2014 Corvette Stingray priced at $51,995, accelerates quickly from there

It will be several months yet before the first 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hits a dealership, but Chevy knows future Corvette Stingray buyers will need some time to pour over the menu. With a base price of $51,995, the new Stingray coupe comes with a $1,400 price increase over the outgoing car — but Chevy can argue it more than makes up for the extra cost in improvements.

The Corvette has traditionally sported a far longer menu of options than other GM models, such as a $5,000 choice for a customized VIN on the 2013 model. And unlike most model changeovers and price increases, the 2014 Vette Stingray features enough radical changes from its eight-year-old predecessor that direct comparisons of pricing become difficult.

The convertible Stingray will start at $56,995, $1,000 more than the outgoing droptop. Base equipment for both models includes the new 6.2-liter, 450-hp V-8, a seven-speed manual and the upgraded interior long sought by Vette fans. The options include the $2,800 Z51 performance package with bigger wheels, brakes and more advanced software controls, a $1,995 carbon-fiber roof, the $1,795 magnetic ride suspension, suede interior bits ($995) and dual exhausts ($1,195) among others. To build a Stingray like the one shown on the wall at the Detroit auto show will cost $73,360 — once again, an increase of about $2,000 over a fully optioned LT4 model, with the highest-priced option the 3LT interior package at $8,005.

By Corvette standards, the new prices look on target with what Vette fans expected, and perhaps even slightly less. By world sports car standards, the Corvette Stingray still seems like a bargain; the Porsche 911 starts at $82,100, and with a few checked boxes quickly passes six figures. For many Vette fans, this will be the green flag to start counting pennies.