2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Empowers Women to Embrace the Sports Car Life

There's nothing like the thrill of this classic American sports car – and a V8 engine that delivers 495 horsepower – maybe other than the empowerment it delivers, leaving you feeling like anything is possible.

My Daughter And Me In The Corvette. Photo: Sara Lacey
My Daughter and Me in the Corvette. Photo: Sara Lacey

And it’ll look great on you, too.

Exotic looks, incredible power, and great entry price make the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray a fabulous choice in a sports car. If you’re new to driving a powerful car, it is great. If you’ve been driving cars that are powerful, it is great. Much of the flexibility the Corvette possesses is due to its drive modes that allow the driver to select how aggressively the car behaves.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about how the Corvette Stingray will make you feel. Which is, in a word, empowered. To look at the Corvette and know you belong in such a sexy car is one thing, and to know you can drive it just makes your heart race. The Corvette is sharp and angular, it is eye catching in every way.

Related: 2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray: Evenhanded Style and Power for the Secret Enthusiast in Us All

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

Don’t let the Technical Details Intimidate You

Let’s do a quick overview of the Corvette Stingray. The Stingray 1LT starts at a surprising $64,500. Surprising because the car looks like it should cost a whole lot more, outside and in. All trims come standard with the 6.2l V8 engine and 8-speed transmission. This engine produces 495 horsepower and will go from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. The Stingray has a top speed of 195 miles per hour. But don’t let this intimidate you if you’re new to driving a sports car. It also gets an estimated 19 miles per gallon. That might intimidate your wallet. But still, I beg you to hear me out.

Related: The New Corvette C8: A Dream Car 67 Years in the Making

How Fun To See The Engine In Its Compartment And Not All Covered Up. Photo: Sara Lacey

How fun to see the engine in its compartment and not all covered up. Photo: Sara Lacey

My test car was a 2LT that started at $69,200. It had the Z51 performance package that added performance brakes, tires, a rear spoiler, performance exhaust and more. It added $6345 to the price. There were some gorgeous bucket seats that added $1495 to the price, an adjustable height feature that also upped the price by another $2260. A few more items like tan seat belts, red brake calipers, and black exhaust tips and my test Stingray came to $83,965.

The Engine Is Right Behind The Glass! Photo: Sara Lacey

The engine is right behind the glass! Photo: Sara Lacey

An important piece of the engineering of the Corvette is that it has what’s called a mid-engine placement. The engine is not in the front of the car, but it’s not all the way in the back. Instead, it’s in front of the rear axles, which means that it lives right behind the driver and passenger seats. This creates a more stable car despite the rear-wheel drive, with better traction to all the wheels. Pair this with active stability control and traction control and the Stingray just sticks to the road. This helps new drivers feel confident adjusting to the power, and helps seasoned drivers feel comfortable pushing the car.

It'S Such A Beautiful Car! Photo: Sara Lacey

It’s such a beautiful car! Photo: Sara Lacey

Sometimes, Like now, Looks are Everything

The Corvette Stingray is wide and angular. No part of the car looks neglected in the design process and you will walk around it smiling at every angle. While the Corvette is a sports car, it has supercar looks. And you will enjoy just peeking out your window at the car all day long, every day. And the 1LT trim looks amazing, so you don’t have to spring for all kinds of accessories and features to make it look beautiful.

Related: Want a Car That’ll Make Your Toes Curl? Welcome to the World of Supercars

The Front End Of The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

The front end of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

The front end of the Corvette Stingray is reminiscent of its namesake, the nose of the car has a nice curve on either side and comes to a point in the center. I’d like to mention here that I didn’t worry about dinging it on curbs because it had a “Front Lift” system with memory that would lift the car up a couple inches to keep it out of harm’s way. What’s more, it will store up to 1,000 GPS locations where this system needs to be employed, and operate automatically.

The sides and back stay mostly angled off, highlighted by black trim pieces, air vents, and in the case of my test car, exhaust tips. The clear trunk hatch opens directly to the engine which is exhilarating and terrifying. At the very least, it will inspire respect for the car, but perhaps it will also inspire curiosity for its owner. I especially liked the Stingray logo on the trunk that had a soft-close feature.

The Stingray Logo On The Trunk Is So Cool! Photo: Sara Lacey

The Stingray logo on the trunk is so cool! Photo: Sara Lacey

The Corvette Stingray’s Drive Modes Hold the Key to the Driving Experience

The Corvette’s supercar looks are a large part of why you will feel so cool behind the wheel. But the treasure is that when you start driving the car, you will have a ball regardless of your driving knowledge. Keeping the Stingray in Touring mode will ease you in to things, and you can stay there for the duration of the ownership of the Corvette. It responds beautifully in Touring mode, and you can use paddle shifters to feel more control and involvement in the drive experience. The Stingray will also advise when to shift. The performance exhaust sounded amazing, and the engine location right behind the passenger compartment (and visible from the cockpit) looked so badass, anyone even just sitting in the car will feel like a champion driver.

Digital Instrument Cluster In The Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

Digital instrument cluster in the Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

Want to ramp things up? Put the Stingray into Sport mode and experience different tuning and steering. The car sounds more alive too. There is MyMode, where you can personalize your settings. The Stingray also has Track Mode, which is for use on tracks only, people. You can go deep into some performance rabbit holes here, and you can even record track experiences and times.

Track Mode Screen. Photo: Sara Lacey

Track Mode screen. Photo: Sara Lacey

But if you never get that far, that’s okay too. Because driving the car is so fun regardless of the mode. And if you need it, the Stingray has Weather Mode to manage slippery surfaces.

The Corvette Stingray Without The Roof On. The Panel Was Easy For Me To Remove On My Own. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Corvette Stingray without the roof on. The panel was easy for me to remove on my own. Photo: Sara Lacey

If you Just Want to Drive and be Happy, the Stingray Shines There, Too

My test car came with a removable hard-top panel that really just made my day, every day. Even on a long drive on a Saturday with rain starting to come down, I was so joyful. The panel is easy to remove, I did it without assistance, and you can stash them in the trunk. This works nicely as there is a frunk that will carry some of your items too. Which is helpful because the in-cabin storage is sparse. Like, enough for a wallet or small clutch in the center console. 

The Frunk. Photo: Sara Lacey

The frunk. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Stingray isn’t so track-snobby to deny the driver and passenger each a cup of coffee. There were pockets in the doors that could also house a wallet and some smaller items. But everything was easily in reach, and in view. I loved that the Stingray fit me so nicely. The interior is accessible and comfortable for me (at 5’ 5” tall).

The Cockpit Of The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

The cockpit of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Sara Lacey

It did have a cool wireless charging pad that sat behind the center console, between the two seats. It was a vertical charger, so flat space was saved by housing your device that way.

A Vertical Wireless Phone Charger Makes The Most Of A Small Space. Photo: Rich Lacey

A vertical wireless phone charger makes the most of a small space. Photo: Rich Lacey

The gear selector and drive mode selector were all in easy reach. And here is the cool part. The climate controls and the seat heat controls ran down a vertical strip next to the control center, in between the drive mode selector and the passenger seat. The strip was tilted toward the driver, so I got the feeling of being in a cockpit. It was very driver oriented. I felt catered to. I loved all the attention coming my way.

The Climate Control Strip Was A Unique Use Of Space, But A Little Trying Sometimes Because The Buttons Reflected Light. Photo: Sara Lacey

The climate control strip was a unique use of space, but a little trying sometimes because the buttons reflected light. Photo: Sara Lacey

A Few Frustrations

That said, my husband commented that he felt like he was traveling in a sidecar. The only controls he could easily adjust were the air vents, and the window. I sat in the passenger space and agree. If I were riding there most of the time, I may feel neglected. The high belt line and low seats make you feel surrounded and encased, but the wide center console makes the driver and passenger feel far away from each other and in their own bubble.

The Passenger Seat Can Make A Person Feel Uninvolved. Photo: Sara Lacey

The passenger seat can make a person feel uninvolved. Photo: Sara Lacey

Also, the strip and all its buttons are shiny and black, so any light hitting them makes it almost impossible to see the icons and know which button is which.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Wins My Heart

I wholeheartedly enjoyed every minute with the Stingray. I admired the power and incredible performance. I tried my best to learn all the technology. I adored its surprising flexibility and good-naturedness. I loved that it fit me, and could fit a sports car budget. I loved that as the driver, it gave me all its attention. And who wouldn’t want a car like that around all the time?

Disclosure: Chevrolet provided the Corvette Stingray for me to test. All impressions are my own.

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Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey