2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
The Good: Supercar looks. Tons of
power. Fun to drive. Fun to look at. Fun to be looked at in.
The Bad: Shift gate not smooth. Heavy
clutch. Un-comfortable seats for long drives.
Apple QuickTime viewer here.
Video walk around of the Corvette.
When the original Chevrolet
Corvette was introduced in 1953, it was the excitement, power, and drive
that attracted buyers to this American machine. Since then, die hard fans
have turned the Corvette into an icon, something that can never be lost,
something that will likely live on for years to come. The sixth generation
Corvette, nicknamed C6, features dramatic upgrades to a car that remained
unchanged for many years. Even with the much improved materials and
technology, the C6 still remains a Corvette.
sixth-generation represents a comprehensive upgrade to the Corvette," said
Dave Hill, chief engineer of the Corvette and vehicle line executive for GM
Performance Cars. "Our goal is to create a Corvette that does more things
well than any performance car. Weíve thoroughly improved performance and
developed new features and capabilities in many areas, while at the same
time systematically searching out and destroying every imperfection we could
The C6 features a
tight and sleek new body, being five inches shorter than the C5 and one inch
narrower. The lean muscular form gives the Corvette a Ferrari like front
end and side panel, with a distinctly corvette rear end. Super large wheels
in back, a full 19 inches, and smaller 18 inch wheels up front give this car
a more exotic look. The rear end is sculpted nicely being powerful and
lean, with round taillamps and integrated exhaust tips. This C6 offers
exposed Ferrari like headlamps, a first since 1962, with xenon low beams as
The red interior
looks fantastic with the silver exterior on the Corvette. The cockpit style
layout makes you feel like you are driving something special, not just any
ordinary car. Materials, craftsmanship and functionality are greatly
improved. Door trim and upper dash panels are made of leather look material
now, not the foam used in the past model. Small touches of aluminum accents
on the shift knob and door release button are nice but should be around the
center stack as well. The Coupeís removable-roof panel is 15 percent
larger, yet offers the same structural stiffness as the C5ís while weighing
just one pound more. The roof panel comes with standard painted body color,
or is available with optional tinted clear or with a dual-roof package.
The white on black instrument
cluster is clean with controls surrounding the area for heads up display as
well as trip computer and personal vehicle settings. The steering wheel
offers a wide and thick grip along with a nicely displayed large logo in the
center. The stereo controls are simple to understand with a CD changer
built into the unit. XM satellite radio is also built in. Automatic dual
zone climate control is just below the stereo. Seat heater switches lie
just below this area. All buttons feel good to the touch and should be used
in other GM models. The high center armrest joined with the console makes
for a good armrest when changing gears on this manual transmission model.
The driverís door holds buttons for mirror adjustment and dual memory seats
as well as window buttons. We found the window switches to be a bit far
back in their position on the door. The large parking lever was also not
welcome in the cockpit on the passenger side.
The Corvette offers cargo area behind the
two front seats reaching to the rear of the car. The area is raised up so
while it is wide and deep, it is not tall in height. Easy access is
provided through the cabin, as there is no divider, simply a black fabric
curtain. It can be filled up to the rear window should you need the space.
There are also two small box holes at the tail end of the luggage area for
keeping very small items. The rear hatch is electronically latching.
The hood is still
forward-hinged, but itís 15 percent smaller, 35 percent lighter and 40
percent stiffer than the previous Corvette. All body panels are made of
fiberglass to save on weight. A special feature found in the Corvette is
the smart keyless access. Just keep the key fob in your pocket and at the
push of a button the V8 roars to life. Our model also featured the optional
head-up display, which has three modes for track use with G force meter as
well as a daily driving mode with stereo selection in view. A DVD
navigation system is also optional with voice controls.
bolstered nicely but not very comfortable for long journeys. The seats have
inflatable lumbar support and the side cushions can be inflated as well.
However the seat bottom cushion needs to be lengthened for more comfort.
Seat bottom are powered but seat backs are not, making for uncomfortable
adjustments. The drivers seat offers a easy exit feature which can raise
and move back the seat but we would also like it to raise the steering wheel
automatically, which is manually adjustable in its up and down position
new 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 engine offered in the Corvette Coupe and Convertible
produces 400 hp (298 kw), delivering a dramatic increase in acceleration
with excellent efficiency. With base curb weight starting at 3,179 pounds
for the coupe, the new Corvette is significantly lighter than its
predecessor, despite improved structure, larger wheels and tires and greatly
increased interior features. At 0.28 coefficient of drag, the
sixth-generation is the most aerodynamically efficient Corvette ever and has
improved anti-lift characteristics that enable improved high-speed stability
2005 Corvette is capable of a top speed of 186 mph, faster than any
production Corvette in history. The 2005 Corvette reaches zero to 60 in 4.7
seconds. With the optional Z51 Performance Package as found on our test car,
0-60mph acceleration time improves to 4.1 seconds. The 2005 Corvette covers
the quarter-mile in 12.6 seconds at a speed of 114 mph. All this
performance is extremely fun to drive on a daily basis. The growl of the
exhaust is immediately evident. Push the car to full throttle and the
engine rumbles like a steam ship powering you forward.
Tremec six-speed manual gearbox is available with two sets of ratios, one
with more aggressive acceleration characteristics reserved for Corvetteís
Z51 Performance Package that emulates the performance of the C5ís landmark
Z06 model. During our tests the heavy clutch and stiff shifter made this
car difficult to drive. The shift gate is much too short to feel your way
around. Most gears are difficult to enter into as well. We highly
recommend people get the Hydra-Matic 4L65-E automatic transmission, which is
an upgraded version of the C5ís 4L60-E, strengthened and revised to
accommodate the LS2ís 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It includes GMís advanced
Performance Algorithm Shifting, which automatically selects the optimal gear
for a given driving condition, making it a willing accomplice for
performance driving and hard cornering. One thing you can notice
with the manual transmission however is that power is available in all
gears. You can drive slowly even in fifth gear.
Three suspension choices allow drivers to choose the setup that best suits
their driving style Ė Standard, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, and Z51
Performance Package. The optional F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control
suspension features magneto-rheological dampers able to detect road surfaces
and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal
ride and body control. The Z51 offers more aggressive dampers and springs,
larger stabilizer bars, and larger, cross-drilled brake rotors for optimum
track performance capability while still providing a well-controlled and
comfortable ride. Extensive racetrack testing reveals that a 2005 Corvette
equipped with the Z51 suspension almost equals the lap time of a 2004 Z06 Ė
marking a major advance in the overall performance of a Corvette Coupe by
approximating the extreme performance capabilities of the vaunted Z06 at a
Z51 performance package suspension was firm and stable. There is no lateral
movement and no bounce. The ride is not overly hard for daily driving as
well. The suspension and tires do convey a large amount of bumps on the
road, even on the highway and there was a large amount of road noise that we
did want removed. Whether this comes from the hard suspension or from the
large wheels and tires is difficult to ascertain.
Behind the wheel, the frontal view is not very commanding. The large
fenders and long hood makes for a car that does take getting used to. This
Corvette feels like a big sports car, nothing like a Porsche Boxster or 911
but much more like a Mercedes SL. Steering feedback is on the low side.
Our test vehicle had a
standard base price of $43,710. The Preferred Equipment Group at $4,300
adds all the basics that make this car a truly modern car, we would not live
without it. The Z51 performance package is $1,695 adding many performance
features. Onstar is added at a high cost of $695. XM satellite radio adds
$325. This brings the total price to $50,785. Our test car gave a combined
gas mileage of 17.6 much lower than the stated on the window sticker. The
new Corvette C6 retains the style and characteristics of its predecessor,
but greatly improves on materials and craftsmanship. Not only is the C6 a
much better car, but for the price itís also a great bargain compared to
other high performance sports car.