Be prepared to dig a bit deeper into pocket or purse because the '03 Chevrolet Corvette coming out this summer will boast more standard equipment than the '02.

Corvette brand manager Rick Baldick said the '03 will come with fog lamps, power passenger seat, dual-zone air conditioning, sport seats and parcel net and luggage shade (on the coupe) as standard, and the 50th Anniversary edition also will add magnetic ride control to the standard active-handling suspension.

Pricing for the '03? Stay tuned, but expect an increase from the current $41,680 for the coupe, $48,205 convertible, and $50,430 for the Z06.

Magnetic ride control is designed to isolate and smooth the action of each tire to keep the car flat in corners and turns.

"With the flip of a switch, you can change ride character so that it performs like a luxury sedan or performance coupe. It differs from the current active handling suspension system in that the soft [touring] setting is softer, the firm [sport] setting is firmer," Baldick said.

Magnetic ride will debut in '03 rather than on the next-generation 'Vette coming for '04, Baldick said.

Why not wait? To give Chevy some experience with the system before putting it in an all-new car.

That '04 'Vette will bow in mid-2003 shortly after the '04 Cadillac XLR roadster arrives in showrooms.

Because magnetic ride control allows for luxury or sports handling and because the '04 XLR and '04 'Vette will be built off the same platform at the Bowling Green, Ky., plant, it's likely the XLR will offer the system as well.

The XLR will be built on a separate line at Bowling Green, so its output of about 5,000 units won't affect Corvette production.

Going topless

Despite more equipment, the '03s won't have a power top on the convertible.

"Owners have asked for a power top and we've gotten a lot of requests, but we are looking at one for the next generation," Baldick said.

But the next generation won't have a power retractable hardtop, he added, because owners don't ask for one. And they haven't asked for clutchless manuals and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel either, he said.

Varying degrees of 'Vette

It gets a bit confusing, so read slowly.

For '03 Chevy will produce the Corvette coupe, convertible and high-performance Z06. All will carry 50th anniversary badges to commemorate that '03 is the 50th anniversary of the Corvette.

In addition to badges, you'll also be able to order your '03 coupe or convertible, but not Z06, with a 50th anniversary package, which comes only in a new metallic Anniversary red.

While the 50th Anniversary model won't be available until later this summer, three have been decked out to serve as pace cars for the Indy 500 race in May.

The pace cars are only coupes, and there will be no replicas in showrooms.