Preview - 2005 Chevrolet Corvette

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Thorough tweaking results in Corvette C5 and 11/16ths.

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    BY DANIEL PUND
    February 2004

    Forget about calling the new Corvette the C6. C6 is something you are afflicted with on a rough sea passage.

    Besides, the 2005 Corvette that Chevy unveiled at the Detroit show last month, and which goes on sale in targa and convertible forms late this summer, is hardly the beginning of a new generation, as "C6" would imply. Like the '68 Vette, the 2005 is a profound evolution of the existing car. It's one long stride on the road of continual improvement.

    The Corvette's technical daddy, Dave Hill, says 70 percent of the parts numbers are new. We frequently go through this with manufacturers. If the suspension control arms look exactly the same but carry a different parts number, are they new?

    We'll compromise and say the 2005 Corvette is the C5 and 11/16ths.

    Whatever. As Hill puts it, "The more you look, the more you see."

    Which is good, because when they pulled the drape off a bright red 2005 at GM headquarters, we were, let's say, underwhelmed. Of course we were looking at it in profile where the least amount of difference is immediately noticeable. The basic C5 forms are all represented here: Big butt. Pointy nose. Tapered canopy greenhouse.

    But there's . . . something different here. It looks more purposeful, more potent, and more compact. It's not entirely a trick of styling. The Corvette has shrunk by five inches in length and by an inch in width, measured at its still-ample hips. All that length was taken out of the overhangs: two inches from the front and, mercifully, three off the chunky rump. A strengthened crash structure up front allowed the nose job. Rerouting the exhaust straight out the back and placing the mufflers in an area formerly taken up by a useless spare-tire well (that never carried a spare) allowed designers to chop the rear. The C6's wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than that of the C5. This pushes the wheels to the corners and makes the overall package appear less massive. Those wheels are also larger in diameter by an inch front and rear (18 inches in front; 19 at the rear), which appears to further shrink the body.

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    But it's the nose and tail that are the obvious difference here. The size and shape of the C5's tail was determined more by the wind tunnel than aesthetic considerations, and, well, not everything the wind creates is beautiful. The new tail is still a sharp-edged quasi Kammback, but it tapers a bit more between the trailing edge of the rear wheel and the terminus. Viewed in profile, there's a sort-of S-curve contour that brings some visual interest to the formerly billboard-bland expanse of bum.

    Even at first glance the nose of the new car might seem familiar—but not with any previous Corvette. The clear-lens-covered high-intensity-discharge headlamps and low center grille might remind you of the Ferrari 575M Maranello. If you stare at the snout long enough, you will see many things, as Hill had promised. One of them might be a Dodge Viper. The look might not scream Corvette, but it is handsome. The folks at team Corvette are more than aware of their car's vaguely cultlike following, and ditching the hidden headlamps (the first Vette since 1962 without them) was the source of no small amount of consternation. The new light housings, though, save "some good little amount of weight," allow for the use of HID lamps, and are not "air brakes," as Hill describes the pop-ups.

    Unlike the new Mustang, the Corvette doesn't plagiarize its own past. There's no split rear window as on the '63. No "stinger hood" à la big-block '67s.

    But head designer Tom Peters did add a hint of the 1963-67 Sting Ray front and rear fenders. The sharp-edged, tall fenders defined those mid-years Vettes. Think of the 2005's fenders as a version of the C5's fenders but with a good trouser crease running along the tops and slightly into the door panels. Truth is, we didn't even notice them for a few minutes. No surface of the new car has gone untouched, but none looks completely rethought, either.

    Underneath the plastic body, the look is even more familiar. The structure, which on the C5 was exemplary for its high stiffness at a relatively light weight, remains the same—hydroformed steel side rails, a tall center tunnel, balsa sandwiches for the floors. Likewise, the cast aluminum upper and lower control arms and transverse composite leaf springs are familiar from the C5 and the Cadillac XLR hardtop roadster.

    As ever, three suspension variations will be available. The base, or FE1, is not much different from the outgoing car's, although the company claims higher lateral acceleration limits and better on-center steering feel. All Corvette targas and convertibles will also offer the same optional electronically adjusted magnetic shocks that impressed last year on the 50th-anniversary Vette. The big change is in the Z51 sport package, which always came with bigger anti-roll bars and stiffer shocks and springs. For 2005, it comes with all those things plus its own set of tires (which are the same size as the base tire but with an asymmetric tread design and less void space), cross-drilled brake rotors that are larger by about an inch, high-performance brake-pad linings, and the shorter gearing of the current Z06's six-speed manual transaxle.

    The six-speed is the same Tremec T-56 unit familiar from the C5, but internal improvements promise better shift quality for all '05 Vettes. If you choose an automatic, it will be the same four-speed as before (the XLR's five-speed auto cannot handle the Corvette's torque), although it now has an adaptive shift algorithm. Hill places the new Z51 in context by saying, "If the Z06 was four seconds a lap faster than a base C5, the new Z51 takes back three of those seconds."

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    This is due in large part to the new LS2 engine. Chevrolet bored out the aluminum V-8 from 5.7 liters to a nice round 6.0 liters. Each cylinder of the siamese-bore engine is now 101.6 millimeters across, instead of 99. Chevy also increased the compression ratio from 10.1:1 to 10.9:1, raised the redline from 6000 to 6500, substituted a cam with greater lift, and added a freer-flowing induction system and an exhaust with 10-percent-less back pressure. The result is 400 horsepower at 6000 rpm—a 50-hp increase compared with the LS1—and 400 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. The LS2 is only five horsepower shy of the Z06's LS6 and makes just as much torque but at 400 fewer revs. Since the 2005 Corvette weighs no more than the C5, we estimate a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 4.3 seconds—a few 10ths quicker than the C5.

    To stay ahead of the base car, the next Z06, due as a 2006 model, is rumored to have 500 horsepower, a dry-sump lubrication system, and a host of lightweight materials including aluminum side rails in place of the base car's steel ones.

    One of the main focuses of the new car's development had nothing to do with thumping power, though. Chevy has its sights set on winning over buyers from high-end European sports cars, and it's an understatement to say the C5's dark and plasticky interior didn't stack up. So gone for 2005 are the shallow, chintzy cup holder, the finger-pinching center-stack compartment lid, and the interior door handles that looked wildly misaligned even when mounted correctly. We'll have to wait for a production sample to see how this all turns out. But the preproduction car we saw is a major improvement. The plastics don't glare at you as they did in the C5. The interior is brighter and appears larger—although it isn't. There are now two usable cup holders, map pockets in the doors, and a larger center console bin. There are even real aluminum scattered about and seats with more thigh support. For the first time, the Corvette is available with a navigation system. As an added trick, the optional head-up display will record your maximum lateral acceleration from a driving session. Also, as on the Cadillac XLR, the Corvette will come standard with keyless unlocking and ignition.

    Chevrolet isn't talking prices yet, but figure on a modest increase. The targa should start at about $45,000, the convertible at about $52,000.

    Those expecting a clean-sheet new model might be disappointed by the C6. But at those prices and with thoughtful upgrades of virtually all the C5's weak points, the Corvette is now a better performance-car bargain than ever.

    [​IMG]

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 3-door targa

    Estimated base price: $45,000

    ENGINE
    Type V-8, aluminum block and heads
    Bore x stroke 4.00 x 3.62 in, 101.6 x 92.0 mm
    Displacement 364 cu in, 5964cc
    Compression ratio 10.9:1
    Fuel-delivery system port injection
    Valve gear pushrods, 2 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters
    Power (SAE net) 400 bhp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque (SAE net) 400 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
    Redline 6500 rpm


    DRIVETRAIN
    Transmissions 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
    Final-drive ratios auto: 2.73:1 or 3.15:1; manual: 3.42:1, limited slip

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase 105.7 in
    Track, front/rear 62.1/60.7 in
    Length/width/height 174.6/72.6/49.1 in
    Ground clearance 5.0 in
    Drag area, Cd (0.28) x frontal area (21.6 sq ft, est) 6.05 sq ft
    Curb weight 3250 lb
    Weight distribution, F/R 51.0/49.0%

    Curb weight per horsepower 8.13 lb
    Fuel capacity 18.0 gal

    CHASSIS/BODY
    Type full-length frame integral with the body
    Body material fiberglass-reinforced plastic

    INTERIOR
    SAE volume, front seat 52 cu ft
    luggage 22 cu ft
    Front-seat adjustments fore-and-aft, seatback angle, front height, rear height
    Restraint systems, front manual 3-point belts, driver and passenger front airbags

    SUSPENSION
    Front ind, unequal-length control arms, transverse plastic leaf spring, anti-roll bar
    Rear ind, unequal-length control arms with a toe-control link, transverse plastic leaf spring, anti-roll bar

    STEERING
    Type rack-and-pinion with hydraulic power assist
    Steering ratio 16.1:1
    Turns lock-to-lock 2.6
    Turning circle curb-to-curb 39.0 ft

    BRAKES
    Type hydraulic with vacuum power assist and anti-lock control
    Front 13.5 x 1.3-in vented disc
    Rear 12.5 x 1.0-in vented disc

    WHEELS AND TIRES
    Wheel size F: 8.5 x 18 in, R: 10.0 x 19 in
    Wheel type cast aluminum
    Tires Goodyear Eagle F1 GS or F1 SC; F: P245/40ZR-18, R: P285/35ZR-19

    C/D-ESTIMATED PERFORMANCE (6-speed):
    Zero to 60 mph 4.3 sec
    Zero to 100 mph 10.0 sec
    Standing 1/4-mile 12.7 sec @ 113 mph
    Top speed (drag limited) 180 mph


    PROJECTED FUEL ECONOMY
    EPA city driving 18-19 mpg
    EPA highway driving 25-28 mpg

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  2. MeAmEddie

    MeAmEddie My car goes Whooosh psst

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  3. KDubb

    KDubb everyday I'm hustlin'

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  4. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

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    I still :heart: the Corvette. :bowdown:
     
  5. holy diver

    holy diver OT Supporter

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  6. FurY

    FurY Fortune favors the bold... OT Supporter

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  7. brackac

    brackac Fuck all of this. OT Supporter

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    It's still a Neon.
     
  8. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    very well done :)
     
  9. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    meh, what a bucket of shit... :rolleyes:
     
  10. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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  11. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

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  12. GND

    GND BBP! OT Supporter

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    niiiiiiice :cool:
     
  13. mucky

    mucky .

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    Speaking in terms of just style only.

    Corvettes with hatchbacks > Corvettes with notchbacks
     
  14. Seifer

    Seifer Abort your Babies!

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    what a shitty review.

    those guys must all be smoking some crack
     
  15. RenaultFreak

    RenaultFreak OMG

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  16. coronet

    coronet Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

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    Damn... seen all those pics, seen all that info :sad2:

    Call me out when some new pics come in.
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It sounds like the Pontiac GTO may offer the LS2 for 2005. :eek3:
     
  18. Chi_Town_GoD

    Chi_Town_GoD Guest

    i like the way c5 looks better.. and this is coming from a guy that actually likes the new 5-series..
     
  19. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Top Gear likes this one much better already, and they haven't even driven it yet. :o
     
  20. michael

    michael FLORIDA > *

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    looks testarosa-ish
     
  21. L7

    L7 Mr Negativity

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    If the car has all these performance upgrades from the factory, wouldn't that make modding it less worth it since you have to spend more to get less?
     
  22. mucky

    mucky .

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    :gives: Majority of sport car owners keep thier car nearly stock.

    True Story!
     
  23. WS6Formula350

    WS6Formula350 molestache amririte?

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    New hotness :eek3: :bigok:
     
  24. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    I love it :) My only gripe is the steering wheel, but that is trivial compared to the perfection of the remainder of the car.
     
  25. God of Gamblers

    God of Gamblers OT Supporter

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