For 2008, the Corvette two-seater sports car gets a more powerful engine and other powertrain updates, as well as a new interior trim package. A convertible and hatchback coupe are offered, as is a high-performance Z06 coupe. The Corvette competes with the Jaguar XK, Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Carrera.
The major changes for 2008 are under the hood, as the previous LS2 V-8 engine has been punched out for a more powerful LS3 that makes 430 horsepower, compared to 2007's 400 hp.
Called "the most aerodynamically efficient Corvette ever" by Chevrolet, the coupe has a 0.286 coefficient of drag.
A six-speed automatic transmission, which operates via paddle shifters, and a new three-spoke steering wheel became available on 2006 models. For 2008, the automatic has been improved to offer quicker shifts. The transmission incorporates two electronically controlled automatic modes: Drive and Sport. Dual-stage frontal airbags incorporate passenger-sensing technology.
The Corvette Z06 offers a substantially upgraded chassis and a 505-hp V-8.
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Many familiar styling cues highlight the latest Corvette, but the current generation is the first one since 1962 with fixed headlights. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are standard. Round taillights and integrated exhaust tips appear at the rear. A tapered rear deck is claimed to improve high-speed performance.
Composite body panels sit atop a hydroformed steel frame with aluminum and magnesium components. The independent suspension uses transverse leaf springs. An optional Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers that detect road surfaces. Goodyear Eagle extended-mobility tires are used: P245/40ZR18 up front and P285/35ZR19 at the rear.
The Corvette features General Motors' Keyless Access, which unlocks the doors and allows the engine to be started with a key fob.
In this two-seater, the dashboard carries on the Corvette's dual-cockpit theme with a two-tone split. The gauges use white LED technology, which makes them backlit day and night. A leather interior package is available on coupe, convertible and Z06 models and includes a two-tone leather-wrapped instrument panel, door pads, and seats with "Corvette" embroidered on the headrests.
A CD player with MP3 capability is standard, while the optional Bose system includes an in-dash six-CD changer and steering-wheel audio controls. XM Satellite Radio is standard for 2008, as is OnStar. An audio input jack is standard on all stereos except those in cars equipped with the optional navigation system. Cargo volume beneath the hatchback lid is 22 cubic feet. Convertibles hold 11 cubic feet, but capacity drops to 7.5 cubic feet with the top down. A power-operated top is optional on convertibles.
Under the Hood
The 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 generates 430 hp and 424 pounds-feet of torque with the standard exhaust, and 436 hp and 428 pounds-feet of torque with the optional dual-mode exhaust. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, and a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic is optional. The optional Z51 Performance Package includes a six-speed manual.
The bump in power comes from new high-flow pieces, such as cylinder heads and the intake manifold, as well as more displacement and an enhanced valvetrain.
All-disc antilock brakes are standard. Cross-drilled brakes, which resist brake fade better under high-performance conditions, are available with the Magnetic Selective Ride Control or Z51 packages. A sport seat option includes seat-mounted side-impact airbags, but side curtain airbags are not available.
The Corvette Z06 is equipped with an LS7 V-8 engine that generates 505 hp at 6,300 rpm and 470 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm; it's the most powerful passenger car engine ever produced by Chevrolet and General Motors. The Z06 comes only as a fixed-roof hatchback coupe. A unique front fascia and upper inlet complement a specific grille, fenders, quarter panels and rear spoiler.
A rear-mounted battery and carbon-fiber fenders and floor panels are installed. Wheel-opening extensions at the front and rear and a front splitter are evident. The Z06 is 3 inches wider than other Corvettes, and the car's aluminum frame has a magnesium engine cradle. Super-performance engine technology includes such items as titanium connecting rods and intake valves. Chevrolet says the Z06 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Five-spoke painted aluminum wheels hold 18-inch front and 19-inch rear tires mounted on back wheels that are a foot wide. Three-inch exhaust pipes end in 4-inch stainless-steel tips. Back to top
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