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