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2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review

American Revolution

In short: This dream car is alive with muscle, speed and agility.

You might ask what the fuss is all about at Chevrolet with this American (R)evolution campaign? And what can possibly be so new with the bowtie-wearing brand? For one thing, a slew of new models: the SSR roadster truck, the Cobalt “economy” sports car, the Equinox light SUV, the Aveo econobox, and the all new Corvette, also known as C6.

In the case of the benchmark American sports car, it’s a complete evolution. As much as the car has the general looks of its older siblings, underneath the skin, it’s completely new. In fact, there are so many transformations, such as making the car narrower and shorter, that it philosophically challenged the engineers and Corvette aficionados at first, but in the end it works beautifully. With its 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, it will reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and go all the way to 186 mph. In the case of our test model, that translates into acceleration dollars of $12,800 per second to 60 mph; top speed dollars of $290; and only $135 per horsepower — a record in the industry. Even cheaper, a base model runs $43,000. It is not slapped with the gas guzzler tax and actually has a quite usable cargo area. You are not dreaming, and this is not “Memorex,” but quite live.

Many details are actually serious technological innovations. Take the example of the headlamps. No longer will you get pop-up headlamps on the sixth generation Corvette. In an effort to achieve the very low drag coefficient of 0.286 they have integrated a high-intensity discharge 900 lumens xenon/tungsten-halogen low/high beams projector, which justifies an increase in speed from 170 mph to 186 mph in car-meets-airplane aerodynamics. The engine is Corvette’s most powerful yet. Electronics abound, from the door mechanism, no key ignition, and head-up display (all shared with its Cadillac cousin, the XLR), to the suspension and dual zone a/c system, to mention just a few.

Our test model packed in options that raised the base price by nearly $10,000. This meant better seats (leather, heated, power adjustable sport bucket), a memory package, auto dimming mirrors, homelink, better stereo components, DVD navigation, performance tuned brakes, polished aluminum wheels and special paint.

As you sit inside the car, the shapes and lines of the design are accentuated. Whereas the front fenders appear to have more curves, looking in the rearview mirrors, the back now looks very sexy. All of these new attributes are great, since this automobile is largely about chemistry — sort of adrenaline meets testosterone. You will want to make one with the car and the road. The only caveat is that it will require illegal speeds in order to fuse it all together. Solution: head for the track.

On the street you WILL feel the road and the purr of the engine at all times. Give it some gas (a little too much) around a turn and it will want to spin, but the adjustable traction control system keeps things straight. You will catch yourself at 90 mph on the on-ramp in a jiffy. In the city the C6 is rather pleasant, being nimble, fun and practical.

Until a competitor comes along, and considering its price, the new Chevrolet Corvette is (in our book) the supreme American two-seater.

Read a review of the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe,
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
and 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty; 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion protection warranty.

Price as tested: $54,240

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 6.0-liter sequential fuel injection V8

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Safety: driver and front passenger airbags; passenger airbag off switch

Top Speed: 186 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 in 4.2 seconds

Braking: power 4-wheel anti-lock brakes

EPA City: 18 mpg
EPA Highway:
26 mpg

Handling: traction control system; 4-wheel independent suspension; power speed-sensitive rack and pinion steering; limited slip differential; extended mobility tires with tire pressure monitoring system

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated 06/12/09 SV)

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