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2005 Chevrolet Corvette Automotive Review

2005 Corvette Road Test Review

Pounce on the pedal of the latest incarnation for Corvette, the souped-up American sports car, and those massive tires lay down Z-rated rubber on the tarmac of a twisty test track.

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Review
This slinky new two-seater -- only the 6th iteration in the 52-year history of Corvette -- charges down the track with the strength of 400 horses.

This slinky new two-seater -- only the sixth iteration in the 52-year history of Corvette -- charges down the track with the strength of 400 horses from a new V8 engine making massive torque to spin the rear wheels.

It pins your shoulders to the bolstered leather bucket and pulls G-forces through your eyeballs in the first-gear dash, ultimately propelling 3245 pounds of a mechanical marvel to the mark of 60 mph in only 4.2 seconds and on to the quarter-mile post in 12.6 seconds at 114 mph.

That's the best zero-to-60 time yet for a stock short-block Corvette, but this one also promises the best potential with top speed climbing close to 190 mph.

Not only is it the quickest production 'Vette yet but a dreamboat to drive around a wiggly course like the demanding tangle of off-camber curves, crinkles and carousels built into the new Lutzburgring track in Milford.

For the past eight years we've admired the handling traits of the previous version, code-named C5 due to the fifth-generation platform, which came out as a 1997 model.

That C5 was the first Corvette to ride on single-piece hydroformed rails stretched from tip to tail, which forged an incredibly firm chassis and set up nimble drive manners.

But the new C6 Corvette (code for the sixth platform) can run circles around the C5. It is lighter, faster, far more agile, and a sensuous new shape to the molded body makes it sexier too.

Cast as a pop-top hatchback coupe or drop-top convertible, the new C6 still looks familiar with such Corvette hallmarks as that rocket nose and bubble-butt rump.

2005 Chevy Corvette Road Test

However, there are design differences, the most obvious being the exposed headlights on a pointed prow -- first overt bulbs on a production 'Vette since 1962.
The fixed lamps -- a xenon high intensity discharge (HID) low-beam projector lens and tungsten-halogen high-beam projector -- are housed behind polycarbonate enclosures on front corners, with parking lights, side-turn markers and daytime running lights (DRL) also encased.

Lamps on the tail are different too -- they're big and red and truly round, with two sets of twin-pipe performance-type exhaust tips in chrome protruding from the center bottom of the bustle.

Unless you park the new C6 next to a C5, you might not detect the dramatic difference in size between these two Corvettes, but designers lopped five inches off the length and pared one inch from the width, despite drawing the wheelbase an inch longer. From a driver's vantage, the abbreviated length seems more reasonable and makes the overall package easier to toss around on a curvy road. And the longer wheelbase enhances the smooth-ride traits while also adding space to the two-seat cockpit.

cockpit with notable upgrades in materials and forms to create a more functional compartment that's stylish and quite comfortable.

A pair of sumptuous glove-tight seats flanks a spine-mounted center console. Each composite seat frame with an aluminum base pares weight from the C5 seat while improving in stiffness and lateral support.

The instrument panel shows round analog gauges rimmed in aluminum rings and arranged in three overlapping pairs with black faces, legible white lettering and bright red needles. The larger tachometer and speedometer stand in the center spot, with the speedometer notched way up there at 200 mph.

It also employs GM's keyless technology. Simply carry the key fob in pocket or purse and the car recognizes you electronically. Driver's door unlocks automatically when you touch the door handle.

To start the engine, step on the brake pedal and depress the Start button, located on the dashboard to the right of the steering column. Turn off the engine by pressing the same switch.

You must set the manual transmission stick in Reverse position before the driver's door unlocks for exit -- and instead of a lever to open the door there's an electronic button to push. Walk away with the key fob in pocket and doors lock automatically -- it's like having a magic genie on tap to lock the doors, and you'll never have to touch a key or fob.

Primary difference between coupe and convertible concerns the treatment of the roof, of course. The hatchback-style coupe has a detachable hard panel - either solid in magnesium or clear but tinted in polycarbonate - that stows in the rear bay.

The convertible has a five-layer fabric lid that tucks below a rigid tonneau topped by twin nacelle blisters trailing behind the seatbacks. It operates manually with ease, although electric power is available for folding the top automatically in 18 seconds.

Each version stocks the same engine, Corvette's new LS2 plant, an overhead-valve V8 cast from aluminum with a displacement of 6.0 liters. The plant delivers big numbers - 400 hp at 6000 rpm and 400 lb-ft at 4400 rpm.

Transmission link is a malleable six-speed manual gearbox by Tremec, which has two sets of gear ratios - the shorter ratios, designed for aggressive acceleration, comes with Corvette's optional Z51 performance suspension package. There is also an optional upgrade to the Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission.

This new Corvette rolls on larger wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 GS extended mobility tires -- 18-inch front P245/40ZR18 and 19-inch rear P285/35ZR19.

The hydroformed-rail platform is lighter but more rigid than for predecessor C5, with stronger disc brakes aboard and a new independent short/long-arm suspension, plus a range of sophisticated chassis control systems available including three different suspension settings -- Standard, Magnetic Selective Ride Control (MSRC) and Z51.

Here's the coolest aspect of the new C6: MSRP for a 2005 Corvette Coupe with the six-speed manual shifter tallies to $43,445, which is more than $1,000 less than the C5 coupe of 2004 with a manual transmission applied.

Description: 2-seat performance sports car
Model options: Corvette Coupe
Corvette Convertible
Wheelbase: 106.0 inches
Overall length: 175.0 inches
Engine size: OHV 6.0-L V8 LS2
Transmission: Manual/6 Tremec T56
Auto/4 Hydra-Matic 4L65-E
Drive: Rear
Braking: Power 4-disc ABS/TCS
Air bags: 2 (front)
+ opt. 2 (side)
+ opt. 4 (side curtain)
Fuel mileage city/hwy: M/6: 19/28 mpg
A/4: 18/25 mpg
Base MSRP: $43,445 Coupe
$51,245 Convertible

For More Information Click: Chevrolet Corvette
For the Chevrolet 2005 Model Guide : Click Here