission is generally smooth, but it sometimes has a heavy, notchy feel. The automatic shifts smoothly, but downshifts often require a deep stab of the throttle." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Sure, Vettes always have been fast, but the new one is a real stormer." -- AutoWeek
  • "[T]he best six-speed manual transmission I've driven in a Corvette. ... I'm also a little surprised at how much I liked the manual transmission. In previous years, Chevrolet offered a manual or an automatic for the same price, and the Corvette is one of a handful of sports cars that I preferred with the automatic." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "If you're looking for a Corvette experience without the demands of a manual tranny, check out the easier, though by no means wimpy, automatic version " -- BusinessWeek

Handling and Braking

Test drivers find the Corvette handles marvelously. What's more, its sporty dynamics don't make everyday driving a chore. This is particularly noteworthy considering that other vehicles with similar capabilities are too stiff and harsh to drive anywhere but the track. The newly introduced Grand Sport trim, which is a step above the base Corvette, but below the Z06, features enhanced performance technology -- including wider wheels, revised suspension settings and Z06-sized brakes.

  • "The steering has the right amount of quickness, and the ride is good over most roads. ... Handling and braking are superb. A short trip to the local 7-Eleven even can be fun because it's enjoyable to drive any car that is so responsive to driver commands." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Sports cars that can squirt to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds and have a top track speed of 190 mph are often hard-edged, rough-riding and demanding. Not so this one. The ride, while not as soft as a luxury sedan's, is pleasantly smooth, easily comfortable for everyday commuting or running errands." -- Kansas City Star
  • "Base models with the standard suspension ride surprisingly well, with a solid blend of comfort and firm control. Convertibles have impressively little structural shake and body quiver. Grand Sport is never smooth, but it's never punishing either." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The borrowed Z06 brakes [in the Grand Sport] are good for a stellar 150-foot stop from 70 to 0 mph in this car, and they offer solid pedal feel and good modulation." -- Car and Driver
Review Last Updated: 9/7/11

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