The British rate the C6 Corvette

The Corvette Is Back With More Power, Less Weight And A More Focused Attitude. Andy Enright Reports :
Admit it. No matter how floridly I wax lyrical about the handling and
roadholding of the latest Corvette C6 model, youre going to harbour some reservations. This is, after all, an American sports car, virtually every prior example of which has tackled corners with as much relish as a salt flat racer. What would it take for you to believe that Chevrolet has cracked it with the latest Corvette? An identical lap time of the Nurburgring to a Porsche 911 GT3? A quicker lap of Top Gears test track than a Lamborghini Murcielago? The Corvette C6 achieves all of that and more. Ask any bunch of committed petrolheads to identify what was wrong with the Corvette C5 and youd rapidly achieve consensus. For all its power, the car was just too big and unwieldy. The interior looked entirely too petrochemical to cut it in an aspirational market and you were forced to sit on the wrong side of the car. Ratings out of 5.0 Build 2.5 Comfort 4.0 Depreciation 3.0 Economy 2.5 Equipment 3.5 Handling 3.5 Insurance 3.0 Performance 4.0 Styling 4.5 Value 4.5
Whilst Chevrolet is doing nothing to remedy the last complaint, the other two have been addressed, more or less successfully, in the C6. Most cars pile on the weight with each successive generation. There are exceptions Toyotas third generation MR2 springs to mind but as a rule, the onset of middle age spread is hard to reverse. The Corvette is a far leaner product than its predecessor. It also possesses a far more purposeful stance with the wheels moved out to each corner, helping both interior packaging and handling balance. Combine the weight loss plan with an increase in swept volume to fully 6.0-litres and youve got a very potent car indeed. Not that the C5 was particularly tardy in a straight line. The C6 is in a different league, altogether and now trades punches with cars two or three times the Vettes asking price (45,850 for the Coupe and 51,850 for the Convertible). With 400bhp on tap, the Chevrolet features a power to weight ratio of 272bhp per tonne. Contrast that with a measly 255bhp per tone for Aston Martins Vanquish and youll appreciate the potential of the C6. It weighs about the same as a Mitsubishi Evo VIII, a car hardly renowned as a lardy bloater. "America's first and purest sportscar is at last pounding British roads" Performance from a standstill is suitably explosive. Manhandle the heavyweight six speed Tremec gearshift into first gear, dial in around 3,750 revs and sidestep the clutch pedal. Get it right and you should get the merest chirp of wheelspin as the bonnet rises ahead of you and catapults the car up the track and through 60mph in 3.9 seconds. Get it wrong and youll be bathed in the acrid aroma of sizzled tyres or clutch plate. The Corvette keeps going until it runs out of steam 186mph. Buyers hungry for even more performance should probably submit themselves for immediate psychiatric assessment and then ask their local dealer about the Corvette Z06 a model that, for 59,000, delivers 511bhp by means of a 7.0-litre V8. Along with the more athletic stance, most will notice the projector front headlamps that have replaced the pop-up items, must to the chagrin of Corvette enthusiasts. Pedestrian safety laws have spelt the end for this design feature. Plus the fact that the latest fixed units are lighter, brighter, cheaper to manufacture and give the Corvettes front end a little more personality. From the front it looks as if the personality it has chosen to adopt is that of a Ferrari 360 Modena but if youre going to ape anything, Maranellos finest isnt a bad start. The interior looks a good deal more European, even if passengers do get a hugely unsubtle Corvette script emblazoned across the airbag cut out in front of them. The fascia features some brightwork to lift it and the materials quality has improved from dreadful to rather acceptable. On closer inspection, the fit and finish isnt really up to snuff, but it at least passes initial muster. What the cabin lacks in quality it makes up in quantity, both in terms of space and when it comes to standard fit features. Choose the targa version and theres plenty of room for flattish luggage, although it will get a little broiled by the glass hatch. Elbow, head and shoulder room is all very good, legroom not quite so stellar. Whats refreshing is that the Corvette isnt trying to be self consciously smart. Sit in a BMW 6 series and you end up intimidated by the impenetrable i-Drive and the myriad obscure minor controls. Sit in a Corvette and you just punch a few chubby buttons and get on with it. Just because its simple to plug and play doesnt mean the Corvette lacks sophistication. The anti-lock brakes, traction control and Active Handling stability control systems all work in concert with one another to provide a welcome and effective safety net. The fascia dials are laudably clear and the head-up display that projects data onto the base of the windscreen may no longer be such a novelty but it works so well its puzzling why it hasnt been more widely adopted. Some things dont change. The Corvette is still one of the few sporting cars that you can get something from at legal speeds, ambling along surfing the V8s wall of torque. Get a bit keener and the car ups its game, the engine note changing from a mellifluous burble to a steely bellow. The brakes and steering are complicit, offering plenty of feel and grip levels are enormous. It feels properly sorted, the body control over typical British roads being far better than its predecessor. Theres no crashing and shimmying, just a muted thud as it sucks up cats eyes and expansion joints. Its a deeply impressive showing. Many of you will still have difficulty reconciling sporting credibility with a Chevrolet Corvette but this is a car that has developed into something a whole lot sharper than the chestwig specials of the early nineties. Pour on the power and it feels like a slice of genuine exotica. When you pause to consider a bloodline that stretches back over fifty years, perhaps its not a moment too soon. FACTS AT A GLANCE CAR: Chevrolet Corvette C6 PRICES: 45,850 (Coupe) / 51,850 (Convertible) INSURANCE GROUP: 20 PERFORMANCE: Max Speed 186mph / 0-60mph 3.9s FUEL CONSUMPTION: [6-speed manual] (Combined) 23mpg STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front airbags / ABS / Traction Control System./ Active Handling ____________________________________
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What kills me is this statement in the report : 'On closer inspection, the fit and finish isnt really up to snuff, but it at least passes initial muster.'
I find my 2006 fit and finish to be extremely good and well thought out.
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the reviewer prob is used to the interiors of Aston Martin's design.
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Guess this didn't come from Clarkson - worlds greatest living (?) sphincture. However, refernece was made to "Top Gears test track" - Clarckson is the lead idiot for Top Gear - Tiff, where ARE you :-(
I also have to remark (again) about UK prices - (this was at least true for the C5) - change the currency symbol & leave the numbers alone - "45,850 for the Coupe and 51,850 for the Convertible". It puts a whole nuther perspective on the car - so if they even like it at THAT price....COOL !
Real world observation on the Murcielago - it obeys the rule....the more expensive the car, the slower it's driven (only applies to "serious" cars) - had to hit the brakes hard, as I was passing a Murcielago (boring grey color - NOT boring shape). Took a look, thumbs up to driver & left it for dead.
And YES - Brits do buy the "ultimate sportscar" and worry about luggage space. I know - I used to be one :-) I couldn't fit half a set of golf clubs in an X1/9 VS.
Filled up with gas yesterday $58.74 - AAARRRRGGGHHH ! Not ready for 87 octane yet. But might give 89 a try some time, when I'm not always on the freeway.
Today, I took my 99 C5 for it's second emissions test (last was in 2004). They didn't hardly do nothing. I live in Phoenix, with a rapidly worsening smog problem & all they did was plug in to the computer & check the codes for reported problems - Q. Can't I just get a programmer & flush any codes / flash the chip - if I actually have problems & thereby circumvent the whole damn test ?

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Rufio wrote:

I thought he was with 5th Gear. He has the amazing ability to have a completely calm conversation with the camera...while driving sideways. Nice. =;^)

I had an '85 "Bertone" X1/9. Plenty of space, with two trunks, just all the wrong shape.
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Hey Crackhead: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/27499971.html

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