We’ve been impressed by the fuel economy of the Chevrolet Corvette for many years, if not decades, for as odd as that sounds. But with the engine in a double overdrive sixth gear, the V-8 under its hood would lope along just over idle at most legal highway speeds, with a resultant observed mpg in the high to mid twenties.
Well, they’ve gone and outdone themselves. The new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has a new official EPA-standards highway fuel economy rating of 17 city and 29 highway. With the all-new, seven-speed manual transmission, the actual fuel economy rating combines the default “Tour” mode, at 28 mpg highway, with a driver-selectable “Eco” mode, which comes in at 30 mpg highway, to average 29 mpg. It’s “Active Fuel Management,” which disables four cylinders during light engine loads, that gives the new Corvette the 11 percent increase in fuel economy over last year.
Active Fuel Management is active in all drive modes for Corvette Stingrays with with the six-speed automatic, at least until the driver turns on the manual-shift mode by using the steering-wheel paddles. However Chevrolet hasn’t finalized fuel economy number for the 2014 Corvette Stingray with the six-speed automatic.
Chevrolet claims this makes the 455-horsepower Corvette Stingray “the most fuel efficient sports car on the market,” citing, the Jaguar F-Type S with 495 horsepower and 23 mpg highway and the Audi R8 V10 making 510 hp but rated at only 19 mpg highway.
But hold on. Even Chevrolet admits that some sports cars do better: “Sports cars that deliver more than 29 mpg highway based on EPA estimates typically deliver significantly less engine output. For example, the Porsche Cayman offers 30 mpg and 275 hp while the BMW Z4 sDrive28 delivers 34 mpg and 241 hp.”
However, the Scion FR-S is rated at 30 mpg highway, but the Mazda Miata is rated at a mere 28 mpg highway.
Efficiency measured by EPA mpg per horsepower, the Corvette Stingray definitely wins hands down, however. And that’s darned impressive, no matter how you look at it. We’ll let you know how we do when we test it.