Top Story - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Commemorative Edition

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    American V-8 Power: The C5 departs with style

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    By John Kiewicz
    Photography by the author
    Motor Trend, September 2003

    The Corvette has enjoyed a legendary presence and colorful history since its debut in 1953. The current, fifth-generation Corvette, now seven years in production, remains one of the most complete and potent sports cars offered--though its reign will come to an end as a redesigned, more aggressive sixth-generation car appears in '05. The C5 exits in grand fashion, however, in the form of an optional Commemorative Edition that celebrates Corvette's back-to-back class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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    The Z06 and C5-R both rely on highly tuned Small Block Chevrolet V8s. The street car's 405-horsepower LS6 makes it the fastest factory Vette we've ever tested, running 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.40 seconds at 117 mph. The Le Mans-winning 7.0-liter race version cranks out 600-plus horses--and is a lot faster yet.

    Available in Coupe, Convertible, and Z06 models, the Commemorative Edition emphasizes visual punch rather than power upgrades. Most notable is a special Le Mans Blue paint, the same hue used on the two C5-R contenders that returned to Le Mans this year and narrowly missed a three-peat class win at the famed endurance race. The Commemorative package includes a special Shale-colored interior; the seats incorporate Corvette cross-flags embroidered into the headrests. Also part of the mix are exterior badges acknowledging Corvette's Le Mans success.

    There's one bit of CE hardware-related news: The '04 Z06 gets a race-inspired option in the form of a lightweight carbon-fiber hood that weighs just 20.5 pounds--10.6 less than the standard unit. This hood is constructed of unique, single-direction fibers intended to eliminate waviness, a trait common on painted carbon fiber. Atop the paint are silver stripes with red edges, similar to the stripe package used as a Le Mans-only aesthetic on the C5-R race cars (GM won't run these stripes at the rest of the American Le Mans race series events). GM says this is the first time carbon fiber has been used for a major body panel in a mass-production vehicle. "We definitely have technology transfer from [C5-R] racing to production with the example of putting carbon fiber into a series production street car that people can afford," notes Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill.

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    Apart from the Commemorative package for '04, the Z06 receives specific chassis tuning upgrades intended to deliver increased performance and more vehicle control--all with a smoother ride around town. Considerable attention was paid to refinement of the Sachs' shock valving in order to diminish the impact of yaw and roll, particularly in a series of tight corners. Ride/Handling Chassis Engineer Michael Neal states, "We reshaped the force-velocity curve to give more control, but not at the expense of ride. What the customer feels, particularly on a racetrack, is a more poised car. He doesn't have to wait for body roll to settle during transient maneuvers, so he can be aggressive hustling from one corner to another, particularly as they come in quicker succession." Added to the handling mix are stiffer upper control-arm bushings teamed with slightly softer rear anti-roll bar bushings to deliver flatter handling and more stability going into the corner, thus minimizing oversteer on corner exit. "If you want to fix oversteer at the back, you first need to fix it at the front of the corner," says Neal. Specifically, deterring oversteer requires generating a smoother entry, which, in the case of the '04 Z06, is noticeably easier compared with the '03 model.

    The chassis refinements and reduced vehicle weight have paid off, as the '04 Z06 recently joined the ranks of the select few volume-production vehicles to have broken the eight-minute barrier for lap times at the 170-turn, 14-mile-long Nuerburgring circuit in Germany, where Team Corvette performs development testing. This is a worthy accomplishment, considering that the exact same vehicle can then be driven cross-country in air-conditioned comfort, backed by a factory warranty.

    Hill's goal for the '04 Z06 was "to make it the quickest Corvette ever produced," sending the C5 out with a bang. That it is, and that he has.

    C5 CHEVROLET CORVETTE WALLPAPER - http://www.motortrend.com/motor/roadtests/coupe/112_0309_amv8_c5_lead_s.jpg

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  2. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    mad tite cf yo
     
  3. TheProwler

    TheProwler Active Member

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  4. KDubb

    KDubb everyday I'm hustlin'

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    old news :o
     
  5. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I still haven't seen a red vette with black z06 wheels. Or a red TA with black z06 wheels. :sad2:
     
  6. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    :cool: I still wish they would've made the CF fibers visible on part of the stripes :hs:
     
  7. Torch

    Torch Guest

    Nice.
     
  8. mucky

    mucky .

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    I got to drive a Z06 this weekend at the GM's Autoshow In Motion even. Only rules were drive as fast as you want as long as you stay within the cones. :eek3: Sounds good an all, but the faster you go, the shorter your drive was, and we only got to drive 1 lap around the couse. :hs:
     
  9. matt_c

    matt_c Guest

    I got to drive a C5 last night. Although it was no Z06, it was still the fastest car i've ever driven :o :bigthumb:
     

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