Six decades and as many model generations of perennial sales success have already assured the Chevrolet Corvette of its place in the automotive hall of fame.

The Corvette’s heritage rivals that of any European sports car. The first generation was launched in 1953, but it was the second that was dubbed Sting Ray – despite the mako shark being among the inspirations for its appearance.

The name fell out of use from the mid-1970s, but the Corvette has continued as a staple of Chevrolet’s line-up. The C6 Corvette was sold for eight years. It included the ZR1 — the sole recipient of the LS9, the most powerful engine ever used in a GM production car.

The US’s favourite sports car is a legend in its own back yard, but huge popularity at home has held this car back by allowing it to dodge the advancing standards of Europe’s sporting best. General Motors simply never needed the export volume.

Until now, that is, and the arrival of this seventh-generation Corvette. With this car, GM has broadened its horizons and ambitions, which is why this ‘C7’ Corvette has got a lightweight aluminium frame, carbonfibre panels, direct fuel injection and a great deal more. It’s also why it has been renamed ‘Stingray’ – an honour bestowed on only two of its predecessors.

This version has been through an intensive retuning program for Europe, and it comes with a much richer standard specification on our side of the pond than it does in the US. Despite the European withdrawal of the Chevrolet brand, it’s a car us Brits can still buy – albeit in left-hand-drive form. So should we?

Top 5 Supercars

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Chevrolet range

Driven this week

  • 2016 Hyundai I30 1.4 Turbo prototype
    First Drive
    30 August 2016
    We get early access to the third-generation Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo. Does this prototype show promise?
  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply