The 2014 Corvette Stingray looks like a sure-fire hit.
It’s got knife-edge sharp bodywork, a powerful and efficient new small block V8 engine and a classy interior that looks worthy of the car’s $50,000-plus price tag.
There’s also a gaggle of high-tech goodies that includes twin 8-inch digital displays in the dashboard, an active suspension system and a driver mode selector that adjusts a dozen of the ‘Vette’s systems to fit conditions ranging from wet weather to track racing. The little knob on the center console that controls it promises to be one of the Stingray’s best features.
Unfortunately, the worst one is right next to it.
There, you’ll find a small lever with a “P” on it that activates the electronic parking brake. That’s correct, the seventh generation Corvette doesn’t have a handbrake.
Several car makers, Ferrari and Porsche among them, have already replaced traditional parking brake levers across their lineups with electronic versions in order to create more room on the center console for things like cupholders (the Corvette has two) and to facilitate their automated operation.
Of course, many prospective Corvette owners will appreciate the electronic e-brake's ease of use, but their gain is the loss of competitive drifters, would-be stuntmen and drivers who just want to get a little crazy in an empty parking lot.
At least it still comes with a manual transmission…with seven speeds!
Welcome to the sports car future, where the glass is still pretty full, just of different stuff.