2008 corvette road test

2008 corvette road test DEFAULT

Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Z51

List price

$45,

Price as tested

$57,

Curb weight

est lb

Engine, transmission

liter V-8; 6-sp manual

Horsepower, bhp @ rpm

@

0–60 mph

sec

0– mph

sec

0– ft (1/4 mile)

sec @ mph

Top speed

est mph

Braking, 60–0 mph

ft

Braking, 80–0 mph

ft

Lateral accel (ft skidpad)

g

Speed thru ft slalom

mph

Our mileage, EPA city/highway

est , est 16/26 mpg

We've finally gotten our hands on the Corvette. You know, the one with the new LS3 small-block V Compared with its predecessor, the liter LS2, there is an increase of bore by in., which results in an additional liter of displacement. Compression is down to from But even so, the engine is claimed to have improved efficiency while still making more power. These gains are due mostly to technology derived from the Z06's bhp LS7, including its fuel injectors, as well as other improvements like better-flowing heads feeding larger valves that are actuated by offset rockers.

Basic output is bhp at rpm with lb.-ft. of torque at rpm. When combined with the optional $ performance exhaust system, power is bumped to bhp, and torque to lb.-ft. The system is similar to that on the Z06, but uses in. exhaust tubing instead of in.

At full wail the Corvette sounds plenty healthy, yet has a better acoustical clarity than the model. The foam-rubber skull cap on top of the intake and performance exhaust likely has something to do with this, and the refinement is much appreciated.

A lot of attention has been paid to finishing details, something Corvettes have lacked. Aside from the engine, there are two other major improvements — the shift linkage and the steering. Both are tighter and more precise. The 6-speed automatic also has been tweaked for quicker shifting. A new option is a final drive; it is standard on the $ Z51 performance package.

Externally, the only visible difference from the Corvette is a set of optional twin-spoke wheels that mimic those from the Z Most changes are under the hood or inside the cockpit; all models now come standard with XM radio, OnStar and auto-dimming mirrors with a compass.

The $45, base price is up just slightly from last year. But a fully optioned Corvette that includes the 4LT Premium Equipment package raises the price by about $ over the previous ultimate option package. This includes a much-appreciated interior treatment featuring finely stitched two-tone leather on the dash, door panels and seats. It doesn't feel just like a Corvette anymore, it feels like something special. Future Z06 buyers will be glad to know the Premium Equipment package is available to them as well.

It's clear even from the passenger seat that there is more oomph ahead of the firewall, but it's more subtle than it used to be. Everything is sensed through the steering wheel. I hate to say it, but it feels — heaven help us — Porsche-like. In fact, a Porsche with better balance and power delivery.

There is only a slight difference in performance from the LS2 Corvette, as the two cars are still extremely similar. If tested under equal conditions, I'd expect the '08 car to be a tenth or two quicker in the quarter mile, while skidpad and slalom numbers wouldn't likely show a measurable difference.

The Corvette has been getting better with age, and clearly the LS3 is helping it get better, faster.

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From a list of 22 new and notable features on the Corvette, item 12 caught our eye: improved steering feel.

That phrase was more significant to us than the biggest news on the list of changes—that the Vette's pushrod V-8 has been enlarged to liters and now makes horsepower ( with an optional exhaust system), up from an even The reason we were more interested in item 12 is that for years we've regarded the Vette's steering feel as unsatisfactory.

It's an annoying trait. Although a Corvette can be driven at ludicrously high speeds around a racetrack—an '07 Vette outran an Audi R8 and Porsche Turbo in our second-annual Lightning Lap runoff at Virginia International Raceway [August ]—it can make even experienced drivers nervous on a challenging public road. The Porsche , for instance, may not be as quick on the track as a Vette, but it's far more satisfying because it imparts the same level of confidence that one gets from driving a Mazda Miata.

Our hope was that, with the "improved steering feel," the Vette would now be as user-friendly as it is fast. To help discover if this were the case, we brought along a model for comparison.

The new steering system is mechanically similar to the old car's variable-assist rack-and-pinion arrangement. The ratio remains the same, but according to Chevrolet engineers, the rack is manufactured with tighter tolerances and roller-element bearings that replace bushings to give less compliance and, ergo, more precision. The variable assist was recalibrated for a more natural buildup of steering forces.

We drove the old car first and immediately were reminded of the numb steering we'd noticed before. The effort is light at parking-lot speeds but then abruptly gets heavier with no apparent benefit as the speed rises. When driving through a turn at moderate speeds, the steering is heavy enough to give the impression that the car is working hard, when in fact it's not.

The new car's steering effort increases in a more natural way. It's generally lighter but, at the same time, feels less artificial, like there's less friction in the system. The Vette no longer has to be muscled through turns; it now glides along with far less drama.

Most of the curvy roads near our offices have broken pavement and are bumpy—this is Michigan, after all, a place where blacktop is beaten up by the weather and a shrinking state budget. These bumps, especially when they're in the middle of a turn, still present a problem for the Vette. The car will skip sideways, which makes drivers understandably nervous.

Even so, we found ourselves driving through the turns 5 to 10 mph faster in the new car than in the old. Because both cars had the same unchanged-for Z51 suspension package that includes larger brakes, shorter gear ratios, and a stiffer suspension, we didn't expect such a dramatic difference. We even rechecked the pressures in the Goodyear tires to make sure they hadn't been overinflated, which would make the new Vette jumpy over the bumps, but they were all at the factory-recommended setting of 30 psi. Clearly, then, the changes have made a huge improvement in the Chevy's handling.

So, does the Vette feel as good as a ? That's hard to say, because we didn't have a Porsche on hand for comparison, but the gap has certainly narrowed. With the Vette's increased power, the is, however, now even more likely to be staring at the American car's taillights. The new Vette runs from 0 to 60 mph in seconds and clears the quarter-mile in seconds at mph, compared with seconds and seconds at mph for the We tested three of the last-gen Vette coupes, and the quickest did the mph run in seconds and the quarter in seconds at mph.

Since there were no changes to the brakes or tires, the skidpad and braking measurements remain about the same as the old car's. The Vette requires feet to stop from 70 mph and grips the pavement to the tune of g, both stellar results.

Potential buyers should definitely pop for the $ optional exhaust system. This freer-flowing system uncorks another six horsepower, thanks to a vacuum-operated butterfly valve that opens at rpm, but more important, it gives the Corvette the raucous roar it deserves.

We also recommend the new, optional upgraded interior. It unfortunately comes wrapped in the 4LT group that includes side airbags, a power-telescoping steering wheel, a Bose stereo and CD changer, and heated seats, so it's pricey at $ But the stitched leather that covers the dash and door panels gives the interior a much more expensive look than the base model's.

Other changes for '08 include new wheels--the only exterior difference--and a standard auxiliary input for the radio. The best things about the Corvette remain, however: It's comfortable, with its surprisingly compliant ride, excellent automatic climate control, and light clutch effort that's now complemented by a shifter that glides relatively easily into gear. (The engineers redesigned the shift linkage for lighter, more direct throws.) The Vette is one of those sports cars that you wouldn't hesitate to drive daily. It even has a roomy cubic-foot rear cargo area.

And it remains an outstanding performance bargain; the base price has risen only $ to $45, Now, however, the Corvette has improved tactile feel to go with its outrageous performance.

DAVE VANDERWERP

Ruthless performance notwithstanding, I usually tire of the Corvette quickly, instead yearning for a more polished implement like a Porsche Cayman. Sure, I enjoyed the urgent, chest-resonating roar from the new exhaust, but the gains in refinement--a remarkably upscale stitched-leather dash; a friendlier, lighter-effort shifter; and dramatically improved steering feel--are far more significant. The next step is to ditch the flimsy seats. Start by benchmarking a $30, Mitsubishi Evo's.

PATTI MAKI

It's a great summer day when the sky is blue, the humidity is low, and I get to drive '07 and '08 Vettes back-to-back on winding country roads. This '08 is an evolutionary step forward from the ' Pretty hard to feel the increased horsepower and torque; both cars move on the back roads. The '08's steering, however, feels measurably better: No twitchiness, and it's light but highly communicative. I'm not sure we need 36 more horsepower, but who could argue?

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First Test: Chevrolet Corvette

Powernomics A rising horsepower tide lifts all ships.

You've probably noticed that a horsepower war has been raging throughout the automotive spectrum, much to the chagrin of the Greens-we even have horse hybrids ferpetesake. Naturally, the fighting is most intense among flagship sports cars, but thanks to a Reaganesque trickle-down effect (powernomics?), lesser models benefit, too. For example, after the engineers finished shoveling horsepower and torque into the engine room of the Corvette Z06 last year, there was enough left over to boost the lesser Corvettes, which will doubtless lead to further energizing of some other GM performance models as well.

We've analyzed the new LS3's myriad engine refinements in previous stories, so let's get right to the task of quantifying these improvements by turning the new Corvette loose on an empty stretch of Milford Proving Ground tarmac.

Our test car was a fully broken-in ( miles) early-production Z51 coupe, equipped with the NPP dual-mode performance exhaust, which reduces back-pressure by a whopping 80 percent at high engine speeds, adding six peak horsepower and four pound-feet, bringing the totals to and , respectively. Naturally, we opted for the revised Tremec six-speed manual transaxle creating what is now the second best performance Corvette. Gearing in the Z51 is nine to 14 percent shorter in the first four gears relative to the base manual, and while the base six-speed paddle-shifted automatic matches the Z51's gearing in first, the other gears are 12 to 25 percent taller. Automatic buyers can opt for a slightly shorter axle ratio ( versus ), which doesn't have much effect on the performance numbers, but improves in-gear passing acceleration. GM reckons the automatics should trail our Z51 stick by about a tenth to 60 mph, two-tenths and two mph in the quarter. We wheedled and cajoled for a chance to verify these projections using our photo car, but because it was so green ( miles), GM said no dice.

Relatively short gearing makes it easy to generate smoky burnouts for the camera, but commands judicious throttle input to achieve the optimal hole-shot. For the first few runs, a rev clutch drop generated minimal wheelspin with the tires hooked up at around revs. Because the LS3 is churning out (only) around horses at that point, better results are obtained by launching the LS3 with another revs () and feathering the throttle to hook up at more like rpm, when thoroughbreds are pulling hard. That approach paid off with a blistering second dash to 60 mph en route to a second, mph quarter mile. Those figures line up almost perfectly with those of our best C5-generation Z No surprise, really-that car made, ahem, "only" horsepower and pound-feet of torque.

It's worth noting that the gentler launch technique is easier on the tires, doesn't leave big streaks on the pavement, and adds only two to three tenths, so it may be worth utilizing against less threatening opponents at the local dragstrip. Oh, and bracket-racers, take note: Seven quarter-mile runs using different launch techniques spanned just second and mph. This is due in no small part to refinements in the gearbox that facilitate smooth quick shifts every time (balky upshifts scuttled many an accel run in earlier C6s).

In the handling department, we managed to circulate the Black Lake's foot-diameter circle at about 40 mph with no drama or stability-control intervention, generating a respectable average of g. Similarly, there's not much to report in the braking department-our foot stop from 60 mph slots nicely within the statistical noise of all other non-Z06 gen-6 Corvettes. Swapping to a non-run-flat tire with a bit more sidewall compliance and more aggressive tread compound would likely drive that number up above the magic g. That's probably the first and certainly the easiest modification an enthusiast with robust cell-phone service should consider making.

This recommendation is strengthened for owners of base Corvettes, which get slightly less-aggressive Eagle F1s. In driving our yellow car for photography, the tires generated enough squeal at relatively modest speeds in one nicely paved curve to draw out a housewife, two blocks away, hands on hips.

Our photomobile was equipped with the F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension ($), which is definitely the best cake-and-eat-it choice for folks who envision using their Corvette as a daily driver. It soaks up the rough stuff in "Tour" mode with more compliance than the base suspension, while closely approximating the Z51's in "sport."

Hold the frills, and you can duplicate the performance of our Z51 for $48, or splurge on a loaded example like our photo car for $61,or wait another year for the horse Blue Devil/Stingray to raise the stakes again. Maybe then we'll see horse Impalas and horsepower Aveos.

Chevrolet Corvette Z51
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD
Engine type 90 V-8 alum block/heads
Valvetrain OHV 2 valves/cyl
Displacement cu in/cc
Compression ratio
Power (SAE net) hp @ rpm*
Torque (SAE net) lb-ft @ rpm*
Redline rpm
Weight to power lb/hp
Transmission 6-speed manual
Axle/final-drive ratios /
Suspension, front; rear Control arms, transverse leaf spring, anti-roll bar; control arms, transverse leaf spring, anti-roll bar
Steering ratio
Turns lock-to-lock
Brakes, f;r in vented, drilled, disc; in vented, drilled disc, ABS
Wheels, f;r x 18 in; x 19 in, cast aluminum
Tires, f;r /40R18 (88Y); /35R19 (90Y) Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase in
Track, f/r / in
Length x width x height x x in
Turning circle ft
Curb weight lb
Weight dist, f/r 52/48%
Seating capacity 2
Headroom, f/r in
Legroom, f/r in
Shoulder room, f/r in
Cargo volume cu ft
TEST DATA
Acceleration to mph
sec
Passing, mph sec
Quarter mile sec @ mph
Braking, mph ft
Lateral acceleration g (avg)
Top-gear revs @ 60 mph rpm
CONSUMER INFO
Base price $45,
Price as tested $56,**
Stability/traction control Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36, miles
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/, miles
Roadside assistance 5 yrs/, miles
Fuel capacity gal
EPA city/hwy econ 16/26 mpg
CO2 emissions lb/mile
Recommended fuel Unleaded regular
*SAE Certified, w/performance exhaust
**Z51 manual test car, auto photo car: $61,
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Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette is the great American sports car. It's thrilling to drive, with breathtaking acceleration performance and excellent grip for hard braking and high-speed cornering.

Value isn't the first thing that comes to mind when talk turns to the Chevrolet Corvette, but the Corvette is one of the best bangs for the buck when it comes to high performance. For the price of a midsize luxury sedan, the Corvette delivers supercar performance. It's easy to drive on a daily basis, and maintenance costs are not exotic.

brings an all-new V8 engine for the Corvette Coupe and Convertible. The new LS3 V8 is larger, at liters versus the previous liter LS2 engine. Output is now horsepower, an increase of An optional dual-mode exhaust system raises horsepower to

Indeed, the Corvette can lap a racing circuit nearly as quickly as the previous-generation Z06, a legendary car. The new LS3 engine rumbles wonderfully, and the acceleration it produces is intoxicating.

We love the standard Coupe, with either the manual or Paddle Shift automatic. It quickly infuses a driver with confidence. Its brakes are fantastic. And, it's blazingly fast. The six-speed automatic transmission works great and lives up to the advanced technology in the rest of the car; it can be shifted manually with levers on the steering column.

And the convertible is plain wonderful. Drop the top on a nice day, pop in your favorite CD, and you might have what psychologists call a peak experience, a moment where you revel in being alive. It's a fantastic feeling, and at those moments the Corvette more than justifies its price. The aural sounds of the burbling V8, the body-colored trim that surrounds the cabin, the feel of power beneath, it's automotive heaven.

The Corvette can be a reasonably comfortable daily driver in most locales, for at least three of the four seasons. The latest-generation Corvette is not a crude car, and its performance does not exact a painful toll on driver or passenger. It gets an EPA-rated 26 mpg Highway, better than most SUVs.

The Corvette Z06 is a true supercar for a price that's merely expensive, as opposed to insanely expensive. The Z06 gets the hp LS7 V8, a lightweight chassis, and upgraded brakes. If any $70, car can be called a bargain, this is the one, at least in terms of raw performance. The Corvette Z06 accelerates faster, grips better and stops shorter than European sports cars that cost twice as much. And we find it easier to drive than a Viper. It takes an expensive machine to compete with a Z

For , Chevrolet Corvette gets more standard features, including OnStar tele-aid service, XM Satellite Radio, an auxiliary audio input jack, and auto-dimming mirrors. A more luxurious leather package has recently been added as well.

Model Lineup

The Chevrolet Corvette is available as a coupe or convertible, with either a manual or automatic transmission. The Z06 model is available only as a fixed-roof coupe.

The Corvette coupe ($45,) and convertible ($53,) are powered by a liter V8 with horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed Paddle Shift automatic ($1,) is optional. An optional dual-mode exhaust system ($1,) raises horsepower to

The Corvette coupe features a one-piece removable roof panel in body color (standard) or transparent plastic ($). The dual-roof option ($1,) includes both. The convertible comes standard with a manually operated soft top; a power soft top is part of the 3LT option package ($5,) and has a heated glass window in back.

Standard features for the Corvette include leather seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control with a pollen filter, power everything (including seats), cruise control, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry and starting, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack, XM satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, alarm, fog lights, xenon headlights, OnStar telematics, and P/40ZR18 front and P/35ZR19 rear run-flat tires on alloy wheels. The Convertible adds sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and side bolsters. The sport seats are included with Preferred Equipment Group 2LT ($1,) for the coupe, which also adds six-way adjustments for the passenger seat, side airbags, a rear cargo net and luggage shade.

Two suspension options are offered for both coupe and convertible. The Z51 Performance Handling Package ($1,) is designed for track events, while Magnetic Selective Ride Control ($1,) automatically switches from extra-firm to more comfortable touring settings with electronically controlled variable damping.

Preferred Equipment Group 3LT ($4,) includes a head-up display, heated seats with position memory, a premium Bose stereo with 6-disc CD changer, redundant steering wheel controls, a power telescoping steering column, universal garage door opener, and rearview mirror with compass. Preferred Equipment Group 4LT includes 3LT and adds custom leather upholstery on the top of the instrument panel, upper door panels, and console cover, as well as extra armrest padding, crossed flags seat embroidery and a special console trim plate.

Options include DVD navigation ($1,), which includes the Bose audio and voice recognition; chromed aluminum wheels ($1,); polished aluminum wheels ($1,); and dark gray painted wheels ($). Customers can also opt to take delivery of their cars at the Corvette Museum ($). The event is broadcast on the internet and customers receive a plaque, special door badges, and a one year membership to the museum.

The Corvette Z06 coupe ($70,) comes with a liter V8 producing horsepower, with dry-sump lubrication and coolers for the power steering pump, gearbox and rear differential. Beyond the engine, the Z06 package includes a host of high-performance components, starting with hydro-formed aluminum frame rails (rather than the hydro-formed steel rails used in the standard Corvette). The Z06 hardtop is fixed in place. Its brakes are upgraded, its tires are huge (P/35ZR18 fronts and P/30ZR19 rears), and it's offered only with the six-speed manual transmission. The head-up display comes standard.

Two option packages are available for Z The 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($3,) has side airbags; power telescoping steering column; steering wheel audio controls; heated seats; memory for the seats, mirrors and steering wheel; the Bose audio system; universal garage door opener; cargo net; and cargo cover. The 3LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($6,) has the 2LZ equipment plus the 4LT package items. Polished aluminum wheels are available ($1,).

Safety features that come standard on all models include dual-stage front airbag

Walkaround

The C6 (or sixth-generation) Corvette is now in its fourth year of production. The Chevrolet Corvettes look the same as the s, in spite of their bigger engines.

The Corvette is low and sleek. From some angles it's almost pretty, and it shows a bit of Italian flair. Throughout the car, functional elements dictate design and the result is a forward motion that implies performance.

The lines of the bulging hood, the shape of the fenders, and the cat's eye headlights all point forward to a subtle beaklike shape. A pair of fog lights flank a wide air intake below.

Vents behind the front tires let hot air out of the engine compartment. The sculpted fenders, sharp creases that sweep dramatically up to the planed rear deck, call to mind race cars as well as jet fighters. At the back, four round taillights recall Corvette's past and make the car look like an F taking off in full afterburner mode. On the functional side, the optics of the reverse lights magnifies the light they throw out to help when backing up in this beast. To move weight from the front of the Corvette, the transmission is mounted behind the seats and connected to the differential, rather than being attached directly behind the engine.

In the Z06, this quest for front-rear balance extends to the weight of the battery, which is relocated in the rear cargo area.

The Z06 is distinguished from other Corvettes by lots of subtle appearance tweaks, starting with the roof. It's fixed rather than removable, adding an extra element of structural stiffness for track driving. You'll never see a transparent roof panel on a Z

In front, the Z06 has a wider, lower grille and a separate, unique air scoop above the bumper to shove more intake air under the hood. Its fenders are wider front and rear to cover massively wide tires and rims (the rear wheels are fully 12 inches wide or two inches wider than those on the standard Vette). In back, brake scoops are located in front of the rear wheels, the Z06 spoiler is slightly more prominent, and its exhaust outlets are wider, too (four inches in diameter at the tips).

Several Z06 body and chassis changes are not visible. The frame is made entirely of hydro-formed aluminum (the standard Vettes have steel rails), with a magnesium engine cradle, and its fenders are formed from ultra-light carbon fiber. As a result, and despite a much heavier engine and drivetrain, the Z06 weighs 50 pounds less than a standard Corvette coupe.

Interior Features

The Corvette cabin features premium soft surfaces, nice grain in the materials and elegant tailoring. The dashboard is finished in a soft material that feels rich to the touch. Real metal accents are used, but they don't generate glare. The electronics displays serve the driver without getting in the way.

The steering wheel is relatively small, measuring just inches in diameter. It feels good in the hands, and it affords a good view of the instruments.

The seats are comfortable and fairly easy to adjust, though moving the manually operated backrest forward is a problem because your weight is invariably resting on it when you want to adjust it. Sitting in the Corvette evokes that feeling of sitting deep down in a massive machine. There's plenty of headroom and the windshield doesn't seem too close to the driver's face. Hefty side bolstering on the optional sport seats, even more so with those in the Z06, makes it more difficult to slide in, but the bolsters squeeze around the thighs and torso and hold the driver like Velcro.

For , the Corvette is available with a special two-tone leather package that adds leather upholstery to the top of the instrument panel, upper door panels, and console cover. The effect is a more elegant, higher end look than the Corvette has had in the past.

The instruments are big analog gauges, easy to read at a glance. The Z06 gets a unique cluster with more gauges. The Corvette is, thankfully, devoid of a lot of digital readouts. One exception is the head-up display, which projects speed, rpm and even g-forces onto the windshield, a handy and entertaining feature. The upgrade Bose stereo system includes redundant controls on the steering wheel hub for most functions.

Cubby storage is decent. The glovebox is roomy, and in the coupe, there is cubic feet of storage space under the glass behind the rear seats. That's more than the trunk space in a sedan, with plenty of room for golf bags. You need to be careful when loading to avoid scratching the bodywork, however, and the liftover height is high; this is not a sedan or everyday hatchback.

There's no need to take the key out of your pocket to unlock the Corvette or start its engine. Simply walk up and pull the door handle. With the keyless start feature, sensors detect your key and unlock the door. Climb in, buckle up, and press the starter button. We're not sold on the benefits of keyless starting, but it can be convenient.

The convertible's five-layer fabric top is available in four colors, and it offers power operation. The power top operates with a single-button control and completes its cycle in 18 seconds. An easy-to-operate manual top is standard.

The convertible looks good with the top up, and it looks terrific with the top down, with body-color trim that gives it the racy appearance of an open-cockpit Le Mans prototype.

The convertible gives up some cargo capacity. It offers 11 cubic feet of storage with the top up, which isn't bad for a roadster, and cubic feet with the top down.

Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Corvette is a lot of fun to drive in any iteration. The LS3 V8 engine sounds great, and its low, throaty roar is accompanied by thrilling acceleration. Stand on the gas and even the automatic will chirp the rear tires when it shifts into second.

The LS3 V8 has been updated for from last year's LS2. It now displaces liters ( cubic inches) and generates horsepower and pound-feet of torque. To put this in perspective, that's 25 hp more than the previous-generation Z06 engine.

The Corvette can accelerate from mph in seconds and cover the standing quarter-mile in seconds. That's quicker than a Porsche Carrera or Jaguar XK8 and comparable to a Ferrari F There's lots of torque at all engine speeds, and throttle response is even more willing for Stand on the gas and the Vette goes. The Corvette can lap a racing circuit nearly as quickly as the old Z06, and it boasts a top speed of mph. We haven't experienced mph, but on a tight racing circuit we found the current Corvette much easier to drive than older models. Today's Corvette is easier to drive hard in the turns, braking hard, then powering out under hard acceleration.

The Corvette is happy cruising around, as well. It gets an EPA-rated 16/26 mpg City/Highway with the manual, 15/25 mpg with the automatic.

The six-speed automatic and six-speed manual are each appealing in their own right, so choosing between them comes down to priorities and personal preference. We're here to tell you the manual is a viable option as a daily driver. It shifts easily and the clutch is easy to operate smoothly. For fuel economy purposes, Chevrolet includes a mechanism that forces you to shift from first to fourth gear when accelerating slowly. We find this annoying, but adjusted to it. This fuel-economy strategy can be avoided by revving higher and waiting longer to shift. Fifth and sixth gears are both overdrives, again to improve fuel efficiency. Shifting through the gears is a lot of fun and it's easy to brake and downshift using the heel-and-toe method when approaching a corner (actually by braking with the ball of the foot and blipping the throttle with the right side of the foot). In short, it's a modern, easy-to-operate manual; we'd own one.

The automatic is best for commuting in stop-and-go traffic, and it gives up little to the manual in performance. The Paddle Shift automatic offers manual shifting via steering-wheel levers and an electronic controller with more computing power than the typical PC had 10 years ago. The relatively close ratios offer good performance and smoothness by allowing the engine to run at optimal rpm more often. First gear has a high ratio, delivering impressive acceleration off the line. Yet both fifth and sixth are overdrive gears, allowing quiet cruising and good highway mileage. If ever a sporting car were suited for an automatic transmission, it's the Corvette, with its big, torquey V8. The automatic does not sap all the fun out of driving the way automatics do in small sports cars with small engines. It's responsive to the driver's intent, shifting hard and fast when you're getting with the program, but shifting smooth and soft when cruising.

In the handling department, the Corvette is agile and easy to toss around, benefits of its light weight, trim proportions and refined suspension. The coupe weighs a trim 3, pounds. Three suspensions are available.

We liked the standard suspension and would not hesitate to order a Corvette so equipped. Ride quality of the C6 is firm but quite pleasant, not harsh. It offers great handling, even on a racing circuit. There's almost no body lean when cornering hard. In short, the cheapest, most basic Corvette is a great car.

The Z51 package makes the Corvette even more fun on a race track. Z51 is a substantial upgrade that includes special brakes, shocks, springs, anti-r

Summary

Chevrolet Corvette is easy to live with, easy to drive and more fun than a Sony PlayStation 3. The ultra-high-performance Z06 model pushes the envelope for off-the-shelf production cars to limits hard-core enthusiast drivers wouldn't have imagined a decade ago. For everyday driving, our choice is for one of the standard models, though we'd lie awake at night deciding between coupe or convertible, manual or automatic, before we even got to the whole color dilemma.

NewCarTestDrive.com editor Mitch McCullough filed this report from Los Angeles; with Jeff Vettraino in Detroit, and Kirk Bell in Chicago.

Model Line Overview
Model lineup:Chevrolet Corvette coupe ($45,); Convertible ($53,); Z06 coupe ($70,)
Engines:hp liter ohv V8; hp liter ohv V8
Transmissions:6-speed manual; 6-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard):dual-stage front airbags; child-seat lower anchor system; ABS, all-speed traction control with vehicle stability enhancement (electronic stability control)
Safety equipment (optional):side-impact airbags
Basic warranty:3 years/36, miles
Assembled in:Bowling Green, Kentucky
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSPR):Chevrolet Corvette coupe ($45,)
Standard equipment:dual zone automatic climate control with pollen filter; AM/FM/CD with auto-volume control and seven speakers; auxiliary input jack; XM satellite radio; electric rear window defogger; auto-dimming rearview mirror; cruise control; power programmable door locks with lockout protection; power windows; remote keyless entry and starting; dual 6-way power adjustable bucket seats with leather surfaces; manual tilt steering column; leather-wrapped steering wheel; fog lamps; bi-xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps with auto control; push-button hatch release with power pull-down; body-color one-piece removable roof panel; intermittent wipers; carpeted floor mats; OnStar telematics; P/40ZR18 front and P/35ZR19 rear run-flat tires on alloy wheels
Options as tested (MSPR):Z51 Performance Package ($1,) includes larger cross-drilled brake rotors, performance-tuned suspension with Goodyear F1 SC run-flat tires and performance gear ratios; Preferred Equipment Group 3LT ($4,) includes dual side-impact airbags, rear area cargo convenience net, luggage shade, heated sport bucket seats with perforated leather, adjustable lumbar and side bolsters and position memory, power telescopic steering column, head-up display, Homelink universal garage door opener, compass, driver-side auto-dimming exterior rearview mirror, premium Bose audio with six CD in-dash changer; polished aluminum wheels ($1,); special paint ($)
Destination charge:$
Gas guzzler tax:N/A
Price as tested (MSPR):$
Layout:rear-wheel drive
Engine:liter ohv V8
Horsepower (lb.-ft @ rpm): @
Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm): @
Transmission:6-speed manual
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:16/26 mpg
Wheelbase: in.
Length/width/height:// in.
Track, f/r:/ in.
Turning circle:39 ft.
Seating Capacity:2
Head/hip/leg room, f:// in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:N/A
Cargo volume: cu. ft.
Payload:N/A
Towing capacity:N/A
Suspension, f:independent, double-wishbone with traverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber
Suspension, r:independent, double-wishbone with transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber
Ground clearance:N/A
Curb weigth: lbs.
Tires:P/40ZR18 front, P/35ZR19 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 SC run-flat
Brakes, f/r:drilled disc/drilled disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: gal.
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSPR) effective as of October 30, Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable. Manufacturer Info Sources: - www.chevrolet.com
Sours: https://www.newcartestdrive.com/reviews/chevrolet-corvette/

Test 2008 corvette road

The Chevrolet Corvette is America&#;s undisputed high performance icon, and the main reason for that is under the hood, where for decades pushrod V8 engines have pumped out the kind of serious horsepower and torque that the &#;Vette faithful demand. That powerful tradition continues for with a new LS3 small block, and it has our resident Corvette fans chomping at the bit.

If you&#;re a fan of traditional American horsepower, you know the saying &#;there&#;s no substitute for cubic inches,&#; and that obviously guided Chevrolet designers as they developed the LS3 small block V8 that powers the updated Corvette.

Now measuring a big liters, or cubic inches for traditionalists, the LS3 punches out horsepower and pound-feet of torque. That&#;s a jump of 30 horses and 24 pound-feet over the previous liter engine. Add on the Z06 inspired dual-mode exhaust, and the new engine delivers an even rosier horsepower.

With its stronger big-bore alloy block, high flow heads, more sophisticated overhead-valve train, and acoustically-tuned composite intake manifold, the LS3 offers pushrod purity, with just enough modern engineering to keep it competitive.

Transmissions are a 6-speed manual, or our car&#;s 6-speed automatic with manual paddle shifters. Both trannys have been tweaked to deliver more positive shifts, and the automatic can now be mated to an optional rear axle as part of the Z51 package.

The rack-and-pinion power steering also gets a boost, with new internals, a stiffer intermediate shaft, and recalibrated controller. Run flat performance tires shod inch front and inch rear alloy wheels available in split and solid spoke designs.

All of which comes together when you punch the pedal, as our Corvette Convertible jumps to 60 in seconds. That&#;s three tenths quicker than the &#;05 liter manual we tested. The quarter-mile time is also lower, ending in seconds at miles-per-hour.

As expected, the LS3 &#;Vette leaps off the line, delivering huge torque from idle to redline. New hardware and software for the paddle shifters paid off with quicker and sharper gear changes, though some of our drivers didn&#;t care for the push-for-up and pull-for-down shift pattern.

But few shifts were needed as we pounded around the curves of Georgia&#;s Roebling Road Raceway. The LS3 engine delivers tremendous flexibility, pulling hard from any point in the power band, and displaying quick but refined throttle response.

The Corvette&#;s suspension combo of double wishbones and transverse-mounted composite leaf springs is unchanged for , and it continues to deliver the fine balance and world class sports car handling that the Corvette is known for.

With no top and over 3, pounds behind it, the Convertible&#;s front end did seem to exhibit a bit more push in corners than the slightly lighter coupe.  Now, that&#;s without the Z51 upgrade, but with GM&#;s latest driver adjustable Magnetic Ride Control shock damping system.

So equipped, our Corvette delivered tons of grip and plentiful feedback from both suspension and steering, keeping driver confidence high and making direction changes fuss free.

The Magnetic Ride Control package also adds larger cross-drilled brake rotors which easily haul the &#;Vette down from triple digit speeds. Stops from a more sane 60, average a short feet, with the same level of confidence and feel.

Out on the street, Magnetic Ride Control makes the Corvette almost pothole friendly, and at saner street speeds, a Corvette automatic will also register government fuel economy ratings of 15 city/25 highway on premium grade gas. That&#;s better highway fuel economy than a V6 Nissan Z.

All for a price that is still something of a bargain where world-class sports cars are concerned. $46, for the Coupe, and $55, for the convertible. Of course, options can push that to grand or more.

But even the base price includes all the Corvette&#;s attributes you expect, including our convertible a smooth operating power soft top that hides completely out of sight.

Our car included the new two-tone leather on the dash, doors, and heated seats. Plus, power telescoping steering column, keyless entry and start, OnStar, DVD navigation, Bose premium audio with XM satellite radio, and dual zone automatic climate controls.

Of course for our resident Corvette fans, the only equipment that really matters is the LS3 V8. An engine that easily lives up to the heritage of all its Chevy small block pushrod predecessors.

The new LS3 ensures that the Chevrolet Corvette will continue as America&#;s favorite high performance icon, and one of the finest sports cars anywhere.

Vital Statistics

Engine: Liter Ls3 V8

Horsepower:

Torque: Lb Feet

MPH: Seconds

1/4 Mile: Seconds @ MPH

MPH: Feet

EPA: 15 MPG City/ 25 MPG Highway

Sours: https://www.motorweek.org/reviews/road_tests/_chevrolet_corvette
The Great White! 2008 C6 Corvette Review!

Introduction

The Corvette is the great American sports car. It's thrilling to drive, with breathtaking acceleration performance and excellent grip for hard braking and high-speed cornering. 

Value isn't the first thing that comes to mind when talk turns to the Chevrolet Corvette, but the Corvette is one of the best bangs for the buck when it comes to high performance. For the price of a midsize luxury sedan, the Corvette delivers supercar performance. It's easy to drive on a daily basis, and maintenance costs are not exotic. 

brings an all-new V8 engine for the Corvette Coupe and Convertible. The new LS3 V8 is larger, at liters versus the previous liter LS2 engine. Output is now horsepower, an increase of  An optional dual-mode exhaust system raises horsepower to  

Indeed, the Corvette can lap a racing circuit nearly as quickly as the previous-generation Z06, a legendary car. The new LS3 engine rumbles wonderfully, and the acceleration it produces is intoxicating. 

We love the standard Coupe, with either the manual or Paddle Shift automatic. It quickly infuses a driver with confidence. Its brakes are fantastic. And, it's blazingly fast. The six-speed automatic transmission works great and lives up to the advanced technology in the rest of the car; it can be shifted manually with levers on the steering column. 

And the convertible is plain wonderful. Drop the top on a nice day, pop in your favorite CD, and you might have what psychologists call a peak experience, a moment where you revel in being alive. It's a fantastic feeling, and at those moments the Corvette more than justifies its price. The aural sounds of the burbling V8, the body-colored trim that surrounds the cabin, the feel of power beneath, it's automotive heaven. 

The Corvette can be a reasonably comfortable daily driver in most locales, for at least three of the four seasons. The latest-generation Corvette is not a crude car, and its performance does not exact a painful toll on driver or passenger. It gets an EPA-rated 26 mpg Highway, better than most SUVs. 

The Corvette Z06 is a true supercar for a price that's merely expensive, as opposed to insanely expensive. The Z06 gets the hp LS7 V8, a lightweight chassis, and upgraded brakes. If any $70, car can be called a bargain, this is the one, at least in terms of raw performance. The Corvette Z06 accelerates faster, grips better and stops shorter than European sports cars that cost twice as much. And we find it easier to drive than a Viper. It takes an expensive machine to compete with a Z 

For , Chevrolet Corvette gets more standard features, including OnStar tele-aid service, XM Satellite Radio, an auxiliary audio input jack, and auto-dimming mirrors. A more luxurious leather package has recently been added as well. 

Lineup

The Chevrolet Corvette is available as a coupe or convertible, with either a manual or automatic transmission. The Z06 model is available only as a fixed-roof coupe. 

The Corvette coupe ($45,) and convertible ($53,) are powered by a liter V8 with horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed Paddle Shift automatic ($1,) is optional. An optional dual-mode exhaust system ($1,) raises horsepower to  

The Corvette coupe features a one-piece removable roof panel in body color (standard) or transparent plastic ($). The dual-roof option ($1,) includes both. The convertible comes standard with a manually operated soft top; a power soft top is part of the 3LT option package ($5,) and has a heated glass window in back. 

Standard features for the Corvette include leather seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control with a pollen filter, power everything (including seats), cruise control, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry and starting, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack, XM satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, alarm, fog lights, xenon headlights, OnStar telematics, and P/40ZR18 front and P/35ZR19 rear run-flat tires on alloy wheels. The Convertible adds sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and side bolsters. The sport seats are included with Preferred Equipment Group 2LT ($1,) for the coupe, which also adds six-way adjustments for the passenger seat, side airbags, a rear cargo net and luggage shade. 

Two suspension options are offered for both coupe and convertible. The Z51 Performance Handling Package ($1,) is designed for track events, while Magnetic Selective Ride Control ($1,) automatically switches from extra-firm to more comfortable touring settings with electronically controlled variable damping. 

Preferred Equipment Group 3LT ($4,) includes a head-up display, heated seats with position memory, a premium Bose stereo with 6-disc CD changer, redundant steering wheel controls, a power telescoping steering column, universal garage door opener, and rearview mirror with compass. Preferred Equipment Group 4LT includes 3LT and adds custom leather upholstery on the top of the instrument panel, upper door panels, and console cover, as well as extra armrest padding, crossed flags seat embroidery and a special console trim plate. 

Options include DVD navigation ($1,), which includes the Bose audio and voice recognition; chromed aluminum wheels ($1,); polished aluminum wheels ($1,); and dark gray painted wheels ($). Customers can also opt to take delivery of their cars at the Corvette Museum ($). The event is broadcast on the internet and customers receive a plaque, special door badges, and a one year membership to the museum. 

The Corvette Z06 coupe ($70,) comes with a liter V8 producing horsepower, with dry-sump lubrication and coolers for the power steering pump, gearbox and rear differential. Beyond the engine, the Z06 package includes a host of high-performance components, starting with hydro-formed aluminum frame rails (rather than the hydro-formed steel rails used in the standard Corvette). The Z06 hardtop is fixed in place. Its brakes are upgraded, its tires are huge (P/35ZR18 fronts and P/30ZR19 rears), and it's offered only with the six-speed manual transmission. The head-up display comes standard. 

Two option packages are available for Z The 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($3,) has side airbags; power telescoping steering column; steering wheel audio controls; heated seats; memory for the seats, mirrors and steering wheel; the Bose audio system; universal garage door opener; cargo net; and cargo cover. The 3LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($6,) has the 2LZ equipment plus the 4LT package items. Polished aluminum wheels are available ($1,). 

Safety features that come standard on all models include dual-stage front airbag. 

Sours: https://www.autoblog.com/buy/Chevrolet-Corvette/expert-review/

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