Talking Cars: Little red Corvette

Junior Damato

QUESTION: I am interested in buying a new Corvette and undecided if I should wait for the 2014 or buy a leftover 2012 or 2013. I have read that the 2014 will be an all-new car with an upgraded engine. What would you do?

ANSWER: There is no question that the Corvette, like other vehicles, has gone through many changes and upgrades over the years. The more challenging question is what style, engine size and roadster or coupe, manual or automatic. I recently spent a few days in a 2013 427 convertible 60th anniversary addition. Our test car was finished in Arctic White and Diamond Blue interior. The power soft top had two darker blue stripes, as the body had the 60th stripe package. The 427 (seven-liter engine) lives up to its magic number at 505 HP coupled to a six-speed manual. The power comes on just off idle and goes all the way to the red line at just under 7,000 RPM. The dual mode mufflers are very quiet until they open up at 3,000 RPM under acceleration and let you know it.

It seems hard to believe that the next generation C7 can outdo the 2013, but the Corvette team will outdo the C6. There is still the ZO6 and ZR1 that have more to offer in power to weight ratio and the ZR1 at 638 HP. The choice is yours, and the C6 production ends in February. You can save money on the outgoing C6. You also must keep in mind all the aftermarket products both for looks and performance.

QUESTION: There has been a lot of talk at my office about the new Fiat 500C. I remember the old Fiats from many years ago and my memories were not all good. What about the new Fiats?

ANSWER: I have driven a lot of these new Fiats, including the Abarth (the turbo hot rod version). Either the Coupe or Cabriolet, automatic or manual transmission, the Fiat is a fun, quiet car to drive. The one feature that should be in all manual transmission vehicles is the hill hold feature. When stopped on a hill and you step on the clutch and brake, the hill hold keeps the car from rolling back when you take your foot off the brake. This is the similar feature Subaru used many years ago. Other borrowed Chrysler features are the audio controls on the dash side of the steering wheel that a lot of people would not know about. I did like the automatic version as an everyday driver, especially in traffic. The car is very quiet in every aspect. Paint fit and finish were flawless. Entry level pricing starts at $15,500 plus $700 delivery.

Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.