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August 2005
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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.  

Download Apple QuickTime viewer here.  Video walk around of the Corvette.  Click Here

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. 

            "The 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 find."

            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 standard equipment. 

            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.

            Seats are 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 only. 

The 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 and confidence.

The 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. 

The 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 remarkable value.

Our 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. 

 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 38,246 43,710
Destination 800 800
1SA  Option Pkg  Dual Side Impact Air Bag Restraint System, Cargo Net, Cargo Cover, Leather Sport Bucket Seats & Dual Power Seat Adjusters. 1,208 1,405
1SB Option Pkg  Includes Head-Up Instrument Display, Garage Door Opener, Memory Pkg, O/S LH & Inside Automatic Day/Night Mirrors, Power Telescoping Steering Wheel, Heated Seats, AM/FM Stereo w/6-Disc CD Changer in Dash w/MP3 & Bose Speakers.
Coupes Include All Models Equipment Plus Option Pkg-1SA.
3,749 4,360
Z51  Models w/o Auto Trans Includes Power Steering, Engine & Transmission Cooling, Stiffer Springs & Stabilizer Bars & Larger Brakes. 1,457 1,695
UE1 Communication System, OnStar 597 695
URB Navigation System/Radio Equipment  Includes Bose Speakers, Voice Recognition, DVD Navigation System w/GPS & LCD Monitor 1,376 1,600
F55 Ride Control, Magnetic Selective 1,457 1,695
CC3 Roof Panel, Removable Translucent 645 750
QX1 Wheels, 5-Spoke Gray Painted Competition 253 295
QG7 Wheels, 5-Spoke Polished Aluminum 1,113 1,295

 

  2005 Chevrolet Corvette
2dr Hatchback (6.0L 8cyl 6M)
2005 BMW M3
2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)
2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6
2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl S/C 5A)
2005 Porsche Boxster
2dr Roadster (2.7L 6cyl 5M)
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
SLK350 2dr Roadster (3.5L 6cyl 6M)
MSRP $43,710 $47,300 $45,170 $43,800 $46,250
Invoice $38,246 $43,225 $41,988 $38,172 $43,013
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 inline 6 V6 flat 6 V6
Base Engine Displacement 6.0 liters 3.2 liters 3.2 liters 2.7 liters 3.5 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
18 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 400 hp @ 6000 rpm 333 hp @ 7900 rpm 330 hp @ 6100 rpm 240 hp @ 6400 rpm 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 400 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 262 ft-lbs. @ 4900 rpm 310 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 199 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm 258 ft-lbs. @ 2400 rpm
Tires P285/35ZR19
run flat
P255/40ZR18
performance
P255/35ZR19
performance
P235/50ZR17
performance
P245/40ZR17
performance
Wheels painted alloy rims
19 x 10.0 in. and 18
alloy rims
18 x 9.0 in.
alloy rims
19 x 9.0 in.
alloy rims
17 x 8.0 in.
alloy rims
17 x 8.5 in.
Xenon Headlights Standard Optional Not Available Optional Optional
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional CD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
Satellite Communications System OnStar - Optional BMW Assist - Optional Not Available Not Available TeleAid
City 18 mpg. 16 mpg. 17 mpg. Being Researched 18 mpg.
Highway 28 mpg. 24 mpg. 24 mpg. Being Researched 25 mpg.
Length 174.6 in. 176.9 in. 159.8 in. 171.6 in. 160.7 in.
Width 72.6 in. 70.1 in. 69.5 in. 70.9 in. 70.4 in.
Height 49 in. 54 in. 51.5 in. 51 in. 51.1 in.
Weight 3179 lbs. 3415 lbs. 3240 lbs. 2855 lbs. 3231 lbs.
Wheel Base 105.7 in. 107.5 in. 94.5 in. 95.1 in. 95.7 in.
Front Headroom 37.8 in. 37.5 in. 36.9 in. Being Researched 37.9 in.
Front Shoulder Room 55.2 in. 54.5 in. 52.7 in. Being Researched 52.2 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 22.4 cu.ft. 9.5 cu.ft. 7.6 cu.ft. 9.5 cu.ft. 9.8 cu.ft.

 

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