2008 Chevrolet Corvette

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Change year or car

$46,100

starting MSRP

2008 Chevrolet Corvette

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Performance
  • RWD handling
  • Heritage
  • Instrument layout and legibility
  • Appearance

The bad:

  • Wet-pavement traction and control
  • Idling noise and vibration on some cars
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Visibility in convertible

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Chevrolet Corvette trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • 430-hp, 6.2-liter V-8
  • Coupe and convertible body styles
  • Manual or paddle-shift automatic
  • Z06 coupe with 505-hp V-8
  • Available Z51 Performance Package

2008 Chevrolet Corvette review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


In standard guise, the Chevrolet Corvette packs a serious wallop, but there’s always a small core of buyers who want more.

The 2009 ZR1 will have 638 horsepower, carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber body panels and a 205-mph top track speed. Only 2,000 will be made the first year. Its sticker price is $103,300, but the actual selling price will soar well above that.

Another option for die-hard enthusiasts is the Callaway Corvette, a special-order car that is available in small numbers through a handful of dealers nationwide. The Callaway has a low-profile Eaton/Magnuson supercharger perched atop its 6.2-liter V-8, and it pumps out 580 horsepower. That figure is less than the ZR1, but with horsepower approaching 600, the difference is academic unless you have a racetrack handy. The Callaway package adds $18,500 to the sticker price of a new Corvette. The test car was a coupe with the six-speed manual transmission and the Z51 suspension and brake package. The Callaway’s engine package, stainless steel exhaust and short-shift kit brought the sticker price to $70,365.

Superior Chevrolet in Merriam is the only Callaway dealer between Illinois, Texas and Colorado.

Unlike the ZR1, the Callaway is also offered with an automatic transmission and as a convertible.

Callaway Cars of Old Lyme, Conn., was founded by Reeves Callaway in 1976, and it has modified production cars for General Motors, Mazda, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin and Land Rover, among others. Callaway also has facilities in California and Germany.

Callaway is probably best known for its modified Corvettes, starting with the twin-turbo in 1987.

Creating a Callaway Corvette begins with the addition of a supercharged engine and new exhaust to the base model. Options include a short-throw shift linkage ($470), an adjustable suspension ($5,960), upgraded brakes ($7,620), lightweight wheels ($9,495), sports seats ($6,940) and an all-leather interior ($24,300).

The first thing I noticed about the Callaway was how much better it shifts with the short-throw linkage. The shift pattern is tight and direct, although the effort is higher and requires a distinct tug to engage fifth and sixth gears.

The second thing came when I leaned on the throttle. The supercharger whines, the scenery blurs, and you’re going fast quickly. The pavement was slightly wet during part of my test drive, and that meant instant wheel spin and intervention by the traction control. Later, when the pavement was dry, the monstrous rear tires grabbed the pavement and the acceleration was exhilarating. Sampling this car’s performance on the street is impossible, but it would be a blast for track-day driving, especially in the hands of an expert.

Even though the Callaway has nearly 600 horsepower, it is content being driven sedately. It never bucks or protests a modest pace. As you would expect, the ride is firm but not tooth-jarringly stiff.

Fuel mileage is rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway, and the test car’s onboard computer showed an average of 13.5 mpg.

Although this special Corvette has a host of electronic controls to help keep it securely on the road, its power is so explosive that it demands all of your attention all the time. The foolhardy need not apply.

The interior is standard Corvette, although the optional sports seats would be great for their additional support.

The test car was equipped with convenience items such as leather seating surfaces, dual-zone climate control, satellite radio and six-disc CD player.

Front and side airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes, traction control and a vehicle stability control system that has a competition-driving mode for track use.

Price

The test car’s base price was $49,395. The Callaway package and short-shift kit brought the sticker price to $70,365.

Warranty

Three years or 36,000 miles.

To get in touch with Tom Strongman, send e-mail to tstrongman@kc.rr.com.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 4.3
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Love it so far!!!

Traded in BMW Z3 that I enjoyed for 7 years, but stepped up to my Bucket List car with my 2008 corvette coupe. Only 20,000 carfax proven miles on it so is almost like a new car. I can wait for the salt to wash off these Ohio roads soI can start enjoying the car of my dreams

5.0

Great Touring Car!

The Z51 with the LS3 engine gives outstanding performance and fuel economy for interstate touring. The rear deck with hatch back access gives plenty of room for luggage. In town it gets an average of 14 MPG and 27 MPG highway driving. While having a high performance car you don't sacrifice comfort. The leather 6 way memory, heated seats with lumbar support keeps the driver snug and supported while driving. Personally I prefer the combination automatic with the paddle shift option over manual transmissions for normal driver. The C6 Z51 model Corvette is a great bargain for those wanting a fun ride for touring the country.

4.9

2008 Atomic Orange Callaway Z51 4LT Convertible

I’m the 2nd owner of this Callaway screamer. This car is scary fast when you want it, tame when you don’t punch it. Atomic orange head turner that gets good gas mileage on highway. Get used to getting looks and being asked questions about the car daily The performance approaches super car status. Very easy and inexpensive to service and maintain at a Chevy dealership. You get so much performance for the buck, handling and acceleration are exceptional. I love this car, it is an absolute joy to drive, a total adrenaline rush. Buy an LS3 C6, you will not regret it, and if you find a Callaway, buy it immediately. You will not be disappointed.

See all 116 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2009

Nissan 350Z

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2003

Dodge Viper

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2014

Chevrolet Camaro

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See all 2008 Chevrolet Corvette articles