The Sixth Generation Chevrolet Corvette: More Power, Passion and Precision
Detroit - Marking the sixth generation of its legacy, the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette delivers more power, passion and precision to reach a new standard of performance car excellence.
The 2005 Corvette Coupe will be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2004, with production slated to begin in the third quarter. A convertible version will be unveiled in the first half of 2004, with its production beginning in fall 2004.
“The C6 represents a comprehensive upgrade to the Corvette,” said Dave Hill, chief engineer of the Corvette and vehicle line executive for GM Performance Cars. “Our goal is to create a Corvette that does more things well than any performance car.
“ We’ve thoroughly improved performance and developed new features and capabilities in many areas, while at the same time systematically searching out and destroying every imperfection we could find.”
The development of the C6 intends to not only replace the outgoing C5 Corvette (1997-2004), but also to create a 21st century Corvette that both thrills the legions of traditional loyalists and captures the imagination of a new generation of performance enthusiasts. The formula from the C5 era remains: extremely high performance capabilities in a car that offers great style, value and quality, with surprising comfort for daily driving. The C6 builds on that foundation and reaches beyond with dramatic increases in performance and refinement, wrapped in a passionate new design.
The sixth generation Corvette blends technical sophistication with expressive style. Five inches shorter than the current car, the 2005 Corvette cuts a tighter, more taut profile – with virtually no loss of usable space. More than just visual, the new dimensions make the car more agile and “tossable,” with upgrades in handling, acceleration and braking. At 0.28 coefficient of drag, the C6 is the most aerodynamically efficient Corvette ever and has improved anti-lift characteristics that enable improved high-speed stability and confidence.
“The C6 is more competition-influenced – given our championship experience with Corvette Racing – than any previous Corvette,” Hill said. “Our goal was a performance car at home in virtually any environment. That means more than just raw performance. It calls for improved ride comfort, a precisely-built and technically-sophisticated interior, and a sleek new body that is fresh and contemporary, while still instantly recognized as the new Corvette.”
With countless enhancements, ranging from major changes to minor adjustments, the sixth generation aims to perfect the Corvette formula of power, passion and precision delivered with great value.
A new LS2 6.0-liter small-block V-8 is the standard engine in the 2005 Corvette C6. It is based on GM’s new Gen IV small-block family of engines.
The LS2 raises the bar for standard performance in the Corvette, delivering estimated peak output levels of 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It is the largest, most powerful standard small-block engine ever offered in Corvette.
Major revisions to the manual and automatic transmissions provide Corvette with significant improvements geared towards performance driving. The Tremec six-speed manual gearbox is available with two sets of ratios, one with more aggressive acceleration characteristics reserved for Corvette’s Z51 Performance Package that emulates the performance of the C5’s landmark Z06 model. Improved shifting characteristics are another major improvement, with new synchronizers that reduce travel by 10 percent, and a shifter knob that is an inch shorter and redesigned for greatly improved driver operation.
The Hydra-Matic 4L65-E automatic transmission is an upgraded version of the C5’s 4L60-E, strengthened and revised to accommodate the LS2’s 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It includes GM’s advanced Performance Algorithm Shifting, which automatically selects the optimal gear for a given driving condition, making it a willing accomplice for performance driving and hard cornering. The transmission now shifts at higher revs to take advantage of the higher engine output.
Not only does the LS2 engine deliver impressive horsepower, but in a true measure of real-world efficiency, it also boasts the best combination of horsepower and fuel economy among the world’s best performance cars. When the LS2’s 400 horsepower is multiplied by its 22.6 mpg combined city/highway mileage estimates, it yields a total of 9,040.
The bottom line? The LS2 gives Corvette power in the range of exotic cars that cost tens of thousands more, combined with fuel efficiency better than some family sedans.
The signature of the sixth generation is an expressive new design that is a worthy extension of the Corvette lineage, distilling classic Corvette design cues in a completely fresh and contemporary fashion.
C6 features a taut new body with greatly revised exterior dimensions – 5 inches shorter than the C5, and roughly 1 inch narrower – with excellent aerodynamics. This new package not only aids the car’s agility and performance, it also helped designers give the sixth generation a lean, muscular form.
The new Corvette features more character and flair, expressed in an absolutely purposeful manner. The car includes larger wheels (18-inch in front, 19-inch in rear) topped by dramatic fender forms, with a crisp and tapered rear deck and fascia that support improved high-speed performance. Compared to the outgoing C5, this new generation Corvette has much more character in its front and rear fascia areas. The exposed lamps combine with the grille to create much more of a “face” on the car. The rear fascia is more expressive and lean, with truly round taillamps and integrated exhaust tips.
While using the latest advanced computer-aided design techniques, the styling of the C6 Corvette relied heavily on traditional hand sculpting and the personal passion of designers and engineers. Sculptors pored over every millimeter of the car’s surface. The aerodynamic development combined digital simulations, Corvette Racing experience and more than 400 hours of wind tunnel testing.
The passion on the outside is reflected in an all-new interior. The twin-cockpit layout incorporates sophisticated contours, leather-like surfaces that are richer and softer, and pleasing details including metallic accents and an expressive use of color.
Interior. A central element of the 2005 Corvette is an all-new interior that includes greatly improved materials, craftsmanship and functionality. The interior delivers premium quality with new technology meant to enhance, not distract from, performance driving. C6 continues the dual cockpit design theme that has been a Corvette hallmark.
The instrument panel and door trim areas make extensive use of cast skin, which retains the look and feel of genuine leather with excellent softness, low gloss and low glare that conveys an overall premium appearance and quality. Anodized aluminum accents the interior in key functional areas, such as the manual shift knob and door release buttons. This material includes a screen-printed appliqué that minimizes sun glare, and is resistant to temperature changes and fingerprints.
Exterior. The C6 features exposed headlamps, the first time since 1962 that a production Corvette has not had a mechanism to conceal the lamps when not in use. The fixed Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps provide superior lighting performance in a compact, high-tech package that integrates seamlessly into the design and aerodynamics of the car.
Technologies. Corvette contains many new electronic technologies including Keyless Access with push-button start, and optional features such as a reconfigurable head-up display, DVD-navigation system with voice activation, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar.
Chassis. As the next logical step in the evolution of GM’s Performance Car Architecture, C6’s chassis and structure are significantly enhanced. While the overall design philosophy continues from the C5 Corvette, the details contain a host of improvements.
The key features of the structure – low weight, high strength, cored composite floors, enclosed center tunnel, rear axle-mounted transmission and aluminum cockpit structure – all have been extensively revised to extend Corvette’s total performance, with enhanced structural integrity, feel, refinement and quietness. Overall vehicle weight is projected to mirror the C5, despite mass-increasing features such as larger wheels and tires, more robust brakes and increased body acoustics and interior features.
Suspension. None of the suspension bits has been carried over from C5. The short-long arm and transverse leaf spring independent suspension configuration remains, but the cradles, control arms, knuckles, springs, dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars, and steering gear are all redesigned. The Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) also are new, taking advantage of the latest sidewall design and compound technology for run-flat capabilities, and play a critical role in the tuning of the suspension for excellent handling and comfortable ride.
Ride & Handling. Improvements in ride and handling include greater lateral acceleration, more body control, less noise transmitted from the road, and better traction and stability in corners. The specific tuning changes in the chassis and suspension include suspension and steering geometry optimized for better handling and ride, advanced compounds in the tires, new directional control arm bushings, increased caster angle and greater suspension ride travel. The result is a Corvette that is more poised at even higher handling levels, yet easier to drive.
Suspension Choices. Three suspension choices allow drivers to choose the setup that best suits their driving style – Standard, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, and Z51 Performance Package. The Standard suspension is tuned for a balance of ride comfort and precise handling.
Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The optional F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers able to detect road surfaces and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride and body control. Magnetic Ride Control debuted on the 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette, and is the world’s fastest reacting suspension, replacing mechanical valves with nearly instantaneous reactions of magneto-rheological fluid. The system has been improved for the C6, allowing drivers more differentiation in character between the system’s two settings, “Tour” and “Sport.”
Z51 Performance Package. The Z51 Performance Package brings Corvette Coupe performance very close to the same level as the widely admired Z06. The Z51 offers more aggressive dampers and springs, larger stabilizer bars, and larger, cross-drilled brake rotors for optimum track performance capability while still providing a well-controlled and comfortable ride. Extensive racetrack testing reveals that a C6 equipped with the Z51 suspension almost equals the lap time of a C5 Z06 – marking a major advance in the overall performance of a Corvette Coupe by nearly approximating the extreme performance capabilities of the vaunted Z06 at a remarkable value.
Eliminating Imperfections. The C6 also seeks to eliminate the little imperfections and potential “dis-satisfiers” that sports car customers formerly had to accept. All of the major user interfaces – the hood, the doors, and the rear hatch – have been painstakingly designed for top quality performance, look and feel. The hood is still forward-hinged, but is 15 percent smaller, 35 percent lighter, and 40 percent stiffer than the previous Corvette. The rear hatch has a power-operated single-cinching latch for excellent fit and easy operation. Doors are stiffer and easier to close, doing so with a more refined sound. There are no traditional door handles on the 2005 Corvette. The C6 features GM’s Keyless Access with Push Button Start technology. By detecting the proximity of the key fob, the system both unlocks the doors and allows it to be started.
The removable-roof panel is 15 percent larger, yet offers the same structural stiffness as C5’s while weighing just one pound more. The roof panel comes standard painted body color, or is available with optional tinted clear or with a dual-roof package. With new indexing side-window glass and redesigned seals, Corvette is much more free from wind noise, too. And the many improvements in tires, suspension, and body structure yield impressive reductions in road noise, while improving overall quality perception and making long trips that much more pleasurable.
Story by Chevrolet