Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
May 9, 2007
With the new, dual-mode performance exhaust, power output for Coupe/Convertible rises from 430 horsepower (321 kW) and 424 lb.-ft. of torque (575 Nm) to 436 horses (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm). This system gives the Corvette a more aggressive exhaust sound character that will appeal to performance enthusiasts.
Transmissions and axle ratios
The shifting efforts for both the six-speed manual transmission and paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmissions have been improved in ’08 Corvette models. The manual transmission shifting improvements include a more positive and direct feel during gear changes, with better gate-to-gate location.
The six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission on Coupe and Convertible is improved with new hardware and a new controller calibration that deliver quicker shifts. This change bolsters the feeling of performance and driver control when using the shifting paddles.
Also new for ’08 models is the availability of the 2.73 performance axle ratio with the automatic transmission. It is included with the Z51 package.
The Corvette’s precise rack-and-pinion steering system is revised to provide improved feel at all speeds. The revisions are due to a new, premium machining process of the system’s internal components, a new, stiffer intermediate shaft and controller calibration changes.
Corvette Coupe and Convertible models come with a new split-spoke wheel design for ’08. The design was introduced on the limited-edition ’07 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replicas with a Sterling Silver finish. The standard 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels feature a Sparkle Silver finish, with a Competition Gray version optional.
Also new is a distinctive, performance-oriented forged aluminum wheel for Coupe and Convertible. It comes in a polished finish.
There are two new premium exterior colors available with 2008 Corvette models: Jetstream Blue Metallic Tintcoat and Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat; they replace Le Mans Blue Metallic and Monterey Red Metallic Tintcoat.
Feature changes and enhancements
All Corvette models now come standard with features that were previously optional or part of equipment packages. They include:
OnStar with available Turn-By-Turn Navigation XM Satellite Radio Auto-dimming rearview mirrors (with compass) Audio input jack on all radio systems except navigation; Personal Audio Link is available as a dealer-installed item with the navigation system. The ’08 Corvettes also come with a new Keyless Access fob, which features the key and remote-function controls integrated in a single unit.
The 2008 Corvette Convertible features a power-operated soft top with the 3LT package; an easy-to-operate manual top is standard. Both configurations use a five-layer fabric that conceals the underlying structure for a good top-up appearance, plus it helps preserve the car’s excellent aerodynamics and reduces road noise.
Corvette’s interior is inspired by the car’s dual-cockpit heritage. High-quality materials, craftsmanship and functionality help deliver premium quality meant to enhance performance driving. The instrument panel and doors are covered with cast-skin foam-in-place trim that looks like a leather-wrapped, padded panel. It is warm and inviting and has double the life of conventional trim materials.
An AM/FM/XM radio with CD player and audio input jack is standard. An optional Bose audio system with an in-dash six-disc changer adds to the choices available to the audiophile owner. Steering-wheel mounted audio controls – introduced in ’07 – are included with the Bose premium system.
The Z51 Performance Package brings Coupe and Convertible performance very close to the widely admired previous generation Z06. The Z51 offers more aggressive dampers and springs, larger stabilizer bars, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT tires, enhanced cooling and larger cross-drilled brake rotors (13.4 inches / 340 mm in front and 13 inches / 330 mm in rear) for optimum track performance while still providing a comfortable ride.
With each suspension, three standard dynamic chassis control systems – anti-lock braking, traction control and Active Handling – operate in concert. In all, the dynamic chassis control systems are smarter, less intrusive and more adept at making the total driving experience precisely what drivers have come to expect from their Corvette.
As the fastest, most powerful and most technologically advanced production model in Corvette’s history, the Corvette Z06 offers an unprecedented level of capability and technology, making it one of the best performance values on the market.
LS7 engine – The Z06’s LS7 7.0L engine delivers 505 horsepower (377 kW) in a 3,132-pound (1,421 kg) package – a combination that delivers 0-60 performance of 3.7 seconds in first gear, quarter-mile times of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph and a top speed of 198 mph (as recorded on Germany’s Autobahn). It also provides maximum lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and 60-0 braking in 111.3 feet; it also circuited Germany ’s famed N ü rburgring in a time of 7:43 .
Drivetrain – The Corvette Z06’s powertrain and drivetrain systems are matched to the LS7’s performance capability. The light, four-into-one headers discharge into close-coupled catalytic converters and through two-mode mufflers. The mufflers each feature a vacuum-actuated outlet valve, which controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power.
Structure – The Z06 has a unique aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof bodystyle. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Other castings, stampings and extrusions are combined into the innovative structure with state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies.
Suspension and brakes – The Z06 retains the 105.7-inch (2686-mm) wheelbase of other Corvette models, as well as the short-long arm suspension and transverse leaf spring design, but it rides on all-new wheels, tires, brakes, as well as its own rear spring and roll stabilizer.
* Horsepower and torque are SAE certified.
All Photos: Chevrolet
(May 4, 2007)