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2005 Sexy Car Buyer's Guide

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Review

by Martha Hindes

Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette

The confidence-inspiring newest version of the true American sports car, Corvette, takes track laps and miles of winding blacktop easily in stride. Not surprising considering the attention paid to boosting performance to new refined levels. Six generations is a long family history, so engineers and enthusiasts increasingly use "C6" to define this next generation, rear-drive two-seater for 2005.

Picture a lithe Eva Longoria, black tresses flowing in the wind, gracing the C6 convertible. (The coupe would hide too much of her and other desperate housewives' persona as they seek, perhaps, the abandon of a good hot laps run between trysts.) Hot laps are exactly what the new C6 offers. Report after report leaves a glowing account of its punch under the accelerator, its overall swift move up the speedometer and tach, and its ability to chew up miles of twisted roadway without a burp. Consumers say Chevy got it right (even the still often-maligned interior).

Chevy has recaptured some of the nimble mystique in a sleeker, more undulating form than the earlier C5. Looking for flip lights? You won't find them. The C6 finally dumps the long used pop-open headlamps for exposed, imbedded ones flush with fender surfaces. It's less identifiable at first glance, but looks cleaner and undoubtedly has less drag. Still, its DNA is undeniably Vette with its flattened, ridge crested hood line flowing back through a smoothly sculptured dip before cresting at the high, flat-backed rear. Deeper indentions in the airflow sides look like speed personified even when standing still. Choose the four-speed auto with near perfect Performance Algorithm shifting, or a six-speed short-throw manual and prepare to blast off. (We found it thrilling during an early production track run.)

Despite a dearth of space for stuff, especially with removable hard top stored in the trunk as soft top season approaches, there are loads of goodies befitting a sports car far pricier than the Vette's high $40K to low $50K range. Keyless access with remote start, head-up display, and a DVD based navigation system round out creature comforts. Active handling and speed sensitive magnetic power steering assist boost performance. A 6.0-liter, 400-HP "LS2" V-8 builds 400 lb.-ft of torque for tire-squealing takeoffs. Both standard and Z51 sport package versions have 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels with run-flat tires.

Despite race ready credentials, this Vette has more road manners for everyday driving than previous generations. That surely should please a pampered Longoria on gardener-hunting jaunts down Wisteria Lane.


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