The latest drop in the slow drip of details about the new 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray comes not from the automaker itself, but the U.S. government, which today revealed the mileage ratings for the all-new model with a seven-speed manual. At 17 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, the new Vette spars with the Porsche 911 Carrera for fuel-efficiency superiority among sports cars — figures that seem astonishing given the Vette's 455-hp V-8.
Compared to the manual-stirred 911 Carrera, the new Corvette has two mpg fewer around town and two more in highway driving, for a combined rating of 21 miles per gallon of premium fuel to the 911's 22 mpg. Of course the 911 starts out roughly $30,000 more than the new Vette and escalates quickly into a $100,000 car; according to the FuelEconomy.Gov website, the annual difference in fuel costs between the two is about $100.
Aside from the Porsche 911, no other comparable sports car comes close to the Vette's efficiency score; the Audi R8 gets a thirsty 14 mpg combined, while the Jaguar F-Type V8 S pulls 18 mpg. Credit for the Vette's efficiency goes to a few old tricks — including the maligned skip-shift feature that forces a jump from first to fourth gear in some acceleration — and several new technologies, such as direct injection, an "eco" driving mode and a cylinder shut-off system that leaves only four of the 6.2-liter V-8's cylinders running at highway speeds.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn't release the mileage figure for the six-speed automatic Vette, but given that the new manual model boasts a 23 percent efficiency improvement over the previous generation, there's only one direction the numbers should trend.