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Vettes in the News

Corvette 2nd on Owner Satisfaction List

by Keith Cornett on March 7, 2006

While all the news accounts I’ve read about the new Consumer Reports car-owner Satisfaction Survey is mostly concentrated on the “Japanese Autos Dominate” angle, domestic automakers Chevrolet and Ford should be pleased that the Corvette and Mustang finished 2nd and 3rd on the Best Cars list. Topping the list was the Toyota Prius at 95% and Corvette was a close second at 93%. The poll is based on the percentage of owners who said they would buy another one. What I also find interesting is a belief that many people that buy the hybrid Prius do so for the same reason as those that buy a Corvette. Sure, saving the planet is great if you’re a Prius owner and for Corvette owners, how can you beat 400 hp and still get 28 mpg on the highway? Yes, Corvette and Prius owners are buying their cars for their own, different reasons, but what is similar is that the reasons tend to be centered on the lifestyle of the owner, rather than the individual components that make the vehicle unique. It’s often said that the car you drive is a reflection of yourself. Corvette owners have known this for many years, and while we endure jokes about our pending mid life crisis or needing Viagra, Corvette the car continues to dominate these kinds of lists. Remember the Chevrolet billboard that years ago featured a split window with the tag line: “They Don’t Write Songs About Volvos”? Same is true of the Prius…

Owner of Lost Corvette Found

by Keith Cornett on March 4, 2006

Last month, Lee Smith left home for a three-day trip. When he returned, his garage was wide open and his prized 1960 Red/White Corvette was missing. His car was found last week just off a deserted stretch of Interstate 95 in South Florida. The classic Corvette, which was incorrectly identified as a 1958 or 59, made headlines as Brevard County’s Sheriffs office was trying to find the owner. Smith says he bought the Corvette on eBay four years ago for $32,500. The sheriff’s office still has custody of the Corvette and will be returing in to either Smith or his insurance company in the next few days.

Lutz Confims Blue Devil/SS Rumor?

by Keith Cornett on March 1, 2006

While in Geneva, Switzerland for the International Auto Show, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz suggested a new, more powerful version for the Corvette might be on the way. The Blue Devil that has been discussed would have more power than the 505 hp Z06. Lutz said “There will be something special for the Corvette soon.” There was no comment from Bob on whether the something special would appear in the form of a supercharged small block as been rumored, and when the “Blue Devil” was mentioned to Lutz, he simply smiled. Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer

GM Confirms Blue Devil/SS Rumor?

by Keith Cornett on February 14, 2006

On Feb 8th, an article running on AutoWeek.com gives us the non-story of how Chevrolet won’t confirm the existence of development of a Corvette with more HP than the 505-hp Z06 and quotes Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper saying “We’d love to have it”. On Feb 12th, Automotive News reports the following: Chevrolet is looking at adding a Corvette model with more horsepower than the 505-hp Z06, says Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “We look at what Z06 has done in the marketplace, and we can’t keep them in stock,” Peper said at the Chicago Auto Show. Now, there are no quotes around the statement “Chevrolet is looking at adding a Corvette model” in the news post, but it is attributed to Chevy’s Ed Peper. What makes this terse statement exciting is the part that says “adding a Corvette Model”, not extending the horsepower of an existing model. This could just be the first official word from Chevrolet that they may be adding a Blue Devil/SS type model to the Corvette lineup in the future. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Wallace and Hill Talk Corvettes

by Keith Cornett on February 7, 2006

Corvette Magazine sat down with Dave Hill and new Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace for an insightful question and answer session for their April 2006 issue. While no new news really broke from the conversation, we do get a sense of the responsibility that has been handed over to Tom and the huge shoes he will be filling. When asked what his biggest challenge is as the new CE, Tom joked that several people have already told him “Don’t screw it up!”. Both Hill and Wallace talk about the refinements being made on both the C6 and Z06 including improvement of the Z06′s 6-speed transmission for gear rattle and synchronizer engagement. Both agree that most refinements currently being made are more customer-comfort than performance items. The conversation covers competitors to Corvette both on the street and the on the track. Tom is a racer himself and mentions that he is building an SCCA GT1 Corvette. Corvette Magazine doesn’t archive their online content so the link will only be available for a short time. Credit: Corvette-Mag.com

See Vegas in a Vette

by Keith Cornett on February 1, 2006

GM is bringing a hands-on driving experience to Las Vegas in what the automaker is calling “The Drive”. Tourists will be able to get behind the wheel of a Corvette, Hummer or Cadillacs and take drive them around an 11-acre tract at the North end of the Strip behind the Sahara Hotel and Casino. The driving attraction features two courses: A high-performance paced loop and an off-road adventure trail with a tunnel, hill climb and obstacles. Of course, a GM professional driver will be riding shotgun to “enhance” the experience. Admission to both tracks of “The Drive” will be $10 to $15 a person. The attraction is open to visitors 18 and up who have a valid driver’s license and can prove they’re sober, which means taking a Breathalyzer test. “The Drive” is scheduled to open in March or April and will last for six months although it could become a permanent feature in the future. GM paid an estimated $6 million for the promotion and part of deal allows for GM to become an advertising partner of the Las Vegas Monorail system.

C6 Wheel Update

by Keith Cornett on January 29, 2006

Rick at CorvetteConti.com had another Corvette Wheel update for us last week. I had heard that after the 2nd bankruptcy of Amcast, GM went back to several other suppliers who had submitted losing bids on the original contract. Because they already had the C6 molds, GM awarded them temporary contracts to keep the wheel supply flowing. The letter from GM that CorvetteConti.com posted seems to lend credence to this story: ——————— From: Chevrolet Marketing
Date: January 21, 2006 Subject: Corvette Production Update Administrative message dated 12/15/2005 advised you of potential actions that might be necessary to manage wheel supply issues for Corvette and Z06. We are pleased to inform you that with the dedicated efforts of several GM teams we have not and likely will not in the future need to change wheel options on any 2006MY Corvette orders. Although still constrained, we expect to be able to offer the full selection of painted and polished wheel options. The much anticipated Chrome wheel option, however, must continue postponement until later this model year. (QX3) Order Guides, GM AutoBook and Order Workbench will therefore remain unchanged relative to wheel options. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and confusion that this situation may have caused you or your customer(s) but are obviously pleased with the positive resolutions to the issues outlined in the previous communication.” Source: CorvetteConti.com

Corvette Navigation Software Update

by Keith Cornett on January 8, 2006

GM has released a software update package for upgrading the 2005 Corvette’s Navigation system. The package consists of two CD’s and can be performed at your Chevrolet dealership or you can order the CD’s and install the upgrade yourself. The software updates performs the following upgrades: 1. Modifies the signal interface with the ARS Module to correct poor reception.
2. Adds an onscreen message to remind you that a destination is required before a route can be planned.
3. Adds MP3 CD functionality. As the system is still under warranty, there is no charge for the service call but there is a nominal charge for the CD’s if you decide to upgrade the system yourself. The ability to upgrade the system via software is great for Chevy’s customers. How many times have you purchased an item when it was initially released, only to have the manufacturer make it better in subsequent years. While you expect companies to make enhancements to their products, it’s rare they are made available to previous customers.

Daytona 500 Z06 Corvette Pace Car Photos

by Keith Cornett on January 5, 2006

The Daytona 500 Z06 Pace Car. These images were released today from GM. Click the image to view larger photo.

 
 
Credit: Ankur

Jay Leno and Corvette Z06 To Pace Daytona 500

by Keith Cornett on January 5, 2006

A specially outfitted 2006 Corvette Z06 will serve as the official pace car of the 48th running of the Daytona 500, on Feb. 19. “Tonight Show” host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno will drive the pace car. The Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s premier race and traditionally kicks off the Nextel Cup racing season. Selection of the Z06 model marks the second consecutive year that a Corvette has been selected as the Daytona 500 pace car. The Corvette Z06 that will serve as the Daytona 500 pace car is mechanically identical to those available at Chevrolet dealerships. It is the fastest vehicle ever offered by Chevrolet and General Motors. With 505 horsepower (377 kw) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm) from its 7.0L all-aluminum, racing-inspired engine, the Corvette Z06 leaps from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. It also differs from other production Corvette models with extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon-fiber front fenders and a chassis comprised of aluminum and magnesium. A racing-ready suspension and large, 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels help keep it glued to the tarmac, so it requires no drivetrain modifications to satisfy its role in front of the racing pack. In its official capacity, however, the pace car is outfitted with a variety of safety equipment and highly visible strobe lights. Interestingly, the Corvette Z06’s 505-horsepower (377 kw) output is actually more than the power produced by the race cars that will compete in the Daytona 500 – a first for a pace car. This is because of the unique “restrictor plate” rule established for the Daytona and Talladega , Ala. racetracks. On these 2.5-mile-long super speedways, the restrictor plate reduces airflow into the engine to limit horsepower and keep race car speeds below 200 mph. With a restrictor plate, racing engine power is reduced from about 750 horsepower to about 450 horsepower. Race cars can still average more than 190 mph on Daytona’s long straights. The Corvette Z06 Daytona 500 wears a unique paint scheme, inspired by the hot-to-cool color transition of a space capsule entering Earth’s atmosphere at a high rate of speed. The paint scheme is carried out with an elaborate, interlocking scallops design – a twist on hot rod-style flames – that blends “hot” Lemon Drop yellow at the nose of the Corvette with Lemon Glow, Amber Ecstasy, Blazing Copper and Hot Poppy. The colors culminate with a cool Sapphire Trance blue color at the rear of the vehicle. DuPont, the sponsor of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Monte Carlo, supplied the colors, which are from the company’s “Hot Hues” line of automotive paint. “As if the Corvette Z06 needed help in looking fast, the intricate paintwork of the pace car gives it the appearance of tremendous speed,” said Peper. “It is one of the most elaborate and stunning vehicle designs we’ve created.” Leno behind the wheel Jay Leno, host of the “Tonight Show” and an unabashed auto enthusiast, will drive the Corvette Z06 during opening ceremonies and the pace laps that start the race. Leno, who has a large collection of vintage automobiles and motorcycles, has previous experience as a pace car driver.Chevrolet returns to the Daytona 500 with 18 victories – the most of any manufacturer – including last year’s champion Jeff Gordon. Chevrolet also returns as the defending manufacturer’s cup champion, an award that has been bestowed 29 times. Also, defending Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart drives the No. 20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Joe Gibbs Racing. “The Corvette Z06 already is a performance legend and the fans will enjoy seeing it lead their favorite drivers around Daytona’s famous tri-oval,” said Robin Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway. “It promises to be a great race, and kicking it off with a Corvette at the head of the pack is the best way to start.” The Daytona 500 is one of the largest events in motorsports, drawing more than 168,000 fans to the track and attracting nearly 11 million American television viewers. It also is broadcast around the world. Credit: National Corvette Museum

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