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Cars Worth Noting: 2005 Chevrolet Corvette

2005 Chevrolet Corvette

Some call the C6 Corvette the “C5.5,” not understanding how much different and better it is than its predecessor. The C5, while good, was less than perfect. Its interior fell short in quality and appeal, highway ride was a bit too noisy, and (like some of its owners’) its back end was a tad too bulky.

Now comes the C6, which GM Performance Car VLE Dave Hill and his talented team have pushed much closer to perfection by starting with the C5’s hydroformed steel structure and reworking virtually every other element.

Powertrain is a new LS2 version of GM’s Gen IV small-block V-8 delivering a best-ever 400 horses coupled to a choice of smooth, precise Tremec 6-speed manual or upgraded 4L65- E 4-speed Hydra-Matic with perfection-seeking Performance Algorithm Shifting. (We understand there’s no available 5- or 6-speed automatic capable of taking the LS2’s 400 lb-ft of torque, but why no manu-matic feature?)

Steering, brakes and suspension are redesigned and developed at tracks including Germany’s legendary 176-turn Nurburgring and the new “Lutzring” (nicknamed for guess who) at GM’s Milford, Mich., Proving Ground. Three suppliers competed for the C6 tire business, and Goodyear’s Extended Mobility (EMT) run-flats won. Three chassis choices are offered: wellbalanced standard, smooth and capable F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Z51 Performance — close to the awesome C5 Z06 in handling yet surprisingly supple in ride.

The C6 is 5 in. shorter, 1 in. narrower and (despite wheel, tire, brake and acoustics upgrades) significantly lighter than the C5 at about 3,200 lb. Interior materials, craftsmanship and function are improved with added features like a Keyless Access and Start system and available DVD-based touch-screen navigation.
It may still be short of sports car perfection, but as close as you can get at the price.

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